Once fired up, the CNPS9900-MAX Blue proved to be very noisy, even with the fan-speed reduction cable installed. This is largely because of the sheer volume of air it was shifting; it was a match for even the mighty dual fan-wielding Thermaltake Frio.
Not surprisingly, this massive amount of airflow translated into some of the best results we’ve seen from a single fan CPU cooler. Only the Frio at its highest fan speed setting beat the CNPS9900-MAX Blue in our LGA1155 system, thanks to its awesome 51oC load delta T. Inserting the fan-speed-reduction cable saw this result rise to 53oC, which is still a solid result.
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The CNPS9900-MAX Blue was also one of three coolers that we’ve seen that can manage a delta T of under 30oC in our toasty Socket AM3 system. Its result of 26oC was just 6oC warmer than the imperious Frio, which again came out on top. As you’d expect, installing the fan-speed reduction cable saw this temperature rise again, this time by 8oC.
While the CNPS9900-MAX Blue returned some excellent results, it’s also very expensive, retailing for £49. This is £11 more expensive than the Frio, and in both our test systems, the Thermaltake Frio matched or bettered its performance and was quieter.
It’s clear that the CNPS9900-MAX Blue uses brute force to punch its way towards the top of the graphs. This might be acceptable if humans didn’t have ears, but unfortunately we do, and some fairly good ones too. As such, unless you’re in love with the CNPS9900-MAX Blue’s classic flower design, we recommend sticking to tower coolers.