DeepCool Gamer Storm Assassin CPU Cooler Review

June 25, 2013 in Cooling, CPU, Featured, Gaming, Intel, Overclocking, PC, Review

 

Testing

We tested the Assassin on an open bench (yea yea booo should of been tested in a closed case to show real world results. We hear what you are saying, but to be fair not everyone uses the same case with the same type of ventilation so in all honesty an open bench is probably the best way to go to get more universally fair results. As long as your bench isn’t outside in the Arctic, or in a Volcano) using an Intel i7 3770k on an Asus Maximus V Gene motherboard with the thermal paste included with the cooler. Both fans were mounted to achieve what we felt would be the max cooling efficiency the heatsink could provide.

One thing we should point out before we go into our testing results is that in order for us to properly mount the Assassin we needed to move our video card from its primary x16 lane to the second x16 lane. Without doing so we wouldn’t have enough clearance for the heatsink. Please keep in mind however that our test bed is utilizing a micro ATX motherboard, and using the Assassin with an ATX, or E-ATX form factor motherboard may not require you…keywords “may not” require you to move any components to allow for sufficient clearance. Sooo why did we even mention it? The reason is that given the fact that micro ATX motherboards are pretty popular these days, we felt that it was definitely worth mentioning.

IMG_1575

IMG_1579

Another thing we should mention, and this is something anyone with any size motherboard should note, is that when mounting the cooler, one of the optional fans sat right on top of one our memory sticks. TBH it fit nice and snug on top of the modules, and actually seemed to be giving the sticks more security. The RAM we used were low profile, but we could see some who use using high profile RAM run into some issues.

Continuing on the RAM related subject we also noticed that even without the fan mounted that the cooler would remove the use of one of our DIMM slots. Now for us this was not a problem as we were running 2x4GB sticks in dual channel on a z77 board, so the DIMM slot closes to the CPU was not filled. However people using more than two sticks, and want to continue using more than two sticks may run into some problems. A fix would be mounting the Assassin with the fans facing up towards the top of your case. This will give you a better shot of giving you back that DIMM slot, but again high profile RAM users may still experience problems getting one of their sticks into that DIMM slot. Users of low profile RAM not so much. Also as this fix worked on an ATX motherboard we tried, it wasn’t a viable option on our micro ATX motherboard as the width of the cooler still denied us access to that slot.

To be fair there are other high end CPU coolers that would limit the use of DIMM slots a user could use when mounted so this is not something that is exclusive to the Assassin.

IMG_1576

Now let’s see how the Assassin did performance wise in our tests.

With our i7 3770k at its default clock speed of 3.5GHZ, temps on idle averaged between 27-30c’s. Running Intel Burn Test on a number of runs we found that our chip never broke 65c’s if that.

Since we pretty much concluded what the Assassin could do with our chip on idle we decided to increase the clock speed to 4.4GHZ with a vcore of 1.32v. Now needing 1.32v to reach 4.4GHZ on an i7 3770 is pretty much overkill, but we wanted to test the heatsink on the most basic of overclocks users may use, mainly CPU level up. What we found was a very decent performance from the Assassin.

At 4.4GHZ our idle temps were just a bit higher than our stock temps by about 5c’s. After a few burn runs we saw that the max temp was about 80c’s give, or take. Now to some this may not be so impressive, but remember we are cranking the vcore way above what really is needed to achieve 4.4GHZ. A more normal manual vcore for 4.4GHZ would be…well stock vcore, or 1.20v if that depending how well an oc’er your chip is. Taking the extra vcore we added, plus the fact we are using an air cooler to keep an Ivy Bridge based chip, which many will testify can run very very hot, under 90c during a full burn test at 4.4GHZ is pretty damn good in our eyes. Even Tremble who is a hardcore water cooler user was impressed. Oh wait I’m Tremble. Why am I referring to myself in the third person? Darn it – Forgot to take my meds again. Hold please (gulp). Ah that’s better.

Of course we then upped the clock speed to 4.6GHZ, still using 1.32v to see if the Assassin still showed us impressive temps, but that’s when we pretty much saw that we were pushing what the Assassin could do. Max temps on a full burn run broke 90c, but did not exceed 100c. Lowering the vcore to around 1.27v or so helped lower temps a degree or, but again we pretty much figured the limit of what the Assassin could. Going past 4.6GHZ we could already see that additional cooling would be required to keep the temps respectable, and as good as the Assassin is, it wouldn’t be enough. Regardless the results were still pretty good, and to be fair if you are trying to push your chip past 4.6GHZ on an Ivy Bridge chances are you are not going to be using air cooling. You pretty much are entering water cooling, phase change territory.

During our tests we noticed that the Assassin was extremely quiet. We barely heard the fans run as we pushed the cooler’s limits. At some points we even had to check to see if the fans were even on they were so quiet. Deepcool’s obsession with sound dampening on the Assassin really did pay off to us.

Next: Conclusion

 
ExactSeek: Relevant Web Search Submit Your Site To The Web's Top 50 Search Engines for Free! Sonic Run: Internet Search Engine