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DeepCool LS520 Review: Compact Size, Big Bite

Top-tier cooling that doesn’t break the bank

DeepCool LS520
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Tom's Hardware Verdict

DeepCool’s LS520 is the strongest 240mm AIO cooler I’ve tested. It’s capable of cooling Alder Lake in most situations with no power limits enforced, and it’s also nicely priced.

Pros

  • +

    Strongest 240mm AIO I have tested

  • +

    Capable of cooling 230W+ with Alder Lake

  • +

    Unique fan connection system

  • +

    User Customizable Face Plate

Cons

  • -

    No software for lighting & fan controls

DeepCool was founded in Beijing in 1996 and has earned a solid reputation in the CPU Cooler space with options like the Assassin III and AK620, considered to be some of the best air coolers on the market. The company’s lineup includes both air and AIO coolers as well as computer cases, keyboards, power supplies, and other accessories.  

We have DeepCool’s new LS520, a 240mm AIO liquid cooler which retails for $109 USD, on our test bench. While most AIOs on the market are based on Asetek designs, DeepCool is one of the few companies which make their own, in-house, pump designs. The LS520 features a redesigned pump system, but is that enough to tame Intel’s 12900K and earn a spot on our best AIO coolers list? We’ll have to put it through testing to find out. But first here are the specifications from DeepCool. 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Specifications for the DeepCool LS520

CoolerDeepCool LS520
MSRP$109 USD
Radiator Dimensions282 x 120 x 27mm
Net Weight1305g
Socket CompatibilityIntel Socket LGA 115X / 1200 / 1700 / 2011 / 2066
 AMD AM4 / AM5 / sTRX4 / sTR4
Rated Noise LevelUp to 32.9 dBA
CPU BlockCopper

Packing and Included Contents

DeepCool’s LS520 ships in a medium-sized box, packed with molded cardboard and soft p;lastic coverings of the individual parts for protection. 

Included with the package are the following:

  • CPU Block + Radiator
  • 2x FC120 120mm fans
  • Mounts for all modern CPU sockets, including LGA1700, TR4, and AM4/AM5 motherboards
  • Customizeable blank plate for CPU Block
  • User Manual & Support Pamphlets
  • Coolant Line Clips

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Cooler Installation

Installing the DeepCool’s LS520 was fairly easy. To begin, you’ll first want to secure the radiator to your case. Afterwards, press the backplate against the motherboard and mount the stand-offs. You won’t need to worry about thermal paste, as it is pre-applied to the CPU block. Press the CPU block against the standoffs, and then use the included thumb screws to secure it. 

New Testing Configuration

CoolerDeepCool LS520, 240mm AIO
Comparison Coolers TestedBeQuiet Pure Loop 2 FX, 360mm AIO
 Cooler Master Master Liquid PL360 Flux 360mm AIO 
 Cougar Forza 85 Air Cooler
 Cougar Poseidon GT 360, 360m AIO
CPUIntel i9-12900K
MotherboardMSI z690 A-Pro DDR4
CaseBeQuiet! Silent Base 802 Window
PSUDeepCool PQ1000M

What's different than other coolers?

Latest in-house pump design from DeepCool 

The vast majority of Liquid Coolers on the market today are based around Asetek designs, with pumps integrated into the CPU block. But the LS520 incorporates the latest generation in-house design from DeepCool.

(Image credit: DeepCool)

User Customizable Plate

Included with the LS520 is a blank CPU block plate, which lets you create your own design for the RGB-lit CPU block. Given that most companies just slap their logo here and give you no other options, this is a nice touch. 

(Image credit: DeepCool)

Custom DeepCool FC120 fans

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The LS520 includesDeepCool’s FC120 fans, sporting a unique fan connection system which allows for easy daisy-chaining of both fan & lighting controls in a single cable. The FC120 fans are a stronger SKU than the retail models and feature upgraded airflow and static pressure as a result of higher maximum fan speeds.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

ModelFC120
Dimensions120 x 120 x 25 mm
Fan Speed500-2250 RPM±10%
Air Flow82.48 CFM ± 10%
Air Pressure3.27 mmAq
Noise LevelUp to 32.9 dB(A)
LightingARGB

Testing Configuration

CoolerDeepCool LS520
MSRP$109 USD
Comparison Coolers TestedBeQuiet Pure Loop 2 FX
 Cooler Master Master Liquid PL360 Flux
 Cougar Poseidon GT 360
CPUIntel i9-12900K
MotherboardMSI z690 A-Pro DDR4
CaseBeQuiet! Silent Base 802 Window
PSUDeepCool PQ1000M

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

I'll be testing DeepCool’s LS520 with Intel's i9-12900K. Due to the increased thermal density of the Intel 7 manufacturing process, as well as changes to core and component layouts, Alder Lake CPUs are more difficult to cool than previous generation CPUs in the most heat-intensive of workloads. 

This means that coolers that kept previous generation products like the i9-10900K nice and cool sometimes struggle to keep Intel's i9-12900K under Tj max–the top temperature before the CPU starts to throttle. Many coolers, including DeepCool’s last generation CASTLE EX AIOs, failed to keep the i9-12900K under TJ max when power limits are removed in workloads like Cinebench and OCCT when I’ve tested them.

Please note there are many factors other than the CPU cooler that can influence your cooling performance. A system's motherboard can especially influence this, as there are boards on the market with CPU sockets that aren't up to Intel's spec, which can cause warping or poor contact with the CPU. The case you use will also influence cooling results.

With Alder Lake's cooling demands in mind, I'll be rating CPU Coolers in 3 different tiers.

Tier 1: These coolers are able to keep the i9-12900K below TJ max in most loads, with no power limits enforced. I expect only the best liquid coolers to meet this standard. 

Tier 2: These coolers are able to keep the i9-12900K under the TJ max threshold with CPU power limits of 200W enforced. I expect most liquid coolers and the best air coolers to meet this standard. 

Tier 3: These coolers are able to keep the i9-12900K under TJ max with CPU power limits of 140W enforced.

Testing Methodology

To test the limits of a cooler's thermal dissipation capabilities, I run two primary stress tests: Cinebench and OCCT each for 10 minutes. While this may be a short amount of time, it is sufficient to push most coolers–air and liquid–to their limits. 

While stress testing in Cinebench, I run both with power limits removed and with an enforced 200W CPU power limit. In this test setup using MSI’s z690 A Pro DDR4 Motherboard and Be Quiet’s Silent Base 802 Computer Case. Only the best coolers are able to pass Cinebench testing when power limits are removed. 

I don’t test OCCT without power limits because attempting to do so results in CPU package power consumption jumping to over 270W and instantly throttling with even the best AIO coolers. Instead, I test at 200W to give coolers a chance at passing. I also include 140W results to give data closer to a lower-end CPU, such as AMD’s Ryzen 5600X or Intel’s i5-12400.

Albert Thomas
Freelancer, CPU Cooling Reviewer

Albert Thomas is a contributor for Tom’s Hardware, primarily covering CPU cooling reviews.

  • Math Geek
    looks interesting. been kind of thinking about a 240mm aio.

    this looks pretty good for the size :)
    Reply
  • threeleggedmessiah
    How would you compare it to an NZXT Kraken X53?
    Reply