Based on the characteristics found on the Zalman CNPS12X CPU cooler (large size, three fans, six direct-touch gapless heatpipes, etc.), we thought it would reach outstanding cooling performance. However, it seems like Zalman favored silence over performance. Even with three fans, it is quieter than most high-end coolers, yet it presented only good (not excellent) cooling performance.
The Zalman CNPS12X offers an outstanding look, low noise level, and good cooling performance. Therefore, it is receiving the Hardware Secrets Silver Award.
It would be a good idea if Zalman equipped the CNPS12X with stronger fans with a speed controller, because then the user would be able to choose at any time between silence and extreme performance. Maybe in the next version…