Introduction

Deepcool was founded in 1996 with its headquarters in Beijing with the focus on providing the best and personalized thermal solutions for customers around the world. When it comes to enthusiast-grade PC components, Deepcool is a well-established and recognized brand that is gaining more popularity. The company is focused on providing better thermal solutions in the form of air and liquid coolers. Their Captain Ex is a high-end AIO CPU Cooler that has form and function in a single package. Company is offering PC Chassis, Power supplies, Case Fans, Laptop Coolers, desks for PC, Lighting solution. Gamer Storm is the brand of Deepcool under which enthusiast-grade PC Components are offered to the market. Tri-Stellar, Quad-Stellar, Genome/II, New Ark 90 are some of their popular and highly customizable PC Chassis in the market.

After success on their Assassin-III cooler, Deepcool has released their new single tower air cooler named AS500. This is a slim heatsink designed for maximum RAM compatibility. The heatsink comprises of 5 nickel-plated copper heat pipes soldered on 56 fins. The copper base is also nickel-plated. The cooler packs a subtle A-RGB lighting under the top cover while maintaining the black outlook on the top. The cooler comes with their TF140S black color PWM fan for silent performance. The cooler is compatible with the Intel LGA1200/115x/20xx and AMD AM4/AM3+/AM3+AM2+/AM2/FM2+/FM2/FM1 sockets. Here are salient features of the cooler:

  • Single tower cooler with 5 heat pipes high fin density.
  • Slim profile for maximum RAM height compatibility.
  • High-performance TF140S PWM fan included.
  • A-RGB LED controller included.
  • 3 Years Warranty
  • Item:                              AS500
  • Manufacturer:                 DEEPCOOL
  • Brand:                           Gamer Storm
  • Price:                            £54.98/US $59.99 [At the time of the review]

There is a Plus version of this cooler as well which comes with one extra fan for push/pull setup.

Specifications

Packaging and Unboxing

The cooler is shipped inside a paperboard outer packing with inner stuff packed inside a cardboard box.

This is a high performance, slim tower cooler which is compatible with:

  • ASUS AURA SYNC
  • RAZER CHROMA RGB
  • MSI MYSTIC LIGHT
  • ASRock POLYCHROME SYNC
  • GIGABYTE RGB FUSION READY

The cooler is rated to handle 220W TDP load and has 100% RAM compatibility. The height of the cooler is 164mm.

The salient features are printed in 12 languages. The specifications are printed in a tabular format.

There are diagrams of the unit showing the sides with the dimensions.

When we opened the box, we found the accessory box placed on the top.

There is a thick white color Styrofoam pad under the accessory box.

Removing the top pad will show the cooler nicely tucked on the lower Styrofoam pad. The fan is pre-installed on the heat sink.

Contents

Let’s take a look at what is provided in the box.

We have:

  • Metallic Backplate
  • 2x Intel Mounting Brackets
  • 2x AMD Mounting Brackets

We have:

  • 4x Intel LGA20xx standoffs
  • 4x AMD standoffs
  • 4x Intel other sockets standoffs
  • 4x thumb nuts

We have:

  • 1x pair of fan clips to attach the second fan. [Optional. The second fan is not provided]
  • 1x User Guide
  • 1x Thermal Paste

Deepcool has provided a dedicated controller with the cooler. The controller is using a proprietary 3-pin connector for the cable coming from the heatsink. The controller is SATA powered.

The controller has a simple function. We have three buttons. The + and – buttons increase/decrease the speed of the dynamic lighting effects whereas the middle button changed the lighting mode.

There is a standard 3-pin connector cable that can be used to connect the cooler directly to the motherboard’s 5V header. It also supports the GIGABYTE older motherboards with a 3-pin format.

Closer Look

The AS500 is a single tower air cooler build for maximum RAM clearance with high performance. It is time to take a look at the main unit. Here is what Deepcool has to say about their new cooler, “The AS500 CPU Air Cooler balances optimal performance and compatibility in a slim single tower design. The solid copper base features five 6mm heat pipes that run along with a high fin density heat sink for quality heat dissipation while its minimal 48mm depth also ensures full compatibility with taller 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 complete air cooling solution that provides excellent cooling performance and compatibility in the Deepcool AS500.”

The overall dimension of the assemble cooler is 142x98x164mm (LxWxH). The dimension of the heat sink is 140x49x159mm (LxWxH). The net weight of the cooler is 1030 gm.

We have a matte black top cover on the heatsink. It is not completely covering the heatsink but leaving a certain portion exposed. It has a thick diffuser underneath which packs A-RGB LEDs. This is very why we have a certain portion left uncovered for better aesthetics. There is no Deepcool or GamerStorm branding on the top cover.

The above picture shows the thick diffuser. It is a step design with the upper section running to the entire length of the fins whereas the lower or stepped down portion terminates leaving some gap on both ends.

The above picture shows the side of the heatsink focusing on the diffuser. The top black cover is encapsulating the diffuser from both sides.

