PC Components

DeepCool AK400 in the test: The new air cooler in the midfield

DeepCool is a Chinese brand for computer components and has brought some cool fans and coolers to the market in recent years. In 2022, the DeepCool AK400 was released in black and white as the little brother of the AK620 and promises high performance and a pretty classy design at a low price. To what extent the cooler fulfills these promises, in which processor class it feels most comfortable and where possibly the larger model AK620 is worthwhile, we clarify in this DeepCool AK400 review.

DeepCool AK400 specifications

Complete dimensions 127×97×155 mm
Heatsink dimensions 120×45×152 mm
Weight 661 g
Heatpipes 4x Ø6 mm
Fan dimensions 120×120×25 mm
Fan speed 500~1850 RPM±10%
Fan Airflow 66.47 CFM
Air Pressure 2.04 mmAq
Loudness ≤29 dB(A)
Fan type Liquid Bearing (Fluid Dynamic Bearing)
Fan power consumption 1.56W
Price € 58.39 *

Packaging and scope of delivery

The packaging of the DeepCool AK400 is kept relatively simple. When you open it, the first thing that catches your eye is a bag of mounting hardware, as well as printed instructions on how to install it. Underneath, the completely assembled cooler with the fan is held and protected by a foam.

In terms of mounting materials, the package contains all parts that are suitable for Intel’s Core-i processors up to the latest generation (and corresponding Xeon and Pentium models), including LGA1700. The assembly material for AMD’s AM4 and AM5 is also included. Older AMD sockets are not supported. Last but not least, two more brackets are included to attach a second fan to the heatsink.

Design and workmanship

In principle, it becomes clear that the AK400 was modeled on the design of the AK620. Thus, the cover of the heat pipe ends on the top of the looks just as classy and the fins with their square 3D pattern are also part of the game. Thus, the cooler looks surprisingly elegant for the price range.

However, a closer analysis reveals that there are more differences than just one tower on the AK400 versus two on the AK620. For example, a base plate has been omitted here and the four 6 mm heat pipes are supposed to distribute the processor’s heat directly to the closely spaced fins. The fan, here a DeepCool FC12P, also differs slightly from the AK620’s FK120 and doesn’t look quite as solidly square due to a slightly different frame shape, although the single-tower design doesn’t allow for a square shape – seen from above – anyway.

So a lot of things are kept a bit simpler on the DeepCool AK400 than on the AK620, but the most important visual features have been adopted despite the much lower price. By the way, unlike its big brother, the DeepCool AK400 has thermal paste already applied to the contact surface in the correct amount, which simplifies installation for beginners. RGB lighting is not found in the factory – that would have driven up the costs and disturbed the seriously noble impression of the cooler.

The fan appears largely robust and torsion-resistant, even if the plastic makes a somewhat cheaper impression. The corners are kept entirely rubber to dampen vibrations in all directions, but have the disadvantage that they seem to magically attract and hold dust. This dust is difficult to remove and somewhat tarnishes the overall visual impression of the cooler. The clips that hold the fan in place have a good fit on the fan and don’t fall off easily; furthermore, it doesn’t take much force to get them clipped to the heatsink.

Installation

The DeepCool AK400’s mounting hardware is quite different from the AK620, but also feels very high quality. Installation is simple: for Intel, you use the included backplate, which you can adjust in width between older LGA sockets and the newer LGA1700. The mounting frame with spacers is screwed into the backplate from the front. Now you have to remove the cooler from the heatsink. Since the thermal paste is directly applied, you can then screw the heatsink directly to the mounting frame in two places.

The procedure for AMD’s AM4 is very similar, only here you use the original AMD backplate and the orange spacers. However, there are no holes in the mounting frame for AM4, but indentations at the top and bottom. You have to be a bit more careful until it sits correctly, but once the screws are tightened, the frame sits just as stable.

Finally, the fan is clipped back onto the heatsink and the cable is connected to the appropriate motherboard header.

Overall, installation is very simple and comparable to that of the Enermax ETS-F40-FS, far easier than that of the be quiet! Pure Rock. What is a definite advantage with the DeepCool AK400 is the tight fit of the retaining clips on the fan, which are far looser on the other two coolers mentioned, and thus can be quite strenuous at times. In addition, you need noticeably less force with the AK400 to bring the retaining clip into position than with the aforementioned similarly priced competition. This makes the installation of the DeepCool AK400 very beginner-friendly. By the way, the instructions are language-free and well illustrated. If you want to remove the cooler and install it in another system, you have to get a fresh tube of thermal paste.

