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top down cooling tested against Scythe, Noctua, and BeQuiet!

by Contributor

Most of my previous cooling reviews have used a traditional desktop case, but with today’s review we’ll be taking a look at top down SFF Cooling Ryzen 7700X with DeepCool’s AN600. I’ve tested it against Scythe, Noctua, and BeQuiet! models of the same class and also a few larger coolers in Silverstone’s SUGO 14 SFF Case.

Pros

  • Similar performance to BeQuiet! and Noctua models
  • Good noise normalized performance

Cons

  • I feel like it would perform better with a slightly thicker heatsink
  • Slim profile top down cooling design

The AN600 has a slim profile which will fit the tightest of cases

The top down cooling design not only cools the CPU, but the downward airflow can help cool your motherboard’s VRMs and DDR4 or DDR5 RAM to an extent.

Most coolers of this class only have 4 copper heatpipes, but DeepCool’s AN600 includes six. Do these added heatpipes help distinguish it from it’s competition? We’ll see shortly in the benchmarks section.

The included fan’s motor bearing is translucent, and provides white illumination. It is only basic lighting, it does not have RGB support and it cannot be disabled.

Packing and Installation

The packaging of the AN600 is fairly simple. It arrives in a small box, protected with molded foam on the sides of the box.

 

The accessories are packaged in the cardboard box seen in the first photo. Opening it reveals mounting for both AMD and Intel platforms, a low noise adapter, thermal paste, and instructions.

AM5 and AM4 users will start installation by removing the default retention tabs. You’ll then screw in standoffs in their place.

Next you’ll place the mounting bars on top of the standoffs, and secure them with the included thumbscrews.

Finally press the heatsink against the mounting bars, and use a screwdriver to secure the heatsink to the mounting bars. You can do this with the fan installed, there’s no need to try and remove it. Depending on the tightness of your case, you may want to connect the PWM connection before this step.

Test Platform Configuration and Testing Methodology

CPU Ryzen 7700X
Motherboard Gigabyte A620I AX
Computer Case Silverstone SUGO 14

There are a lot of choices to choose from for SFF cases, ultimately I settled on Silverstone’s SUGO 14 because I liked the ability to use a 5.25″ bay or a 240mm AIO if desired. I’ve left it in the default configuration – that is, only using the single rear exhaust fan included with the case. I feel like most users of SFF cases won’t be using the hottest CPUs like Intel’s i9-14900K or AMD’s Ryzen 9 7950X, and I’ve opted to use AMD’s Ryzen 7 7700X instead. Outside of the noise normalized results, noise levels are measured while tied to the default fan curve of my motherboard to represent an “out of the box” experience.

Observant readers may notice that the noise graphs start at 35 instead of zero. This is because my sound meter cannot measure sound levels lower than 35 dBA. This makes it the “zero” for testing purposes. For those concerned that this might distort results – there’s no worry. If anything, the graphs above will minimize the differences in noise levels because dBA measurements are logarithmic. For a  detailed explanation of how decibel measurements correspond to perceived noise levels, please check out the video below from BeQuiet! which makes it easy to visualize and understand the true impact of of increasing dBA levels.

Ryzen 7 7700X Cooling and Acoustic Results

Maximum Cooling Power

Most coolers reach TJ Max, the maximum temperature of the Ryzen CPU of 95 degrees Celsius, under a maximum intensity load. Because of this, for a maximum intensity workload we’re measuring the CPU package power rather than the CPU’s temperature.

DeepCool leads the pack of top down coolers here, edging past Scythe’s Big Shuriken 3 Rev B by a single watt.

Maximum Noise Levels

Performance is only one part of the picture, noise levels are equally important. With noise measured at 43.4 dBA, DeepCool’s top down cooler is just a tad bit quieter than Scythe’s competing model. It’s noisier than the BeQuiet and Noctua models of this class, but they also don’t perform as well.

If you’re particular about noise levels, our next results will show you how it performs when it runs quietly.

Noise Normalized Performance

For noise normalized testing, I’ve set the fans to a low 37.3 dBA. This is a very low, but slightly audible noise level, and shouldn’t bother anyone.

DeepCool’s AN600 cooled 97W when noise was set to 37.3 dBA, which is about on par with the other coolers of this class.

95W Results

While maximum performance is important, most of the time you won’t be pushing the CPU to its limits. It’s good to see how a cooler performs in more typical situations. A 95W workload is higher than most users will see in common tasks, and might represent the most CPU intensive of games.

With a CPU temperature of 66C over ambient, DeepCool’s AN600 performs on par with Scythe’s Big Shuriken 3 Rev B and 3C ahead of Noctua’s and BeQuiet’s competing models. Because noise levels are tied to the default fan curve of my motherboard, these top down coolers run as loudly as the maximum noise levels shown earlier.

75W Results

75W is the lowest level of power I test, and it’s similar to what users will consume with this CPU in most games. While I’ve tested and show thermal results, they’re really not a concern because even something akin to Intel’s stock cooler will keep the CPU cool enough in a workload like this.

Noise levels, that’s what matters in low intensity workload like this. Even with a lower power limit, these top down coolers still run a bit warm with Ryzen 7 7700X. As such, they’ll run near their maximum noise levels even here. DeepCool’s AN600 only ran 0.5 dBA quieter with a reduced wattage workload, but as our noise normalized results shown earlier demonstrate you don’t lose much performance by running the fans quietly. To that end, DeepCool does include a low noise adapter if you don’t want to manually set a fan curve.

Conclusion

DeepCool’s AN600 performs well for a cooler of its class, and it’s price is comparable to the competition. It’s a good entry for DeepCool into the small form factor cooling market. I feel like this unit might have performed better if it had a thicker heatsink, but overall I was satisfied with this unit’s performance.


DeepCool’s first entry into the SFF cooling market provides a good, slim, top down cooling solution.

Pros
  • Similar performance to BeQuiet! and Noctua models
  • Good noise normalized performance

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