Excerpt: We were ready to write Zalman off for good. Its much-beloved 9000-series copper heatsinks (culminating in the CNPS9900, which received a Kick Ass award in March 2009) were blown away by the advent of skyscraper-style coolers like the Thermalright Ultra-120. Zalman’s attempt at a skyscraper-style cooler, the CNPS 10X, was a bust, aesthetically and thermally. But now, Zalman’s returned to what it knows best: circular copper arrays surrounding a central fan.
Pros: Top-tier performance; quiet; good looks; less sharp than its predecessor.
Summary: The CNPS9900 Max heatsink has a total heat dissipation surface area on the order of 5402cm2, stands 150mm tall and weighs 755 grams. The manufacturer claims max heat capacity is a whopping 300W! CPU compatibility extends to Intel socket 775/1155/1156/1366 and AMD socket AM2/AM3 processors.
Summary: With the CNPS 9900 MAX, Zalman managed to surprise me. These coolers are based on an old concept introduced a long time ago, and thought the 9900 series never left the market, I was not expecting to see a performance level this good.
So yeah, the concept is still working really well. The dilemma anno 2010 though is that some people will dislike the sheer design/looks of the unit.
Conclusion: Please remember that these test results reflect our experience with each cooler on a specific motherboard, with a specific processor, BIOS revision, and test programs. That said, the ranking produced by these tests is accurate and gives a good idea how the coolers will perform relative to one another on any given system.