PC Components

DeepCool LS520S Zero Dark review – Simple, powerful but with a loud pump

Behind the name DeepCool is a Chinese manufacturer of PC components. DeepCool was founded in Beijing in 1996. The manufacturer’s product portfolio includes cases, CPU coolers and compact water cooling systems. In February 2023, we tested the DeepCool LS520 SE, which impressed with its good performance and decent RGB. The DeepCool LS520S Zero Dark, which we are testing today, was launched almost 1 year later and has a very simple look. Read on to find out whether the compact water cooling system is still convincing.

DeepCool LS520S Zero Dark review: Technical details

General specifications
Weight 1346 g
Compatibility AMD AM5 / AM4
Intel compatibility LGA 115X / 1200 / 1700
Cooling capacity
N/A
Price
€ 106.12 *
Radiator specifications
Radiator type Soldered radiator
Dimensions (L x W x H) 282 x 120 x 27 mm
Radiator material Aluminum alloy (painted black)
Fan specifications
Number of fans 2
Fan designation DeepCool DF1202512CM
Bearing type hydrodynamic sleeve bearing (HDB)
Dimensions (L x W x H) 120 x 120 x 25 mm
Fan speed 500 ~ 2250 rpm ± 10 %
Max. Noise level 32.9 db(A)
Max. Volume flow 145.86 m³/h
Max. Air pressure 3.27 mm H2O
Rated voltage (fan) 12 V
Rated current (fan) 0,25 A
Rated power (fan) 3 W
Fan connection 4-pin PWM
Pump specifications
Dimensions (L x W xH) 85 x 73 x 55 mm
Cooling plate material Copper
Pump speed 3100 rpm ± 10 %
Rated voltage (pump) 12 V
Nominal current (pump) 0,5 A
Nominal power (pump) 6 W
Pump connection 3-pin DC
Hose length
410 mm

Packaging & scope of delivery

As is typical for the manufacturer, DeepCool packs the LS520S Zero Dark in a brown cardboard box with a few turquoise and white accents. The banderole that the manufacturer has placed around the box is also white. This shows a colorful picture of the compact water cooling system as well as its name and, on the back, a table with the technical data and all relevant features. The packaging is also wrapped in an additional plastic film ex works.

When you open the packaging, the first thing you see is a white cardboard box and lots of soft foam. The cardboard box is used in conjunction with another film to protect the radiator. The pump block is also wrapped in additional foil. Concealed by the radiator, we then find a brown box with assembly instructions, all assembly accessories as well as a PWM splitter and two low-noise adapters.

Design & workmanship

The addition “Zero Dark” in the product name already suggests that the LS520S is visually rather unspectacular. And that starts with the radiator. This is made of black-painted aluminum, is 27 millimeters thick and has neither lettering nor other colored accents or lighting. We can also see a valve at the rear end, which is intended to equalize the pressure and thus extend the service life of the compact water cooling system.

The DeepCool LS520S Zero Dark has two black, textile-coated hoses, each with an average length of 410 millimeters. This means that nothing should stand in the way of flexible orientation in the housing. The hoses are pressed onto the radiator and the rotating joints on the pump block using steel sleeves. This means that this compact water cooling system cannot be expanded or refilled.

The pump block is also simple. This is made of black plastic and is visually similar to the block on the LS520 SE. However, there is no longer an ARGB-illuminated Infinity Mirror but a plain black cover plate consisting of three differently structured areas and a white illuminated manufacturer’s logo.

The pump is connected via a 3-pin cable and allows the pump to rotate at a constant speed of approx. 3100 revolutions per minute. Unfortunately, it is not possible to reduce the pump speed. The CPU heat is transferred via a copper radiator base, to which DeepCool has already applied a layer of heat-conducting paste.

Two DeepCool DF1202512CM fans round off the sleek look of the LS520S Zero Dark. Both the frame and the 9-bladed rotors are made of black plastic and the rubber elements in the corners are also dark in color. The dimensions are 120x120x25 millimetres and the connection is made via a very short PWM connection with a corresponding Y-switch as a cable extension. DeepCool specifies a speed range between 500 and 2250 revolutions per minute for the fans.

The DeepCool LS520S Zero Dark weighs a total of 1346 grams with radiator, fan and pump. This is a typical weight for a compact water cooling system with a 240 mm radiator and the dimensions and, above all, the overall depth of 52 millimeters for the radiator and fan are absolutely average. The overall design is simple, timeless and should visually match almost any chosen design.

DeepCool LS520S Zero Dark Test: Assembly

A test system is used for the review, which is mounted on a benchtable. This allows us to rule out factors such as heat build-up in the case. The test system consists of the following components.

DeepCool is not reinventing the wheel and is once again using the LS520 SE mounting system. With an AMD socket, this means first removing the plastic bracket of the AMD retention module. Four threaded spacers are then screwed into the remaining backplate.

Next, the pump block must be prepared by screwing on two mounting brackets from below. The orientation is theoretically possible in 90-degree steps. The pump block is then placed on the CPU and secured with four knurled screws. In the final step, the radiator and fan are mounted in the housing.

The assembly was very simple and is almost self-explanatory for experienced PC tinkerers. All the bags for the screws and spacers are clearly labeled. If you have any questions or problems, the enclosed or clearly structured assembly instructions should be able to help you quickly.

