Introduction

During our visit to CES 2013, we had a chance to meet with Deepcool, a deceptively large Chinese company that has been producing heatsinks for OEMs for some time now. Deepcool is striking out with their own line of heatsinks targeting enthusiasts in the PC space, and they sent us a hefty box full of accessories and more importantly, a massive stack of heatsinks to test.

Tower coolers are pretty much the way to go these days if you're going to air cool your CPU, and Deepcool has a substantial number of them on offer. They also have availability virtually everywhere in the world except the United States, an issue they're fast ameliorating. The problem these coolers are going to face is a doozy, though: the heatsink industry already has a tremendous amount of competition. Does Deepcool have what it takes, or are they going to need to bring something more aggressive to the table?

Deepcool sent me seven heatsinks, but at the risk of eliminating some of the more redundant entries, I've whittled the test group down to four and hopefully narrowed down to a good cross section of coolers. Unfortunately, for the moment the only cooler comparison data I'll have on hand is going to be the set of liquid coolers I've already tested which is admittedly a little unfair. I've also (finally) included test results for the Intel stock cooler for LGA 1156; note that I've seen two stock coolers, but this is the one with the copper core.

Listed below are the specifications for the seven coolers Deepcool sent. I've italicized the names of the coolers that aren't being tested, and below the spec table I'll explain why I chose the ones I did and why the others were left by the wayside.

  Gammaxx 200 Gammaxx 300 Gammaxx 400 Ice Blade Pro v2.0
Dimensions (in mm) 103x71x143.5 121x75.5x144 135x76x159 125x70x161
Fans (Supported) 1x92m (2) 1x120mm (1) 1x120mm (2) 1x120mm (2)
Weight 339g 473g 709g 981g
Rated Noise in dB(A) 17.8~34.6 17.8~21 21.4~32.1 21.4~32.1

  Frostwin Neptwin Assassin
Dimensions (in mm) 121x121x151 126x136x159 144x154x160
Fans (Supported) 2x120mm (2) 2x120mm (2) 120mm & 140mm (2)
Weight 712g 1109g 1378g
Rated Noise in dB(A) 21 26.6~32.1 23.2~32

Despite there being seven heatsinks included in the package, there's a great deal of redundancy in Deepcool's lineup, and it's redundancy that I don't think serves them so much as it may actually hinder them.

The limiting factor when choosing a tower cooler is oftentimes just clearance. I've run into situations where a 92mm tower cooler was necessary because 120mm was simply too tall, and there have been cases I've tested where the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo in our testbed wouldn't fit or would just barely fit. In my estimation, that's one of the primary differentiators of heatsinks.

With that in mind, the Gammaxx 200 is obsoleted out of the gate by the 300. The 300 is only half a millimeter taller, yet is able to fit a larger fan. Meanwhile the Gammaxx 400's sheer height forces it to contend with the Ice Blade Pro v2.0 and the Assassin. As for the Neptwin, it gets sandwiched essentially by the Frostwin and the Assassin. The Assassin is, by the way, Deepcool's flagship under their Gamer Storm label.

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  • Voidman - Sunday, February 24, 2013 - link

    I just have to congratulate you for using the word "ameliorating" in a review. Reply
  • coffeejunkee - Sunday, February 24, 2013 - link

    Hmm, bit disappointed to be honest, with the review itself and with the coverage of these Deepcool coolers. I can understand leaving out some of the more similar coolers, but at least list full specs (especially min and max fan rpm) and the prices for them.

    Also, using a mITX board with different cpu socket placement and then complaining about the backplate not lining up with the motherboard tray cutout seems a bit silly. Furthermore, I don't understand why you don't use the chassis exhaust fan. Such a fan helps aircoolers a lot but you have to sacrifice it with many aio liquid coolers, thereby making the comparison unfair. Complaining about fanclips seems like exaggerating to me as well, never had a problem with them myself.

    Including the stock cooler is nice, but this way it's pointless. All we know now is that it fails at 4.4 Ghz (big surprise) and it's below your db measurement floor at idle (yes, idle it's pretty quiet but wait till it spins up). So include some baseline results with the cpu running at stock too. And like others said, include Hyper 212+ or Evo too, even if CM doesn't send you one there really is no excuse for a leading tech site like Anandtech not to spend a measly 30$ on this very popular cooler.

    For now sticking with xbit labs and spcr, have a look at their cooler reviews to see how it's done.
    Reply
  • Beenthere - Sunday, February 24, 2013 - link

    As with many Chinese products these DeepFool coolers can best be described technically as CRAP. They are OE suppliers only because their products are cheap, not because they are effective coolers. Like many OE suppliers, DeepFool wants to cash in on technically challenged retail consumers with inferior products. They reap far greated profits in retail than in wholesale sales.

