Akasa Venom Medusa CPU Cooler Review
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Akasa Venom Medusa CPU Cooler Review

September 13th, 2014 Mike Leave a comment Go to comments



As the first of our forthcoming CPU cooler round-up, I thought I’d start with the first in manufacturer in the alphabet (yep that’s A 😉 ). So here we have the Akasa Venom Medusa CPU Cooler (AK-CC4010HP01). Now many of you will have heard of Noctua, Be Quiet, Cooler Master or Thermaltake, but not so much about Akasa. They are one of the smaller thermal solution companies, but have been around for a long time (for as long as I can remember, that’s not to say I’m old ok?!?) and during that time have built a solid reputation for being reliable, affordable and above all punch above their weight. So in theory the Venom Medusa will be an inexpensive dual heatsink CPU cooler that will be able to made the big guns want to keep an eye over their shoulders.

As mentioned, the Akasa Medusa Venom is a monster of a cooler and features a twin tower heatsink to provide a larger area for heat dissipation, eight high capacity heatpipes for rapid heat transfer, dual Viper fans for higher airflow and extreme cooling (1x 120mm & 1x 140mm), as well as a nickel coated copper base.

Let’s take a closer look!


akasa logo ‘When the problem is unwanted heat, Akasa have the expertise to help you deliver a winning solution. We work with customers on product configuration to determine the most effective thermal solution.
Whatever the problem, thermal failure in an existing product or too much heat in a new system, we have the expertise to solve it.’


Akasa Venom Medusa - box front Akasa Venom Medusa - box back


The front of this large box is predominantly black with a green lightning effect and stone-like texture (nothing too dramatic 😉 ). It shows an angled image of the Venom Medusa itself, its name, the Akasa and Venom brand logo, then highlights a few feature:

Unlock Venom GAME ON!

  • eight high capacity heatpipes for rapid heat transfer
  • dual Viper fans
  • award winning S-FLOW fans provide 30% more airflow
  • intelligent synced fan speed
  • The back looks incredibly looks a bit of a mess if I’m honest. It follows a similar colour scheme as the front, but the lightning has been replaced with a large faded Venom logo. This makes the features and contents list a lot less clearer than they should be (albeit this only really effects the French, German and Portuguese translations), then at the bottom we have a full breakdown of the specifications.

    Akasa Venom Medusa - box left Akasa Venom Medusa - box right


    The right follows the same styling (ok so the whole box does) and gives us the key features of the Venom Medusa as follows:

  • optimised V-shaped notches reduces airflow resistance and noise
  • dual Viper fans for extreme cooling performance
  • twin tower heatsink provides more heat dissipation area
  • eight high capacity heatpipes for rapid heat transfer
  • 14cm Viper-R fan provides massive airflow for CPU and motherboard components
  • nickel coated copper base

    Whilst on the right we have two technical profile pictures, box contents list (see below) and more features:

  • suitable for all Intel LGA2011, LGA1366M LGA1156, LGA155, LGA 775
    AMD AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2, FM1
  • low noise Viper dual fans with S-FLOW blades
  • smart design with dual fan cooling
  • multi mounting installation for all new processors including LGA2011
  • high performance thermal compound included

    Hmmmmmmmm…… They seem to have forgotten to add Intel LGA1150. 😉


    Akasa Venom Medusa - unboxing Akasa Venom Medusa - unboxing2b


    Opening up the box shows a rather large two piece foam block and a white box. The Medusa Venom heatsink is very well protected as a result, as is the Venom 140mm fan already installed.

    Inside the smaller box is the additional Venom 120mm fan and all the fixtures and fittings. All of these are grouped and each group is bagged separately to help avoid confusion during installation


    Akasa Venom Medusa - box contents2 Akasa Venom Medusa - box contents

    Box Contents

    • VENOM MEDUSA cooler with Viper fan
    • mounting kit
    • AK-455 high performance thermal compound
    • installation manual
    • speed reduction cable

    At the time of writing, the Akasa Venom Medusa CPU Cooler is available for £60.74 on Amazon or OverclockersUK £63.99 and offers a 24 month warranty.



