Cooler Master, DEEPCOOL, Noctua, and Thermaltake CPU Cooler RoundupWaco - January 20, 2013
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Closer Look (DEEPCOOL Ice Blade Pro V2.0)
Moving on to the second cooler of the day I get to unbox the DEEPCOOL Ice Blade Pro V2.0. Breaking open the box brings forth two boxes of accessories along with the cooling tower packaged snugly in soft foam. The two accessory boxes spit out a 120x25mm fan along with a slew of parts for installation (there's a manual too but I have a phobia of them). Also included is a tube of DEEPCOOL thermal interface material.
The Ice Blade Pro V2.0 tower is a good looking chunk of nickel plated copper heat pipes and base clad in aluminum fins. The top plate neatly covers the tips of the four heat pipes which somewhat reduces efficiency (since the heat pipes don't come in contact with the top few fins) but it does lend a nice clean look to the whole tower assembly. The fins are all identical but they are ribbed to provide additional turbulence and cooling capability. The top plate is embossed with the DEEPCOOL logo which adds a subtle branding to the cooler without being obnoxious or gaudy.
Peeling off the protective sticker reveals the real feature of this heat sink: the direct contact heat pipes. The base has been shaved down so that the heat pipes and the copper base sit flush to your CPU. The gaps between the heat pipes and the base are surprisingly small and the overall base is very flat although it is not polished in any way. The large size of the base plate will likely reduce the effectiveness of this design on smaller processors (like the Sandy Bridge CPU I'll be testing with), but should give some additional cooling power to platforms with larger dies (like Bulldozer or Sandy Bridge-E).
The included 120x25mm fan is curiously unlabeled with the exception of the DEEPCOOL branding on the front side of the fan hub. Digging through the specs reveals that this fan is rated for 1500 RPM operation and lights up in blue via four LEDs embedded in the semi-transparent frame. At maximum speed it should move around 60 CFM which isn't anything out of the ordinary for a fan of this type.
The back plate for the DEEPCOOL Ice Blade Pro V2.0 is clearly well designed. After positioning the four pegs for your socket type there are four rubber isolating covers that not only protect your valuable motherboard but also hold the pegs onto the back plate. I can't count how many times I've dropped the damned pegs behind my board when installing a CPU cooler, so this is a very welcome addition. Flipping the board around allows for the installation of the hold down brackets and spacers which can be installed without tools, but also have Phillips heads for a more secure fit. I installed the hold down for the tower itself without the tower, to show how it actually screws into the mounts without the tower in the way.
Fitting the tower to the motherboard requires a bit of dexterity but nothing out of the ordinary. A long-nose screwdriver will keep you from banging into the heat sink fins but nearly all tower heat sinks have this same issue. The brackets and tower come nowhere near the RAM slots so tall modules should be no real issue. The included fan clips are an odd design but easily clip into place and allow for the fan to be moved up and down on the tower as needed to clear especially tall RAM modules (I had no problems installing the fan at normal height).
All installed the Ice Blade Pro V2.0 really looks like it means business! There are extra clips included to install a second fan should you need more cooling power though they will only work with 120x25mm fans. Firing up the OCC test bed nearly blinded me – the blue LEDs on this fan are bright! If you're a fan of blue lighting you'll like the way this heat sink looks.