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Deepcool AK400 air cooler review

Today, we are reviewing an air cooler from Deepcool; it’s an AK400. The AK400 is from the same family as the AK620 (a dual-tower cooler). The previous product of this type (air cooler) covered was the AS500, tested back at the end of 2020. It was so good (it earned the “Approved” award) that it stayed as a part of the chassis test suite.


This time around, it’s also a single tower design cooler, with a four heat pipe tower layout, a unique matrix fin design, and a high-performance FDB fan that should provide excellent heat dissipation and low noise levels. The Deepcool AK400’s fan has an extensive RPM range of 500 to 1850. The maximum airflow is 66.47 cfm, with the noise levels not exceeding 29 dBA. The four heat pipes are 6 mm thick. Thanks to the cooler’s slim design (45 mm), there shouldn’t be conflicts with RAM sticks. The high fin density and the performance shouldn’t be an issue in most scenarios. There’s no available RGB this time.





The Deepcool AK400 is compatible with the following CPU sockets:
AMD – AM4
Intel – LGA1700/1200/1151/1150/1155

We want to underline that now we’re using the Alder Lake processor to check the cooler (previously, there were Intel Core i9 9900K and the 10850K). We’ll check if this cooler will handle the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X and Intel Core i9 12900K? The warranty period is three years. The price of AK400 is 30 USD. Yes, it sounds cheap at first look. But, will it be worth it? So let’s head to the specs/feature page, shall we?
Specifications and features

The Deepcool AK400 was introduced on the 15th of April 2022:

“The AK400 standard side-flow CPU cooler supports TDPs of up to 220W. The slim heat sink has a matrix fin design with cooling fins arranged at high density, and the base plate is equipped with a direct touch structure of 6 mm x 4 heat pipes, so it does not interfere with the memory or peripheral parts.

Furthermore, the cooling fan has an “FDB” (Fluid Dynamic Bearing) 120mm fan with high air volume, static pressure, and excellent quietness. The fan rotation speed is 500-1,850rpm 10%, the maximum air volume is 66.47CFM, the maximum static pressure is 2.04mmAq, the top noise level is 29dBA or less, the connector is 4pin PWM, and the MTTF is 50,000 hours.”




As for the features, those are:
Premium Compatibility

Featuring up to 220W of heat dissipation efficiency, the exceptional cooling performance of the AK400 on modern CPUs makes it the perfect choice for mainstream systems needing an impressive price-performance ratio.
Advanced heat dissipation

Four direct touch copper heat pipes effectively transfer heat away from the processor and dissipate through a single fin stack tower with a unique matrix array design.
Fluid Dynamic Bearing Fan

Achieve high-performance cooling with minimal noise levels thanks to the high-performance FDB fan that maximizes airflow and static pressure and intelligently ramps down for silent efficiency.
Simple and secure installation



The improved installation method is made easy with a sturdy all-metal mounting bracket and a quick five-step process to safely fasten your cooler on multiple platforms supporting the latest from Intel and AMD.





Product Dimensions

127×97×155 mm


Heatsink Dimensions

120×45×152 mm


Net Weight

661 g


Heatpipe

Ø6 mm×4 pcs


Fan Dimensions

120×120×25 mm


Fan Speed

500~1850 RPM±10%


Fan Airflow

66.47 CFM


Fan Air Pressure

2.04 mmAq


Fan Noise

≤29.dB(A)


Fan Connector

4-pin PWM


Bearing Type

FDB


Fan Rated Voltage

12 VDC


Fan Rated Current

0.13 A


Fan Power Consumption

1.56 W


EAN

6933412727446


P/N

R-AK400-BKNNMN-G-1


MSRP is 30 USD. The warranty period is three years. So with that said, done and out of the way, let’s head to the product showcase.
Product Showcase
The box of AK400 is relatively small. It has the typical Deepcool colours, a mix of white (a bit milky) and green accents. On the top, you can see the information about the usage of Noctua fans and the 6-years warranty period.


There is not so much information on the sides, but you’ll find the technical specifications and features listed at the back of the box.

Inside, we find the parts (cooler, fans, and accessories) in boxes. Foam is used for keeping accessories in one place; it also secures the top of the heatsink.




The mounting hardware supplied by Deepcool supports every modern socket. There are the following accessories:

• Cooler + 120mm PWM fan
• Mounting kit for Intel/AMD platforms
• Installation guide



Product showcase



The provided fan is a Deepcool 12 mm model. The fan has a black plastic frame with nine black blades. Anti-vibration pads are provided on the mounting corners, and that’s a nice bonus. Deepcool also provides another set of fan clips to attach a second fan onto the other side of the heatsink.

