Best High-Performance Air Cooler?
A little master full of magic and thrust is how I would define the DeepCool AK620 Black Digital air cooler. It has more to it than meets the eye, and we are saying this after putting this cooler through its paces. It can handle the 250W load on 13700k that well. Its performance level reaches the level of Noctua NH-D15S and DeepCool’s own Assassin-III coolers. I can say we have an all-rounder in the midst. I wish they provide a 5-year warranty. This cooler comes recommended by us.
Quality - 9/10
Design - 9/10
Performance - 9/10
Features - 9/10
- Dual-Tower Slim design
- Thermal Performance
- Magnetic Cover with Display
- Software Customization
- Matrix Fins Array Layout
- FK120 Square Frame
- Easy Installation
- Needs a proper GUI for the software
- Displays only CPU temperature or load
- Fans are a bit noisy
- Only 3-year warranty
It’s about time that DeepCool released digital versions of their famous AK series CPU air coolers. DeepCool has sent us an AK620 Digital cooler for testing. In terms of fin stacks, heat pipes, base size, design, and fans, there is no difference. Hence, expect a similar performance from this digital edition of the original AK620. The thing that has changed is that the two plastic covers on top of both towers in the original AK620 have been replaced by a single cover that has a display integrated into it and a subtle digital RGB touch that is compatible with supported motherboards. Another key difference is the compatibility with the Intel LGA1700 socket, which was missing in the first release of the original AK620.
This is a dual-tower configuration in 120mm size. This cooler has 6x copper heat pipes with a dense array of fins. The pipes are nickel-plated. We have a convex base on this cooler. The cooler is compatible with the Intel LGA1700/1200/115x/20xx and AMD AM4/AM5 sockets. Plus, the digital editions are all black color coated. The original AK620 was in standard silver color, and DeepCool later released the black edition as well.
- The DeepCool AK620 Digital is a remarkable cooling solution, boasting impressive power within its compact form factor.
- Its standout feature is the customizable display screen on the top cover, allowing users to monitor and personalize their cooling experience.
- It is designed to be compatible with the latest CPU socket standards, including Intel LGA1700 and AMD AM5, ensuring broad compatibility for modern gaming and productivity setups.
The cooler is shipped inside a cardboard box that has a paperboard cover. There is a picture of the cooler up front with the model number. We can spot the temperature displayed on the top plate along with the DeepCool brand logo.
Taking a look at the back side of the main packing box, we can see the specification table.
Take a peek inside the min packing box. The assembled cooler is nicely packed between 2x Styrofoam pads. The mounting hardware is placed inside a cardboard box.
The Styrofoam pads have cutouts on the sides showing the metal fan clips. This would help in packing the cooler again correctly by aligning the clips with the cutouts.
Looking at the opposite end, we can see a cardboard cover placed between the fan and the heatsink. Seems like DeepCool has focused on maximum protection during shipping.
What’s in the box?
Now, it is time to see what DeepCool has provided in addition to the cooler itself.
The accessories are placed inside a brown color box.
There is a printed user guide to help the users during the installation.
- 1x Metallic Backplate
- 1x Thermal Paste Tube
- 4x Thumb Screws/Nuts
- 1x PWM Y Splitter cable
- 1x Screw Driver
- 2x Mounting Brackets
- 4x Intel LGA20xx Standoffs
- 4x Intel other sockets screws
- 2x AMD Mounting Brackets
- 4x AMD Standoff screws
- 4x Intel LGA20xx pillars
- 4x Intel other sockets pillars
Let’s take a look at the cooler.
The overall dimension of the assembled cooler is 129x138x162mm (LxWxH). This cooler has 2mm more height compared to the original AK620. The dimension of the heat sink only is 127x110x157mm (LxWxH). The heatsink dimension remains the same. The net weight of the cooler is 1486 gm. This cooler weighs 30 grams more than the original AK620.
