Ok, captain obscure-o is here to write another review with the help of another great singer

Hello heat sinks my old friends,
I've come to test with you again,
because the temp'ratures are creeping,
and all the noise while I try sleeping,
now I have two silent heat sinks spinning
and I am grinning,
to the sound of silence.

Man, I have a never-ending vat of this cleverness stuff if anyone wants some.

Today we have a quick and dirty comparison of two brand new quiet HSF cooling solutions for your P4. A whispering copper giant from Zalman, and a hushed high tech aluminum challenger from Nexus.

The first thing I should mention is the differences between these two heat sinks. The Zalman weighs in at a hefty 773 grams (far above the specified maximum weights of 450g and 300g for P4 and AMD cooling devices respectively), while the Nexus only weighs a paltry (in comparison) 385 grams. The Zalman is made of copper fins compressed into a single piece, the Nexus is made from a solid block of aluminum that is skived into a heat sink. The Zalman costs around $50, while the Nexus costs $30. This could be a tough (read: one sided) competition for the Nexus.

Nexus PHT-3600 SkiveTek®

Package Contents:

* Nexus PHT-3600 heat sink with attached fan, mounting clips
* Nexus NRC-1000 noise reduction cable

Heat sink specifications:
* Full aluminum heat sink
* SkiveTek®technology
* Weight: 385 gram with fan
* No tools required for installation
* Pre-applied premium thermal interface material

Fan specifications:
* Dimensions: 70x70x25 mm
* Rotation speed (without NRC-1000): 2400 RPM (+/-10%)
* Rotation speed (with NRC-1000): 1930 RMP (+/-10%)
* Noise Level (without NRC-1000): 19 dB(A)
* Noise Level (with NRC-1000): even less! (this is their official measurement, I don't have a device to measure dB unfortunately)
* Voltage (without NRC-1000): 12VDC
* Voltage (with NRC-1000): 10VDC

If you look closely you can see that the fins are bent up from the skiving, making the heat sink one continuous block of aluminum, without the need for welding.

Here is a blurb from Nexus on what skiving actually is:
SkiveTek® is one of the worlds most advanced technologies. It is a new concept and permits the production of heat sinks with a precise and super fine detail previously considered impossible. SkiveTek® represents a process of shaping materials to produce lightweight, high fin density thermal solutions. Base plate and fins are constructed out of one piece of 99.5% pure aluminum by cutting the material in thin layers, bending the fins in place. No bonding, welding, soldering or adhesive is involved; the joint between fin and base is continuous aluminum.

Zalman CNPS7000A-Cu

Package Contents:

* FHS Assembly (CNPS7000A-Cu)
* Four (4) Bolts - For fastening the clip
* Thermal Grease
* One (1) Sheet of Washers
* Adjustable Fan Speed Controller (FAN MATE 1) 5) User's Manual - in English and Korean

Parts for Intel Pentium 4 (Socket 478)
* Two (2) Clip Supports for Socket 478

Parts for AMD Athlon/Duron/Athlon XP (Socket 462)
* Clip Support for Socket 462 - Type A (Blue)
* Clip Support for Socket 462 - Type B (White)
* Four (4) Bolts - For fastening the clip support

Parts for AMD Athlon 64 (Socket 754)
* Two (2) Nipples
* One (1) Backplate
* Use the larger washers from part #10

Heat sink specifications:

* Does not generate noise or vibration in Silent Mode.
* Pure Copper base materials ensure excellent heat dissipation.
* Intel Pentium 4 (Socket478), AMD Athlon/Duron/Athlon XP (Socket 462), and AMD Athlon 64 (Socket754) compatible design for broad compatibility.
* 92mm fan inside the FHS maximizes airflow.
* Adjustable fan speed controller (FAN MATE 1) enables control of noise and fan performance.

Fan Specifications:

* 92mm 2 ball bearing fan
* Rotation speed (normal mode): 2400 RPM (+/-10%)
* Rotation speed (silent mode): 1350 RMP (+/-10%)
* Noise Level (normal mode): 25 dB(A)
* Noise Level (silent mode): 20 dB(A)
* Voltage (normal mode): 12VDC
* Voltage (silent mode): 5VDC




Test Setup:

Intel Pentium 4 2.53GHz C1 stepping
Abit IT7-MAX2 v2.0
1 GB Corsair XMS PC-3200

Motherboard Monitor v5.2.2.0


These tests were performed with an ambient temperature of 22 C in an open air situation with the motherboard laying flat on a work bench. All heat sinks were tested with Arctic Silver III and not the various thermal greases provided by the manufacturers. Load tests were conducted with the Prime95 torture test.

The Zalman nearly comes into contact with the capacitors on the test board, there is actually a warning on the packaging that this might be a problem with some motherboards.

The Zalman also sticks above the top of the motherboard, this could be a problem in small cases.

The Nexus fits nicely among the surrounding capacitors, taking up no more room than the stock heat sink.


Both of these heat sinks are of very impressive build quality and their presentation leaves nothing to be desired. While the Nexus brings to the table beauty with its anodized aluminum shroud and innovation with its skived mono-block fin design it is just not enough to compete with the raw copper behemoth that is the Zalman. Don't get me wrong though, for $20 less and not having to worry about your motherboard snapping in two, the Nexus becomes a very attractive packaged because it is VERY quiet. The Zalman shines when it comes to pure performance, performing in some cases on par or even better than my Koolance water cooling setup!

For exceptional performance and silence but hefty weight and price tag I give the Zalman CNPS7000A-Cu a 8/10.

SLRating: 8/10

For silence, innovation, aesthetics and good pricing, and slightly better performance than the stock P4 I give the Nexus PHT-3600 SkiveTek® a 7/10.

SLRating: 7/10

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