Hey Hey good peeps of Overclock! I am bluedevil and today we have an epic Battle of the TOWERS
! Who are the contenders you ask? Well it’s gonna be 4 way battle between Deepcool’s Gammaxx GT, Cooler Master’s MA620P, BeQuiet!’s Dark Rock 4, and Noctua’s NH-U12A.
Each opponent will be battling each other in aesthetics, installation, compatibility, thermals and lastly noise. Ratings will be done in the typical Overclock fashion, 1 to 5 flames for each battle, then averaging out for the final. So you may ask why these air coolers? Well, it really came down to what I had on hand to test. Sure I would have loved to include a variation of the ever so popular Hyper 212, or the NH-U15. However these air coolers are from three different price points, $25 - $50 dollars, $50 - $100, and over $100 dollars. The Gammaxx GT and the MA620P both have RGB, whilst the other two do not. The Dark Rock 4 has a single 135mm fan, while the others have either 1 or two 120mm fans. Cooler Master’s MA620P is also the only one with a twin tower design, so we shall see if that helps any. So let’s start this battle, shall we?
Aesthetics, this one could be a little subjective depending on your own stance on RGB, however I believe RGB can still be tastefully done. The Gammaxx GT, while being a the simplest design of the four, offers two elements of RGB, the top of the tower and the fan itself. I didn’t mind this implementation. The tower itself was not as polished as Noctua’s NH-U12A, but hey it’s $35 cooler. The fins of the cooler are an unfinished aluminum with four copper heatpipes with direct contact with the CPU IHS.
The Cooler Master MasterAir MA62P, steps things up in the looks department with two RGB fans and some matte black top plates with the Cooler Master logo on both sides. The fin stack is again unfinished just like the Gammaxx GT was. Cooler Master also has opted to use a direct copper heatpipe design, however 6 heatpipes are used between the two towers.To increase surface cooling area, Cooler Master also has placed an aluminum heatsink right on top of the mounting plate.
BeQuiet's Dark Rock 4, like I mentioned in the start, is like something straight out of The Dark Knight movie. Sleek, stealthy, and most notably quiet. The special black coating with ceramic particles covers the wave contoured fins beautifully. Add the diamond cut aluminum top plate, the 135mm Silent Wings fan, and 6 copper heat pipes, and even Batman wouldn’t be able to resist.
Last and certainly not least, is Noctua’s NH-U12A. Yeah I know, the poop brown coloring of the two 120mm NF-A12x25 fans are yes, ugly. The tower however, has the fit and finish you would expect from a high end CPU cooler. Sporting 7 nickel plated heatpipes and a polished fin array, the NH-U12A comes together nicely, but only if those fans might be the only eyesore, but you could swap them out for the company’s Redux line of fans, which would match the NH-U12A nicely.
Alright next up is installation. This is where things got interesting.The DeepCool Gammaxx GT was actually pretty straightforward to install. Once the mounting brackets are installed, thermal paste your CPU, then screw down the 4 retention screws. The fan just clips on with 2 metal clips, with an option to add a 2nd fan later. Moving over to the Cooler Master MA620P and it’s a different story. While similar in mounting to the Gammaxx GT, the MA620P has retention nuts instead of screws. I guess this decision was made because the twin tower design blocks the mounting points for a normal screwdriver. The MA620P, by far is the hardest to install, especially when higher than normal motherboard heatsinks are present.
Moving over to the Cooler Master MasterAir MA620P is a different story. While similar in mounting to the Gammaxx GT, the MA620P has retention nuts instead of screws. I guess this decision was made because the twin tower design blocks the mounting points for a normal screwdriver. The MA620P, by far, was the hardest to install, especially when higher than normal motherboard VRM heatsinks are present. Honestly who thought this was a good idea? While frustrating, I did manage to get the MA620P mounted pretty securely.
The Dark Rock 4 was actually one of the simplest coolers to install. Backplate, two brackets, and a crossbeam bracket. Done. BeQuiet! even includes a magnetic tipped screwdriver, which is a nice touch. However, I did come across some wobble, which tells me that the Dark Rock 4 could have been tightened down a bit more. Trying a couple of remounts led to the same conclusion.
Noctua’s NH12U was by far the easiest and best to install of all the coolers tested. Again backplate, two brackets, screw down. Fitment was tight and secure. 1st rate cooler, the attention to detail was very noticeable, making installation a breeze.
When it comes to compatibility of CPU coolers, there really only are a couple of things that could be an issue. Memory clearance, PCIe X16 slot clearance, side panel clearance, and socket support are the most common issues associated with air coolers. So which one fares the best? Since none of these CPU tower coolers support TR4, it’s a level battlefield.
Starting with the Gammaxx GT, this CPU cooler doesn’t suffer from any clearance issues, this Hyper 212 look alike seems to have the best compatibility, most notably with memory clearance for higher RGB DIMMS.
