Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
DEEPCOOL is not new to us, nor is the idea of a dual tower CPU cooler design. It seems many of the influential names in cooling already have a CPU cooler like this, and many do rather well in our charts. Even for DEEPCOOL, this is not their first attempt at this idea, as the Assassin and Neptwin coolers come to mind. While both were dual towers, we do not recall much chatter about the Neptwin series, but we know the Assassin got some love when released. As time has passed, not entirely scrapping the idea, DEEPCOOL delivers us a cooler with a new name, sporting a few tricks which could prove DEEPCOOL to be a cooler manufacturer worth giving some time to read about.
We have always believed that it takes three things for an air cooler to be successful, and it appears DEEPCOOL follows that mantra. The newest of their coolers is as large as it could be, and mass in a cooler tends to lead to better heat dissipation, leading to better performance, especially once paired with the fans they chose. The design of the fins comes into play as well, but we are wandering off the topic a bit there. Second, comes looks, as no matter how well a cooler performs, albeit the main reason for the device, if it is a turd visually, nobody will buy it.
Now, DEEPCOOL isn't doing anything dramatic with visual appeal, but they didn't leave aesthetics off the table when designing it either. Lastly comes the cost, and by what we know of the MSRP, things are shaping up for DEEPCOOL to be very successful with this design, as long as everything holds together and rings true.
We are speaking of the AK620 High-Performance Dual Tower CPU cooler for those of you who skipped the title. What you will find is a CPU cooler rated high enough to take on most of what is available in today's CPU power delivery without as much as a flinch from it. As we meander through the remainder of the review, we will show off the finer points of how DEEPCOOL can take on some of the significant players and place better in our charts than we expected at first glance. IF we have not grabbed your attention thus far, maybe you do not need a new CPU air cooler, but if you do, the DEEPCOOL AK620 is undoubtedly something that needs to be on your radar!
Using what we saw on the AK620 product page, we cobbled together this chart. In it, compatibility tops the list. Intel socket support covers all current HEDT going back to LGA2011 while including all of the latest mainstream sockets since LGA115X. As for AMD users, support goes back to FM1 and AM2, leaving many potential users with broad compatibility as the AK620 offers.
Things move quickly to the particulars of the tower. With the fans installed, the tower is 129mm wide, 138mm thick, and stands 160mm tall. Without the fans, the total width is reduced to 127mm, and the height gets reduced to 157mm. All told, with the fans and clips installed, the AK620 weighs in at 1456 grams, which is seriously heavy, putting it near the Corsair A500, and near 130 grams more than something like the NH-D15. The bulk of the weight comes from the forty-nine aluminum fins on each half of the cooler and the six 6mm diameter heat pipes and the base, both made of copper. The last bit of information based on how the tower is designed is the TDP, where we see a rating of 260W and can only assume the naming comes from this number.
The fans that come shipped with the AK620 are DEEPCOOL FK120 fans with the following specifications. These are 120mm fans that are 25mm thick and can spin between 500 and 1850 RPM. These fans will deliver 68.99 CFM at peak speed with 2.19 mmH2O of static pressure. These 4-pin PWM-powered fans spin on fluid dynamic bearings, producing around 28 dB(A) of noise, with a lifespan of 50,000 hours. These fans draw 0.12A each, with a 1.44W draw if power is a concern.
While the fan lifespan is somewhere around 5.7 years before they should exhibit any issues, we find that DEEPCOOL offers three years' worth of time for these fans to display any problems. After that, you will need to acquire more should the fans bite the dust.
Pricing is an odd thing right now. When the AK620 was released, everything pointed to an MSRP of $69.99, and for what we have here, that is an excellent price compared to the market. However, the reality right now is not good if this cooler impresses you enough to hunt it down. First of all, the cooler is hard to find, and when you can find it, it comes from the site we do not typically hunt, and when we did find this tower at Amazon, it is through a third-party seller.
While the $86.22 price isn't all that bad, consider this seller wants another $54.53 to ship it! We also found this same tower at $92.76 with free shipping, but at near $100 for the AK620, it starts to lose some of its luster. With the market being what it is, DEEPCOOL has a tough road ahead, as the performance needs to be killer to overcome the cost.
