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Zalman CNPS9500 LED CPU cooler review
Generally speaking, hating a piece of hardware isn't something I do. In all honesty, of all of the products I've reviewed and dealt with over the years, there are very few which raise my ire sufficiently to have the word 'hate' associated with them - Even the worst of products generally have some redeeming features, some slight silver lining upon what is otherwise a cloud of despair and irritation.
With that in mind, I will now tell you that I hate Intel's stock CPU cooler, which has been used since the beginning of their era of LGA 775 processors. I hate it, pure and simple. Aesthetically, it looks cheap and tacky. In practical use, it is cheap and tacky - The installation clips to mount it onto the motherboard are, in short, appalling, making it almost impossible (to my clumsy fingers) to install the cooler 100% securely. I've had several experiences with this stock cooler over the past few years, all of them bad, but I've finally had enough - The joy of opening up all of the hardware for Elite Bastards shiny new Core 2 Duo test rig was almost ruined by seeing this ugly stock cooler mocking me, and it only got worse from there, as I watched the system suffering from high CPU temperatures and leaving me feeling more and more uncomfortable as to the cooling solution's abilities.
Finally, I tired of the entire situation - It was time to move away from the stock cooler to something altogether more reliable. Of course, this opened the question - What to use? This is the question that I threw open to our very own forum-goers here at Elite Bastards. Several good suggestions were made, but eventually I decided to plump for Zalman's CNPS9500 LED.
With the cooler now happily purring away in the Elite Bastards test rig, it seemed remiss not to at least check out how well it performs, hence this review (more of a mini-review if you like, seeing as I won't be directly comparing it to any other product, not even that stock cooler) - So, if you too hate Intel's stock CPU cooler and are looking for something bigger and better, then read on to see if this solution is the one for you!