The front and the rear or back sides of the heat sink are not identical in layout. The heat sink comprises 56 aluminum fins which are nickel-plated. This is not a dense design. The main central portion has an inset layout as compared to the sides. It seems like the heat pipes are not covering the entire assembly as most of the middle portion does not have contact with the heat pipe. The width of the heat sink is 159mm. There is a gap of 1.6mm between any two fins.

Looking at the backside we have a more stepped design as compared to the front side. The center portion has the most inset layout which makes sense as the A-RGB cable is routed on the center. The last four fins have a cutout through which the cable is passed towards the bottom. The cutout design acts like a catcher which prevents a fall down on the cable. I appreciate the attention to detail here. The length of the 3-pin A-RGB cable is approximately 352mm.

The left and right sides of the heatsink are identical in layout. The fins have a joint assembly here. The middle section has an inset and the sides have raised surfaces. This is where the heads of the fan clips are rested on. The width of the heatsink on the sides is 49mm making this cooler quite a slim version.

The above picture shows the displacement of the heat pipes inside the heatsink. All 5x pipes are installed more on the sides of the fin stack as the middle portion of the fin stack does not have any contact with the heat pipe.

Speaking of the heat pipes, the Deepcool AS500 packs 5x 6mm thick nickel-plated copper heat pipes. I am not sure if they are sintered design or not as there is no such information provided.

The cooler has a thick base. The bracket plate is pre-installed on the base top.

The mounting plate has spring-loaded screws on both sides.

The mounting plate is secured with the base using a screw. Though I did not try but it seems like the plate can be removed from the base.

The nickel-coated copper base of the cooler has a dimension of 41x42mm. There is a protective cover pasted on it cautioning the user to remove it before the installation.

Deepcool has provided a high-performance TF140S fan with the AS500. The fan is in black color. The frame is made of plastic. The fan body is quite rigid. There are 9 blades in each fan. These blades have a dual-layer design which is mentioned to increase the airflow up to 2.5m³/minute. There are shiny textures on the outer edges of the blades. These seem to be for the reason of aesthetics only though I am not sure. There is a sticker pasted on the center with the GamerStorm logo and a textured pattern on the border. The noise-canceling teeth are distributed unevenly to avoid sympathetic vibration and thereby keeping the operation inaudible.

There is a 4-arm assembly holding the motor and blades to the mainframe. One arm is widened to form a passage for the wires. There is a catcher as well to make sure that cables don’t fall off. There is a black color sticker pasted on the center. TF 140S is the model of the fan. The fans are made in China.

GAMER STORM is embossed on two opposite sides of the frame. Two arrows can be seen as well. These are there to provide a visual aid to the user in determining the direction of the airflow and blade spin direction. The frame is narrow in the middle but wide around the outer rim. Hence the airflow gains higher pressure passing through the frame.

The fan has a 4-pin PWM cable having an approximate length of 392mm.

Here are the specifications of the fan:

Speed (RPM) 500 ~ 1200 RPM
Airflow (CFM) 70.81
Air Pressure (mmAq) 1.14
Noise dB(A) ≤ 29.2
Connector 4-pin PWM
Bearing Type Fluid Dynamic Bearing
Rated Voltage (V) 12
Rated Current (A) 0.11
Rated Power Consumption (W) 1.32

 

*The specification of the TF140S fan on Deepcool AS500 differ from the original TF140S fans

Here are the pictures of the cooler:

Installation

The cooler is tested on the AMD AM4 socket using X570 AORUS PRO WIFI. Here are the steps needed for the installation of this socket.

Remove the stock retention brackets on the motherboard. Install 4x AMD standoffs (black and Silver) on the mounting holes.

Place the mounting brackets as shown in the picture.

Use the thumb nuts and secure the brackets on the stock AMD backplate. Peel off the protective cover from the base. Apply the thermal paste on the CPU.

Place the cooler on the CPU by aligning the spring-loaded screws on the base plate with the threaded sockets on the brackets and start screwing.

Connect the 4-pin PWM connector to the CPU Fan Header on the motherboard or any other 4-pin header with PWM control. You can connect the A-RGB cable of the heatsink to the 5V header of the motherboard using the bundled sync cable or connect it to the bundled controller. I have connected the cable to the digital header on the motherboard.

Clearance

The height of the cooler is 164mm. Keep this in mind while planning your build with respect to the PC Chassis as the chassis should have support for CPU cooler’s height of 165mm minimum.

The AS500 has zero incompatibility with respect to the RAM.

The cooler does not block the first 16x PCIe slot.

We have enough clearance for the top of the chassis.

A-RGB Lighting

Here are some pictures:

 

Testing Methodology

The Testbed configuration is:

  • X570 AORUS PRO WIFI
  • AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
  • ADATA XPG Spectrix D41
  • Colorful iGame GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4G [For Display]
  • HyperX 120GB SSD
  • Cooler Master MWE 650W Gold PSU
  • Custom Open-air Test Bench

The following software were used for testing and monitoring.