DeepCool AK400 Performance and Comparison

In order to rank the performance of the DeepCool AK400, we did a comparison with other coolers. The AMD Wraith Spire was used as a reference, which is included with processors like the Ryzen 5 2600X, 3600X, and 3400G, and is a typical proxy for the “free gimmick” category. With the be quiet! Pure Rock, a comparable 120 mm cooler was tested that is in a similar region as the AK400 in terms of price. Also integrated into the test was the Enermax ETS-F40-FS, one of the cheapest coolers with a 140 mm fan, whose price also hardly differs. Lastly, the DeepCool AK620 was included in the test as a larger and almost twice as expensive sister model on the other side of the spectrum.

About the test procedure: A mid-range processor was also chosen for these mid-range coolers, which is typical for the target group of the tested coolers. This is the AMD Ryzen 5 3600X, minimally faster than a Ryzen 5 3600, but also with slightly higher power consumption and a TDP that sits even higher than the Ryzen 5 5600(X) and 5700X. The Ryzen 5 3600X of the test system has a power consumption of around 18W at idle and under Cinebench load it draws around 78W. The idle temperature was always measured after the system had run for ten minutes without operation and an average value of a measurement time of one minute was taken. After that, the system was continuously loaded by Cinebench R23 and after eight minutes of warm-up time, a one-minute measurement of the average temperature was taken again. The case fans were statically set to 34% of power so as not to influence the result through automatic adjustments, and the low power was chosen to provide sufficient airflow but still allow the coolers to work intensively – it also ensured a low influence of the case fans on the loudness measurement. The test was performed in an Enermax StarryKnight SK30 with the factory fans and an additional fan above the processor cooler – quasi optimal conditions for air coolers. The case fans were never adjusted, but the processor cooler fans were adjusted for two tests. Once 50% PWM for quiet operation and once 100% PWM for the highest possible performance. The results were then adjusted for room temperature, so the values are given as a delta – the difference between room temperature at the time of measurement and the measured temperature. The loudness of the overall system was measured at a base room volume of 36 dB at a distance of half a meter from the case.

Measurement Results

Processor Delta idle temperature Delta Cinebench temperature Volume
AMD Wraith Spire 50% PWM 11.7° C 59.5° C 41 dB
AMD Wraith Spire 100% PWM 11.5° C 56.3° C 45 dB
be Quiet! Pure Rock 50% PWM 9.6° C 51.8° C 39 dB
be Quiet! Pure Rock 100% PWM 9.5° C 49.1° C 40 dB
Enermax ETS-F40-FS 50% PWM 9.1° C 49.7° C 38 dB
Enermax ETS-F40-FS 100% PWM 9.1° C 48.5° C 39 dB
DeelCool AK400 50% PWM 9.3° C 50.0° C 38 dB
DeepCool AK400 100% PWM 9.2° C 48.0° C 41 dB
DeepCool AK620 50% PWM 8.6° C 47.8° C 39 dB
DeepCool AK620 100% PWM 8.4° C 46° C 44 dB

Realistically, in terms of cooling performance, it doesn’t make a huge difference which of the coolers you pick in this price range: The performance is easily enough for mid-range processors and provides headroom even for Ryzen 7-class processors and Intel’s Core i5 and not particularly overclocked i7 processors, as well as headroom for cases with worse airflow than the test system. For the top tier of processors, looking towards a dual-tower cooler like the AK620 would be recommended. Among the coolers tested here, the AK400 comes out on top performance-wise despite having the most compact dimensions among single-tower coolers.

Summary of DeepCool AK400 review

Overall, the performance, looks, mounting, and build quality stood out positively. The fan isn’t exactly the quietest when cranked up, but it provides enough power even at lower speeds that full speed is barely reached during regular operation. Compared to the factory cooler included with many processors, it is definitely a significant upgrade and far quieter. However, if you don’t care about the looks and have enough space, you can also take a look at the Enermax ETS-F40-FS, which is largely identical in price and performance and is a bit quieter. Still, the DeepCool AK400 offers the most well-rounded package overall out of the coolers tested here.

DeepCool AK400

Workmanship
Design
Installation
Performance
Value for money

92/100

A thoroughly recommendable cooler that is easy to install even for beginners, perfectly handles the heat generation of mid-range processors and looks classy to boot.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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DeepCool is a Chinese brand for computer components and has brought some cool fans and coolers to the market in recent years. In 2022, the DeepCool AK400 was released in black and white as the little brother of the AK620 and promises high performance and a pretty classy design at a low price. To what … (Weiterlesen...)

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