Published on Saturday, 14 November 2015 11:05
It may be true that the technology behind CPU air coolers hasn't changed that much over the past two decades (we've witnessed some innovations over the years but so far nothing has really taken off) but we really can't say the same about their size and design. I mean just look what's available currently in the market compared to past and even most current ISF solutions that ship with boxed CPUs. We don't just have both U-type (tower) models and C-type (top-down) models to choose from but those also come in many different sizes aimed towards pretty much every consumer out there from casual and HTPC users up to gamers, enthusiasts, overclockers and yes even professionals. So even though technology remains basically the same people have countless more choices right now offered by a much larger number of companies compared to even just 10 years ago. DeepCool may not be amongst the really old players in the market but in just a few years they've released a good number of CPU coolers (amongst others) one of which was the very good GamerStorm Assassin which has been succeeded by the new Assassin II.
Deepcool was founded with the mission of providing the best performance & humanized thermal solutions for worldwide customers. Deepcool design and manufacture a comprehensive range of high quality products, covering desktop cooling solutions, laptop cooling solutions, server cooling solutions, embedded cooling solutions, and other thermal components. Our goal is to maintain customer satisfaction by serving our customer’s ever-changing thermal needs and providing the quickest and most comprehensive service available. As our slogan goes, we wish you all “Enjoy your cool life”!
Since the new Assassin II is ment to continue the successful path laid by its predecessor the original Assassin it was only natural for DeepCool to use the same U-Type Tower dual-heatsink (sandwich) design. Usually we don't see that many differences between old and new models but DeepCool has actually worked quite a bit on the new Assassin II since compared to its predecessor it's thinner (143mm vs 144mm), taller (167mm vs 160mm), longer (158mm vs 154mm) and heavier (1479g vs 1378g). Both coolers are equipped with eight 6mm nickel plated heatpipes and two fans (140mm & 120mm) but whereas the original Assassin had one 140mm (1400RPM/80.28CFM/32dBA) and one 120mm (1200RPM/52.35CFM/23.2dBA) fan (green & black ones) the Assassin II comes ready with one 140mm (1200RPM/70.08CFM/26.5dBA) and one high-speed 120mm (1400RPM/68.06CFM/27.3dBA) fan (red & black ones). So the time has come for us to find out just how much these tweaks changed things for the new Assassin II CPU Cooler by DeepCool.
SPECIFICATIONS AND FEATURES
PACKAGING AND CONTENTS
DeepCool ships the Assassin II inside a large black box that just has their logo at the front, the model name and the number of heatpipes used.
The main product features are listed on the left side right above a 2D barcode.
Moving at the rear of the box we see the specifications and mainboard compatibility lists.
Although the bundle is placed inside a secondary cardboard box the cooler is actually placed right between two pieces of black foam.
The box contains the Assassin II CPU Cooler with both its fans pre-mounted, 4-way fan adapter, thermal paste tube, DeepCool case badge, user guide and all the necessary hardware to install the cooler on Intel LGA775/1150/1151/1155/1156/1366/2011/2011-3 and AMD AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+/FM1/FM2/FM2+ mainboards.
THE ASSASSIN II
With both fans installed (i really like the black & red color combo) the Assassin II is not only quite heavy (1479g) but also quite large (167mm tall, 143mm wide and 158mm long).
The Assassin II may be yet another dual heatsink (twin-tower) design but unfortunately you may not be able to add a 3rd fan at the rear.
Each heatsink has a total of 48 aluminum fins.
The rear heatsink features an arrow design which makes the mounting of 3rd fan rather difficult (although it's possible).
DeepCool has placed their logo on the top fins of both heatsinks.
Both fans used with the Assassin II feature fluid dynamic bearings and rubber vibration absorbing frames.
As also mentioned in the introduction page the 120mm PWM fan can spin up to 1400RPM to produce 68.06CFM of airflow with 27.3dBA of noise while the 140mm PWM fan can spin up to 1200RPM to produce 70.08CFM of airflow with 26.5dBA of noise.
This is not the first time we've seen eight 6mm nickel plated copper heatpipes used in a CPU cooler but it's still impressive.
