DeepCool AK500 Digital Reviewed
Introducing DeepCool's AK500 Digital, an air cooler with a digital display
Cooling enthusiasts are well familiar with DeepCool, whose previous products like the AK620 air cooler and the LT720 360mm AIO liquid cooler have pushed the bar for both value and total performance.
With today's review we'll be looking at DeepCool's latest DIGITAL series air coolers, which offer strong cooling performance and have a unique digital display on the top of the cooler which shows CPU utilization and temperature statistics. We'll be testing it on AMD's Ryzen 7700X and Intel's i7-13700K to see just how much this cooler can handle!
Features of DeepCool's AK500 Digital Air Cooler
The AK500 Digital features the same premium quality materials as the existing DeepCool AK series coolers. It features a solid black design with minor RGB accents along the top of the cooler. Heat is transferred to a dense and thick single-tower heat sink by five advanced copper heat pipes and a pure copper coldplate, and is cooled by FDB fan tuned for quiet performance.
Like other DeepCool AK series coolers, the AK500 Digital incorporates a checkerboard matrix fin design which is said to improve the static pressure of airflow for improved cooling dissipation.
DeepCool's Digital series coolers feature a digital display which offers real time CPU temperature and utilization information. The display is powered and controlled by DeepCool's Digital software, which offers a few minor customization settings like choosing whether it displays CPU temperatures, CPU utilization, or if it switches between displaying both metrics.
The AK500 Digital has 5x Copper Heatpipes for transferring heat from the CPU's nickel plated copper contact plate
Since the fan doesn't overhang the RAM on the AK500 Digital, all sizes of RAM are compatible with this cooler no matter how tall they are!
The fans included with a cooler can be just as important as the heatsink, and have a direct impact on performance and noise levels. DeepCool includes their latest model of FDB fan which includes anti-vibration tips on the corners and arrows on the sides indicating the direction the fan should be installed.
AM4/AM5 & LGA1700 Installation
The mounting tools are included in a small cardboard box, and include everything you need to install the cooler including a screwdriver and a standard sized tube of thermal paste.
The installation of this cooler is similar for both Intel and AMD platforms, the primary difference being that you start by removing the default retention mechanism on Ryzen.
Once the mounting bars have been secured, you'll mount the heatsink and use a screwdriver to secure the cooler against the mounting bars.
Next you'll use the fan clips to secure the included 120mm FDB fan against the heatsink and place the digital display on top of the cooler. Lastly, you'll connect the USB header to your motherboard as well as the PWM and ARGB headers.
Test Platform Configuration and Testing Methodology
Today's review will show performance tested with both Intel and Ryzen Systems
Observant readers may notice that the noise graphs start at 35 instead of zero. This is because my sound meter cannot measure sound levels lower than 35 dBA. This makes it the "zero" for testing purposes. For those concerned that this might distort results - there's no worry. If anything, the graphs above will minimize the differences in noise levels because dBA measurements are logarithmic. For a detailed explanation of how decibel measurements correspond to perceived noise levels, please check out the video below from BeQuiet! which makes it easy to visualize and understand the true impact of of increasing dBA levels.
Noise Normalized Results
Performance scales by a limited amount with stronger coolers, there isn't as much of a benefit to running coolers at full speed as you might think. Many folks prefer to run their systems quietly, so it's useful to see how coolers compare when noise levels are tuned for silence.
With our Intel sytem, we run noise normalized results at a quiet noise level of 38.2 dBA. For our Ryzen system, it's set even lower - at a silent 36.4 dBA. Both results are very good, comparable to BeQuiet's Dark Rock Pro 4 in cooling capacity.
Maximum Cooling Performance at Default Power Limits
With both AMD's Ryzen 7700X and Intel's i7-13700K, most coolers will cause the CPU to reach it's maximum temperature. In these situations, we'll be evaluating the cooler by how many watts are dissipated by the cooler and the noise levels it produces when the fans are allowed to run at full speed.
In both Intel and Ryzen setups, DeepCool's AK500 Digital offers top tier air cooling performance just barely behind the highest end air coolers, but total cooling performance is only one part of the question - how loud a cooler runs is an important part of a user's experience.
Fortunately, DeepCool's AK500 Digital registered a maximum noise level of 41.4 dBA on both Intel and Ryzen systems tested. This is a very low noise level, amongst the most silent we've tested.
Medium Intensity Workloads
It's important to test a cooler under a variety of power limits, because most workloads won't push the CPU to use it's full power budget. Cooling difficulty decreases dramatically with lower power workloads and how loud the cooler operates in these situations is more important.
To simulate medium intensity workloads, we limit power consumption to 175W for Intel's i7-13700K and 95W on AMD's Ryzen 7700X. In this scenario, the AK500's performance is amongst the best air cooling results we've seen - comparable to Noctua's NH-D15 on both Intel and AMD systems.
While thermal performance is still important in a medium intensity load, noise levels are more important to consider in this author's opinion because you won't thermal throttle with any half-decent cooler in these scenarios. The Ryzen results are slightly noisier here, at 39.6 dBA vs 38.9 dBA on Intel's setup. Both are amongst the best results I have seen for air coolers, particularly on the Intel i7-13700K system.
Low Intensity Thermals and Acoustics
To simulate low intensity workloads, I've limited power consumption to 75w on AMD's Ryzen 7700X and 125W on Intel's i7-13700K. These levels of power consumption are similar to gaming AAA gaming workloads. This is a fairly easy thermal test, and even the weakest of coolers should handle it without problem. In these more limited scenarios, DeepCool's AK500 Digital offers amongst the best cooling results from an air cooler and is equal to the highest end air coolers.
While I show thermal results here in the graph above, they're not very important. Acoustics and noise levels are much more important. Really, all of the results above are good enough and even the worst result isn't any cause for concern. Noise levels are of supreme importance in these scenarios, and DeepCool's AK500 Digital performs well on both systems with a silent 37.3 dBA recorded on our AMD system and a quiet 38.9 dBA recorded on our Intel system.
DeepCool's Digital series coolers offer a unique innovation with a digital display which shows both CPU temperature and utilization statistics. Our results here with DeepCool's AK400 and AK500 Digital coolers show how well their lineup performs with both Intel and AMD CPUs. These coolers do have a higher price tag than their rivals, but that's the price of having a niche display added to the units. If you're looking for the best value, DeepCool continues to offer the AK400 and AK500 coolers without the digital displays for a lower price.
DeepCool's AK500 Digital is currently available on Amazon for $59.99 USD.
The AK400 Digital, also shown in this review's results, is available at a slightly cheaper $49.99 USD.
DeepCool's Digital series coolers offer a unique innovation with a digital display which shows both CPU temperature and utilization statistics.
The links above are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, Wccftech.com may earn from qualifying purchases.Introducing DeepCool's AK500 Digital, an air cooler with a digital display Related StoryFeatures of DeepCool's AK500 Digital Air CoolerAK Zero Dark DesignCheckerboard Matrix Fin DesignReal Time CPU Monitoring5 Copper Heatpipes, Nickel Plated Copper CPU Contact PlateAM4/AM5 & LGA1700 InstallationTest Platform Configuration and Testing MethodologyNoise Normalized ResultsMaximum Cooling Performance at Default Power LimitsLow Intensity Thermals and AcousticsConclusionWccftech Rating