The basic specifications are listed below:
Fan Dimensions: 120 x 120 x 25 mm
Fan Speed: 500 ~ 1850 RPM +/- 10 %
Fan airflow: 66.47 CFM
Fan noise: ≤29.0dB(A)
Control Mode: PWM






As for the radiator - it’s a slim, aluminium one with many fins, so nothing that would surprise anyone. It’s 120×45×152 mm, the latter value being the height.



The quality of the CPU base of the heatsink is sufficient. You can see a pre-applied thermal paste, done with an interesting/original pattern.



The total size of the cooler is 127×97×155 mm. The weight is 661 g! That’s an average weight for such a type of cooler.



There’s no RGB available here. The (glossy) plastic cover features the Deepcool logo and adds appeal to the build.
Product installation

The installation process has been described in the included manual, but you can also find it on the Deepcool website. We’ll show it to you on the example of the AM4 platform. This cooler should be mounted horizontally.





Most modern cases have a giant cut-out for the CPU cooler, so there should be no need to pull the motherboard out to install the backplate. First, you need to remove the original installation elements from the motherboard. Then put the orange nuts to keep the backplate in place.







Next is the mounting metal bracket, which you need to secure with four screws from the motherboard’s side.





Please connect the CPU fan to the motherboard header.









There’s a pre-applied thermal paste (but we’re using a standardized one), so you need to secure the base using two screws (you need to do it alternately, to even the pressure on the CPU).







The fan is mounted using the provided fan clips. And that's it.


Product installation

The installation process has been described in the included manual, but you can also find it on the Deepcool website. We’ll show it to you on the example of the AM4 platform. This cooler should be mounted horizontally.





Most modern cases have a giant cut-out for the CPU cooler, so there should be no need to pull the motherboard out to install the backplate. First, you need to remove the original installation elements from the motherboard. Then put the orange nuts to keep the backplate in place.







Next is the mounting metal bracket, which you need to secure with four screws from the motherboard’s side.





Please connect the CPU fan to the motherboard header.









There’s a pre-applied thermal paste (but we’re using a standardized one), so you need to secure the base using two screws (you need to do it alternately, to even the pressure on the CPU).







The fan is mounted using the provided fan clips. And that's it.

Product Installation/Showcase after the installation





We are testing the cooler in a case to recreate a real-life scenario. Here, you can see how many wires you will need to manage. The fan needs power from a 4-pin PWM connector.





As you can see, the width of the radiator is about 45 mm, so that should provide great RAM compatibility.







Above you’ll see how much clearance there is for RAM. For the AK400 – there shouldn’t be an issue. Below you can see what the Deepcool AK400 looks like in the system.









The radiator’s pressure is good, the base is relatively even, and there shouldn’t be any issues with contact with the IHS of the processor.
Preparing the system

The cooler will be tested in various scenarios. For some users, noise is the most critical aspect. Others want to know what the performance is like in a non-overclocked system. But there are also enthusiast users squeezing the CPU for maximum performance by overclocking.







Four things will be checked:


dBA noise levels (with the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X and Intel Core i9 12900K)


temperatures of the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X at default settings


temperatures of the Core i9 12900K at default settings


temperatures of the Core i9 12900K at 5.1 GHz, at 1.3 Volts

The room (ambient) temperature was about 22 degrees Celsius. Now, here’s the significant difference compared with the previous tests. Instead of the delidded Intel Core i7 8700K, Intel Core i9 9900K, and Intel Core i9 10850K (the two last ones didn’t have to be delidded, as it’s soldered), this time, we are using the Intel Core i9 12900K. Please look at this review; if you want to check results for more coolers with the i7 8700K, this one for the measurements using the i9 9900K, and the following one for the measurements with an i9 10850K. The AMD Ryzen 7 3700X system was introduced some time ago, so I’m not going to spend more time on it. As with all other cooler tests, the TIM that we used was Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut to eliminate the influence of thermal paste performance from the equation. Because we are using soldered processors, it should be easier to show the actual performance of the cooler, making the charts flatter. We’ll be testing the CPUs at default clock frequencies and the Intel Core i9 12900K, at 5.1 GHz, at 1.3 Volts. That’s the lowest voltage that provided stability for this unit. The reported temperatures come from the processor package sensor. There are some slight differences between the cores in this particular CPU (1-3°C), so it’s on the safe side to look at package sensor values instead.

One new thing - we'll check the temperatures with a normalized noise level.

The test components:


AMD Ryzen 7 3700X (stock)


Intel Core i9 12900K @ 5.1 GHz @1.3 V


Aorus X470 Gaming 7 Wifi


Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Apex


Asus RTX 3080 TUF


Samsung 970 Evo 1 TB


Seasonic Prime Titanium Ultra 850 W
What CPU stress program did we use?

