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Thread: Deepcool AK500

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    Deepcool AK500

    Introduction

    DeepCool has been around since the mid-90s and, being based in China, is able to develop products at a reasonable price – all the while being independent and releasing products that stand out. DeepCool has gained some special attention in recent years by entering the high-end air cooler space with a more serious approach than previous models. First up in 2020 was the Assassin III, a massive 140mm dual-tower cooler, until 2021 when the slightly more compact DeepCool AK620 was announced with its 120mm dual-tower design. We are now testing this one in tandem with the AK500, a much more affordable 120mm single-tower cooler newly released. Compared to its larger sibling, the AK620 which can handle up to 260 watts, the AK500 is rated at 240 watts. It has five 6mm copper heatpipes transferring heat to a dense aluminium fin-stack. Design-wise, the brand is still using a plastic top cover to hide heatpipes’ ends, alongside a black non-RGB fan. This means the cooler can be installed in any chassis without sticking out, which also includes horizontal cases.



    Here are the AK500’s specifications from DeepCool. Supporting platforms include AMD’s AM4 and AM5 while Intel’s are LGA20xx, 1200, 115x, and 1700.




    Packaging & Contents

    DeepCool continues their current trend of sticking to simple and clean packaging, with the AK500 coming in a white box with the only accent color the bright teal strip. The front has the cooler in full color, showing off their latest interpretation of the traditional single-tower heatsink.



    At the back you will find the specifications, which include the overall dimensions, fan RPM, airflow, weight, and socket support. As with previous DeepCool coolers, the packaging's light gray text on a white background is a bit hard to read.



    The AK500 comes with foam on the top and bottom, which is always nice to see. Inside, we find the parts (cooler, fan, and accessories) in boxes.



    The kit includes a long Phillips screwdriver, four metal brackets, a set of socket screws, a reinforcing plate, a step-down fan adapter, a tube of thermal paste, and instructions with a diagram for assembling. While the AK500 only includes one fan, DeepCool has included an extra pair of fan clips for enthusiasts who want to add a second fan for maximum cooling performance.




    A Closer Look

    The overall side view of the radiator. Looking at it, you can see that the width is quite thick, and the depth of removing the fan cooling fins reaches 90mm. The side adopts the buckle fin process and the folding fin process to form a certain guarantee in terms of firmness and anti-deformation.



    The front of the radiator body is flat design.



    AK500 measures 127mm (W) × 117mm (D) × 158mm (H) and weighs a considerable 1,040g. The angled offset heat pipe design allows clear access to the DIMM slots for better compatibility. There are five 6mm composite heat pipes.



    On one side, the edge of the plates is even, on the other side with cutouts in a checkerboard pattern. This reduces the resistance to air flow, increases the efficiency of blowing and reduces noise.



    The top plate has a pattern reminiscent of a checkerboard with the DeepCool logo on the bottom right. Much like the overall design, it is simple, clean, and somewhat elegant. You won't find ARGB lighting or anything of the sort here. Only the DeepCool logo in teal adds a touch of color to an otherwise neutral aesthetic.



    The decorative plate is detachable.



    Removing the decorative panel consisting of a silver base. It expose a hidden channel used during installation to tighten one of the spring-loaded screws.



    Copper nickel-plated tubes are distributed along the entire width of the contact plate. The included metal mounting bracket has been optimized to ensure proper contact on the latest Intel and AMD platforms. Here the base is an all-metal sole. Its surface is smooth and well polished.



    The fan used for the AK500 is DeepCool's FK120 with model number DF1202512CM. It has a PWM RPM range of 500–1850 with a CFM rating of 68.99.



    The 4-pin fan header connects to the connector on the motherboard. If for some reason you can’t hook the fan to a PWM header, an included low-speed adapter lowers airflow to 52.24CFM.



    As for the design itself, it uses a solid square frame with the hub of 9 fan blades, and FDB bearings are used.



    Its body is made of black plastic with a matte finish. Vibration-dampening rubber corners around the edges.




    Installation Process

    Installation of this cooler is pretty easy and I have to say the instructions DeepCool provides are some of the easiest to understand and follow. We will be doing our installation on an Intel Z490 system so this installation would be pretty much the same for Intel LGA 1200, 1150, 1151, and 1155 sockets. The first thing you are going to want to do is find the Intel backplate and attach it through the backside of your motherboard holding it into place with the included Intel standoffs. Here is the backplate on the back of the motherboard. The 4 corners can be adjusted to be compatible with the sockets of Intel CPUs in various ways by adjusting the locks on all 4 corners.



    Next install the Intel mounting bars, securing them in place with the included thumbscrews.



    These bars need to be installed on the top and bottom of the socket if you want air coming in from the front of your case and being exhausted out of the back.



    Apply the included thermal paste and then remove the fan from the cooler. Then very carefully install the cooler on to your CPU, lining up the screws on the cooler with the standoffs on the mounting bars. Using the included screwdriver secure the cooler.



    Now reinstall your fan. It can easily be installed from the top of the cooler if you happened to install the cooler while your system was in a case. You can see that even with the fan installed we still have clearance for normal-sized memory.



    With our system back in our case we can see that the cooler does have a pretty big footprint, but as I said earlier it is not massive. There still is more than enough clearance for our graphics card and at only 158mm tall the cooler should not interfere with side panels on most cases.




    Performance

    The tests are carried out with an AMD Ryzen 7 2700X processor installed on an ASUS TUF Gaming B550M-PLUS (WI-FI) motherboard . The processor is locked at 3700 MHz on all its cores with a Vcore at 1.05 V at first, then it goes to 4000 MHz / 1.25 V and finally 4200 MHz / 1.35 V. Temperatures are retrieved with HWiNFO , while the processor is loaded with RealBench for thirty minutes. Finally, the noise pollution measurement is taken 12 cm behind the radiator in a room measured at 29.6 dB(A).



    Right out of the gates, Deepcool moves towards the front of the field. At 20.6 Delta, it lands Deepcool and the AK500 in eighth place overall, yet it is one of the top air cooling solution in the chart. With a 0.6 degree gap to the NH-D15S, it isn't the largest of margins. While not amazingly better, comparing MSRPs puts Deepcool well into the lead over Cooler Master and Noctua.



    Adding more speed and voltage, delivering more heat to the AK500 was of little consequence regarding how well it performs. Still landing in six seems as if it could have been better, but again, Deepcool takes top honors for air cooling of a CPU in our charts. The difference to the big-named options increased slightly, favoring Deepcool and this AK500 over many high-end, high-priced solutions.



    This is where the Deepcool AK500 performs impressively. That it beats the Arctic Freezer 50 is no surprise, but it even beats the much more expensive Cooler Master MasterAir MA612 Stealth performance-wise while remaining decently quiet at medium fan speeds.



    This fan at stock levels is some of the most silent fan I have used with a 35dB rating at roughly 500 RPM. I had to take the reading a couple of times and I even changed the battery of the measuring device to be sure the 35dB rating I was getting was in fact correct for this fan. Even with full power to the FK120 PWM fan, it is barely audible, and you have to be within a foot or two to even hear it.




    Final Thoughts

    What is there that I can't say that leaves this newest member of the AK series of coolers painted in a positive light? Well, to be honest, there isn't anything I can rightly complain about. When you have a cooler that is taking what other manufacturers have tried and failed, leaving them to resort to using a dual tower or a super thick single tower, and still some cannot compete at this level. DeepCool has proven to me, once again, why I hold them in such high regard. They took the basic idea everyone has used for years, and with a few tweaks to the fin designs, figuring out the best method of heat pipe dispersal, and equipping the cooler with a 120mm fan that just kicks ass doesn't hurt things one bit either. With just one fan on the AK500 there are only a couple air coolers that were better on our charts, and from what I recall both of these coolers cost more. In all honestly, we are talking about a measly two degrees across all of these air coolers, and if you want to spend an extra $15, you can get the second 120mm PWM fan and run right with the big dogs on the list. The one thing you will get with the AK500, is peaceful silence. Where the other option would dig deeper into your pockets, and also make your ears bleed, DeepCool takes them head on and shows you can have the best of both worlds. DeepCool has moved the fin-stack to the back, enough to offer clear access to DIMM slots, thus ensuring compatibility with tall RAM modules while not blocking their RGB lighting. For motherboards with DIMM slots on both sides, rear slots have 45mm of height clearance. Build quality is great, with no bent fins or problems to speak of. Another thing I really like about this cooler is its style. No RGB lighting, nothing flashy, just some caps on the heatsinks with a design and the DeepCool logo. It is simple and elegant and I like that. From a distance, if not for the small green DeepCool logo on the top of the tower, this cooler would blend into the build, and outside of the possibility of lights reflecting off the shiny plastic, one may never know it was there. This is one time where a straightforward design does what one would expect. If you add more mass to a cooler, it tends to cool better as long as it has proper fan, and DeepCool found the formula to success here.



    The icing on the cake is that you can run just behind the big dogs for less than $60. It seemed for a while there that no company was able to produce a top tier cooler that could take on the twin tower monsters that were such a success, but at the expense of just about everything on the top half of the motherboard. DeepCool increased the size of this cooler not to get in the way too much, but allowed enough to be both cost effective and very efficient at removing heat from your CPU. I see absolutely no reason why I can't fully support and recommend the new AK500, as it kicks ass and takes names, and like a ninja, silently takes on the competition, until it is left on the top of the pile after the successful battle.

    Last edited by testman78; 09-20-2022 at 01:21 AM.

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