Summary: Zalman's CNPS14X CPU cooler was, while not the quietest in my tests, far from noisy, but its low noise levels are perhaps its best feature. Many users want quiet but powerful systems, and the CNPS14X certainly helps fill that role by being a quiet CPU cooler. The option of adding two more fans to further increase cooling performance is great. Performance gains from an additional two fans, while not always consistent, can be staggeringly large.
Pros: Quiet, Option for up to three fans, Performance with three fans is good, Quality thermal grease included
Cons: Price to performance is lackluster, Troublesome to install, Lacks extra fans, Installation manual unclear
Excerpt: Installing the Zalman CNPS14X CPU cooler is sort of like doing P90X exercises—there’s a possibility of extreme discomfort, but if you’re tough enough to bear the burden, you will ultimately see good results. The reason the installation is so painful is not so much the size of the cooler—we’ve installed coolers larger than this before without resorting to profanity—it’s the construction of the cooler and fan, which dictates the installation process.
Pros: Cools well; quiet; extra fans can be added.
Cons: Painful install; performance not much better than cheaper Hyper 212 Evo.
Summary: In any event, the stock Zalman CNPS14X heatsink comes with a single 120mm PWM fan nestled away in the center of two aluminum fin towers. The 120mm fan runs at 1350-900RPM and the two towers are connected to a copper base plate by no less than six, 6mm diameter copper heatpipes.