We stressed the CPU using wPrime 2.10, which we ran three times at the 1024M setting. The measurements were taken at default CPU frequencies for the AMD/Intel systems and an OC on the Core i9 12900K (5.1 GHz @ 1.3 V). There’s a security feature enabled, which powers down the system when it reaches 95°C. We measured the package temperature, as per-core temps can differ slightly (though it depends on the CPU type and the particular chip). We recorded the maximum temperature after three full wPrime 1024M runs for LOAD testing.
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X Baseline test

Time for the essence of this review. The Deepcool AK400 should be enough for the range of CPUs from the Pentium to the Core i7 Hexa-core, or even the Core i9 octa-core and the AMD Ryzen family. We ran the test at the default frequencies. First up is the IDLE temperature, measured when the CPU does next to nothing, just waiting for any action by the user.








There are no major differences in this case.



This air cooler offers decent performance. Here, it’s becoming more interesting, and you can see some differences. The ambient temperature was about 22°C, affecting cooling performance, but we tested the previous coolers in similar conditions. You don’t want to have the CPU above 75-80 degrees at default frequencies; otherwise, you can assume that the cooler is undoubtedly doing an inferior job.
Noise normalized results (35 dBA)



We’ll show you what it looks like on the Intel platform on the next page.
Intel Core i9 12900K Baseline test

Time for the i9’s results now. We ran the test at the default frequencies, and probably there’s no headroom for some OC, but we’ll check that later.




Noise normalized results (35 dBA)





This test is a hard task even for the 360 mm AIOs. Here you can see that these coolers are on the edge (90+ degrees), AK400 couldn't manage the task.
Acoustic performance

Processors and graphics cards can produce a lot of heat, and that heat needs to be transferred away from the hot core as quickly as possible. You’ll often see massive, active-fan solutions that can indeed get rid of the heat, yet all the fans these days make the PC a noisy son of a gun. Do remember that the test we do is highly subjective. We bought a certified dBA meter to measure how many dBA originate from the PC. Why is this subjective, you might ask? There is always noise in the background, coming from the streets, from the HDD, PSU, fan, etc. It’s an imprecise measurement by a mile or two. You could only achieve objective measures in a sound test chamber.







The human auditory system has different sensitivities at different frequencies. This means that the perception of noise is not equal across all frequencies. Noise with significant measured levels (in dB) at high or low frequencies will not be as annoying as its energy concentrated in the middle frequencies. In other words, the measured noise levels in dB will not reflect the actual human perception of the loudness of the noise. That’s why we measure dBA levels. A specific circuit is added to the sound level meter to correct its reading concerning this concept. This reading is the noise level in dBA. The letter A is added to indicate the correction made in the measurement. Frequencies below 1 kHz and above 6 kHz are attenuated, whereas the A-weighting amplifies frequencies between 1 kHz and 6 kHz. There are a lot of differences in measurements between websites. We measure noise levels in a completely enclosed room with the door closed. We can measure the lowest dBA level in this room without any equipment activated is, roughly 30 dBA. We measure the noise 30 cm from the side panel. First up is the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X.

Acoustic performance – Intel Core i9 12900K test

We also checked the noise in the Intel Core i9 12900K system.





In idle, the Deepcool AK400 is rather quiet.



Under stress, it’s not so great, as the fan is becoming noisy in the upper (1850) rpm range.




The Deepcool AK400 is doing well in idle.





Under stress, it still performs ok.
Core i9 12900K OC at 5100 MHz 1.3 volts

Time for overclocking. Our Core i9 12900K would be to 5100 MHz at 1.3 volts. 1.3 V and higher voltages could cause severe problems for Coffee Lake CPUs because of the TIM used under the heat spreader. Luckily, the 9th to 12th generation uses solder again. Again, wPrime 2.10 (3 times, 1024 M) was used. IDLE temperature measurements are taken on the desktop, with almost no stress to the CPU.

Air coolers usually have a tough time with our Core i9 12900K. The Deepcool AK400 wasn’t good enough to finish the test. The temps would go beyond 90°C, as otherwise, the CPU might degrade, and throttling can occur (primarily applicable to the AMD Ryzen range, which generally operates at lower temperatures). Of course - we won’t try to push the voltage beyond the 1.3 V mark.
Core i9 12900K OC at 5100 MHz beyond 1.3 volts

For the AK400, this won’t be applicable.

There would be four stages:


Default


5.1 GHz @ 1.3 V


5.1 GHz @ 1.35 V


5.1 GHz @ 1.4 V

Ok, move along, nothing to see here (pun intended).
Conclusion

The reviewed Deepcool AK400 cooler performed ok and handled both tested processors but couldn’t cope with the overclocked Core i9 12900K at 5.1 GHz using the 1.3V (not saying anything with more “juice”). The noise at the maximum rpm (1850) is too much, but you can set your fan curve to make it more reasonable, especially on the AMD platform. There is a possibility of attaching a second fan to the other side of the radiator. The price is relatively low/attractive, but still, there are some competitors, especially from some less know Chinese brands. As the dimensions are relatively small, there shouldn’t be any issues with the RAM compatibility.

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