High-end Air Cooling Face Off – Featuring the Corsair A115

Thermal Performance

Thermal Testing

As always, our CPU cooler testing uses a test system with an overclocked i9-9900K. Our CPU runs at a fixed clock speed of 4.8GHz speed at 1.2V. Using this configuration, we test the thermals of our processor using various CPU cooler under heavy loads under OCCT for 30 minutes. We repeat this testing at various fan RPMs. This allows us to create the chart below.

Below we have highlighted the thermal results of DeepCool’s Assassin IV, Cooler Master’s MasterAir MA824, Corsair’s A115, and be quiet’s Dark Rock Elite.

600 RPM Testing

Our 600 RPM test is designed to separate the good heatsinks from the bad. A lot of heatsinks fail this test, which is why this graph is smaller than the others. If you heatsink doesn’t work with minimal airflow, or has poor performing fans, it will not pass this test. This test is also a useful one for those who want a truly silent PC, as most PC fans are pretty much silent at 600 RPM.

In this test, Corsair’s A115 excels, with the other heatsinks that we have tested falling a few degrees behind it. The DeepCool Assassin IV fares worst in this test, possibly due to the enclosed nature of the cooler. When enclosed, heatsinks benefits less from a case’s natural airflow.

1000 RPM Testing

At 1000 RPM we see be quiet’s Dark Rock Elite push ahead, and Corsair’s A115 fall into second place with the Assassin IV close behind. Cooler Master’s MA824 takes up the rear with notably higher thermals. That said, all four heatsinks deliver solid results.

Max RPM Testing

When using each cooler’s maxed out fan speeds, we can see that DeepCool’s Assassin IV is a clear leader. The three other heatsinks that we tested delivered very similar results. With these results, all four heatsinks can beat multiple AIO CPU liquid coolers, which is no small feat for air coolers. Even so, high-end liquid coolers remain the best option for those who demand the lowest thermals.

Mark Campbell

Mark Campbell

A Northern Irish father, husband, and techie that works to turn tea and coffee into articles when he isn’t painting his extensive minis collection or using things to make other things.

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