When a new product enters the market, and the maker claims it will compete with the class leading, best in the market, then there is only one thing that can settle it……FIGHT!
The new product is the GamerStorm Assassin 3 from Deepcool, a dual tower/dual 140mm fan driven CPU air cooler. Therefore, the king of the hill in this market is none other than the Noctua NH-D15, and in this review I pitch them head to head to see who takes the crown.
Deepcool GamerStorm Assassin 3 Specifications & Features
|Product Dimensions||161×140×165 mm|
|Heatsink Dimensions||135×138×165 mm|
|Fan Dimension||140×140×25 mm|
|Net Weight||1464 g|
|Heatpipe||Ø6 mm×7 pcs|
|Fan Speed||400~1400 RPM|
|Fan Airflow||90.37 CFM|
|Fan Air Pressure||1.79 mmAq|
|Fan Noise||≤34.2 dB(A)|
|Fan Speed (with LSP)||450~1000 RPM|
|Fan Airflow (with LSP)||64.33 CFM|
|Fan Air Pressure (with LSP)||0.81 mmAq|
|Fan Noise (with LSP)||≤26.8 dB(A)|
|Fan Connector||4-pin PWM|
|Bearing Type||Fluid Dynamic Bearing|
|Fan Rated Voltage||12 VDC|
|Fan Rated Current||0.21 A|
|Fan Power Consumption||2.52 W|
Deepcool GamerStorm Assassin 3 Closer Look
The general appearance of the all new Assassin 3 bears a striking resemblance to the NH-D15, sporting two huge fine stack heat sinks, that sandwich the second fan.
With over 40 individual fins within the heatsink, the density of the stack is pretty impressive, which maximises the amount of surface available to disperse the heat. Speaking of heat dispersal, 7 pipes carry that heat away from the CPU, and up into the heatsink.
Flipping the cooler over we find a nickel plated polished cold plate, which sits atop a copper base. Deepcool claim that this base is slightly convex in order to cling to the CPU better, but it’s hard to notice that with the naked eye.
The included dual TF140S fans feature an interesting two layer fan blade design, sat inside a very narrow frame. These PWM fans have a variable speed range of 400 to 1400 RPM.
Finally I’ve always been a big fan of how Noctua package their products, especially the accessories pack. Whilst not of the same sort of finish, Deepcool have done a really good job here. All the usual mounting fixtures are present, along with a tube of thermal paste, and low noise adapters for the fans which are all wrapped up in a cardboard box with minimal plastic.
As an added bonus, a nice quality magnetic GamerStorm branded screwdriver completes the accessories…nice touch.
Deepcool GamerStorm Assassin 3: Thermal Performance
Since our previous cooling reviews prior to November 2016, we have decided to update the method accordingly for better and 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 very stressful multi-threaded performance benchmark called ROG RealBench.
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 6700k – (4.2GHz at 1.25v & 4.5GHz at 1.38v)
- Motherboard – Asus ROG Maximus VIII Hero Alpha
- GPU – MSI GTX 1080 Armor 8G OC
- RAM – Crucial Ballistix Elite 16GB DDR4 3000MHz
- PSU – BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 11 1000w
- SSD – Crucial MX300 525GB SSD
- Monitor – MSI Optix MPG27CQ
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-H1 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 on Windows 10 being allowed to run for 5 minutes. After this, the minimum temperature with the core temperature being offset against the room temperature; thus achieving delta.
Load Testing Methodology
To load test, we run RealBench while selecting the heavy multitasking benchmark only. We run this a maximum of 3 times concurrently and the maximum temperature recorded is taken. This temperature is deducted from the current room temperature and our final delta temperature is provided.
EDITORS NOTE: Whilst our thermal testing process in this review remains the same as with all our other cooler reviews, we are mixing it up a little given that this is a direct head to head contest. As well as running our test suite on the test bench, I will also be installing the same system inside a case, to see if there are any variations in the results.
Inside Case (GamerStorm Macube 550)
Deepcool GamerStorm Assassin 3 Review: The Verdict
Let’s pick over the results shown above before I give my overall impression on the Deepcool GamerStorm Assassin 3. Whether on the test bench or inside the case, the results couldn’t have been closer… and in many cases the performance was identical! When there was a difference, it was just 1 degree or less through every test.
The most definitive variation was when we overclocked our i7 6700k inside the case. The NH-D15 peaked at 69 degrees Celsius, where the Assassin 3 could only manage 70 degrees. Due to a slight increase in ambient room temperature however, the gap was only 7 tenths of a degree.
As a whole package, I’m hugely impressed with the Assassin 3. Quality is super high in fit & finish of the product and pushes the NH-D15 all the way in this regard too. Affixing the cooler to the motherboard is super easy and shouldn’t provide even the most inexperienced of PC builders with any issues.
With its black & chrome aesthetic and sheer size when installed, it certainly makes a statement and would give any build a real sense that this is a system with high performance at its core.
The recommended retail price at launch is £79.99 here in the UK, which pitches it exactly the same as the Noctua NH-D15. At the time of writing however, Deepcool are offering a £10 off voucher on their official Amazon listing.
- Superb thermal performance
- Unobtrusive looks will appeal to anyone who really doesn’t like “Noctua brown & beige”
- Excellent build quality, with really good environmentally friendly packaging & accessories
- No fuss installation procedure
- It’s huge…but then nobody building a small form factor rig would be looking at something like this anyway!
When Deepcool suggested that the Assassin 3 would trade blows with the NH-D15 I had my doubts… but that’s exactly what it did. It missed out by a whisker in actually outperforming the class leading Noctua in our tests when overclocked, but the results couldn’t have been closer. In fact I wouldn’t be at all surprised if out of 10 different tests, from 10 different reviewers, that they would take 5 wins each, it’s that close.
Therefore, I have absolutely no hesitation in awarding the Deepcool GamerStorm Assassin 3 our gold award.
Thanks to Deepcool for sending a sample of the Assassin 3 in for review.
Where to buy: Amazon UK – Currently £69.99 with £10 off voucher
*Using this referral link before making your purchase will directly support Play3r.