9700 Zalman review+ Instal tips

Hopefully this should make things a bit easier on people looking at Zalmans 9700CNPS cooler (As celegorm mentioned instructions are the same for the Zalman9500). Note: This is instructions for a vertical mounted unit.

Okay first off, I really hope your building a new system or be prepared to strip your computer. You MUST remove the motherboard to install the backplate. I was aware of this when I made my purchase my first wire job left much to be desired in such a rush to get it hooked up so this gave me the oppurtunity to clean it up a bit as well.

Okay so you have your motherboard out. You'll see a small backplate one side clean the other side has a bunch of little notches on it. You want the notch side facing the motherboard. Then take the top piece and apply the 4 longer screws down through and attach and secure to the backplate. If you look at the bottom you should see the screws come through to the bottom of the backplate.

Don't put your motherboard in your case until you have installed the fan whatever you do!!!!

Next clean your heatspreader with rubbing alcohol. I used cue tips to apply a small portion of alcohol and a tissue to remove the last of thermal paste. Then used a cue tip rubbed the heatspreader a bit more and just blew on it. Don't soak it on just a very small dab is enough.

I didn't use the provided thermal paste I decided to go with the ever popular Arctic 5 Silver. Checking out there site you you want to draw a thin line right in the center of the heatspreader about a half inch of the top & bottom. Here is a link with detailed instructions. http://www.arcticsilver.com/arctic_silver_instructions.htm Just click your model and what type of CPU you have and it will tell you how to apply the thermal paste.

Okay after you have applied the thermal paste you want to put you cpu in the motherboard. You may need a small screwdriver the top mounting bracket doesn't leave much clearence for the lever to flip up and down. After you have your CPU seated flip the top down and lock into place.

Next take your Zalman fan and put in with the fan facing towards the front of your case. You want it facing towards the front so the fan blows back across the fins and out your rear exhaust fan. Here is a photo installed. Notice how the fan is at the front blowing towards the exhaust fan to expel the heat.

As a added benefit it provides some more cooling for your north & southbridge. You then want to put the base of the fan the copper block on top of your heatspreader. Rub in circular motions making sure to cover all but the outer edges of your heatspreader. Now mounting from here is the tricky part!

I recommend purchasing a L shaped phillips screwdriver for the install. I did not have one but thankfully I had a very small phillips about 1 1/2 inchs long. And that was almost to big. This is why I say don't put it in the case yet. You need the room to make sure its securely in place. So you take the smaller of the 2 silver plates and mount underneath the fan. You will see a groove on the top of the copper block were you put the center hole from the silver clip. Make sure you have the grooved end facing up towards you. Then on the sides you will see 1 screwhole on each side were you put the smaller screws in to tighten the Zalman cooler to your top brace. I recommend putting the screw in the fan side first because you have a bit more room to move around on the back. After you have the front screw in the top brace its time to get the back clip in and secure. You may need a extra set of hands for this. The brace doesn't give much and I made my thumb turn blue trying to get it bent down enough to get the screw to tighten into the hole. After you have them both in there holes now you can work on making sure they are tight. Go back to the fan side and apply some pressure on the clip and screw in as much as you can. Then go back to the backside of the plate apply pressure and get the screw in as much as you can. I used a flathead screwdriver from the side and applied pressure down and had somebody else tighten it down. Mine is pretty secure however I think it can be a bit tighter. Next time i'm in town I plan on buying a L shaped screwdriver so I can turn the screw a bit easier.

After you have your fan secured to the board its time to put it back in your case. Put your mounting brackets in and hook all your wires up.

Now are you going to use the fan controller or not? You will probally have to turn off your cpu fan monitor in your bios otherwise your system probally will not post. The motherboard won't reconize a cpu fan and won't let the system run! If you want to hook the fan controller up heres how I did it after resetting the bios. You'll see a large 3 pin that plugs into the 3 pin on the back of the Zalman. Then use the other 3 pin and plug into your cpu fanslot on the motherboard. Route your wire outside the case and apply the sticky pad to a part of your case. Then plug in the long connector to the back of the controller and you have a working fan controller. I routed mine underneath my harddrive cage. At the front of my system there is a small hole underneath the speaker and run to the side of my case. Here's a pic of the mounted setup. Notice how you can't really see much of the wire. I mounted mine just high enough to be even with about a quarter inch of wire showing. You'll see it at the bottom of the case at the between the window and front speaker.

Okay that should pretty much cover the install if you have any questions feel free to ask them here or PM me. Now for some stats!

Before I had this fan I was running a stock intel fan. I was happy with this until I needed to up the Vcore to get a higher clockspeed. So here are some stock numbers. Everything is in celsuis.

Measured on PCProbe2
CPU Idel: 40C-44C
Motherboard: 35C-36C

Running Prime95 2 instances
CPU Full load 100% 57C-61C

Bios: 47C (Bios is not idel speed roughly 60% of your CPU)

Zalman 9700CNPS LED:
Measured on PCProbe2
CPU IDel: 32C-34C (8-12C drop over stock cooler) Average temp drop 10C
Motherboard: 34C (1 degree drop)

Running Prime95 2 instances
CPU Full load 100% 47C-49C (10-14C Drop) Average temp drop 12C @full load

Bios 36C (11 degree drop)

Note all temps recorded at stock settings. No overclocks on any tests.

I expect another 1-2C after the Artic 5 Silver works in after around 200hrs runtime as there website says. Also after I purchase the L shaped screwdrive I might lose another 1-2C if I can get it tightened down a little more. So if I combine the results from bios/prime95/pc probe2 the Zalman averaged around -11C over the stock intel heatsink/fan between idil and loaded. Hopefully If I can get it a bit tighter and the thermal paste settles I think I can get around -12C to -14C average drop in temp.

Here it is lite up at night a little blurry batterys were about dead so no LCD display on the cam!
great guide for people who are unfamilar with horzontial or vertical which ever way you look at or think that aftermarket cooling is a waste of there time :) or for people new to installing them.


Golden Master
nice , if i ever build a computer with aftermarket cooling that will help , and btw nice case


Golden Master
I went from my Thermaltake Tower 112 to the 9700 and saw about a 5-10* C drop (didn't pay attention to ambient temps). This would be even better if it had pics of the install.


Golden Master
I never tried anything with the stock cooler, but @ 3 GHz with the 2.4 GHz stock E6600, temps are only at 45C under load. That's with the Tuniq Tower 120. The max is 60C!!!!

The farthest I've got it so far is 3.8 GHz. At 3.9 I got a BSOD on booting to XP.

This is monitoring with the temperature monitor that came with the motherboard, Asus AI Suite.

What kind of CPU do you have Mattie?


Site Team
Staff member
just to make a note so people can read this and not have to ask. this works with the 9700's small cusin the 9500. instructions are the same, the only difference is a smaller fan.