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Deepcool Ice Matrix 400 Review

airman    -   December 22, 2010
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Closer Look:

The Deepcool Ice Matrix 400 is a relatively small heatsink considering its thinness and unobtrusive footprint. Though it stands at about the same height as most other tower coolers, it is less than two inches thick. While the small footprint is convenient, it can also deteriorate the performance of the cooler under heavy loads. However, I'm not going to judge this "book" by its cover, so we'll wait and see how it performs! As the name implies, there are four heatpipes that loop through the base and into opposite sides of the densely packed fins. The fins are aluminum, and the base as well as the heatpipes are nickel plated copper. The nickel plating on the copper helps prevent corrosion and oxidation, while it will slightly decrease surface to air cooling since nickel has a lower conductivity constant than copper. On top of the base and underneath the fins is a smaller array of fins. These fins can passively (actively with enough airflow) help remove a few watts of heat from the base that don't travel into the heatpipes right away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The top of the Ice Matrix 400 is relatively plain and has the Deepcool logo stamped into the top fin. The four heatpipes protrude through the top fin by about a quarter of an inch. The two slits on each slim side of the cooler are for the clips that hold the fans into place. On the bottom of the Ice Matrix 400 is a plastic film that covers the base in order to protect its finish. After I removed this film, I discovered the finish on the base didn't really seem worth protecting. The machining marks are evident and it doesn't look polished at all. I wouldn't have as much of a problem with the poor quality since it is a lower-end heatsink, but Deepcool's Website says that the base is mirror polished. The base of the Ice Matrix 400 is clearly nowhere near that. The heatpipes themselves do look like they will make good contact with the interior of the base as well as the fins that are pressed onto them. Large contact areas with high pressure interfaces help conduction rates, and it looks like Deepcool accomplished that here.

 

 

 

The heatpipes are pressed into the fins under high pressure which secure the fins into place and leave little chance of them coming loose. Each short side of the fins have a small section that is folded down and locks into the fin beneath it. This helps with rigidity and assists in preventing the sides of the fins from bending down if the Ice Matrix 400 isn't handled carefully. The long sides of the fins have alternating notches cut into each side, which changes every 4 or 5 fins that add contrast to the overall look of the cooler. The majority of the middle fins are actually two separate pieces and are not connected in the middle. This break can be seen in the pictures below.

 

 

The fans supplied by Deepcool have been my favorite since I was first introduced to them. They have a rubberized coating that adds a cool, velvet like finish and feels nice to the touch. The rubber coating also assists in helping to damp vibrations caused by the fan that may propagate through the heatsink and into the case. This neglects the need to stick rubber strips between the fan and the heatsink, making assembly more simple. The fan is specified to run on 12v and pulls a maximum of 0.15A. It moves up to 66CFM at 1500RPM and noise levels between 17 and 27dBA. It uses a 4-pin PWM connector and can be plugged into a 4-pin Molex using the supplied adapter.

 

 

Installation of the Ice Matrix 400 is no different than that of the Gamer Storm. For the 1366 platform, there is no back-plate. Instead, there are four plastic nuts that are attached to the back side of the motherboard through the mounting holes with double sided tape. I wish that Deepcool had supplied a back plate for 1366 or developed a way to use a combo back-plate, because the plastic stick-on nuts become less usable after they have been removed, and they typically leave some adhesive on the motherboard. Nevertheless, these nuts are stuck to the back of the motherboard, and a standoff is screwed into each one. The appropriate base mount is placed onto the Ice Matrix 400 and secured into place with the two thumb screws. Depending on the socket, there are different holes used in securing the base mount to the heatsink, and different positions for the sprung screws. The thermal paste is applied and the heatsink is secured to the motherboard with a Phillips head screwdriver.

 

 

 

After getting the Ice Matrix 400 installed, it's now time to make one last in-depth look at its specifications, and then get the test rig fired up to see how it performs!




  1. Introduction & Closer Look:
  2. Closer Look (Continued)
  3. Specifications & Features
  4. Testing & Setup
  5. Conclusion
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