Dual-tower models in particular offer maximum cooling performance in the air cooler area – but often at the expense of compatibility. With the AS500 Plus, DeepCool offers a single-tower model that is said to offer high performance with good RAM compatibility. But the AS500 Plus in particular is a good example of how, when it comes to compatibility, it’s not just the main memory that can be problematic.
DeepCool’s cooler flagship Assassin III is a typical high-end air cooler: A massive twin-tower construction with two fans. Such a cooler takes up a lot of space, its heavy weight can also place a certain load on the CPU socket and sometimes makes it difficult to change other components, e.g. the graphics card and the main memory. As a slimmer performance alternative, DeepCool offers the AS500 Plus. This cooler is also equipped with two 140 mm fans, but is much slimmer thanks to its single-tower design. Compared to the Assassin III, he should at least gain optically. Then while the flagship cooler has to do without lighting, the AS500 Plus gets A-RGB lighting. This can either be controlled via a suitable mainboard or via a supplied controller.
The fact that Deepcool positions the AS500 Plus just below the Assassin III also makes the pricing clear. The dual-tower cooler is offered for around 80$ – and the AS500 Plus is said to cost an ambitious 70$. With the regular AS500 there is a sibling model with a simple fan assembly. That’s around 10$ cheaper.
In an accessory box, DeepCool includes mounting material, instructions, a dosing syringe with heat-conducting paste and some connection cables or adapters. Among them are a Y-adapter for the two PWM fans, an A-RGB cable for different mainboard manufacturers and an A-RGB controller with S-ATA power connection.
The actual cooler is delivered with pre-assembled fans. Although the AS500 Plus is a single tower cooler, it looks quite bulky. This is not least due to the push-pull configuration with two 140 mm fans. DeepCool specifies dimensions of 142 × 102 × 164 mm (L x W x H) for the cooler and fan. Above all, the height should be considered, because not every PC case can offer enough space for it.
The side perspective makes it clear that the actual heat sink was actually designed to be rather narrow. The two 140mm fans are held in place by fan clips.
Five 6 mm heatpipes run side by side through the nickel-plated copper cooler base. While three heatpipes are bent strongly in the direction of the cooling fin, DeepCool has bent the other two heatpipes much more weakly. This allows the heat pipes to be routed into the cooling fins in a staggered manner. The assembly bridge is already on the cooler when it is delivered.
On one side of the cooler, the A-RGB cable is routed downwards from the cooler lid under the blowing-mounted fan. The two 140 mm TF140S PWM fans are PWM-controlled in a speed range of 500 to 1,200 rpm.
On Intel’s mainstream sockets, the backplate is secured with mounting bolts. On these, in turn, the mounting bars are to be fastened with knurled nuts. The cooler is placed on it and fixed to the mounting bars with the two spring-loaded screws. The two fans have to be removed for this.
With the AS500 Plus, DeepCool promises a powerful air cooler – with good RAM compatibility. This promise is also kept. However, compatibility with the AS500 Plus is a big issue. Because we could not test the AS500 Plus on our regular cooler test platform. Two heat pipes that are routed far to the outside collide with a voltage converter cooler above the CPU socket. As a result, the cooler only sits on the CPU with a narrow edge and has no chance of cooling it meaningfully.
Out of necessity, we used our case test system and let the AS500 Plus compete against Thermalright True Spirit 120 Direct and Noctua NH-D15 chromax.black. Thermalright’s single tower cooler with a single 120mm fan is beaten very clearly. And the AS500 Plus can almost catch up with the massive Noctua dual-tower cooler. Its cooling performance is impressive, especially for the single-tower design. However, one should not be mistaken: the AS500 Plus is slim, but quite high at 16.4 cm. The housing compatibility should therefore also be clarified in advance. Visually, the DeepCool cooler is unobtrusive at first glance. The integrated A-RGB lighting under the matte plastic cover is not noticeable before use. Not much of it can be seen even after commissioning. The LED light simply shimmers all around the edge of the cover.
The cooler can also hold back acoustically. At minimum speed, the two 140 mm fans are whisper quiet. Finally, the DeepCool model collects plus points with the comprehensible and reliable assembly.
For a single tower cooler, the AS500 Plus is relatively expensive. In principle, you can already buy a convincing AiO cooling for 70$ – for example an Arctic Liquid Freezer II 240. However, high-quality premium air coolers can also be even more expensive. Noctua’s NH-U12A even costs just under 100$, but as a smaller single-tower cooler with two 120 mm fans it is less problematic in terms of compatibility.
The DeepCool AS500 Plus is actually a pleasingly powerful single-tower air cooler that can also meet certain premium requirements. However, the picture is clouded somewhat by the compatibility problems on the test platform.