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Deepcool Assassin III Review: Slaying the Competition

A thermal Assassin for enthusiast-level CPUs

Deepcool Assassin III
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

We ran the Deepcool Assassin III on our Intel i7-5930K test system, clocked to 4.2Ghz at 1.20v. As usual, motherboard, memory, chassis and chassis fans all remain the same. We’re using  MSI’s X99S XPower AC, 16GB of Crucial Ballistix DDR4-2400 and a Corsair Graphite 760T case. Thermal compound used for testing (as always) is Arctic MX-4. 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Thermal load over ambient shows us the Assassin III going head to head with the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4, an excellent cooler in its own right. The Scythe Ninja 5 is added for comparison, due to its large heatsink size and overall footprint, while the Noctua NH-U12A is slightly smaller but tips the scales on the premium budget side of things as the most expensive cooler in our comparison. 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The Deepcool GamerStorm Assassin III is the only cooler of the group to utilize a pair of 140mm fans in its configuration, while the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 utilizes a 135mm and 120mm fan set (hence the need for an additional fan tach readout). Both the Scythe Ninja 5 and Noctua NH-U12A utilize dual 120mm cooling fans. Larger fan diameters of the 135mm and 140mm parts typically result in lower fan RPM and we see that trend play out in our fan speed chart. 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Lower fan speeds typically result in lower decibel readings, however this is more a generalization than a rule. The pair of 140mm fans on the Assassin III manage to register a slightly higher sound readings than others in the group, although with every test falling under 30dBA, we are approaching sound levels low enough you could almost hear us splitting the hairs here. 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Evaluating thermal performance with a quartet of nearly-silent coolers makes for an interesting acoustic efficiency chart. The excellent performance of both the Deepcool Assassin III and the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 mean that the slightest difference in decibel levels alters the outcome. Although each had great acoustic readings, the Scythe Ninja 5 and Noctua NH-U12A trail a bit further in thermal performance, impacting their graphs. 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Once we take pricing into account, both the Deepcool Assassin III and the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 become far more normalized on our chart. The Scythe Ninja 5 jumps up into the positive values due to having the lowest price here by a measurable margin, while the Noctua NH-U12A having the highest retail price dips a bit more into negative numbers. 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Thermal imaging from our FLIR ONE Pro camera shows some impressive “cold” patterns along the cooling towers on the Assassin III under full CPU utilization, at both 100% and 50% fan speeds. There is some noticeable difference in both photos showing darker (and thus cooler) patterns on the leading tower and minor heat soak progression as airflow moves to the rear of the cooler (right to left). 

The Deep Cool GamerStorm Assassin III is an excellent alternative to the usual, more notable names in the large air cooling marketplace. By countering with its own seven-heatpipe, twin-tower heat-dissipating monster, Deepcool has provided the enthusiast community with another great CPU- cooling option that may especially appeal to those wishing to avoid RGB, or lighting of any kind.

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