Aug 09, 2023

DeepCool AK620 Digital Review: Like No Other Air Cooler

DeepCool’s AK620 Digital is among the strongest air coolers on the market, and it packs an unexpected innovation with it’s LCD display status screen that lets you monitor CPU stats.

Strong performance with both Intel & AMD systems

Competitive with high-end air coolers

LCD Display shows CPU temperature & utilization info

Display comes with a higher price, but non-Digital version is available for less

Review units had vibration issues

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DeepCool is well known in the cooling and component world, having delivered innovative, interesting and budget-conscious PC cases and cooling products for more than a decade. Its current lineup includes air and AIO coolers, computer cases, keyboards, power supplies and other accessories. We’ve been impressed recently by the company’s Assassin IV air cooler, and DeepCool’s 360mm LT720 AIO currently holds our one of our top recommendations on our list of best AIO coolers.

The company’s latest cooler to land on our test bench is the DeepCool AK620 Digital. This model features the same premium design of DeepCool’s AK620 Zero Dark, but features an innovative addition: a digital display embedded in the top that showcases both CPU temperature and utilization statistics. We’ve previously tested the original version of DeepCool’s AK620 with Intel’s i9-10850K. But does the screen-packing Digital model have what it takes to tame today’s hotter CPUs like Intel’s i7-13700K? We’ll of course have to put it through our usual testing to see if it is still worthy of a spot on our best CPU coolers list. But first, here are the cooler’s full specs, direct from DeepCool.

DeepCool’s AK620 digital is packaged in molded foam, cardboard, and plastic to protect the contents during shipping.

Included with the package are the following:

It’s not hard to install DeepCool’s AK620 Digital. The process is fairly similar on both AMD and Intel platforms.

1. If you’re running an AMD Ryzen system, you’ll need to start by removing the default retention bracket. Intel users will need to apply the backplate to the motherboard.

2. Place the mounting standoffs against the motherboard. Then place the mounting bars on top and secure them with the included thumbscrews.

3. After applying thermal paste to the CPU, lift the display cover from the cooler’s heatsink and remove the middle fan. Then place the heatsink against the mounting bars. Secure the heatsink against the mounting bars using the included screwdriver.

4. Replace the middle fan and secure it using the fan clips and place the display on top of the heatsink.

5. Finally, peel off the plastic that protects the display during shipping and connect the cables to the appropriate ports.

DeepCool’s AK620 Digital features the same premium quality design as the previously released AK620 Zero Dark, but adds an innovative LCD display.

⋇ Real-time Status Screen

The biggest feature of the Digital series coolers is the LCD display that rests on top of the heatsink. There have been a few coolers in the past that showed temperature information, but none quite like DeepCool’s. By default, the display switches between showing CPU temperature and utilization statistics, and these can be lightly customized – you can show temperatures in either C or F, for example. Below the primary portion of the screen is DeepCool’s logo, softly illuminated. The top and bottom edges support aRGB illumination, giving it a subtle glow.

The display can be controlled by DeepCool’s Digital software, and allows for minor customizations like chosing whether the CPU temperature is showing in Celsius or Fahrenheit. By, default the device will blink when the CPU reaches maximum temperature. But you can disable this with the software. You can also choose whether the display shows CPU utilization or temperature information, or alternates between the two.

⋇ Six copper heatpipes, nickel-plated contact plate

The cooler features six copper heatpipes and a nickel-plated copper CPU block with microfins for transferring heat away from the CPU.

⋇ Checkerboard Matrix Design

As with other AK series CPU coolers, the AK620 Digital’s dual towers feature a checkerboard matrix design, which not only gives the device a distinctivelook but also improves total static pressure for enhanced cooling performance.

43mm+ RAM compatibility

In its default configuration, the AK620 Digital has room for DDR4 & DDR5 modules up to 43mm (1.69 inches) in height. However, you can move the fan slightly higher to accommodate taller RAM – I did this on my i7-13700K system because its DDR4 was 44mm tall.

Two 120mm FDB fans

There’s more to a cooler than just the heatsink or radiator. The bundled fans have a significant impact on cooling and noise levels. DeepCool has included two of its 120mm FDB fans. Like other DeepCool fans, it features arrows on the sides of the fan indicating both the direction the fans spin and which way the fan should be installed.

