Test Results And Final Thoughts
The Assassin II comes within two degrees of the standard-bearer NH-D15 at full throttle, both in CPU and PWM temperature. Temperatures at the lower fan setting are a little worse, but that’s because the Assassin II was manually set to 50% while the NH-D15 uses Noctua’s greater-than-50% resistor wire.
A look at the fan RPMs shows that Noctua’s speed reduction is closer to 25%. We used those resistor wires while trusting that Noctua knew the “optimal RPM” for efficiency. Meanwhile, coolers that lack this feature suffer from the “non-optimized” 50% setting. Or do they?
While the Deepcool Assassin II starts out a little noisier than the NH-D15, it ends up much quieter at low speed because 50% is such a low setting. Perhaps a retest of the NH-D15 at 50% is also in-order?
Slightly warmer and slightly noisier at full speed, the Assassin II ends up around 5% behind the NH-D15 in cooling-to-noise ratio. We’re now treating the 50% test as a bonus measurement.
Price is closer to the point, as the Assassin II provides a few percent less full-throttle performance compared to the NH-D15 but costs over 10% less. That means it’s a 5% better value. As for the value at low fan speed, this measurement really points out the benefits of motherboard-based fan control.
Barely underperforming our top “big air” CPU cooler, Deepcool’s Gamer Storm Assassin II comes at a low-enough price to make it a far better value. That’s not to say it’s cheap, only that it’s cheaper than best cooler we’ve tested.
Some users will think it looks better too, and the extra 0.6” of space savings in both front-to-back and side-to-side dimensions will certainly help it fit more motherboard/case combinations. Yet better value alone is enough to earn it some kind of value award.
Unfortunately, my previous experience of mounting 3-pound coolers on 4-layer motherboards forces me to narrow my recommendation for this 50-ounce unit to stationary systems with six-layer boards. That’s still a broad enough field to cover most LGA 2011 and LGA 2011-v3 models, but it's far less than the range of products the Assassin II actually fits. If in doubt, I recommend asking a few users in our community forums.