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Deepcool AS500 PLUS CPU Cooler Review:Silent while properly cooling your processor

 The Deepcool AS500 PLUS is reviewed. This dual fan-based CPU cooler is stunning in terms of design, features, and performance. It is simply classified as a high-performance air-cooler with low noise levels and an RGB controller. All for a little more than $60 USD/EUR. The DeepCool AS500 and AS500 PLUS are equipped with a DeepCool TF140S fluid dynamic bearing PWM fan, and the AS500 PLUS has two fans in a push-pull arrangement. It can support CPUs up to 220W TPD while maintaining low-noise levels as low as 24dBA. The DeepCool AS500 features a 48mm heatsink depth and may be configured as a single or dual-fan arrangement to provide maximum memory slot clearance. With a height of 164mm and a total width of 142mm, the DeepCool AS500 fits comfortably into most mid-tower cases.

The DeepCool AS500 CPU Cooler has a sleek black top cover with a low-profile 5V addressable RGB LED strip. The ARGB lighting is intended to work with motherboard RGB sync technology to provide synchronized RGB lighting with the rest of the system. The provided cable controller or the motherboard RGB software may be used to operate the ARGB lights.



Support

  • Intel LGA2066/2011-v3/2011/1700/1200/1151/1150/1155

  • AMD AM4/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2/FM2+/FM2/FM1

The DeepCool AS500 and AS500 PLUS CPU coolers have a 3-year guarantee. Let's go onwards into our review.

 


Product Gallery

DeepCool has altered the package style of its goods, which I believe is pretty beautiful and effective. All of the information is printed on the paperboard surface of the cardboard box.

 








 

Even under harsh overclocking conditions, the heatsink design with six high-performance copper heat pipes ensures maximum performance, while the top-flow design ensures optimal cooling not just for the CPU but also for the motherboard components in close proximity to it. BTw you'll also receive a small RGB controller, but of crouse the LED setup is compatible as well with:

  • ASUS AURA SYNC

  • RAZER CHROMA RGB

  • MSI MYSTIC LIGHT

  • ASRock POLYCHROME SYNC

  • GIGABYTE RGB FUSION READY

 

The cooler is rated to withstand a 220W total power draw (TDP) load and is fully compatible with RAM. The cooler has a height of 164 millimeters.

 

  

 

There is a backplate for Intel. The wonderful thing about this backplate is that the standoffs bars are now pre-installed, which simplifies installation.

You'll get:

  • AMD Mounting Brackets (two)

  • AMD standoffs four times

  • AS500 DeepCool Installation

  • AS500 DeepCool Installation

  • Intel Mounting Brackets (two)

  • 4 standoffs for Intel LGA 20xx sockets

  • 4x Intel additional socket standoffs

  • 4 pcs. Thumb Nuts

  • AS500 Plus DeepCool DeepCool AS500 Plus Thermal Paste Thermoplastic Paste

  • 4x Anti-Vibration Pasting Pads

  • 1x DeepCool AS500 Plus Thermal Paste Wires

  • AS500 Plus DeepCool Wires

The solid copper base (nicle plated) has five 6mm heat pipes that run alongside a high fin density heat sink for superior heat dissipation, and its 48mm depth provides complete compatibility with higher RAM modules. The high-performance TF140S FDB fan with PWM support offers to fine-tune control for quiet cooling and long-lasting reliability. Get a comprehensive air cooling solution for the AS500 that delivers great cooling performance and compatibility."


The cooler has dimensions of 142x102x164mm (LxWxH). The heat sink's dimensions are 140x49x159mm (LxWxH). The cooler's net weight is 1198 grams.


Product Showcase CPU Cooler

For installation, please refer to the installation handbook that came with your AS500/PLUS. The Deepcool AS500/AS500 Plus requires a custom mounting kit for both AMD and Intel. The AMD installation makes use of the existing backplate, whereas the cooler comes with its own backplate for Intel LGA 115x systems. Mounting screws are supplied with LGA2011 systems. As previously stated, Threadripper sockets sTR4 and TR do not have out-of-the-box support.

 

 

 

The configuration of the heat sink's front and back or back sides is not similar. The heat sink is made up of 56 white-coated metal fins. This is not a complicated design. In comparison to the sides, the primary central area features an inset pattern. The heat sink is 159mm in width. Any two fins have a 1.6mm space between them.

