At the end of this year I have prepared a review of the DeepCool AK400 Zero Dark Plus cooler. This is an interesting mid-range cooler with a modern design. The Zero Dark and Plus attributes refer to the black edition of the cooler and the second fan in the package respectively. I’m also quite interested to see how the AK400 Zero Dark Plus will fare against the Fera 5 and Fortis 5 coolers from Endorfy, with which it competes both in price and advertised TDP.
Key features of the cooler
At first glance, the DeepCool AK400 Zero Dark Plus (hereafter AK400 ZDP) will catch your eye with its interesting combination of simple design and modern details. The Zero Dark variant of the cooler features a matte black finish on the heatsink and heatpipes, which gives the cooler a fairly unassuming look. You will look in vain for any backlighting here, as the cooler is not equipped with a single LED. Despite its fairly compact size, the AK400 ZDP boasts a maximum TDP of 220 W, which is slightly above my usual test limits. So it will be important to see how this paper specification holds up under the real load of an overclocked processor with a thermal output of over 200 W.
The AK400 ZDP is designed as a symmetrical single tower cooler with two fans on each side of the aluminium fin bundle. The Plus attribute in the name refers to the second fan, as the basic version of the AK400 is equipped with only one fan. The fin bundle is intersected by four six-millimeter copper heatpipes. The middle pair of heatpipes also pass through the base with no gap between them, which should provide better heat dissipation from the center of the CPU heat spreader. Similar to the AK620, you’ll find a futuristic looking perforated cover on top of the cooler, complete with a subtle manufacturer logo. I rate the workmanship of this cooler as very good overall, there is nothing major to fault here.
On the base of the cooler you will find thermal paste applied from the factory in the pattern of a square matrix. So you don’t have to worry about the optimal application, the manufacturer has already solved this for you, which some users will surely be happy about. Unfortunately, however, you won’t find any additional tube of thermal paste in the package, so if you would like to fit the cooler in a different setup, you will have to buy new paste. Personally, I don’t really understand this approach of manufacturers and I constantly criticize it, but most users probably won’t mind it. After all, coolers are not hardware that changes too often, so this is only a minor shortcoming.
The cooler’s accessories are as minimalistic as its design. These include a universal mounting system for installing the cooler on current processor sockets including LGA 1700 and AM5 (excluding Threadripper processors). You will also find a fan splitter and clear installation instructions.
The installation of the cooler is very straightforward and simple and can be done by anyone. The AK400 ZDP uses a universal frame for both Intel and AMD processors. Simply select the appropriate set of screws and use the supplied robust metal backplate for Intel processors. Just be careful to choose the right posts for Intel processors, the posts for the LGA 1700 socket have a slightly different height from the posts for the LGA 115x/1200 socket. The screws for mounting the cooler on the mounting frame are equipped with springs for optimal pressure and overall the whole installation of the cooler is a matter of a moment. The design of the cooler is symmetrical, so you don’t have to think about the orientation of the cooler when installing it, just keep an eye on the correct airflow from the fans according to the small arrows on their sides.
Cooler and fan parameters
The AK400 ZDP has fairly standard dimensions and with a height of 155 millimetres it will be compatible with the vast majority of conventional cases on the market. The depth and width of the cooler are almost identical, so from the top the AK400 ZDP has an almost square profile. Physical compatibility with the DIMM slots on the motherboard poses no problem, the cooler only slightly overhangs the custom mounting system so you can use any size of RAM modules.
The fan used is slightly different from the one used in the AK620. The fan used here has slightly lower maximum speed, airflow and static pressure values, but these are still very solid numbers. In addition, it is also expected to be a bit quieter than the fan on the AK620.
- Key features
- Measurement methodology
- Results – 36 dBA
- Results – 39 dBA
- Results – 42 dBA
- Results – maximum speed
- Conclusion and evaluation