There is a single-piece cover on the top. It is highly reflective and is in a mirror finish with black color. It has an LED display that shows the temperature and load of the CPU as well as the DeepCool brand logo. It has a magnetic attachment. Users can easily pull it. There are four magnets for the attachment.
We are showing the under or inner side of this cover. There is a full-size diffuser running on the surface. We can see 4x circular black color magnets. These are quite powerful and tightly hold the cover of the tower. Circuit traces can be seen in the middle for display purposes. The three-pin soldered cable is for the digital RGB LEDs. It has standard 5V, 3-pin interface A-RGB connectors on the opposite ends. The 4-pin soldered cable is for the display. It has a 9-pin USB 2.0 connector on the opposite end. Exercise care and caution when handling this cover. Although a soldering job is done nicely there is still a chance of breaking the cable if the cover is pulled too hard.
Three connectors are coming from the top cover. One cable has a 9-pin USB 2.0 connector that is connected to the USB 2.0 header of the motherboard. The other two are standard 5V, 3-pin A-RGB connectors that can be inserted into the motherboard’s supported header.
The above picture shows the top view of the towers after detaching the top cover. We can see terminating ends of 6x heat pipes alternately. There are 2x metallic holders placed on the ends. These make contact with the magnets on the top cover. A single glimpse is enough to tell that both towers are identical.
The left and right sides of the towers are identical in layout. The fins have a joint assembly here. The middle section has an inset, and the sides have a raised surface. This is where the heads of the fan clips are rested. We have two thick towers. The towers have stepped design towards the base as 5 fin plates are in recessed layout as compared to the rest of the 45 fins. We have a total fin count of 50. The 5 fins on the base are in a straight line.
The exterior sides of the towers feature an asymmetrical layout on the fins. These are called matrix fins arrays. The fins are designed and stacked in a manner that 9 fins in any row have inset and protruded designs alternatively. The protruded layout starts from both edges of the towers.
The interior sides of the towers have a simple and plain layout with fins placed in a straight line. The interior portion of the towers poses less resistance to the airflow. There is a pre-installed mounting plate at the base of the unit.
The DeepCool AK620 Digital has 6x copper heat pipes. Each pipe has a 6mm thickness. These are nickel-plated and jointed with the fins assembly. Seems like we don’t have a soldered assembly here. They are making an evenly spread-out contact with the fins.
There is a protective sticker pasted on the base. It shows a dimension of 52x42mm. Don’t confuse this with the actual dimension of the base. This dimension is of the sticker only.
The nickel-coated copper base of the cooler has a dimension of 40x39mm. It is almost a mirror finish. The base is in a convex layout.
DeepCool has provided 2x FK120 120mm fans with the AK620 Digital. These are the same fans that we saw on the original AK620. These are non-RGB fans. The peculiar design element is the back color scheme and square frame of these fans. Each fan has 9x blades. The boundary of the frame has an inlet stepped design. There is a DeepCool branding on the center.
This is a dotted arrow symbol showing the direction in which the blades would spin.
The other side of the frame has a dotted arrow symbol showing the direction of airflow through the fan.
Looking at the backside of the fans, there is a power rating printed over there. The fan is rated for 0.12A at 12VDC, drawing 1.44W power. The fans are made in China. One of the 4x arms has a wider body with latches to catch the wires.
The fan has a flat cable with a 4-pin PWM connector to power the motor.
Here are the specifications of the fan:
|Speed (RPM)||500 ~ 1850 ±10%|
|Air Pressure (mmAq)||2.19|
|Bearing Type||Fluid Dynamic Bearing|
|Rated Voltage (V)||12|
|Rated Current (A)||0.12|
|Rated Power Consumption (W)||1.44|
Here are the pictures of the assembled cooler:
We have tested the cooler on the Intel 13th generation platform using Core i7 13700k on a GIGABYTE Z790 AORUS Elite AX motherboard. The steps are simple:
- Place the backplate on the backside of the motherboard so that the standoffs pass through the mounting holes around the socket.
