DeepCool LS520 Review: Explosive cooling in a small package!

Today we’re looking at DeepCool’s newly released LS520, a 240mm version of the previously reviewed DeepCool LS720, which utilizes a 4th generation in-house pump designed by DeepCool. This is somewhat unique, as most AIO coolers on the market are based on Asetek designs.

Prior to this review, most coolers I’ve tested have struggled to keep the 12900k under TJMax in demanding scenarios when power limits are removed. With previous generation Intel CPUs such as the i9-11900k or i9-10900k, a good cooler could handle up to 300w loads – but due to the increased thermal density of the 10nm++ Intel 7 manufacturing process (in comparison to the 14nm process), Alder Lake is much more difficult to cool in the highest wattage loads. I’ve previously reviewed DeepCool’s previous generation CASTLE 360EX – and while it did alright when power consumption was restricted to 200w, it hit TJMax with higher wattage workloads.

Can DeepCool’s LS520, with it’s improved 4th generation water pump, tame the 12900k when power limits are removed? Read on….

CoolerDeepCool LS520WH
PriceMSRP $139.99
Comparison CoolerDeepCool Castle 360EX A-RGB – Previous Review Here
DeepCool LS720 – Previous Review Here
BeQuiet Pure Loop 280 – Previous Review Here
MSI MEG CoreLiquid S280 Liquid Cooler (sent by MSI)
MSI MEG CoreLiquid K360 – Previous Review Here
Noctua NH-D15
Noctua NH-U12A chromax.black – Previous Review Here
DeepCool AK620 – Previous Review Here
BeQuiet! Shadow Rock Slim 2 – Previous Review Here
Enermax Aquafusion 360 – Previous Review Here
CPUIntel i9-12900K – Previous Review Here
MotherboardMSI z690 A-PRO DDR4
Computer CaseBeQuiet! Silent Base 802 Window – Previous Review Here
PSUDeepCool PQ1000M

DeepCool LS520WH, a 360mm AIO Liquid Cooler

DeepCool’s LS520WH is packaged in a medium sized box with molded cardboard and plastic coverings for protection.

Included with the unit are the following:

  • 2x 120mm FC120 fans
  • Mounts for all modern CPU sockets, including LGA 1700 & AM4
  • 240mm radiator & CPU pump
  • User Guide
  • Thermal Paste (Pre-Applied)
  • RGB/PWM cord
  • A blank plate for the CPU pump, for those who would like to create their own designs
  • 2x Clips for tubing cable management

Cooler Installation

The installation of this cooler on LGA 1700 is fairly simple – press the backplate against the motherboard, put on the standoffs, attach the CPU pump, and screw in the thumbscrews. DeepCool recommends installing the cooler in a 6 O’clock position for the best thermal performance. This is extremely important – installing the pump in any other position will result in lower cooling performance!

Cooler Specifications

CoolerDeepCool LS520WH
PumpDeepCool 4th Gen Pump
Pump Speed3100 RPM±10%
Pump Dimensions86×74×57 mm
Pump Noise19 dB(A)
Radiator MaterialAluminum
Radiator Dimensions (W x D x H)282×120×27 mm
Cold Plate MaterialCopper
Warranty3 years

What’s different from other coolers

  • DeepCool Anti-Leak Technology

Like previous DeepCool products, the LS520 comes with DeepCool’s Anti-Leak technology. The video below gives an overview on how it works

  • 4th generation, in house, water pump

Most liquid coolers on the market today are based on Asetek AIO designs, but DeepCool’s LS520 utilizes an in-house design made by exclusively by DeepCool.

Source: DeepCool
  • Cover Customization

The default cover of the water pump can be replaced with a design of the user’s choice.

Source: DeepCool
  • FC120 Fans

There’s more to a cooler than just it’s heat sink. The fans included have a huge impact on cooling performance and noise levels. These fans have a unique connection system, utilizing a cord that manages both PWM and aRGB settings in one connection.

Fan2x 140mm FC120 fans
Size120×120×25 mm
Fan Speed500~2250 RPM±10%
Air Flow85.85 CFM
Noise≤32.9 dB(A)
Static Pressure3.27 mmAq
RGB SupportYes

Testing Methodology

To test the limits of thermal capabilities, I have tested Cinebench with 3 TDP settings: no power limits, 200w, and 140w. OCCT small set results include only 200w and 140w results for the i9, because no cooler I have tested can keep the 12900k under TJMax if power limits are removed in this workload. I’ve also tested Cyberpunk 2077 and Assassin’s Creed : Odyssey results, as these are the most thermally demanding games I own.

For each cooler included in my results I used the thermal paste provided by the manufacturer when possible. I tested each cooler inside of BeQuiet’s Silent Base 802 Case

i9-12900k Thermal Results

Since most previously tested coolers have failed to prevent the i9-12900k from reaching TJMax while running Cinebench with power limits removed, that was the first thing I tested.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

DeepCool recommends testing this cooler while installed in a 6 O’clock mounting position. When I tested the LS720, I was unable to install it in the correct mounting position. However, with the LS520 I have mounted it in the ideal mounting position. If you see the LS520 outperforming my LS720 results below, now you know why!

The LS520 did well in Cinebench testing, cooling better than all results except for MSI’s K360 when power limits are removed. When power limits are enforced, the LS520 performs similar to MSI’s S280.

OCCT’s small set stability test is very stressful, and with power limits removed will pull 270w before nearly instantly hitting TJmax and throttling. No cooler I have tested is able to keep the 12900k under TJMax in this test – and as such the results here are with TDP-limits set to 200w & 140w. The LS520 performed well here, performing a few degrees behind MSI’s S280 but better than other similarly sized AIOs.

Now some folks might scratch their heads when seeing gaming thermal results, but at stock settings the i9-12900k will use up to 123w of power consumption in Cyberpunk 2077- making it a realistic “real life” example of a medium intensity heatload. In these results the LS520 provided top of the line performance, equal to MSI’s high end AIOs.

Conclusion

DeepCool’s LS520 is a great cooler which provides top-tier cooling performance at a budget price. Featuring the 4th generation of DeepCool’s in-house water pump design, the LS520 provides performance similar to AIOs twice as expensive at a very reasonable price of $109.99 USD. Unless you need a fancy LCD screen on your cooler, there’s no reason to look at any other AIO in this author’s opinion.

The Good Stuff

  • This is the best performing 240mm AIO I have tested
  • Reasonably priced at $109.99 USD

Neutral

  • The water pump must be installed in the 6 O’clock position for best performance, and will have reduced maximum performance in other configurations.

Cons

  • None!
DeepCool LS520 AIO Liquid Cooler

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