Packaging for the AK620 is a bit unorthodox, where they use a cardboard sleeve to present information, which leaves the cardboard box exposed. On the cardboard, we find a green pinstripe along with the DEEPCOOL name and logo. Back to the sleeve, we see the name of the CPU cooler and an image of it on a white backdrop with a bit of gray put in at the bottom.
One ninety-degree spin to the left, and we run into this. On a nearly blank panel, we see what appears to be an indication of the dual-tower design, and this time, above the green pinstripe, are some letters and numbers, which do not pertain to anything in particular about the tower and is more likely something for DEEPCOOL to identify with.
The cardboard portion tells us that this is a CPU cooler at the back, while the sleeve delivers the specifications. Along with the chart, we are also given the site address, company information, and off to the right, near the bottom, is the sticker with the R-AK620-BKNNMT-G, which is the longwinded name of the AK620.
On the last of the side panels, we found the green stripe and a bit of tape holding the sleeve in place, so we skipped that, and after removing the sleeve, we found the DEEPCOOL name and logo on the top of the box.
On the inside of the box, the AK620 is protected with dense foam on both sides, also used to cover the base. The fan clips are found on the cooler, but the foam is cut to ensure they have some room and do not get crushed. As for the rest of the hardware, it is found in the cardboard box, along with the literature. The last bit of inner packaging comes down to another piece of cardboard slid in between the first tower and the second fan.
DEEPCOOL AK620 High-Performance Dual Tower CPU Cooler
Right out of the foam, our front view is of a fan, the black FK120 that gulps air and forces it through the first half of the tower. Below the fan, we find the evenly spaced, nickel-plated heat pipes with the fan leads stuffed in over the base.
From the side, we can see the black contrasting against the natural aluminum for both towers, but we can also see that the front fan is installed a touch higher than the second fan. However, these towers have notches for more RAM clearance. We also like that the sides of the fins are bent for spacing and support, as, in doing so, DEEPCOOL also catches and contains more of the airflow.
There is not too much going on to get excited about from the back, but we have a couple of tidbits worth discussing. On top of the tower is a thick plastic cap, which is a dark gray when looking at it from the sides in this light. The other thing is that each tower has forty-nine fins, and the trailing edges of both towers, the fins are designed with a unique pattern we can't quite make out now, except at the bottom, where it is notched for RAM clearance.
Many may have missed the dots on the sides of the fans in the image of the other side, but they were pointing up, denoting the rotation of the fans. On this side, they face the cooler's back, noting the airflow direction. We did gloss over the wire fan clips on the other side, and for testing, we will lower the front fan to be level with the top of the tower if our RAM allows us to do so.
The trailing edge of the front tower, which we are looking at in this image, is the same as the leading edge of the second tower. Both are flat across the fin's surfaces, with a notch taken out of them down the centerline of the tower.
Both the leading edges of the first tower and the trailing edges of the second tower are raised and lowered to allow for square sections to be offset from one another. On the intake side, this makes more sense, and at the back, it is likely more for looks than performance.
As the pipes exit the base, we see signs of what looks like solder, as both halves of the base deliver heat into them. They make a tight bend to return past vertical and spread evenly without signs of kinking or distortion. Each of the pipes is then press-fit into all of the fins, and the plastic portion at the top removes them from view.
The top portion of the base assembly holds the bracket that secures the tower to the mounting hardware. The aluminum block lacks style or pre-cooler designing but nicely holds on to the thick steel bar and the spring-loaded screws.
After removing the plastic protective layer from the base of the AK620, we can see it needs to be cleaned before we mount it. We got a partial fingerprint and some residue across the entire circularly machined surface. There are a few fine scratches near the bottom, but they are outside of the contact patch of this ever-so-slightly convex base.
The gray plastic sections we saw at the top of the tower surround another part made of black plastic. We see that the top covers on the towers are black with an etched grid-like what the packaging had. The DEEPCOOL logo is cut out and backed with green plastic, and overall these covers are shiny, as seen by the reflection of the setting sun peeking into our photo booth on the left surface.
Accessories and Documentation
After opening all of the hardware and sorting through it, we broke it into manageable groups, of which we bring you the Intel gear. On the left, we find the mainstream standoffs used in conjunction with the backplate in the middle. HEDT standoffs that screw directly to the socket are next, and then we see the knurled nuts that secure the brackets seen at the right, to the backplate. Speaking of the top brackets, these are Intel-specific, marked with holes A and B, and they even show where the CPU is when installing the brackets correctly.