- Install LGA1700 standoff screws.
- Place Intel Mounting brackets on the threaded portions of the standoff screws.
- Remove the protective cover from the base of the unit.
- Take off the top cover and remove the middle fan.
- Apply the thermal paste on the CPU.
- Place the cooler on the CPU so that the spring-loaded screws align with the standoff on the mounting brackets.
- Use the screwdriver to complete this part of the installation.
- Install the middle fan and place the top cover.
- Connect the cables, and you are good to go.
We need to look at the clearance from multiple angles. Let’s start with the RAM.
The front fan will not be obstructed by the normal or low-profile RAM, but RAM more than 47mm or so would be problematic, and you will need to adjust the height of the fan.
There is no issue concerning the first PCIe x16 slot on the GIGABYTE Z790 AORUS Elite AX motherboard.
The heatsink is not obstructing the thicker rear IO cover on this motherboard.
There is enough clearance concerning the motherboard’s top. The height of the cooler is 1602mm. Keep this in mind while planning your build concerning the PC Chassis, as the chassis should have support for the CPU cooler’s height of a minimum of 163mm or so.
We have used the following configuration for testing:
- Intel Core i7 13700K
- GIGABYTE Z790 AORUS Elite AX
- Kingston Fury Renegade DDR5 32GB 6400MHZ @ CAS32
- GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3060 VISION OC
- Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 2TB NVMe SSD [For OS]
- Be quiet! Straight Power 11 850W Platinum PSU
- Thermaltake Core P6 TG Snow Edition in an open frame layout
The test table for Intel core i7 13700k is:
|Rest of settings stock||k, Auto|
|XMP||XMP Loaded where available|
|Thermal Paste||Alphacool Subzero Thermal Paste|
|Thermal Paste Application||X pattern|
|Stress Software||CINEBENCH R23.2|
|Stress Run Time||10 minutes PC|
|C Idle Time||5 minutes|
|OC Tool||Intel XTU|
We have seen AMD AM5 and Intel Alder Lake S CPUs taking more power, and this time, both sides have aimed at reaching the maximum clocks regardless of the thermal limit. The AM5 SKUs will run into thermal limits right away depending on the cooling solution and the clocks being used. This has made testing of CPU coolers challenging because viewers/readers are not used to a new nomenclature, which is what clocks are sustained under a given load using a particular cooler. That is if the cooler is capable of providing enough cooling heads to sustain the high frequencies at high package power. Among other reasons is the high thermal density of these new CPUs. Traditionally, we are used to going the other way around, that is, which cooler is better in terms of thermal capacity. Despite this, we are using temperatures as a base for measuring this unit.
The ambient temperature was in the range of 25°C to 26°C. We are reporting absolute temperatures in the graph. The testing is done on an open-air bench system. Once inside the chassis, the temperatures are expected to rise and would largely depend upon the optimal airflow inside the chassis. This high temperature was the reason we enforced the power limits.
Disclaimer: Every silicon is different; hence, no two SKUs are likely to take the same voltage to yield the same performance at the same thermals per se, but the margin would be close. Not every stress test run may yield the same result, which could be due to various reasons like thermal paste application, ambient temperature variation, mounting pressure of the cooler, etc. This is why we have listed our variables and their settings. Let’s take a look at the results.
The DeepCool AK620 Digital has shown an impressive performance in our testing. When power limits were removed, and 250W was ensured, the temperature peaked at 98°C, and one core was throttling. The cooler was able to maintain the clocks during the test run. We have also tested the cooler on 220W and 200W power limits. It has handled those power limits very well.
Our sound meter shows this cooler to be at 53 dB(A) sound output level. A custom fan curve is suggested if you are sensitive to high noise from the fans. The ambient was at 32 dB(A) approximately.