 

The cooler is preassembled with the fans. Mounting brackets for contemporary Intel and AMD systems are included. Actual CPU holes may be found in the installation guide. This cooler does not include a TR4/sTR4 mounting bracket. 

 

In comparison to the front side, the reverse has a more stepped appearance. The central section has the most inset arrangement, which makes sense given that the digital RGB wire is run through it. The final four fins feature a cutout through which the cable is routed to the bottom. The cutaway design functions as a catcher, preventing the cable from falling down. I admire the attention to detail in this case.

 

 

The cooler comes with a specialized controller from Deepcool. For the wire coming from the heatsink, the controller employs a proprietary 3-pin connection. The controller is powered via SATA. The controller has a straightforward function. We've got three buttons. The + and – buttons control the pace of the dynamic lighting effects, while the middle button changes the lighting style.

Product Installation

It is now time to install the cooler; however, there is a twist to the installation that I will describe more below. So now we've reached the stage where we'll begin gently putting together a test setup. Everything you need is included. The LGA 115x mounting kit, which we will be installing, may be seen here. Be quiet! redesigned the mounting kit a while ago, which we'll go over step-by-step in this tutorial. Opposed to a disproportionately big number of screws and other bits and pieces, installation is now very straightforward.

 

 

The first thing you need to do is put four pushpin screws through the rear mounting bracket; the bottom position is for socket 115x, and the upper position... well, it's not for socket 115x. It is important to remember to use a rubber washer, as seen in above. Insert the backplate Socket 115x into the socket. Simply ensure that the two gaps/holes are aligned with the motherboard socket screws before pushing the mounting pins through the gaps/holes.

  

We will now install four riser/standoff screws in this location, which will hold the back-plate firmly in place.

  

 

We now need to attach two horizontal mounting brackets to the block, each with two screws, to complete the installation. As previously demonstrated, it is fairly straightforward. Finally, we're ready to put the cooling block in its place.


Product Installation

The cooler is an ARGB-lit variant that requires no proprietary software to manage. It can be controlled by any 3-pin ARGB host, such as your motherboard, a GPU with ARGB pins, or a third-party controller.

 

 

 

Once the cooler has been mounted, you can install the fan, tie it with the two metal clip. As you can see, we (still) use the Z97 Sabertooth, as it is one of the most challenging motherboards to use with all the shielding stuff from ASUS. And yeah, it did not fir, so we had to rotate it 90 degrees C. 

So yeah, the presence of large CPU cooling can restrict the amount of RAM that can be installed next to it. This is especially true if your memory occupies every available DIMM slot, including those that are snuggled closest to the CPU socket. After you've installed the cooler and fans, take the fan cable and plug it into the fan cable connector on your motherboard, which is located near the CPU FAN header. You'll be good to go from there.

Preparing the System Overclock

We'll take a look at the cooler in a variety of system setups and operating situations. For those of us who are audiophiles, it is important to pay close attention to noise levels. On the other hand, there is your standard non-overclocked mainstream usage, and then there are the performance enthusiasts that overclock their systems. So, keeping several possibilities in mind, we'll be experimenting with three different aspects of the cooler.

  1. dBA noise pressure levels

  2. Temperature with the CPU at default settings

  3. Temperature with the CPU at 4600 MHz with 1.3 Volts applied to the CPU
      

 

Keep in mind that all of our testing are carried out at a temperature of approximately 21 degrees Celsius. As a result, we went on with the Core i7 4790K processor, which was literally the most powerful but hottest processor money can buy you. You are all aware that once a processor is overclocked with additional voltage, the temperatures spiral out of control quickly.

Why (still) this processor?

For any processor operating at a specific TDP level, the heat signature is generally the same for the majority of toasty processors, which are around the 90-watt mark in power consumption. Heat is heat, and aside from minor variances in performance, it makes little difference whatever processor you utilize in the same TDP range.

TDP is an abbreviation for thermal design power. a power of 90 watts TDP is a measure of the maximum amount of heat that a computer processor, in this case a CPU, may generate in watts. For example, a quad-core,  hexa-core, octa-core of even 16-core processor with 90 Watts of heat output is still ... 90 Watts of heat output, and all of them would be stressed at that same temperature, which could be in the 65 degrees Celsius range depending on the cooler. More watts frequently equate to better performance, but they often equate to higher temperatures and greater power consumption. Why is the 4790K still in use? It would be a shame to throw away the many dozens of findings we've accumulated over the years, and from the standpoint of thermal design and heat signature, there isn't much of a difference between the 11900K and the other options.

