Gamer Storm Assassin CPU Cooler Review
By Rafael Otto Coelho on April 27, 2012
The Assassin is the first CPU cooler from Gamer Storm, a brand of cooling products from Logisys/Deepcool, aimed at gamers. This huge cooler has two twin tower heatsinks, eight heatpipes, one 120 mm fan and one 140 mm fan. We already reviewed the Dracula VGA cooler from this brand.
The Assassin box is enormous. It comes in black, as seen in Figure 1.
Figure 2 shows the contents of the box: heatsink, fans, a syringe of thermal compound, a manual, a case sticker, and installation hardware. Although the Assassin comes with two fans and supports up to three, it comes with four pairs of wire fan holders.
Figure 3 displays the Gamer Storm Assassin.
This cooler is discussed in detail in the following pages.
Figure 4 illustrates the front of the cooler. Here you can see the eight 6 mm nickel-plated copper heatpipes.
Figure 5 reveals the side of the cooler. There are two identical tower heatsinks, each one with closed sides.
Viewed from the top, the cooler shows the tips of the heatpipes and the shape of the fins.
In Figure 7, you can see the bottom of the cooler, where the shape of the heatpipes is clear.
The very large base of the Assassin is perfectly mirrored, as seen in Figure 8. It is made of nickel-plated copper and soldered to the heatpipes.
Figure 9 shows the fans that come with the Assassin. At the left is the 140 mm fan with PWM control. The 120 mm fan is shown at the right and has a three-pin connector, which means it is not PWM-compatible. Both fans have a rubber-covered frame that reduces vibration.
In Figure 10, you can see the Assassin with the fans in place.
The installation of the Gamer Storm Assassin is easy. Just insert the screws in the appropriate holes of the backplate, as shown in Figure 11. There are rubber pieces that hold the screws in place.
Insert the backplate on the solder side of the motherboard, and then install four spacers and two metal holders on the component side, as shown in Figure 12.
Next, put the cooler in place and secure it by screwing a metal bar on the holders. Afterwards, install the fan between the heatsinks.
We tested the cooler with a Core i5-2500K CPU (quad-core, 3.3 GHz), which is a socket LGA1155 processor with a 95 W TDP (Thermal Design Power). In order to get higher thermal dissipation, we overclocked it to 4.0 GHz (100 MHz base clock and x40 multiplier), with 1.3 V core voltage (Vcore). This CPU was able to reach 4.8 GHz with its default core voltage, but at this setting, the processor enters thermal throttling when using mainstream coolers, reducing the clock and thus the thermal dissipation. This could interfere with the temperature readings, so we chose to maintain a moderate overclocking.
We measured noise and temperature with the CPU under full load. In order to get 100% CPU usage in all cores, we ran Prime 95 25.11 with the “In-place Large FFTs” option. (In this version, the software uses all available threads.)
We compared the tested cooler to other coolers we already tested. Note that the results cannot be compared to measures taken on a different hardware configuration, so we retested some “old” coolers with this new methodology. This means you can find different values in older reviews than the values you will read on the next page. Every cooler was tested with the thermal compound that comes with it.
Room temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer. The core temperature was read with the SpeedFan program (available from the CPU thermal sensors), using an arithmetic average of the core temperature readings.
During the tests, the panels of the computer case were closed. The front and rear case fans were spinning at minimum speed in order to simulate the “normal” cooler use on a well-ventilated case. We assume that is the common setup used by a cooling enthusiast or overclocker.
The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed near the top opening of the case. This measurement is only for comparison purposes, because a precise SPL measurement needs to be made inside an acoustically insulated room with no other noise sources, which is not the case here.
Operating System Configuration
We adopted a 2°C error margin, meaning temperature differences below 2°C are considered irrelevant.
The table below presents the results of our measurements. We repeated the same test on all coolers listed below. Each measurement was taken with the CPU at full load. In the models with a fan supporting PWM, the motherboard controlled the fan speed according to core load and temperature. On coolers with an integrated fan controller, the fan was set at the full speed.
|Cooler||Room Temp.||Noise||Speed||Core Temp.||Temp. Diff.|
|Cooler Master Hyper TX3||18 °C||50 dBA||2850 rpm||69 °C||51 °C|
|Corsair A70||23 °C||51 dBA||2000 rpm||66 °C||43 °C|
|Corsair H100||26 °C||62 dBA||2000 rpm||64 °C||38 °C|
|EVGA Superclock||26 °C||57 dBA||2550 rpm||67 °C||41 °C|
|NZXT HAVIK 140||20 °C||46 dBA||1250 rpm||65 °C||45 °C|
|Thermalright True Spirit 120||26 °C||42 dBA||1500 rpm||82 °C||56 °C|
|Zalman CNPS12X||26 °C||43 dBA||1200 rpm||71 °C||45 °C|
|Zalman CNPS9900 Max||20 °C||51 dBA||1700 rpm||62 °C||42 °C|
|Titan Fenrir Siberia Edition||22 °C||50 dBA||2400 rpm||65 °C||43 °C|
|SilenX EFZ-120HA5||18 °C||44 dBA||1500 rpm||70 °C||52 °C|
|Noctua NH-L12||20 °C||44 dBA||1450 rpm||70 °C||50 °C|
|Zalman CNPS8900 Extreme||21 °C||53 dBA||2550 rpm||71 °C||50 °C|
|Gamer Storm Assassin||15 °C||48 dBA||1450 rpm||58 °C||43 °C|
In the graph below, you can see how many degrees Celsius hotter the CPU core is than the air outside the case. The lower this difference, the better is the performance of the cooler.
In the graph below, you can see how many decibels of noise each cooler makes.
The main specifications for the Gamer Storm Assassin CPU cooler include:
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
By looking at the size, the quality of construction, and the number of heatpipes of the Gamer Storm Assassin, you can see that it is a high-performance cooler. This time, appearances were not deceiving; the Assassin reached about the same level of cooling performance that we saw on the best air coolers we tested to date. It is also relatively quiet for a high-end CPU cooler.
The Assassin is very versatile as well. You can use it with only one fan if you want it to be even quieter, or you can install a third fan (or even change the stock fans with stronger ones) if you need more cooling performance.
Due to its high performance with low noise, versatility, and stunning overall quality, the Gamer Storm Assassin from Logisys/Deepcool receives the Hardware Secrets Golden Award.