The base of the Assassin II features a mirror-like finish (it had some machine marks on it however).
We always take things quite seriously when it comes to work so just like with the previous LGA1366 database we will not be testing each CPU Cooler on its own and with different ambient temperature levels and thus we can actually have yet another valid CPU Cooler database. Testing a CPU Cooler automatically means that you need to know where it stands against the immediate competition and to accomplish that we have spent both money and time through the years, something that we plan to continue to do so in order to get the most accurate results for the end consumers who read these lines. Every CPU cooler in this database is tested with the bundled 140mm/120mm/92mm/80mm fans while working at both idle speed and 100% of their speeds for all the temperature tests. CPU Coolers that do not come bundled with a fan/s are measured using a Noctua fan (size dependent on the model) to test for the temperature tests but due to the lack of a stock fan dBA level tests are obviously skipped. Single (120/140mm) watercooling solutions are tested with the radiator mounted at the rear of our test rig while dual/triple/quad (240/260/280/360/420/480/560mm) solutions with the radiator mounted at the top. For the dBA tests every cooler in the database was measured both while on idle mode or with the fan controller in the minimum setting and while on extreme load or with the fan controller all the way to the highest possible setting (PWM fans do that on their own without our intervention). Every single test takes place in a temperature controlled room of 23 degrees Celsius Ambient Temp with the help of two AC units placed diagonally inside the room. The Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste is used with every CPU Cooler in our latest LGA2011 database (although initially this was not the plan we had to change things to get the most accurate results). Finally it's very important to point out that just because a CPU Cooler is better than another when tested with our test rig that does not necessarily mean that the same performance differences will apply 100% for other CPU models and in other situations (such as different ambient temps and system configurations).
To successfully record the load temperatures we use the latest OCCT application for around 6-10 minutes to push the processor to its limits and after that is done and the temperatures are recorded we wait for about 10-20 minutes for the CPU to cool down and record the idle temperatures. This is done to allow time for the thermal conductive material to achieve the optimal performance level. Same procedure is then repeated with the Passmark BurnIn Test as a failsafe just in case the OCCT results are wrong. This procedure takes a lot more time than the usual peltier/thermometer tests but this way not only can we deliver real world results to our readers based on real CPUs but we can also triple check the results using a variety of programs. Last but not least the temperatures were recorded using both the latest versions of AIDA64 and RealTemp while the noise level tests are performed using a high precision ExTech HD600 Decibel Meter placed about 10-15cm above the CPU Cooler. Still although the same testing procedure applies to all units do take into consideration that unlike the official numbers which are measured in special noise isolated labs with just the fans here we also have both the rest of the cooler and the rest of the system (although all system fans are turned off when recording noise levels).
The moment we received the DeepCool GamerStorm Assassin II a while back we had but one question, how would it compare to the Noctua NH-D15S which we also got roughly at the same time (would be nice to see how it compares to the original Assassin but we never got one to test). Now it may not be exactly a “fair” comparison since the NH-D15S features a single 140mm PWM fan but its build quality is better than that of the Assassin II so it’s still good to see that both coolers have similar performance both in terms of cooling efficiency and noise levels. The “older” NH-D15 again by Noctua seems to be doing slightly better with our CPU and also has room for a 3rd fan so it seems to be a better overall choice for really demanding users. What I did like about the Assassin II was the red & black color combination used with the fans since it’s not something we see a lot in the industry (hopefully we will more in the future) and the bundled 4-way fan adapter (although it’s not the first time DeepCool has bundled it with one of their coolers).
Currently the DeepCool GamerStorm Assassin II CPU Cooler retails for USD79.99 inside the USA (Newegg.com) and for 85Euros inside the EU (Amazon.co.uk) a price tag which puts it right beneath both the NH-D15S and the NH-D15 by Noctua. With that in mind the Assassin II may not be the best CPU air cooler in the market today but it’s still one of the best twin-tower ones out there and also priced quite nicely and that’s why it gets our Golden Award.
- Good Build Quality
- Very Good Cooling Efficiency
- Dual Fan Solution
- 4-Way Fan Adapter
- Black & Red Fan Color Combination
- Price (For Some)
- Can't add a 3rd fan