DeepCool gunning for Noctua with vapor chamber design.

The Highlights

  • Vapor chambers are proven in GPU cooler designs.
  • The digital screens add cost for little benefit.
  • CPU air coolers must innovate to keep up with high-end CPUs.

Table of Contents

  • AutoTOC
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DeepCool at Computex 2024

Our main focus at DeepCool’s Computex 2024 booth is a new air cooler with a vapor chamber cold plate called the Assassin IV VC Vision. These have been a thing in the past but it’s not something we see a lot. With Intel CPU power levels where they are these days, air coolers need to advance. The biggest challenge with vapor chambers is cost.

In addition to that, there are a few liquid coolers to go over, some stuff on the case side, and changes to the AK 400 and 620 series air coolers.

Editor's note: This was originally published on June 6, 2024 as a video. This content has been adapted to written format for this article and is unchanged from the original publication.


Host, Writing

Steve Burke

Video Editing

Mike Gaglione, Vitalii Makhnovets

Writing, Web Editing

Jeremy Clayton

DeepCool Assassin IV Vapor Chamber Vision

The Assassin IV VC Vision (VC meaning Vapor Chamber, and Vision meaning there’s a screen on top) will launch only in this configuration, so there won’t be one without the screen. It’s pretty straightforward, with temperature, CPU utilization and frequency, and power consumption.

Moving on to the vapor chamber itself, DeepCool is saying that it’s tuned for Intel CPUs, but it will work on AMD CPUs as well. We asked about curvature on the coldplate, and the company told us it has a “ridge bump” pattern. That likely comes from the structure of vapor chambers themselves, which have internal copper support columns. Those columns can be evident in the surface of the coldplate as small deformations.

DeepCool claims they’ve tested the cooler with 280-300W heat loads (equivalent to a 14900K at full load) and measured a 3C reduction versus the standard Assassin IV.

DeepCool hasn’t shared pricing yet, but it’s bound to be high after the vapor chamber and screen. The standard Assassin IV is already about $100. The fan setups are going to be exactly the same as the existing Assassin IV and IV S versions.

The heatpipes are press-fit into the fins – DeepCool could try soldering for a little more performance, but that would add even more cost. The Assassin IV VC Vision is supposed to ship this year, maybe in August. Again, we don’t have a price for it yet.

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AK620 Digital Pro & AK400 Digital Pro

The AK620 Digital Pro is a variation on the AK620, which we liked for its simplicity and cost effectiveness. This is sort of the opposite in the sense that DeepCool has added a large screen to it. It’s not a full-blown LCD panel, and just shows the same temperature and CPU information as the Assassin IV VC Vision. It should be coming in the July to August timeframe, but we don’t have firm pricing at this time.

The AK400 Digital Pro is the same thing – the base AK400 with a readout on top.

Both of these coolers have been updated to have different FT120 SE fans to get rid of a low frequency noise problem on the base models.

AN400 Mini Downdraft Cooler

The AN400 is a low-profile downdraft air cooler that’s smaller than the existing AN600. Again, and to our frustration, no pricing at this time.

Case Pixels

The only thing we’ll point out for cases are these new “Pixel” kits. Last year we showed DeepCool playing around with these on the Morpheus case and some other designs. The new colors are seen here on a CH560 case. DeepCool says that if you’ve bought one of these cases, you can submit a receipt to get a free full kit of the “pixels.” This is a cool thing to add some art to the case, but go easy on how much airflow you block off while using them.

Closing Thoughts

DeepCool didn’t show us any prices at the show, which drives us a little crazy. The CPU cooler market is really interesting right now because heat load is so high at the high-end (especially from Intel). The biggest problem is that you really have to get into liquid coolers once you’re in 14900K territory if you want to maintain performance.

You can run air coolers, but higher temperatures lead to higher power leakage – typically 4% per 10 degrees. If you can bring the temperature of the CPU down it will inherently help to control the power consumption. We’ve seen this in our own AM4 test bench, where if we run the best cooler we’ll read about 192W, and on the worst cooler we’ll read about 202W. This is where the CLCs prove themselves right now, aside from noise normalized thermals.

The air cooler market is going to have to continue iterating if Intel keeps the power level as high as it is. Right now the best air coolers get bound up around the same region on our charts. As good as coolers like the Peerless Assassin 120 and AK 620 are, they get stuck. We’re really curious about the vapor chamber solution, though they’re typically expensive. If air coolers start costing what a CLC costs, then that’s obviously going to be a different problem.

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