DeepCool has provided software to control the display on the AK620 Digital CPU air cooler. You can download it from DeepCool’s website. It does not have a GUI like a window. Rather, it stays in the Taskbar as an icon.
There are multiple options listed here, like device, which means your cooler, display switch, alarm setting, Windows stating option, etc.
The topmost option is the Device under which the supported cooler will be listed.
The display can show one value at a time, which can either be a current temperature or the load of the CPU. I am not sure, but I think they are taking package temperature for display.
The unit temperature can be changed as well.
The user can set the Alarm on and off.
The above pictures show the installed cooler along with the display.
DeepCool is not yet done with their AK series of CPU air coolers. They have recently released all black and digital versions of the AK400, AK500, and AK620. We have tested AK620 Digital this time. The key differences between the original AK620 and its all-black digital version are:
- AK620 Digital has an overall height of 162mm [2mm more than the original AK620]
- There is a magnetic single cover on top with a display
- Software to customize the display
- Default support for Intel LGA1700 and AMD AM5 sockets since the original AK620 did not have the mounting hardware for Intel LGA1700.
- Black vs. silver color.
- 1486gm weight compared to 1456gm on original AK620
The rest of the features and design are the same. This cooler is quite pleasing from its look, and it would complement the black or neutral builds quite well. This cooler is a dual-tower configuration in a 120mm size. Despite being a dual-tower design, it is a slim cooler. The dimension of the cooler is 129x138x162mm (LxWxH). The dimension of the heat sink only is 127x110x157mm (LxWxH). The net weight of the cooler is 1486 gm. The cooler is compatible with the Intel LGA1700/1200/115x/20xx and AMD AM4/AM5 sockets.
The heatsink has the same layout with nickel-plated aluminum fins in a 45+5 group and stepped design. The fins have a matrix layout design on the exterior and a plain, straight-line design on the interior of the towers. 5x fins are in a step design near the base. The cooler has a dense fin stack requiring high static pressure fans. The cooler has 6x nickel-plated copper heat pipes, each having 6mm thickness. We have a nickel-plated convex copper base plate having a dimension of roughly 40x39mm approximately, which is large enough to cover any chip on the supported sockets.
As mentioned above, there is a single-piece cover on top with a glossy mirror finish that is quite a fingerprint catcher. The user can use the provided software to display either the CPU temperature or the CPU load as well as set an alarm based on the temperature. It has subtle digital RGB lighting on the sides. I wish Deepcool had provided a fully working GUI for convenient use. This cover also shows a Deepcool brand logo in teal color. Deepcool has included 2x FK120 fans having dimensions of 120x120x25mm.
These fans are secured using metal fan clips. The maximum rated speed on this fan is up to 1850 RPM ±10% with a maximum airflow rating of 68.99 CFM and 2.19 mmAq air pressure rating. The sound level rating is up to ≤28 dBA, and these fans are using Fluid Dynamic Bearings. The height of the front fan can be adjusted, and it needs not be removed during installation. However, the middle fans need to be removed for the installation. You would also need a spare USB 2.0 header on your motherboard.
The overall build quality is top-notch. Deepcool has provided easy-to-use mounting hardware for convenient installation of the cooler on any socket. On the Intel LGA1700 socket, we would need 11 items to install this cooler. Standing at 162mm height, this cooler can be said to have compatibility with many PC Cases. However, exercising caution is in everyone’s interest. The RAM clearance is up to 47mm with both fans. Kits above 47mm would need adjustment in the height of the front fan, which would increase the overall height of the cooler. There is no interference for the first x6 PCIe slot.
The DeepCool AK620 Digital is retailing at USD 79.99, which is roughly 10 bucks above the original AK620 if DeepCool has not already dropped the price. We have tested the cooler on the Intel i7 13700k. This little master is full of surprises as it manages to tame the heat output quite well. However, it is a bit noisy, so a custom fan curve is in order! I think Deepcool is giving a 3-year warranty on this cooler.
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