AMD users have a similar setup, but you will need the backplate that came on your motherboard. After removing the four screws and plastic latches from your AMD motherboard, you use the standoffs with the plastic skirts to lock the backplate to the motherboard again, and using holes C or D in the brackets, point the arrows at the CPU, and lock them down with the knurled nuts we saw in the previous image.
The fans that come clipped to the cooler are this pair of FK120 fans, which do not appear to have a retail counterpart. However, the DF1202512CM fans have nine black blades in matte black frames, and each corner sports a rubber pad, which hides tiny squares at each corner to match the overall theme. They also come with long 4-pin PWM power leads, enabling easy connectivity in most instances.
The rest of the goodies are seen here. On the left is the manual, which comes in a folder that matches the packaging. Everything you will need to know about this cooler and fully detailed instructions leave little to the imagination in the installation process. To the right is a screwdriver for mounting the tower to the rest of the hardware, a small tube of DEEPCOOL thermal paste, and DEEPCOOL also includes a 4-pin Y-splitter cable for those needing a single power source for both fans.
Installation and Finished Product
As we mentioned when explaining how the AMD hardware works, you can see that we have locked the standoffs to the factory backplate, and using the holes marked D for AM4, we secured the brackets, arrows pointed at the CPU and locked down with the nuts using the provided screwdriver. Once done, we can see the studs on the brackets are above and below the socket, which matches the orientation of the crossbar on the base of the cooler for front-to-back airflow.
As we test fit the tower before applying the paste, we have removed both fans, but the second fan is all that needs to be removed for access to mount the tower. Alternating a few turns each, back and forth between the pair of screws, settled the cooler in evenly, and the threads stop when fully mounted.
We have adjusted the intake fan to ride on the front of the cooler at the same height as the top of the tower, and we still have plenty of room above the Vengeance we use. When possible, shifting the fan down does cover more of the fins area, as when it was shipped, roughly 10% of the fan's airflow was smacking into the top plastic bits.
While not a ton of room for something like TridentZ height sticks, many will be able to get by, even with a bit of RGB and the diffuser adding to the height. Keep in mind; our goal was to test the cooler at its specified height, which can easily adjust to fit any RAM, as long as the case allows for the fan to be shifted.
Even without any offsets to the base in conjunction with where the tower resides, we have plenty of room to access the RAM on either side of the tower. One could add a third fan, although finding an FK120 is nearly impossible. Accessing the power connection is easy, as-is, and we didn't run into any intrusions around the tower either.
Looking at things as many will find inside their chassis, we see the DEEPCOOL AK620 being respectfully huge. By that, we mean that while it blocks the view of the RAM and the bulk of the top half of the motherboard, it still stays clear of all things around it., whether that be the heat sinks under it, the RAM, the video card, all of it. We like the look and are eager to get to testing.
Test System Setup, Thermal Tests, and Noise Results
Chad's CPU Cooler Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII HERO [Wi-Fi] (AMD X570) - Buy from Amazon
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X - Buy from Amazon
- Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 4000MHz 4X8GB
- Graphics Card: ASUS GeForce RTX 2060 6GB OC - Buy from Amazon
- Storage: Galax HOF Pro M.2 1TB SSD
- Case: Hydra Bench Standard
- Power Supply: ASUS ROG Thor 850W - Buy from Amazon
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit - Buy from Amazon
- Software: AMD Ryzen Master, AIDA64 Engineer 6.25.5400, and CPU-z 1.92.0 x64
To see our testing methodology and to find out what goes into making our charts, please refer to our 2020 CPU Cooler Testing and Methodology article for more information.
Right out of the gates, DEEPCOOL moves towards the front of the field. At 57.6 degrees, it lands DEEPCOOL and the AK620 in eighth place overall, yet it is the top air cooling solution in the chart. With a 1.1 degree gap to the SE-207-XT, it isn't the largest of margins, but compared to the A500 or the NH-D15S, the difference is 1.7 and 2.0 degrees, respectively. While not amazingly better, comparing MSRPs puts DEEPCOOL well into the lead over Corsair and Noctua. Although it also shows how well ID-Coolings SE-207-XT is at just $50.