Modern high-end CPUs, whether Intel or AMD, are difficult to cool in intensive workloads. In the past, reaching 95 degrees Celsius or more on a desktop CPU might have been a cause for concern. But with today’s high-end processors, it is considered normal operation. Similar behavior has been present in laptops for years due to cooling limitations in tight spaces.

Since last fall, Tom’s Hardware has brought you cooling reviews using one of the most power-hungry desktop CPUs on the market – Intel’s flagship i9-13900K. To give you an idea of what it takes to cool Intel’s behemoth, we’ve tested it with a variety of coolers from basic low end air coolers like the Amazon Basics air cooler to high-end 420mm AIOs such as Corsair’s iCUE H170i Elite.

While it’s nice to see how Intel’s flagship responds to different levels of cooling, those results don’t always correlate with lower-tier CPUs. Today’s review features two CPUs more commonly purchased by end users – AMD’s Ryzen 7 7700X and Intel’s i7-13700K.

Note there are many factors other than the CPU cooler that can influence your cooling performance, including the case you use and the fans installed in it. A system's motherboard can also influence this, especially if it suffers from bending, which results in poor cooler contact with the CPU.

In order to prevent bending from impacting our cooling results, we’ve installed Thermalright’s LGA 1700 contact frame into our testing rig. If your motherboard is affected by bending, your thermal results will be worse than those shown below. Not all motherboards are affected equally by this issue. I tested Raptor Lake CPUs in two motherboards. And while one of them showed significant thermal improvements after installing Thermalright’s LGA1700 contact frame, the other motherboard showed no difference in temperatures whatsoever! Check out our review of the contact frame for more information.

All testing is performed at a 23C ambient room temperature. Multiple thermal tests are run on each CPU to test the cooler in a variety of conditions, and acoustic measurements are taken with each result. These tests include:

1. Noise normalized testing at low noise levels

2. “Out-of-the-box”/default configuration thermal & acoustics testing.

a.) This means no power limits on Intel’s i7-13700K, and AMD’s default power limits on AMD’s Ryzen 7 7700X.

b.) Because CPUs hit Tjmax in this scenario, the best way to compare cooling strength is by recording the total CPU package power consumption.

3. Thermal & acoustics testing in power-limited scenarios.

a.) With Ryzen 7 7700X, I’ve tested with limits of 95W and 75W enforced.

b.) On Intel’s i7-13700K, I’ve tested with limits of 175W and 125W enforced.

The thermal results included are for 10-minute testing runs. To be sure that was sufficiently long to tax the cooler, we tested both Thermalright’s Assassin X 120 R SE and DeepCool’s LT720 with a 30-minute Cinebench test with Intel’s i9-13900K for both 10 minutes and 30 minutes. The results didn’t change much at all with the longer test: The average clock speeds maintained dropped by 29 MHz on DeepCool’s LT720 and 31 MHz on Thermalright’s Assassin X 120 R SE. That’s an incredibly small 0.6% difference in clock speeds maintained, a margin of error difference that tells us that the 10-minute tests are indeed long enough to properly test the coolers.

The first sample of this unit I tested had issues with high-pitched vibrations which effectively made it impossible to test at noise-normalized levels because of the increased noise caused by them. Generally, DeepCool’s products perform very well when noise-normalized for quiet performance, so this was a disappointing experience.

DeepCool provided a return label for that unit to investigate the issue, and sent a replacement sample. This sample is the one I’ve shown in today’s review. But it also had issues with vibrations. Unlike the last sample where these vibrations occurred at low noise levels, this unit had these higher pitched noises occur mainly when the fans ran at full speed.

It’s likely that DeepCool’s engineering team will determine the source of these vibration issues and address them. But as I experienced issues with two different units, it’s clear this isn’t an isolated issue.

Current page:Features and Specifications

Albert Thomas is a contributor for Tom’s Hardware, primarily covering CPU cooling reviews.

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CoolerMSRPInstalled SizeHeatsink MaterialHeatpipesSocket CompatibilityBaseMax TDP (Our Testing)⋇ Real-time Status Screen⋇ Six copper heatpipes, nickel-plated contact plate⋇ Checkerboard Matrix Design43mm+ RAM compatibility Two 120mm FDB fansModelDimensionsFan SpeedAir FlowAir PressureBearing TypeLightingMFFTCPUComparison Coolers TestedMotherboardGPUCaseMonitorPSUCPUMotherboardGPUCaseMonitorPSU