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Zalman CNPS10X Performa Black Cooler Review

The bundle consists of installation hardware for modern Intel sockets and also AM4. There are no additional fan clips for dual fan operation, which is slightly disappointing. And the ZM-STC8 thermal paste comes in a sachet rather than a tube, making secondary installations less preferable.

AM4 installation starts by preparing the backplate (after the default AMD fittings are removed, of course). This process requires 4 posts to be positioned through the relevant holes and then clipped in place by plastic caps. The instructions for this step are less clear than they should be, especially as there is more than 1 way to physically carry out the backplate preparation method.

Once the backplate rubber space is stuck on, the bracket can be positioned on the motherboard. Washers and 4 individual stand-offs then hold the backplate in place. This is an OK procedure as long as you have one hand round back and then one hand messing with the washers and stand-offs.

Metal retention brackets then screw onto the stand-offs.

The cooler is then sat atop the pasted CPU in its position.

Instead of retained spring-loaded screws on the bracket, Zalman supplies the component separately. Thankfully, the springs stay attached to the screws well, making the tightening process straightforward. Screwdriver accessibility is also excellent.

The fan is then clipped into place at the desired height.

Overall, the installation process is reasonably straightforward for experienced builders. However, some of the explanation steps early on could be improved. And that initial backplate preparation step is more fiddly than it needs to be.

The final mount is very secure, though, so credit there.

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