Zalman has long established itself as a leading name in the field of cooling. This year at CES 2013 they showcased their new fanless CPU color, the Zalman CNPS FX100 Cube Fanless CPU Cooler, a winner of the 2013 innovation award. Compatible with almost all CPU sockets, both old and new, the fanless cooler aims to bring a powerful cooling solution without the added noise pollution of standard CPU coolers. Using a large amount of pure copper and aluminum heatpipes, the cooler transfers the heat from the CPU to the cooler and out via natural heat dissipation; however for users looking for additional performance, an extra 92mm fan can be installed to aid in cooling.
While the CNPS FX100 Cube is going to be more powerful than any of the cheapo stock coolers, Zalman noted that performance seekers will need to install the additional fan in order to reach higher performance. Their recommended fan runs at a speed of 650 – 1,200 RPM and is intended to still remain extra quiet.
Design-wise, the CNPS FX100 Cube is definitely easy on the eyes. While most coolers aim for a purely practical design, Zalman tried to up their game and provide a practical cooling solution as well as something aesthetically pleasing. The cooler’s design is definitely unique and the black-pearl nickel plating adds a very elegant look to the overall frame.
On a more practical aspect, the CNPS FX100 Cube is expected to fit nicely into most mid-tower cases. A width of 180mm is needed for the cooler to fit properly so for most people with a standard middle case, this cooler will have no height issues. Also, a word of good news for users with high profile memory – this cooler was designed with plenty of clearance! The Zalman representatives ensured me that even some of the higher RAM sticks should be able to fit underneath without any issue. While they were unable to give me a specific height, I did verify I could stick my finger between the low-profile RAM and the cooler without much of a tight squeeze.
For the heavy overclockers who need a super powerful cooler, this is probably isn’t the best choice. However, for the average user who needs a stronger CPU cooler for mild overclocking yet still needs complete silence, this seems to be a great middle ground.