    courtesy of Akasa

    Socket type Intel LGA775, LGA115X, LGA1366 & LGA2011
    AMD Socket AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1 & FM2
    Heatsink material 8 heatpipes, copper base, aluminium fins
    Cooler weight 1300g
    Heatsink dimensions 163 x 144 x 129.5mm (H x W x D)
    12cm Fan
    Fan dimensions 120 x 120 x 25mm
    Fan speed 600-1900 RPM
    Fan speed with reduction cable 500-1400 RPM
    Max airflow 83.63 CFM
    Max airflow with reduction 61.62 CFM
    Max air pressure 2.98 mmH2O
    Max air pressure with reduction cable 1.62 mmH2O
    Noise level 6.9-28.9 dB(A)
    Noise level with reduction cable 6.9-22.3 dB(A)
    [14cm Fan]
    Fan dimensions 145 x 145 x 25mm
    Fan speed 600-1600 RPM
    Fan speed with reduction cable 500-1000 RPM
    Max airflow 109.55 CFM
    Max airflow with reduction cable 68.47 CFM
    Max air pressure 2.91 mmH2O
    Max air pressure with reduction cable 1.14 mmH2O
    Noise level 7-21.7 dB
    Noise level with reduction cable 7-11.5 dB(A)
    Voltage rating 12V DC
    Bearing type HDB (Hydro Dynamic)
    Fan connector 4pin PWM
    Product code AK-CC4010HP01

    * Additional details available here


    First Impressions


    Ok, so now the Venom Medusa is out of the box and it’s a monster!

    The twin towered heatsink alone is 1300g and measures in at 163(H)x144(W)x129.5(D)mm! It is without a doubt one of the largest air coolers I’ve ever laid my eyes on and certainly tested to date. Despite its size a u-shaped design, there’s no flex and the CPU cooler is incredibly rigid and solid.


    Akasa Venom Medusa - front Akasa Venom Medusa - side


    From the front you can clearly see how big the coolers dimensions are (the yellow bit that’s mostly hidden by the fins is the Venom 140mm fan!). Unlike most single sink coolers, the Venom Medusa dual tower features heat pipes that run from front to back instead of left to right, this is purely to accommodate the 140mm Venom fan. The heatsink also has two black rubber strips running down either side, these act here as anti-vibration pads.

    From the side we can clearly see the dual fan stacks with the u-shaped heatpipes running through one, then through the nickel plated copper base, into the second. Neatly sandwiched between theses is the Venom 140mm fan with the same anti-vibration rubber strips on the tower. As you can clearly see, the Venom Medusa features spring clips to hold the fans in place.


    Akasa Venom Medusa - top Akasa Venom Medusa - bottom


    From the most visible bit (the top), we can see the top fins of the Akasa Venom Medusa are matte black (handy as I have problems taking photos of shiny surfaces, as you may have noticed in the past 🙁 ), the front of which has the Akasa logo embossed. Once installed this view is also the only way you’ll ever notice the eight heatpipes. Something else you may have noticed, in fact you can’t really miss it! Is the saw tooth edging of the fins, this is described by Akasa as ‘optimised V-shaped notches’ which should help reduce airflow resistance and noise.

    Underneath is almost a mirror image of the top. You get a clearer image of the heatpipes and part of the mounting mechanism, but you’ll never see this anyway. We also get our first (and most likely only) view of the nickel coated copper base. This is polished, but not to a mirror like finish. If you look closely to the left of the base in the photo, you can also see that it is slightly textured.


    Akasa Venom Medusa - top fan Akasa Venom Medusa - side fan


    Ok, so it’s totally unnecessary to add the two photos above, but the pics came out great and I think the Akasa Venom Medusa looks great too! 😉 Of course on a constructive note, at least they give you a top and side profile view of the cooler with the Venom 120mm fan attached.


    Akasa Venom Medusa - front fan Akasa Venom Medusa - angled


    With the Venom 120mm installed shows off the fan rather nicely. Personally I don’t think yellow is used often enough in builds and I applaud Akasas decision to use yellow for the fan blades (hmmmm, perhaps I could get my hands on an MSI Mpower, Lightning, some Avexir sticks and a Corsair 780t as well for a future build? 😉 ). Something I’m always harking on about is cable sleeving (everyone should be doing this!), whilst the Venom fans aren’t braided, they do have textured rubber sleeves which will hide those unsightly cables within.