    The clueless will buy some of these inferior coolers not knowing any better and that is what DeepFool is counting on. Most technically challenged consumers buy products based on looks, LED's, colors, review hype and price. Few enthusiasts are technically literate enough to actually understand accurate technical data vs. hype. The Assassin is the only DeepFool cooler that will sell on looks and it's really a poor cooler for the size as other review sites have confirmed.

    Frosty Tech has an excellent database of all of the modern CPU coolers and their thermal efficiency based on proper scientific lab quality testing. Don't get fooled by half-arsed reviews done by websites who use an improper HSF testing methodology with many uncontrolled variables including CPU TDP. There are many poor review sites and few proper review sites for CPU coolers both air and water. If you understand proper testing methodology you'll understand why FT's database is so valuable.

    In the interest of not encouraging companies to sell Chines CRAP, I'd suggest that consumers "Just say NO" to these garbage coolers.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Sunday, February 24, 2013 - link

    I'm trying to figure out why we haven't banned you yet. Reply
  • JeBarr - Sunday, February 24, 2013 - link

    If you think all Chinese products are junk then you are living in the past and regurgitating an old truth that mostly no longer applies. I won't comment on whether that applies to these particular coolers, but according to a handful of review sites might not be too far off.

    I would agree that Frostytech employs superiour testing methodology for HSF, but even there you don't see coolers tested in both horizontal and vertical orientation except for a few instances when the manufacturer claims the product is intended for one or the other, with the SilverStone Heligon being the most recent example I can recall. I've yet to find a site with both a large number of samples and comprehensive testing methods.

    Your renaming of the company was nicely done though and put a smile on my face this morning :D
    Reply
  • JeBarr - Sunday, February 24, 2013 - link

    quote: "Tower coolers are pretty much the way to go these days if you're going to air cool your CPU"

    I must be one of the few remaining DIYers that find situations where the "down-draft" coolers are the way to go. Even when the motherboard is vertically mounted I find this can be true. Especially with budget cases lacking top and/or bottom vents. Traditional ATX chassis employs front and rear fans with at most an additional side fan or two.

    I've found that mounting a side intake fan compliments the down-draft cooler especially if connected to CPU fan header. Of course, every situation is unique and I couldn't very well ask a reviewer to test every possible combination.....but I would like you, Dustin, to consider adding at least two or three down-draft samples in the future.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, February 24, 2013 - link

    I picked up a load of these Deepcool for Sandy Bridge /Ivy 1155 socket for a very good price - the lower end type one Theta 15 PWM, has a nice 100mm 4 pin pwm - a good plastic back plate with metal posts and the easy top screws.

    So for the price it was worth it just for the fans.

    Also, last night I noticed these come in a Logisys branding - the color of the blue fan blades is a dead giveaway if you're looking around.
    Reply
  • Ninhalem - Monday, February 25, 2013 - link

    I can understand if you want to go for a quieter system or if you don't have the money, but why is there a need for air cooling on the CPU block now when CLWC's (closed loop water cooler) are relatively cheap and perform better than air (the amount of heat that water can whisk away is much higher than air). Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, March 14, 2013 - link

    I can OC a SB to 4.8 all day long on one of these cheap $7 theta's.
    WHY would anyone spend $50 or $100 on a water cooler, and try to JUSTIFY it ?
    I don't care if you splurge out, but to claim you're doing yourself a favor and everyone else should go along is INSANE.
    We have that kind of attitude, then when it comes to cpu's, we have the penny pinching AMD fanboys screeding about a few bucks, then slapping on a $100 water cool loop ?
    What about the video card price whiners, which are in fact EVERYONE in all those articles - they WB&M up a crybaby storm, and next thing you know they drop $150 on a case, and another $125 on a water loop they do not even need at all... yet 2 minutes ago they raged out in corpo profit hatred about $20 more for an nVidia card...
    If you want to splurge go ahead, have fun and do it. Just don't pretend it meets any bang for the buck, and DON'T EVER whine about any computer product for home building then in some bang for the buck bull session.
    Reply
  • random2 - Monday, February 25, 2013 - link

    I've read a large amount of technical writings over the years relating to PC building and repairs, and you are one of the very few people I have seen come forward and call out Intel on their cheap, hard to use and failure prone mounting system for their coolers.
    Intel if you're listening...it's time to get with the new millennium.
    Reply

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