  • AIDA64 6.20 Extreme

Here is the settings table for testing:

AMD OC Voltage (V) 1.350
OC Clock (MHz) 4200
Turbo Boost Disabled
Thermal Paste Noctua NT-H1
Test Run Time 60 minutes
Idling Time 15 minutes
Fan Speed Manually set to run at 100% PWM cycle.

 

We are using Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste for coolers testing. Using the same thermal paste for all coolers would ensure standardization. Delta temperatures are reported on the graphs. 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.

Not every run of the stress test may yield the same result. This could well be due to many factors like mounting pressure, thermal paste application, varying ambient temperature, the temperature sensor of the die. Not to mention the silicon differences even among the same category of the chips. Hence, it is pertinent to mention the testing methodology along with the specifics.

Let’s take a look at the results.

100% PWM Cycle

The Deepcool AS500 has performed very well on our test bench. The CRYORIG X R5 is lacking behind. We observed a similar behavior from the CRYORIG cooler on the Intel test bench. What is more compelling is that the AS500 was operating at 44 dBA at an ambient of 32 dBA. It is indeed a good all-round performance.

Conclusion

Deepcool is completing their line of air coolers covering the major market segments with different propositions. Their Assassin-III has been a success in the category of high-end air coolers in the dual tower with two 140mm fans configuration. That cooler was the runner up in the high-end air coolers round up content. Deepcool has released a new single-tower air cooler in 140mm sizing named AS500. This cooler is competing against the likes of Noctua NH-U14S, CRYORIG X R5, Scythe Mugen 5 Rev B, bequiet! Dark Rock 4, and Thermalright True Spirit 140 Direct to name a few competitors. This is an interesting perspective as all these solutions carry different price tags, warranty periods, heatsink, and fans design. All in all, this would not be an easy comparison at all and different solutions may cater to different needs.

The dimension of the cooler is 142x98x164mm (LxWxH). The dimension of the heat sink is 140x49x159mm (LxWxH). The net weight of the cooler is 1030 gm. The cooler is rated for TDP of up to 220W which is impressive. The cooler is compatible with the Intel LGA1200/115x/20xx and AMD AM4/AM3+/AM3+AM2+/AM2/FM2+/FM2/FM1 sockets.

The heatsink comprises 56 nickel-plated aluminum fins. There is a gap of 1.6mm between any two fins. We have a high-density fins count on this cooler in this size. The cooler has 5x nickel-plated copper heat pipes each having 6mm thickness. We have a nickel-plated copper base plate having a dimension of roughly 41x42mm which is enough to cover any chip on the supported sockets.

The Deepcool AS500 employs a black color top cover with low-profile A-RGB lighting under the hood. The result from the combination of nickel-plating assembly, subtle lighting, and matter black cover gives one sublime and stylish outlook to the cooler. The A-RGB lighting is compatible with:

  • ASUS AURA SYNC
  • RAZER CHROMA RGB
  • MSI MYSTIC LIGHT
  • ASRock POLYCHROME SYNC
  • GIGABYTE RGB FUSION READY

The overall build quality is top-notch. Deepcool has provided easy to use mounting hardware for convenient and easy installation of the cooler on any socket. The user manual is thorough. There is a dedicated A-RGB controller provided with the cooler which is a plus as it would help the users who don’t have a supported motherboard. The controller is SATA powered. The A-RGB cable coming from the heatsink has a 3-pin proprietary connector but Deepcool has covered that up by providing a sync cable which has a standard 3-pin A-RGB connector for easy connectivity to the supported motherboard or to the controller.

Deepcool has included a TF-140S fan having a dimension of 140x140x25mm. This fan is secured using metal fan clips. Deepcool has also provided a pair of clips in the accessory box for push/pull setup for which the second fan needs to be purchased separately. Keep in mind that this TF140S has different specifications as compared to the TF140S provided with the Assassin-III cooler or the original TF140S as this variant has been optimized for the heatsink. The maximum rated speed on this fan is 1200 RPM with a maximum airflow rating of 70.81 CFM and 1.16 mmAq air pressure rating. The sound level rating is up to 29.2 dBA and these fans are using Fluid Dynamic Bearings.

The AS500 has a height of 164mm making it compatible with most of the mid-tower chassis out there if not all. It has zero RAM incompatibility and no interference for the first x6 PCIe slot. Even on quad-channel motherboards, this cooler would not have any issue with respect to the DIMM slots.

The Deepcool AS500 has an MSRP of $59.99 at the time of the review. We have tested the cooler on the AMD AM4 platform using AMD Ryzen 7 3700X overclocked to 4.2GHz on all cores. This cooler has performed remarkably well. This level of performance is coming with zero RAM incompatibility at a much lower noise level. And don’t forget the A-RGB lighting! The only thing I would love to see is a little more warranty period.

We are thankful to Deepcool for giving us the opportunity to review their AS500 CPU Cooler.

Tech4Gamers Performance Award