    Putting the Akasa Venom Medusa together (a dry run of sorts if you will), shows me that the mounting mechanism is dead simple, surprisingly so in fact! It also shows us how big this cooler really is. Hopefully it installs inside the Test Rig as easily as outside it and without any issues. 🙂


    Hardware Installation


  • Test Rig Setup

  • Case Cooler Master HAF XB Power Supply Corsair AX760i
    Motherboard MSI Z87 G45 Gaming CPU Intel Core i5-4670K
    CPU Cooler Akasa Venom Medusa RAM Kingston HyperX Beast 8GB 2400MHz
    Graphics Card MSI R9 290 GAMING OC Edition SSD Kingston Fury 120GB SSD


    Akasa Venom Medusa - installed side Akasa Venom Medusa - installed angled Akasa Venom Medusa - installed front


    The Akasa Venom Medusa like most CPU coolers is compatible with many different CPUs and has a plethora of fixtures and fittings to suit. So the first order of the day was to sort out the ‘wheat from the chaff’ and pull out the Intel LGA1150/5 fittings needed (it’s times like these I really wish I hadn’t split open every bag for photographic purposes….). So having ditched (re-bagged and boxed) the AMD and LGA2011 fittings, it’s time to press on.
    The Intel backplate features four fixed sliding uprights that can be moved into one of three positions (1>LGA775 2>LGA1150/LGA1155/LGA1156 & 3>LGA1366), the Intel i5 4670K being an 1150 means the middle position is the one selected. This then has the protective film slotted over the top, lined up with the back of the motherboard, slotted through, a nylon spacer popped over each upright, Intel mounting brackets slid over the top and collar nuts screwed finger tight over the top. So far no issues whatsoever. 🙂
    Now for the twin tower heatsink (may be a twin tower, but there’s not a hobbit in-site!). For this I first removed both fans and lined it up over the CPU socket to make sure there weren’t any clearance issues, whilst the Medusa Venom is huge the only visible issue could be over the motherboard DIMM slots (so for ease of installation I’d make sure your DIMMs are fitted before the cooler assembly). Some thermal paste is squeezed atop of the CPU (squishy pea method for me), the heatsink lined up, screwed to the new frame made from the installation kit, fans re-attached then both plugged into the PWM fan splitter (included in box), then into the motherboard CPU header. All very easy, even the suspect clearance over the DIMM slots was nothing to worry about, the Venom 120mm fan sits approx 5mm above them, if needs be you could easily pop the fan off and remove slots 2, 3, and 4, but slot 1 needs a little patience. Worth noting that our test RAM, HyperX Beast are 46.41mm high and although you could clip the Venom 120mm fan higher up the heatsink, this could cause issues with your side/roof panel.

    All in all, the actual installation for the Akasa Venom Medusa took approximately fifteen minutes and that was including removing the the Raijintek Themis from the Test Rig! This is the easiest CPU cooler I’ve ever fitted, Akasa should be selling this mounting mechanism to every CPU cooling solution company ou there!

    So it’s big, easy to install, looks good and pretty affordable for a cooler of its size, but does any of that even matter if it can’t perform? We best take a look!


    Testing Methodology/Setup


    For CPU Cooler testing, we here at pcGameware run Prime95 for a 15 minute period. During this period the temperature is monitored with CoreTemp and the cooling performance recorded (the max recorded is the average for all cores). Between each stress test we allow a 15 minute cool-down to allow for more accurate results. To help with fan speed accuracy we use SpeedFan whilst using MSI Command Center to adjust the fan speed. A close eye is also kept on the ambient temperature, with the maximum being recorded for each run, this allows us to calculate the Delta temperature (Core – Ambient = Delta). Each run was performed with the Intel Core i5-4670K CPU at the following frequencies: 3.4GHz (Stock), 4.0GHz (using MSI OC Genie, shown in the picture below) and 4.5GHz (using Intel XTU(Extreme Tuning Utility), also shown in the pictures below), all results have been recorded with CPU-Z.

    * Please note: To ascertain the maximum and minimum noise levels produced by our CPU test coolers. The db is recorded with all case fans unplugged to isolate the sound in question.