 

 

So we'll be testing that processor at default clock frequencies, and then we'll blast the processor with 1.30 Volts like shown above. That voltage is not really needed for 4600 MHz but typically will bring the processor with a non-performance heatpipe cooler towards 90 Degrees C). We are merely trying to see how the cooler will behave under such stringent conditions. All temperatures reported are the processor package sensor temps. The cores will independently differ a little in Degrees C here and there. We measure at an ambient room temperature of 21 Degrees C.

The CPU stressor

We test processor coolers following a strict protocol. We have already shown you the BIOS settings for the overclock. To stress the CPU we apply the stress modes (default and OC 1.3V) and have our stress software wPrime finish a full run twice. We, however, have a security feature enabled, if a cooler reaches 98 Degrees C the system will power down to prevent it from damage. Below, an example of one of our test runs. We note down the package temperature, the per core temps as such can differ here and there. For LOAD testing we note down the MAXIMUM measured temperature after a two full wPrime 1000M runs. In the example below we use a clock setting of 4600 MHz on all CPU cores with a strict 1.3 Volts on the processor.

Testing the cooler

It's time to put our theories to the test. The cooler that we tested today will function flawlessly with any processor, from entry-level to high-end, at its default operating speeds; of course, there is still potential for overclocking to further improve performance. We have developed a test system policy for cooling benchmarks that is more efficient. Let's have a look at the results for the system in its non-overclocked default configuration. The IDLE temps are shown below, indicating that your processor is doing little to nothing at all. In your system, it's just sitting there and waiting.

 

If you take a glance at the chart above, you will notice that the processor LOAD temperatures are quite high (in the non-overclocked state), yeah this isn't LCS. We take our measurements in a room with an ambient temperature of 21 degrees Celsius. Environmental temperatures have an effect on cooling performance, albeit in a minor way. We make a note of the temperature of the CPU package that was measured to be the highest.

Guru3D's rule of thumb on CPU load vs cooling temps:

  • Anything up-to to roughly 50 Degrees C or lower we consider enthusiast-class cooling

  • Anything in-between 51 to 60 Degrees C we consider performance cooling

  • Anything in-between 61 to 70 Degrees C we consider mainstream cooling

  • Anything above 71 Degrees C we consider average cooling

This kit thus sits at the threshold of mainstream cooling at processor default clock frequencies. 

Acoustic Performance

With a certified dBA meter, we measure how many DBAs originate from the PC. It's slightly subjective as there is always noise in the background, from the streets, from the HDD, PSU fan, etc so this is by a mile or two, not a precise measurement. You could only achieve objective measurement in a sound test chamber. Take this measurement as an indication, not a precise measurement, please.

The human hearing system has different sensitivities at different frequencies. This means that the perception of noise is not at all equal at every frequency. Noise with significant measured levels (in dB) at high or low frequencies will not be as annoying as it would be when its energy is 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 the dBA level. A specific circuit is added to the sound level meter to correct its reading in regard to this concept. This reading is the noise level in dBA. The letter A is added to indicate the correction that was made in the measurement. Frequencies below 1kHz and above 6kHz are attenuated, whereas frequencies between 1kHz and 6kHz are amplified by the A weighting.

 

TYPICAL SOUND LEVELS



Jet takeoff (200 feet)

120 dBA

 

Construction Site

110 dBA

Intolerable

Shout (5 feet)

100 dBA

 

Heavy truck (50 feet)

90 dBA

Very noisy

Urban street

80 dBA

 

Automobile interior

70 dBA

Noisy

Normal conversation (3 feet)

60 dBA

 

Office, classroom

50 dBA

Moderate

Living room

40 dBA

 

Bedroom at night

30 dBA

Quiet

Broadcast studio

20 dBA

 

Rustling leaves

10 dBA

Barely audible 

The fans are not audible while the computer is idle or load. Once we put the CPU through its paces with many full wPrime runs, the results remained very impressive. So it begs the question, what happens when we overclock our computer? Well, we only see an increase in DBa levels when we apply 1.30V voltage to the processor and overclock it. But it stays very silent.