Adding more speed and voltage, delivering more heat to the AK620 was of little consequence regarding how well it performs. Still landing in eight seems as if it could have been better, but again, DEEPCOOL takes top honors for air cooling of a CPU in our charts. The difference to the big-named options increased slightly, favoring DEEPCOOL and this AK620 over many high-end, high-priced solutions.
This last run for thermal results is a test of the PWM fan curve efficiency, and with just one-degree difference between PWM control and 12V supplied to the fan means that DEEPCOOL does a fantastic job of getting the most from this tower without the noise associated with 120mm fans at full speed. Oh, right, and yet again, the top position for any air coolers in this chart.
Noise Level Results
The slowest we ever saw the FK120 fans were spinning at 685 RPM when idle, but once we started the test, the fans topped out at 1140 and 1102 RPM when both were powered from the CPU_FAN and CPU_OPT headers. Pulling out the sound meter showed us these fans producing 27 dB with the PWM profile handling things.
Once we kicked off the overclocked testing, it took a few minutes, but we eventually topped out the fans at 1294 and 1271 RPM with PWM control. With just a 150 RPM difference, the noise doesn't increase all that much and lands in the 30 DB portion of the chart, which, depending on the chassis it's enclosed in, is teetering at the audible level.
Those who need that last degree of performance expect to pay the penalty for doing so. With 12V supplied to the FK120 fans, the Intake capped at 1890 RPM, while the second fan got to 1843 RPM. Pulling out the sound meter once more, we saw 46 dB on the meter, which is well into noisy, and almost into the range of droning.
There are two ways we can look at this. One of them is to ignore some factors and rave about things like aesthetics, performance, and constrained noise while under PWM control. Even though it is a heavy addition to the CPU air cooling game, DEEPCOOL ensured complete compatibility with everything else we used. However, the other angle is not to ignore things, and in doing so, there is a considerable chunk of the score that will be removed. While not entirely the fault of DEEPCOOL, they are currently doing nothing to help customers. On that same path, we also realize stock could be sitting offshore, and DEEPCOOL's hands are tied, but the facts are what they are.
While it did take one of the heaviest coolers we have ever tested to do it, DEEPCOOL shows the world that there are companies out there who strive to take the performance crown over all else. It used to be Noctua, then Scythe made a good run, and eventually, ID-Cooling took their turn. Still, DEEPCOOL came essentially out of the blue and delivered us a cooler that is hard to deny when it provides the best thermal results we have seen using this AMD testbed.
To go along with that, they aren't digging deep into your earholes with annoying amounts of noise. Just 30 dB under is our worst-case scenario for most of those using the AK620 plug-and-play, allowing PWM control. Yes, things can be much louder, but we see no need even to go there for a single-degree advantage.
While this could have been a much more plain-looking design, with exposed fins showing once installed and nickel-plated tips revealed and contrasting enough to draw the eye yet, DEEPCOOL went with a more polished finish. Even though it is made of plastic, it makes no noise and looks excellent when close enough to spot the finer details.
From a distance, if not for the small green DEEPCOOL logos on the tops of the towers, this cooler would blend into the build, and outside of the possibility of lights reflecting off the shiny plastic, one may never know it was there. This is one time where a straightforward design does what one would expect. If you add more mass to a cooler, it tends to cool better as long as it has proper fans, and DEEPCOOL found the formula to success here.
Our most significant issue with the AK620 from DEEPCOOL comes down to pricing and availability. Again, the situation on this side of the pond does mess with supply chains, and we get that, but options are not great right now in the hole left by DEEPCOOL. With an MSRP of just $69.99, spending anything near $100 right now is silly, and it negates everything good about this cooler. Yes, at $100, it still beats others in this price range, but what we see currently is not the intention of DEEPCOOL.
To exacerbate things a bit more, unless you like a two-star rated, third-party seller or are in the mood to spend money at places you may never hear of, obtaining the AK620 is trickier than it needs to be. For these reasons, as well as DEEPCOOL did with this AK620 High-Performance Dual Tower CPU cooler, and as much as we want to recommend it, the times make it tough to do.
The Bottom Line
No doubt DEEPCOOL presented us with the best air cooler in our charts, and does so with respect to clearance, style, and our ears. However, at current prices, and the lack of availability, we urge you to wait and take advantage of what the AK620 is designed to deliver without the hit to the wallet.