Cooling capacity and volume

As already shown in the previous chapter, we use an AM4 system based on the Ryzen 5 1400 and the ASUS TUF Gaming B550M-Plus as test hardware. The Ryzen runs at 3.8 GHz at 1.175 V. To heat up the processor, it was loaded with Prime95 for 30 minutes. The temperature of the CPU was then read out with the CPUID hardware monitor. The room temperature was always around 20 °C during the measurements.

wdt_ID CPU-Kühler Temperatur 50% PWM (in °C) Temperatur 100% PWM (in °C) Minimale Lüftergeschwindigkeit (in U/min) Lüftergeschwindigkeit bei 50% PWM (in U/min) Lüftergeschwindigkeit bei 100% PWM (in U/min) Minimale Pumpengeschwindigkeit (in U/min) Pumpengeschwindigkeit bei 50% PWM (in U/min) Pumpengeschwindigkeit bei 100% PWM (in U/min)
123 Thermaltake TH280 V2 ARGB 46,60 45,90 550 1.200 1.800 680 2.100 3.200
124 Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 Atmos ARGB 50,40 46,50 560 1.340 2.270 1.965 6.620 10.230
125 be quiet! Pure Loop 2 240mm 50,70 46,70 800 1.070 2.080 4.150 4.700 5.530
126 Alpenföhn Panorama 2 76,00 66,80 450 1.450 2.720
127 Alpenföhn Brocken 4 53,60 49,60 410 870 1.610
128 AMD Wraith Stealth 95,00 76,00 800 1.430 2.630
129 Corsair A115 49,40 46,90 190 920 1.560
130 Thermalright Peerless Assassin 120 SE 49,50 47,50 350 1.050 1.680
131 Thermalright Assassin X 120 SE 53,60 50,60 340 1.070 1.690
132 DeepCool Assassin IV (Silent) 51,40 48,70 500 860 1.330
CPU-Kühler Temperatur 50% PWM (in °C) Temperatur 100% PWM (in °C) Minimale Lüftergeschwindigkeit (in U/min) Lüftergeschwindigkeit bei 50% PWM (in U/min) Lüftergeschwindigkeit bei 100% PWM (in U/min) Minimale Pumpengeschwindigkeit (in U/min) Pumpengeschwindigkeit bei 50% PWM (in U/min) Pumpengeschwindigkeit bei 100% PWM (in U/min)

As can be seen in the table and diagram, the CPU of our test system reaches a maximum of 46.9 °C (at 50% PWM fan and full pump speed) and 45.4 °C (at 100% PWM fan and pump speed) under full load. Unfortunately, it is not possible to reduce the pump speed on the LS520S Zero Dark, which is why the measured value at 50% PWM cannot be fully compared with the values of the other test subjects. Nevertheless, the values achieved are very good from our point of view and the LS520S Zero Dark ranks at the top of the test field.

Unfortunately, the non-adjustable pump speed has a negative impact on the noise level. At 3100 revolutions per minute, a clear, high-frequency humming of the pump can be heard, which can be quite annoying in the long run. As always, the fans are a matter of settings. With a minimum speed of 530 revolutions per minute, the fans are not really perceptible and the maximum speed of 2230 revolutions should only be set in extreme situations or not at all. It is therefore important to find the right fan curve in the BIOS. The wide speed range at least makes it possible.

Using the low-noise adapter included in the scope of delivery reduces the maximum speed to around 1600 rpm. If no high-end CPU is used and the case is generally well ventilated, the cooling performance should be more than sufficient for most gaming systems with a CPU below the 95W limit.

Conclusion of the DeepCool LS520S Zero Dark test

Similar to the DeepCool LS520 SE, the LS520S Zero Dark also impresses in many areas. First of all, there is the excellent cooling performance, which in some cases is even better than that of some compact water cooling systems with a larger radiator. This is complemented by a very sleek look, high-quality workmanship and a still very good and simple mounting system. The assembly process is further simplified by pre-applied thermal compound. Finally, the built-in fans also leave a positive impression and offer a wide speed range.

We only noticed one negative point with the DeepCool LS520S Zero Dark, but this could have a very strong influence on the purchase decision. Unfortunately, the pump speed cannot be adjusted and remains constant at 3100 revolutions per minute. This wouldn’t be a bad thing if it weren’t for the high-frequency and audible whirring. This aspect is likely to be a knock-out criterion for many prospective buyers.

In addition, the DeepCool LS520S Zero Dark is no longer readily available from German retailers, even though it was only released at the end of January 2024. At the time of the review, the price was € 106.12 *. However, there are now some alternatives that cool just as well, but are sometimes a whole lot cheaper. As a result, the DeepCool LS520S Zero Dark performs very well and is simply designed, but has too much competition in the targeted price range.

DeepCool LS520S Zero Dark

Design
Workmanship
Mounting
Performance
Value for money

83/100

The DeepCool LS520S Zero Dark impresses with its excellent cooling performance, very good workmanship, simple design and good mounting system. However, we see major problems with the non-adjustable and high-frequency pump as well as the general price.

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.

Related Articles

Neue Antworten laden...

Avatar of Basic Tutorials
Basic Tutorials

Gehört zum Inventar

13,402 Beiträge 3,156 Likes

Behind the name DeepCool is a Chinese manufacturer of PC components. DeepCool was founded in Beijing in 1996. The manufacturer’s product portfolio includes cases, CPU coolers and compact water cooling systems. In February 2023, we tested the DeepCool LS520 SE, which impressed with its good performance and decent RGB. The DeepCool LS520S Zero Dark, which we are testing today, was launched almost 1 year later and has a very simple look. Read on to find out whether the compact water cooling system is still convincing. DeepCool LS520S Zero Dark review: Technical details General specifications Weight 1346 g Compatibility AMD AM5 … (Weiterlesen...)

Antworten Like

Back to top button