    MSI Command Center



    Hardware Performance


    To make our performance tests easier to follow and to get the most accurate recordings, all of the following tests have been carried out with case fans set at 100% and both Akasa Venom Medusa fans also set at 100% (Venom 120mm 1900RPM(±10%) & Venom 140mm 1600RPM(±10%).


    • Intel Core i5-4670K – 3.4GHz (stock)


    EKWB EK-Kit L240 - Prime95 - 3.4GHz  (fans @ 100%)

    EKWB EK-Kit L240 – Prime95 – 3.4GHz (fans @ 100%)

    Prime95 - 3.4GHz - Akasa Venom Medusa

    Akasa Venom Medusa – Prime95 – 3.4GHz (fans @ 100%)

    Cooler Master Nepton 280L - Prime95 - 3.4GHz  (fans @ 100%)

    Cooler Master Nepton 280L – Prime95 – 3.4GHz (fans @ 100%)

    Raijintek Themis - Prime95 - 3.4GHz  (fans @ 100%)

    Raijintek Themis – Prime95 – 3.4GHz (fans @ 100%)


    CPU Cooler Fan Speed Ambient Temperature Max CPU Temperature (core average) Delta Temperature Noise Level
    EKWB EK-Kit 240L 100% 23.00 46.00 23.00 52db
    Akasa Venom Medusa 100% 24.00 46.50 22.50 40db
    Scythe Tatsumi 100% 24.50 49.75 25.25 32db
    Cooler Master Nepton 280L 100% 20.50 54.75 34.25 67db
    Raijintek Themis 100% 19.00 60.75 41.75 47db


    Just as expected, the monster CPU cooler that is the Akasa Venom Medusa with its twin tower heatsinks and twin Venom fans, blows (or should that be pulls) the majority of the competition away! With a maximum average core temperature of 46.50C, it sees off the Scythe Tatsumi by 3.25C, whilst only being 0.50C behind the EKWB EK0Kit 240L, whilst also being pretty quiet at 40db!

    Of course this is all at the i5 4670K stock speed of 3.4GHz, so lets take a look at how it performs with a little OC.


    • Intel Core i5-4670K – 4.0GHz (OC Genie)


    Cooler Master Nepton 280L - Prime95 - 4.0GHz  (fans @ 100%)

    Cooler Master Nepton 280L – Prime95 – 4.0GHz (fans @ 100%)

    EKWB EK-Kit L240  - Prime95 - 4.0GHz  (fans @ 100%)

    EKWB EK-Kit L240 – Prime95 – 4.0GHz (fans @ 100%)

    Prime95 - 4.0GHz - Akasa Venom Medusa

    Akasa Venom Medusa – Prime95 – 4.0GHz (fans @ 100%)

    Raijintek Themis - Prime95 - 4.0GHz  (fans @ 100%)

    Raijintek Themis – Prime95 – 4.0GHz (fans @ 100%)


    CPU Cooler Fan Speed Ambient Temperature Max CPU Temperature (core average) Delta Temperature Noise Level
    Cooler Master Nepton 280L 100% 18.00 59.00 41.00 67db
    EKWB EK-Kit L240 100% 23.50 60.00 36.50 52db
    Akasa Venom Medusa 100% 24.50 66.25 41.75 40db
    Raijintek Themis 100% 19.50 68.00 48.50 47db
    Scythe Tatsumi 100% 24.00 72.75 48.75 32db


    Ok, so as you’d expect, the water coolers start to run away from the pack when the Intel i5 4670K gains a minor overclock (it may be minor, but the heat build up isn’t!). It still turns out to be the best of the current air coolers tested here at pcG, with the nearest being warmer by 1.75C, which is the Raijintek Themis.

    Can it cope with a slightly higher overclock?


    • Intel Core i5-4670K – 4.5GHz (manual overclock via Intel XTU)


    EKWB EK-Kit L240  - Prime95 - 4.5GHz  (fans @ 100%)

    EKWB EK-Kit L240 – Prime95 – 4.5GHz (fans @ 100%)

    Cooler Master Nepton 280L - Prime95 - 4.5GHz  (fans @ 100%)

    Cooler Master Nepton 280L – Prime95 – 4.5GHz (fans @ 100%)

    Prime95 - 4.5GHz - Akasa Venom Medusa

    Akasa Venom Medusa – Prime95 – 4.5GHz (fans @ 100%)

