Introduction

On the bench today is the DeepCool AK400 (R-AK400-BKNNMN-G-1), a new budget-friendly CPU cooler launching today from DeepCool. It is presented as a single tower version of their popular AK620 High-Performance Dual Tower CPU Cooler and they’re offering it at a very competitive price of $34.99 MSRP. We’ll strap it to our air-cooling test platform that is built around a Ryzen 7 2700X processor with a manufacturer-claimed TDP of 105W. This should provide a reasonable usage case that we are likely to see with some of today’s most demanding air-cooled CPU coolers.

DeepCool AK400 Overview

The DeepCool AK400 cooler is an air cooler that is designed to work on the most current consumer class of sockets, including Intel’s LGA1700/1200/115x and AMD’s AM4. If you’re hoping for compatibility for your old Bulldozer or perhaps that HEDT chip you still have chugging on an X99 platform, you’ll be out of luck here. The DeepCool AK400 features up to 220W of heat dissipation efficiency.

Heatsink

DeepCool AK400 sports four direct touch copper heat pipes which mostly cover the nickel-plated copper base to allow for heat dissipation. The pipes extend up into an aluminum dual tower that has a 120mm fan attached. The assembly is nickel-plated with a topping of a textured black element with Deep Cool’s logo across the top. It is also offered in a white version.

DeepCool leverages a unique matrix fin design with matrix-shaped fins on the heatsink to sport a unique and high-end aesthetic. It is also fairly short, measuring 155mm in height.

Fan

DeepCool included a single fan with the unit, one of their FC120P models.

The 120mm fluid dynamic bearing fan (FDB) is rated for 1.56W of power, a noise level of less than 29 dB(A), a rotational speed of 500-1850 RPM, and a maximum of 67 CFM at 1.8W of power, and the quoted operational lifespan is 50,000 hours. It delivers airflow of 66.47 CFM at a fan pressure of 2.04 mmAq at full blast.

The DeepCool AK400 presents itself as being higher-end than its price tag of a suggested $34.99, while not filling up the entire space around your CPU. There’s no RGB to be found on this – it’s just here to do its job.

DeepCool AK400 accessories and mounting equipment included

Let’s move on now to our test setup and installation of the DeepCool AK400.

Go to thread

Don’t Miss Out on More FPS Review Content!

Our weekly newsletter includes a recap of our reviews and a run down of the most popular tech news that we published.

David Schroth

David is a computer hardware enthusiast that has been tinkering with computer hardware for the past 25 years.

3 comments

  1. The 212 has been out for how long now? 2007? Sure, it's showing it's age a bit with noise levels, but man... it's just become so ubiquitous and the cost was never huge, it was the go-to for a lot of my builds that weren't going for cutting edge performance.

    It's very nice to see this come out and be extremely competitive against what I consider to be the de facto entry-level standard. Great writeup, looks like a decent product. It's amazing how the basic design of these coolers is essentially the same - 4 heat pipes and some fins on a copper block; but they still have so much variance. I suspect we are seeing differences associated with the fans that are provided with the HSFs moreso than anything -- if you used the same fan with each run, I bet the results would be a lot closer. I know you're testing at static RPMs, and I think that's good, but different fan blade designs are going to push different CFM and static head with various noise levels for a given RPM as well. Whichever HSF has more pipes and more useable fin area will win every time if the fans are the same. Not saying you should adjust your testing -- I think testing with the fan provided with the unit is appropriate, just commenting to hear myself talk.

    Also, I really appreciate that you have a steady test bench setup. It may not be cutting edge hardware, but I don't think it needs to be - the consistency matters more, especially if you start comparing reviews done today to reviews done 2-3 years from now.

    It does make me think about Alder Lake and some of the issues it's having with it's design though... a drawback to this methodology is that you aren't able to identify or account for things like that. However, this is a review of the HSF, not Alder Lake, so I think that drawback is worth the consistency it gets you.
  2. Heh. One of the criteria for the 2700X is we're not using it for GPU reviews anymore, might as well put it to work doing something else!

    The thing that's really really really challenging with cooler reviews (in my opinion) is comparability. In today's more "modern" systems, there's a ton of variables that can get tweaked that will ultimately impact the overall performance of a given cooler. There's boost optimization for the CPU, there's fan speeds, there's the overall temperature of the CPU as well.

    At default in the 2700X's case, it tends to start thermally throttling itself in the low 60's and really won't let itself get up over 80 degrees Celsius under load (probably for good reason as it starts crashing around 83c). Pair with that some arbitrary motherboard fan curve, and you'll end up with results that look quite similar between good and not-so-good coolers. It took a while to take those variables out of the game - running a set voltage, set frequency and getting around the CPU fan curve to allow for higher temperatures solves that particular comparison data issue, but of course, it creates another one.

    The downside now is that the testing that we do does not necessarily relate to real-world usage of the product, though, I'd like to think the data points presented would be helpful to someone that is trying to customize their fan curve for the given cooler.
  3. The downside now is that the testing that we do does not necessarily relate to real-world usage of the product
    I think that's perfectly ok in this case --- you are looking for something representative of the cooler and it's performance; not how well any particular platform advantages or energy profiles play to that. Those will be consistent to your particular platform, and as you say - can mask the problems that a lesser cooler would exhibit over a better cooler.

    Particularly today with chips that will run with some mayonaisse slathered on a metal lunchbox -- the only difference being how long and how high it will boost --- systems will work, and often work decently well under lightly loaded scenarios, with any old cooler that is at least connected to the socket properly. But a ~good~ cooler will get you better boost speeds and for longer times. But you won't know what a good cooler is from a bad cooler without some baseline info - which is what I appreciate your benchmark system providing.

    If you tried to review a HSF under those conditions - they would all look about the same, because the chip would throttle out at some temp and you'd have to look at other parameters than just temperature and/or noise to determine what was working (and what was not).

Leave a comment

Please log in to your forum account to comment