Manufacturers of air-coolers for central processors never waste a day: new cooling products launch and begin selling with steady regularity. We regularly examine and test new coolers, but sometimes we come across new cooling solutions, which efficiency can easily be predicted by simply looking at their design. It is extremely difficult to come up with something completely new in the cooling segment these days, but nevertheless a lot of companies would like to maintain their active presence in this very profitable market. So, very often we witness the appearance of the so-called “clone-coolers” that differ from one another only by the design of their packaging, accessories bundles, color, fans or even fan shields. Among the five cooling products tested within our today’s review there three coolers like that, and even though two models out of five tested coolers are really new, we decided to spice things up by performing our tests on two platforms with hot six-core AMD and Intel processors. But before we get to the tests, let’s take a closer look at five of our today’s seven testing participants: Akasa Venom, Deep Cool Ice Blade Pro, Deep Cool Ice Warrior, Deep Cool Killer Whale Premium and ThermoLab bada2010.
Akasa Venom (AK-CCX-4002HPV2)
The first cooler, Akasa Venom (AK-CCX-4002HPV2), is definitely a new product. It is shipped in a medium sized box with a cut-out window on the front of the box, revealing the cooler fan and part of its heatsink:
The back of the box lists the cooler specifications. The cooler itself is sealed inside a clear plastic casing, with the fan being packed separately from the heatsink. Below the plastic blister you can find a small cardboard box with accessories. Among the bundled accessories you will find a backplate and retention plate for contemporary Intel platforms, a swing-clip with a locking tab for AMD platform, a set of thumb-screws with plastic washers, four additional silicone mounts, a pack of SilMORE thermal paste and installation instructions:
Akasa Venom looks very vivid, it is not quite your ordinary CPU cooler. This effect comes from the cooling fan with bright yellow impeller and four silicon mounts of the same exact color, as well as a an image of a cobra snake on the top heatsink plate:
At the same time, the cooler heatsink measuring 120x96x160 mm and weighing 805 g cannot boast anything innovative about it. it consists of four copper heatpipes 8 mm in diameter that form part of the cooler base (heatpipe direct touch technology) and 45 aluminum plates pressed firmly against these heatpipes:
The plates are 0.45 mm thick and are spaced out at 2 mm from one another. The calculated effective heatsink surface area is 8,200 cm2. The heatsink plates are wedge-shaped on the side where the airflow approaches the cooler, which is probably done to reduce the airflow resistance. On airflow exit the heatsink plates are curved inside, which should lower the noise.
The base of our Akasa Venom cooler is pretty typical for the products using heatpipe direct touch concept: the gaps between 8 mm heatpipes is about 2 mm, and their finish quality is fairly good:
At the same time, the contact surface of the base is even, and both CPU imprints turned out OK, even though the first one (AMD Phenom II X6) is smudged because we had to rotate the cooler when dismounting, and the second (Intel Core i7) is uneven because the CPU heat-spreader surface was a little convex:
AMD (Socket AM3)
Akasa Venom is equipped with one 120x120x25 mm AK-FN059 fan:
The key peculiarity of this fan is the unique shape of its blades called S-Flow:
According to Akasa, it ensures a 30% stronger air flow at the same level of noise (although this fan is completely defeated by Thermalright TR-FDB installed onto the same heatsink in the entire rotation speed range). The rotation speed of this fan is controlled automatically using PWM method in the interval from 600 to 1900 RPM generating 6.9-28.9 dBA of noise and creating a maximum airflow of 83.63 CFM. The declared static pressure is 2.98 mmH2O, and the fluid0dynamic bearing inside the fan motor should last at least 50,000 hours.
The fan is attached to the heatsink with four silicone mounts, which go inside the special holes in the top and bottom heatsink plates:
Four additional mounts are included among bundled accessories, in case you decide to use a second fan.
The cooler is compatible with all contemporary platforms and can be installed in a simple and very intuitive manner. We will not go into details about the whole installation process here, especially since there is a detailed step-by-step installation manual on the company web-site. You can only install the cooler one way on the AMD platform and secure it in place using the enclosed swing-slip with a locking tab. The benefit of this installation is the fact that you don’t have to remove the mainboard from the system case at all.
And this is what Akasa Venom looks like on an AMD CPU with one default cooling fan:
… and with two non-default fans:
There was very little room inside our Hyper Osiris system case, that is why our cooler is so close to the case fans in the back. At the same time, when we installed the cooler onto our Intel platform inside the roomy Antec Twelve Hundred case, Akasa Venom seems to feel just fine there:
In conclusion I would like to add that in the latter case the cooler is fastened with screws that provide extremely secure hold. The distance from the lowest heatsink plate to the cooler contact base surface is 39 mm.
Akasa Venom is priced at $44 MSRP and comes with a 1-year warranty.