Deepcool GAMMAXX 400 Review

Cryonics - 2012-05-20 22:13:34 in CPU Cooling
Category: CPU Cooling
Reviewed by: Cryonics   
Reviewed on: June 14, 2012
Price: $39.99

Introduction:

The original Gammaxx 400 cpu cooler I reviewed was defective. Deepcool has been kind enough to send us a replacement sample. For updated test results and conclusion please read on.

Deepcool has manufactured cooling accessories for laptops, graphics cards and case fans, among others, for the past 15 years. Until now it has concentrated on the Asian market, but is just recently turning its sights on the U.S. Deepcool is ISO compliant, which means it adheres to strict international guidelines in manufacturing, management, and continued improvement. In this review I will be examining the latest Deepcool CPU cooler, the GAMMAXX 400, in its retail packaged form. I will be comparing it to similar coolers for performance and cooling efficiency.

Closer Look:

The GAMMAXX 400 is packaged in a white box with blue accents, with the front containing an angled view of the cooler itself, which seems to be the standard for most of Deepcool's products. Just under the picture on the front is information regarding some of the GAMMAXX 400's features: compatibility with both AMD & Intel processors, four heat pipes, PWM control, blue LEDs, "de-vibration," overclocking support, super silent, and long life bearing. The back of the box contains a photo of the fan and cooler assembly along with the contact surface for the CPU.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The left side of the box has a listing of the Gammaxx 400's specifications including the cooler's dimensions, CPU compatibility, and measurement diagram. The right side of the box contains the cooler's specifications in multiple languages.

 

 

Now it's time to unbox the GAMMAXX 400 for a closer inspection. With the box open we can see the accessories box on top and once removed we can see the fan and cooler tucked inside the package.

 

 

In the first photo you can see that the GAMMAXX 400 comes with all of the necessary mounting hardware and thermal paste for both Intel and AMD applications. Supported sockets include: Intel LGA2011/1366/1156/1155/775 and AMD FM1/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2/940/939/754. The second photo shows the retention clips for mounting the 120mm fan firmly in place. I used the offset holes for a tighter grip on the fan to help prevent vibrations while the fan runs at full speed. A second set is included for a push/pull configuration, which will be required for overclocking the Intel Core i7 39XX series chips.

 

Closer Look:

Deepcool has taken into consideration the height of the chipset coolers on some of today's latest motherboards by making the lower fins on the cooler shorter, which gives us some additional clearance. Looking at the side of the cooler we can see that it is rectangular in shape, measuring two inches in width. The upper fins are clamped together while the lower fins are held in place by simply being pressed onto the heat pipes without clamps along the side. In the next photo, running down both sides of the clamps we can see the grooves where the retention clips snap into place for the cooling fan/fans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking at the top of the cooler we can see the Deepcool logo along with the heat pipes extending from the top fin. In the photo next to it you can see that the 120mm cooling fan overlaps the top of the cooler by a little over a quarter inch. Even after adjusting the retention clips there was just no way to get around giving up some of the airflow from the fan. I am not sure if this is a design flaw or was intended to be this way but for a cooler that is only two inches in width every little bit of airflow over the fins will help increase cooling performance.

 

 

Taking a closer look at the base, it has a smooth finish, which is important when it comes to heat dissipation, but at the same time we still have some visible cracks in the base between the heat pipes and the aluminum. There is no sign that any thermal compound or solder was used, which would indicate the heat pipes are pressed into the base without the use of a thermal epoxy; this could affect performance. Otherwise, the four heat pipes pass through the fins in a U-shape that many other tower coolers utilize.

 

 

The stock 120mm fan that ships with the GAMMAXX 400 is clear in color with a smoked colored tint. It is equipped with blue LED lights, which adds to the overall appearance of the cooler, and is capable of moving 60.29CFM of air. Being a standard form factor fan it could be replaced with a higher CFM fan/fans that would help improve performance. This would increase the overall noise level, however the sacrifice would be one I could live with. The fan is PWM-capable with the operating voltage rated between 10.8 to 13.2VDC with a maximum noise level of 32.1 dBA at 1500rpm. The wiring itself is unsleeved; if the wiring had been sleeved it would have added value to the GAMMAXX 400 both in looks and performance by helping to increase the airflow.

 

 

All that is left to do is attach the mounting brackets for the cooler and we can mount it in our test rig.

 

The retention clips may be an issue on some motherboards if the top PCIe slot is in close proximity to the CPU socket, as was the case with my test setup seen in the first photo. In the right photo you can see the GAMMAXX 400 mounted in the case and hard at work.

 

Specifications:

Overall Dimension
135X76X159mm
Fan Dimension
120X120X25mm
Net Weight
709g
Bearing Type
Hydro Bearing
Rated Voltage
12VDC
Operating Voltage
10.8~13.2VDC
Started Voltage
7VDC
Rated Current
0.25±10%A(MAX)
Power Input
3.0W
Fan Speed
900±150~1500±10%RPM
Max. Air Flow
60.29CFM
Noise
21.4~32.1dB(A)

 

 

Features:

 

 

 

 

All information provided courtesy of DEEPCOOL at http://www.deepcool-us.com/Product/GAMMAXX400/

Testing:

Testing of the GAMMAXX 400 will consist of loading the processor at both stock and overclocked states using Prime95's small FFT feature for one hour. Temperatures will then be measured using realtemp. Load temperatures will be the highest recorded average from realtemp while idle temperatures will be the lowest recorded average from realtemp with no system usage for one hour. The GAMMAXX 400 and the comparison coolers will be run with the supplied fan in a push configuration.

 

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Heatsinks:

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see from the tests results above the Deepcool GAMMAXX 400 and the comparison coolers had some difficulty keeping up with the heat generated by the Core i7 3960X in both the stock and overclocked tests. The Gammaxx 400 held it's ground in the stock test while it dominated the competition in the overclocked portion of testing.

Conclusion

Overall my time testing the GAMMAXX 400 was a pleasure. Starting with the tool free installation and the ease of mounting the cooling fan on to the cooler. Performance wise the GAMMAXX 400 did extremely well considering the test bed used (Intel's Core i7 3960X) both at stock speed and with a 4.4GHz overclock, which would give an off the shelf water cooling setup a run for its money. In my opinion to get the best performance from the GAMMAXX 400 I would suggest using a push/pull configuration.

The cooling fan is extremely well crafted and the noise level (21.4~32.1dB(A) of the fan was very quiet even while running at 100% thanks to the Hydro Bearing. The cooler itself fully assembled weighs only 709g and is light enough to not add any stress to your motherboard. The GAMMAXX 400 would be a good choice for a mainstream system or even as entry-level overclocking cooling solution, i.e. socket 1155 maybe even a socket 2011 although on the i7 3960X I wouldn't push much pass a 4.4, 4.5Ghz overclock unless you are using a push/pull configuration with high flow fans.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: