Zalman shows off three interesting cooling tweaks

CES 2013: New ideas in a fairly conservative field

Zalman LogoZalman continued their climb back at CES with three interesting new devices, a heatsink, a fan, and a case. None of them were game changing but all were interesting technical advances that may make a difference.

First up is one of the two things Zalman is known for, heat sinks. This new one is called the FX70 and it uses wavy bent fins throughout the design. The idea is to aid convection across the black anodized fins enough to work without fans. Six copper heat pipes should be enough to stay passive with a low power CPU but anything more will requite active cooling. The FX70 supports up to two 120mm fans if you want to add them on.

Zalman FX70 heatsink and Reserator water cooler

FX70 heat sink and Reserator 3 Max water cooler

In the background you might notice the new Reserator 3 Max water cooler, it has a big brother called the Reserator 3 Dual Max. The Dual isn’t quite dual, it does have two fans but sandwiches four radiators in the device for what Zalman calls an “octuple cooling path”. To top it off the Dual Max has blue LEDs, that is a good thing right?

Zalman DF12 dual bladed fan

ZM-DF12 – Now with dual blades

More interesting is the new ZM-DF12 fan, or at least the blades on it. The normal blades are notched and a little mini-blade is slotted in between pairs of the larger blades. Does it work better to eliminate dead spots in the middle, quiet things down, or prevent zebra attacks? Who knows, I am not enough of an aeronautics geek to have a clue but it sure looks cool. There is a very dim LED in the middle too with just enough light to make the X glow softly, a nice touch.

Last up is something pretty unique, the Zalman Z15 full tower case. Given who made it, you can probably understand that it is pretty solidly built, the interesting parts are the vents. The front panel hinges open to allow more airflow in, and the top has louvers to vent air out. The front panel is hand-operated but the top is automatic.

Zalman Z15 louvered case

Open the blast doors, open the blast doors!

The Z15 comes with a fan controller on top that also has a temperature sensor. When the case temp hits a certain number motors pop the top louvers open to vent things. And yes, Zalman was smart enough to put sensors in to detect weights on top and not grind the gears to powder trying to move your 2L of Mountain Dew but cats sitting on a warm PC may end up setting vertical height records. Look for the Z15 to retail for $200-250 when it comes out.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate