It’s always good to see a new product from Deepcool, and today they sent over the AK400 Zero Dark Plus. Featuring a single tower heatsink, with two 120mm fans included and, what appears to be, a very affordable price, let’s see how it gets on…
Deepcool AK400 Zero Dark Plus: Specifications
Product Page: HERE
Deepcool AK400 Zero Dark Plus: Unboxing and Closer Look
A quick look around the box and Deepcool has used a white box with black and grey text highlights to show the model name and specifications, overall appearing clear and concise.
The cooler itself was packaged in this foam insert which was more than enough to ensure it arrived free of any damage.
The manual and accessories bag are included, with mounting kits for Intel 115x, 1200 and 1700 sockets and AMD AM4 and AM5 sockets.
A front and rear view of the AK400 Zero Dark Plus, with one of the two included 120mm fans. These fans are the FC120P and are 4-pin PWM controlled with a speed range of 500-1650rpm.
We can see the heatsink sandwiched between both fans here. The heatsink itself is painted black and measures 120x152x45mm.
A top-down view shows us the plastic cover Deepcool has added to the top of the heatsink. Deepcool has used a ridged square pattern all over the top and cut out the Deepcool logo with its signature green colour. This greatly adds to the aesthetic and fits flush with the fans attached.
The bottom of the cooler shows four Heatpipes, black in colour until the base of the cooler where the bare Copper is exposed. These Heatpipes are mounted into an Aluminium block (the silver-coloured block) and the mounting tabs are screwed into that.
Deepcool also pre-apply thermal paste (as seen) to the base of the heatsink for you, so you won’t need to worry about applying any yourself on the initial installation.
Deepcool AK400 Zero Dark Plus: Installation
Deepcool pre-mount the screws into the backplate used on Intel motherboards. You slide them into one of two positions depending on the socket being used. This makes the overall installation very simple and easy to do.
Slide the required spacers over the screw holes. In this case, we needed the 115X/1200 spacers.
Next up is to mount the bracket on top of the spacers. Be sure to check the bracket rotation as this ensures whether the heatsink is mounted horizontally or vertically.
Finally remove the fans to access the spring-loaded mounting screws on the base of the heatsink, one on either side, before fitting them back into place.
A final look at the cooler in its assembled form. Overall the installation was quick and easy.
Deepcool AK400 Zero Dark Plus: Thermal Performance
We have decided to update the testing method accordingly for better and more consistent results. It isn’t ideal running Prime95 for a prolonged period of time and if you get called away to do something, it could be left running for much longer than needed. Our new methodology involves running a multi-threaded performance benchmark called Cinebench R23.
It should also be noted that the reason we omit acoustic/noise testing is due to an inaccuracy within the readings and method. To provide truly accurate readings, you need a lab setting with the same ambient noise on an hour-by-hour, day-by-day and week-by-week basis. As ambient noise can increase at different times of the day, we believe that it’s pointless providing noise testing if we can’t measure consistent and accurate data due to our office being a busy setting.
- CPU – Intel Core i7-10700k– 3.8GHz (1.1v) & 5GHz (1.3v)
- Motherboard – Aorus Z590 Ultra
- GPU – NVIDIA GeForce GTX1060
- RAM – Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (4x8GB) DD4 3000MHz
- PSU – Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 850w
- Case – Thermaltake Divider 300 TG Air Snow Mid-Tower
- OS – Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
In addition to keeping our test setup consistent for all CPU cooling tests, we also always use the same thermal paste rather than any that comes supplied or pre-applied. Our thermal paste of choice is NT-H2 from Noctua.
Idle Testing Methodology
To test each cooler at idle, the minimum temperature is taken after leaving the PC with only start-up programs being allowed to run for 5 minutes. The mean of three tests is recorded. This temperature is deducted from the current room temperature and our final delta temperature is provided.
Load Testing Methodology
To test each cooler under load, we run Cinebench R23 for 60 minutes using the multicore CPU test. The mean of three tests is recorded. This temperature is deducted from the current room temperature and our final delta temperature is provided.
Deepcool AK400 Zero Dark Plus: The Verdict
Deepcool, and you (more importantly) will be pleased to hear that the AK400 Zero Dark Plus performed really well! It offers decent cooling performance out of the box, looks decent enough, and comes with two 120mm fans pre-installed out of the box. Especially when you factor in our 10700k CPU outputs 205w of heat under full load at 5.0GHz.
As mentioned before, the presentation of the product itself is good, and that quality is evident throughout. The heatsink itself is well constructed, and the mounting kit Deepcool has included is more than good enough to mount on Intel and AMD socket CPUs securely.
Choosing a black colour theme, on the heatsink and fans is always a safe bet and is, arguably, a preferred and more popular choice over the traditional metallic colour you typically find. Especially when matched with a predominantly black motherboard for overall aesthetic appeal.
At just 155mm tall, you’ll find that the AK400 Zero Dark Plus will fit in most cases with ease meaning it’s a great choice for smaller profile cases.
Adding to its overall appeal is the £42.99 asking price, at the time of writing, which makes this a stunningly affordable cooler and smashes the competition when you take its price to performance into account.
- Thermal performance is great.
- The build quality is decent.
- It’s priced to outperform the competition, and does!
- The mounting kit isn’t as good as other Deepcool coolers use, but still fine.
Making the AK400 Zero Dark Plus a well-deserved winner of our…