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Today we are testing the Gamer Storm CPU cooler from Deepcool, which has a tower heatsink, six heatpipes, and one 120 mm rubber-cushioned fan. Let’s see how it goes.
The Gamer Storm box is really nice, in hard cardpaper, resembling a jewelry case. When you lift the cover (which is closed with magnets), you can see the heatsink and the fan trough a second cover with transparent windows. Opening it, you can access the parts, which are nicely accomodated in a foam filling.
In Figure 3, you can see the Gamer Storm and the accessories that come with it: fan, manual, installation hardware, power adapters, and a tube of thermal compound. The cooler comes with two fan holder sets, but only one fan is included.
In Figure 4, you can see the heatsink of the Gamer Storm.
In the next pages, you will see this cooler in detail.
[nextpage title=”The Deepcool Gamer Storm”]
In Figure 5, you see the front of the heatsink. The fins have an assimetrical design.
In Figure 6, you see the side of the heatsink. Part of the fins are closed, creating an air tunnel.
In Figure 7, you can check the top of the cooler.
[nextpage title=”The Deepcool Gamer Storm (Cont’d)”]
In Figure 8, you can check the six heatpipes. They are soldered to the base of the cooler.
In Figure 9, you can see the base of the cooler. Altough the aluminum fins and the copper heatpipes are nickel-plated, the bottom part of the base isn’t. It, however, features a mirror-like finishing.
In Figure 10, you can see the fan that comes with the Gamer Storm. It has a four-pin connector, meaning that this fan is compatible with PWM automatic speed control. Just by touching this fan you can tell it is not a regular model: the whole frame is completely covered with a rubber layer, which helps to absorb vibrations and gives the fan a top-shelf looks.
Before installing the Gamer Storm, you need to attach two clips to its base. In Figure 10, you can check the clips for Intel processors in place. They are attached to the cooler with one thumbscrew each, but these thumbscrews are hard to fasten if you don’t have small fingers.
After installing the clips, put the backplate on the solder side of the motherboard and fasten it in place with four thumbnuts. Then just screw the cooler in these thumbnuts.
In Figure 14, you can see the Gamer Storm installed in our case, with the fan installed.
[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]
We tested the cooler with a Core i7-860 CPU (quad-core, 2.8 GHz), which is a socket LGA1156 processor with a 95 W TDP (Thermal Design Power). In order to get higher thermal di
ssipation, we overclocked it to 3.3 GHz (150 MHz base clock and 22x multiplier), keeping the standard core voltage (Vcore), which was the maximum stable overclock we could make with the stock cooler. Keep in mind that we could have raised the CPU clock more, but to include the stock cooler in our comparison, we needed to use this moderate overclock.
We measured noise and temperature with the CPU idle and under full load. In order to get 100% CPU usage in all threads, we ran Prime 95 25.11 (in this version, the software uses all available threads) with the "In-place Large FFTs" option.
We compared the tested cooler to the Intel stock cooler with a copper base (included with the CPU), as well as with other coolers. Note that in the past, we tested coolers with a socket LGA775 CPU, and 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 in the next page. Every cooler was tested with the thermal compound that accompanies 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 left panel of the case was open.
The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed 4" (10 cm) from the fan. We turned off the case and video board cooler fans so they wouldn’t interfere with the results. 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.
- Processor: Core i7-860
- Motherboard: Gigabyte P55A-UD6
- Memory: 4 GB A-Data AX3U1333GB2G8-2G (DDR3-1333/PC3-10700 with 9-9-9-25 timings), configured at 1,200 MHz
- Hard disk: Seagate Barracuda XT 2 TB
- Video card: Zotac GeForce GTS 250
- Video resolution: 1680×1050
- Video monitor: Samsung Syncmaster 2232BW Plus
- Power supply: Seventeam ST-550P-AM
- Case: 3RSystem L-1100 T.REX Cool
Operating System Configuration
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
We adopted a 2 °C error margin, meaning temperature differences below 2 °C are considered irrelevant.