Moving to the MA620P, things are in double trouble. Due to the nature of a dual tower design, as well as having two 120mm fans, memory DIMM clearance is an issue if you are planning on populating all four slots on mainstream Intel or AMD platforms. The height of the MA620P is also a bit limiting as well being at 165mm, making it possible to bump into some side panels.
The Dark Rock 4 being a single tower design isn’t as chubby as MA620P, but it still suffers from memory clearance issues on DIMM slot 1. To avoid this, you have to adjust the 135mm fan up past the top of the tower, raising the height, making it possible to have side panel fitment issues.
Now the NH-U12A didn’t suffer from any of the shortcomings previously noted. It sat neatly with both 120mm fans without any sort of clearance issues. Perfect.
Thermals. Personally, I think the Dark Rock 4 and the NH-U12A will do the best here, since they are a more premium air cooler, but I could be wrong. The Gammax GT while being the simplest design, actually surprised me. TDP is rated at 150 watts for Intel, but 140 watts for AMD. Having only a single 120mm fan, sporting only 4 direct contact heatpipes, achieved an idle package temp of 42C at 500 RPM. Loaded up the fan ramped up to around 1500 RPM, resulting with a package temp of 71C. Not too shabby for a $35 cooler.
Gammaxx GT Idle @ 500 RPM @ 37 dBA @ 42C
Gammaxx GT Load Fan @ 1500 RPM @ 43 dBA @ 72C
Next up is Cooler Master’s MA620P twin tower, twin 120mm fan CPU cooler. Also sporting the direct heatpipe contact design, the MA620P ups the heatpipe count to 6 as well as adding an additional heatsink on top of the mounting plate for additional cooling. Thermally, the MA620P is a bit underwhelming, considering its size. At idle the MA620P mustered up only 40C at 300 RPM. At load, with the two 120mm Masterfans running at 1800 RPM, the CPU package temp was about 69C, not as cool as I expected from a twin tower cooler.
Cooler Master MA620P Idle @ 650 RPM @ 38 dBa @ 37C
Cooler Master MA620P Load Fans @ 1800 RPM @ 46 dBa @ 69C
Thirdly is the BeQuiet! Dark Rock 4, which rates it’s cooler with a TDP rating of 200 watts. As I suspected this guy will be a good performer, and a good performer it is. Idling at a mere 500 RPM, the 135mm SilentWings PWM fan keeps the 5ghz 8700K at 37C. Loaded, the Dark Rock 4 keeps things chilly at 65C while running at 1300 RPM.
BeQuiet! Dark Rock 4 Idle Fan @ 500 RPM @ 40 dBa @ 36C
BeQuiet! Dark Rock 4 Load Fan @ 1300 RPM @ 42 dBa @65C
Lastly, the NH-U12A from Noctua. Noctua is boasting 140mm sized cooler performance from the NH-U12A with the two included 120mm NF-A12x25 fans. However I think that running those two fans at two thousand RPM has a lot to do with it. At idle, the NH-U12A runs the two 120mm fans at 500 RPM, resulting in a 41C temp. However once those fans ramp up to two thousand RPM, my 8700K chilled out at 62C, thus making the Noctua NH-U12A the winner for thermals.
Noctua NH-U12A Idle Fan @ 500 RPM @ 39 dBa @41C
Noctua NH-U12A Load Fan @ 2000 RPM @ 47 dBa @62C
Next is noise. At idle, all contenders were within 37 dBa to 39 dBa, meaning only 2 dBa separated the worst from the best. At load however, was a bit of a different story. The Gammaxx GT topped the charts with 50 dBA, surprisingly the NH-U12A rang up the tab with 47 dBA, mostly due to its two thousand RPM 120mm fans. The Cooler Master MA620P trailed only slightly with 45 dBa. The winner, the Dark Rock 4, with a staggering 42 dBa with the fan running at the low 1300 RPM.
Be Quiet! Dark Rock 4 23 flames = 4.6 avg 1ST
Noctua NH-U12A 22 flames = 4.4 avg 2ND
DeepCool Gammax GT 17 flames = 3.4 avg 3RD
Cooler Master MA620P 14 flames = 2.8 avg 4TH
Well that was an interesting Battle of the Towers. It came in close but BeQuiet’s Dark Rock 4 came out with the win by 1 flame overall over Noctua’s NH-U12A. Averaging out the results was a mere .2 tenths of a flame difference. Honestly you can’t go wrong with either of these tower coolers, but the Dark Rock 4 managed to take the crown.
Okay guys I am bluedevil, thank you so much for reading/watching. Don’t forget to smash that thumbs up and be sure to share the crap out of this. Thanks again guys, bluedevil out.
DeepCool Gammaxx GT
Cooler Master MasterAir MA620P
Be Quiet! Dark Rock 4