Zalman CNPS11X Extreme Review

👤by David Mitchelson Comments 📅12-03-13

This is our first outing with Zalman and with it brings many different feelings and expectations. So how was our first experience with this well-established brand?

The X11 Extreme is offers a unique visual appearance, its distinctive looks certainly separate it from other coolers on the market. Adopting a V shape and having the cooling fan already attached is not only makes life easier but also offers excellent clearance for taller DRAM. With X11 Extreme installed on our LGA 2011 motherboard the cooler refrained from overhanging this area of the motherboard altogether.

On the performance front X11 Extreme handled our Intel Core i7-3930K at stock settings and with a substantial overclock. For a cooler of its calibre it even managed to show prowess against rival offerings which are renowned for their great results. Furthermore, the noise levels with and without the adapter gave good results too, allowing for acoustics which are more than tolerable.

X11 Extreme is priced at 40 which is a good price based on the performance this cooler offers. But unfortunately there are some pitfalls which we cannot and will not excuse. The installation was disastrous with many tedious hours passing, ill-fitting tools and poor quality components we even had to use our trusty dremel just to remove the screws because their heads had rounded. Zalman should really have designed a better fitted wrench for use with 11X Extreme, the screws are awkward to reach and this tool slips when located within the screw head which identifies another issue; poor quality components. Should a screw deface so easily? We think not and because of this oversight we find it difficult to be able to recommend this cooler even though it gives such valiant results.

+ Great performance
+ Nice aesthetics
+ Low-noise
+ Excellent thermal paste supplied

- Troublesome installation
- Poor quality components

Click here for an explanation of our awards at

12 pages « < 9 10 11 12