[nextpage title=”Our Tests”]
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 idle and 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 minimum speed on the idle test and at full speed on the full load test.
Processor at Full Load
|Cooler||Room Temp.||Noise||Speed||Core Temp.||Noise||Speed||Core Temp.|
|Intel stock (socket LGA1156)||14 °C||44 dBA||1700 rpm||46 °C||54 dBA||2500 rpm||90 °C|
|Cooler Master Hyper TX3 G1||14 °C||47 dBA||2050 rpm||33 °C||56 dBA||2900 rpm||62 °C|
|Zalman CNPS10X Extreme||14 °C||45 dBA||1400 rpm||27 °C||53 dBA||1950 rpm||51 °C|
|Thermaltake Silent 1156||14 °C||44 dBA||1200 rpm||38 °C||49 dBA||1750 rpm||69 °C|
|Noctua NH-D14||14 °C||49 dBA||1250 rpm||27 °C||49 dBA||1250 rpm||53 °C|
|Zalman CNPS10X Performa||14 °C||46 dBA||1500 rpm||28 °C||52 dBA||1950 rpm||54 °C|
|Prolimatech Megahalems||14 °C||40 dBA||750 rpm||27 °C||60 dBA||2550 rpm||50 °C|
|Thermaltake Frio||14 °C||46 dBA||1450 rpm||27 °C||60 dBA||2500 rpm||50 °C|
|Prolimatech Samuel 17||14 °C||40 dBA||750 rpm||40 °C||60 dBA||2550 rpm||63 °C|
|Zalman CNPS8000A||18 °C||43 dBA||1400 rpm||39 °C||54 dBA||2500 rpm||70 °C|
|Spire TherMax Eclipse II||14 °C||55 dBA||2200 rpm||28 °C||55 dBA||2200 rpm||53 °C|
|Scythe Ninja3||17 °C||39 dBA||700 rpm||32 °C||55 dBA||1800 rpm||57 °C|
|Corsair A50||18 °C||52 dBA||1900 rpm||33 °C||52 dBA||1900 rpm||60 °C|
|Thermaltake Jing||18 °C||44 dBA||850/1150 rpm||34 °C||49 dBA||1300 rpm||60 °C|
|GlacialTech Alaska||18 °C||43 dBA||1150 rpm||36 °C||51 dBA||1600 rpm||60 °C|
|Deepcool Gamer Storm||18 °C||43 dBA||1100 rpm||35 °C||48 dBA||1600 rpm||62 °C|
In the graph below, at full load 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.
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
The main features of the Deepcool Gamer Storm CPU cooler include:
- Application: Socket LGA775, 1156, 1366, AM3, AM2+, and AM2 processors
- Fins: Aluminum
- Base: Copper
- Heat-pipes: Six 6-mm copper heat-pipes
- Fan: 120 mm
- Nominal fan speed: 1,500 rpm
- Fan air flow: 66.3 cfm
- Maximum power consumption: 1.56 W
- Nominal noise level: 27.6 dBA
- Weight: 2.62 lbs (1189 g)
- More information: https://www.deepcoolglobal.com
- Average price in the US*: USD 70.00
* Researched at Amazon.com on the day we published this review. [nextpage title=”Conclusions”]
The Gamer Storm CPU cooler is a real top-notch product. From the box, which opens like a jewelry case, to the rubber-coated fan frame, all its details scream "quality". The beautiful nickel-plated heatsink also looks like a masterpiece.
But when we talk about performance, the picture changes. Well, it is not a bad performer, but it is not at the same level of the best-performing coolers we tested so far. The good news is that this cooler was the quietest one in our full load tests until today. Probably, if you change its fan by a higher speed one (or install a second fan), you can sacrifice silence and get more performance.
The real issue with this cooler, however, is its price. There are cheaper coolers with better performance on the market.
In short, the Deepcool Gamer Storm CPU cooler is a very quiet, good-performing, high-quality CPU cooler. A pity it doesn’t have a good cost/benefit ratio.