Processor overclocking with Higher Voltage

Now we up the ante. Please keep in mind that the voltage levels of 1.30V and higher are the ones at which Haswell processors have major problems as the result of the previously mentioned heatspreader in comparison to the TIM design solution from Intel. We tune the Core i7 processor to run at 4600 MHz across all cores and deliver 1.30 voltage to the CPU while filling it with 100 percent stress so that wPrime can execute on all available CPU threads three times. The IDLE data are shown first, followed by the total core load results.

  

The temps often rise above and beyond 80~90 Degrees C for a lot of heatpipe based coolers, which is a definitive no-go.

 

 

Here the overclocking process is advanced in three steps, each of which increases the core voltage from 1.30v to a greater (unrealistic) 1.40v in order to determine our thermal threshold (the point at which we can no longer overclock). At 1.4 volts, any heat pipe cooler would fail, but with LCS, you can keep the temperature just under or at the 80 degrees C mark for extended periods of time (which I can only advise for a short period of time).

 

In general, the cooling capacity is very adequate for the price, and the acoustic levels are really good.

Final words and conclusion

We have to admit, the AS500 plus performs admirably. The cooling performance really is good, and acoustics as well are absolutely spot on. Deepcool absolutely knocked it out of the park with the AS500 PLUS. The Deepcool AS500 Plus (and AS500) have excellent build quality. This cooler is quite compatible with a single tower, however, at 164mm tall, it will still require a chassis that can fit a higher 140mm heatsink. A surprisingly good CPU cooler and at ~$60.

Performance

Performance is very satisfactory at the default clock frequency; nothing more and nothing less is required. Overclocking a CPU based on voltage still gives enough leash to fool around a bit. However Intel these days bypasses their specified TDP by nearly doubling it for approximately a minute when under stress. For example, a 125 Watt TDP processor can even run at 250 Watts for 60 seconds if it is given the opportunity. Because of this, we always recommend purchasing a cooler with at least double the capacity of the TDP of your processor. Processors having a TDP of 125W Watts or less are best suited for use with the Dark Rock TF 2 (under non-overclocked conditions)

 

Acoustics

Perfect, we can put this discussion to rest right there! Deepcool employs their quiet TF140S fans on the AS500, which surprisingly provided the Noctua NH-U12A a strong performance battle. As 140mm fans, pushing them to their maximum RPM of 1200RPM does not result in a significant increase in noise. For the AMD test, our board tunes the fans to run at 700RPM at moderate loads and 800RPM at heavy loads. Under stress, Intel averaged 1000RPM, peaking at 1200RPM during the AVX test, which was still completely quiet. 

Final Words

We're quite impressed by the DeepCool AS500 Plus. The tower cooler's clean processing quality, robust mounting method, and excellent performance speak for themselves. The cooler's dimensions are 142x102x164mm (LxWxH). The heat sink's dimensions are merely 140x49x159mm (LxWxH). The cooler's net weight is 1198 grams. The cooler is designed to work with Intel LGA1200/115x/20xx and AMD AM4/AM3+/AM3+AM2+/AM2/FM2+/FM2/FM1 sockets. Although DeepCool lists this cooler as compatible with the Intel LGA 1700 socket, it is not out of the box and requires the appropriate mounting hardware.  The cooler is equipped with 5x copper heat pipes, each measuring 6mm in thickness. The entire assembly has a white color finish. We have a nickel-plated copper base plate that measures approximately 41x42mm and is large enough to cover any chip on the supported sockets. Deepcool has supplied two white TF-140S fans with dimensions of 140x140x25mm. Metal fan clips are used to secure the fans. This fan has a maximum rated speed of 1200 RPM, a maximum airflow rating of 70.81 CFM, and a maximum air pressure rating of 1.16 mmAq. These fans have an overall sound level rating of up to 31.5 dBA and use Fluid Dynamic Bearings. The AS500 Plus White has a height of 164mm, making it compatible with the most, if not all, mid-tower chassis on the market. Yeah, nice performance, fair price and the two provided PWM fans provide an excellent balance of performance and accoustics combined with very subtle configurable illumination, and hey, even included is a small RGB controller. Definitely recommended. 


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