    Raijintek Themis - Prime95 - 4.5GHz  (fans @ 100%)

    Raijintek Themis – Prime95 – 4.5GHz (fans @ 100%)


    CPU Cooler Fan Speed Ambient Temperature Max CPU Temperature (core average) Delta Temperature Noise Level
    EKWB EK-Kit L240 100% 24.00 66.50 42.50 52db
    Cooler Master Nepton 280L 100% 18.00 69.25 51.25 67db
    Akasa Venom Medusa 100% 24.00 70.75 46.75 40db
    Raijintek Themis 100% 20.00 75.00 55.00 47db
    Scythe Tatsumi 100% 24.50 77.25 52.75 32db


    This is where size matters! The Venom Medusa pulls away from the air cooled pack by quite a margin. The max core temp recorded with the CPU set at 4.5GHz was 70.75C. This is ahead of the Themis by 4.25C and rather surprisingly only 1.50C behind the Cooler Master Nepton 280L and that’s an AIO water cooler!

    For curiosity sake and because I like my rigs to be silent, I also ran this particular test with all case fans and the two on the Akasa Venom Medusa at their very lowest. The max ave core temp hit a very tolerable 76.25 whilst the sound went south…… To 32db! Sounds a bit good doesn’t it (or should that be doesn’t?!?)

    Of course if this is still a little toasty for you it’s worth bearing in mind that while Prime95 is an excellent tool for testing the stability of any CPU overclock, it does this by running your CPU at 100%, in your average Gaming session you’ll most likely not even use half that. 😉


    Final Thoughts


    In short, the Akasa Venom Medusa CPU Cooler is a monster! Oh, you want to hear more? Ok, then….. 😉

    The Venom Medusa arrived at pcG in a rather cool looking predominantly black and green box with forks of green lightning across the front (I suppose you could say this is a visual statement of its intent!). Within the box and very well packaged in a two piece foam block was the twin tower heatsink itself, whilst all the fixtures and fittings were separately bagged within an an additional box. This of course makes life a damn site easier, but I’m stingy and the Medusa won’t be getting an additional brownie point for this. The included instructions were also very clear and easy to follow, when combined with the ridiculously brilliant mounting kit made it possible to fit the cooler in 15 minutes! (ok, that’s a definite brownie point!)

    The twin tower heatsink is big at 163(H)x144(W)x129.5(D)mm and 1300g which means it’s brutishly heavy, but thankfully it’s is also built like a tank and offers no movement or flex between the towers, unlike similar coolers I’ve seen in the past. Visually it looks good too, the matt black top fins and fan shrouds with their bright yellow fan propellers are striking and offer something refreshingly different from the rest of the crowd.

    Not so surprisingly the behemoth Venom Medusa hits lofty heights as our coolest air cooler tested on the current pcG Test Rig. With the i5-4670K set at 3.4GHz (stock), the maximum average core temperature nearly sank as low as our recent ‘custom water loop in a box’, the EKWB EK-Kit 240L at only 46.50C, whilst at 70.75C it was only 1.50C hotter than our best AIO water cooler, the Cooler Master Nepton 280L, with the CPU pushed up to 4.5GHz. Perhaps better yet, it does this with fans running at full speed whilst barely breaking 40db. Of course if you really want to enjoy the silence, you can crack the fan speed (and volume down) to their very lowest setting and the keep the CPU at 4.5GHz, this does up the heat a little to 76.25C, but with only 32db of sound produced I know what I’d choose!

    So the Akasa Venom Medusa is big, looks great, solidly built, performs very well and can potentially run silently, but would I recommend it? It’s honestly a pretty hard one to answer. Personally as air coolers go I really like it for all those reasons and yes I would buy one. What you’ll need to think about is the amount of space it takes up in your case, your RAM height and the cost. After all, the Raijintek Themis in the Test Rig is smaller, not miles apart in the performance stakes, won’t give you any compatibility issues and although a damn site louder at full flow, is only a third of the price. I feel for what you get, at just over £60 it is certainly worth it, after all Gaming rigs nowadays are just as much about looking good as they are about performance, the Venom Medusa has both and does it silently.



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      Design/Quality pcGameware awards the Akasa Venom Medusa CPU Cooler a Silver

    Many thanks to Akasa for providing this sample for review


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