Deep Cool Gamer Storm Review. Battle of the Titans.

Discussion in 'Reviews and Guides' started by Shripad, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. Shripad

    Shripad Well-Known Member
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    Hey guys and girls.
    I am back after long long time with a review. This time it is a heatsink. Its Deep Cool's high end offering Gamer Storm.
    I will be testing DeepCool's Gamer storm today. I received this sample few months back from Deep Cool and they have been very patient while I tested this in my free time.
    I made sure I do not rush testing this as honestly, I was little surprised by initial results from a relatively unknown company for those of us here in India. Deep Cool has been around for years, but mainly in china and east Asian markets.
    Let's take a look at the heatsink.
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    Package

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    When this heatsink landed at my door, the first good impression started from the packaging. It ships in good looking flat white box. It's made up of thick card board ensuring its safety during transport. I won't be surprised if this catches your eye in store because of this good looking packaging.

    The important bits of information is right there on the box. As you can see, this cooler supports all current desktop CPU sockets.

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    The box has magnetic lock. Its irrelevant when it comes to functionality. But it's good to see a company making simple, good looking and safe package for its premium cooler.

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    Once you open the top lid, you are greeted to the cooler as well as included 120mm fan. Both are packed nicely into dense molded foam.
    It's a complete package. Deep Cool has not skimped anywhere when it comes to accessories.
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    Here is what you get.
    • Deep Cool Gamer Strom Heatsink.
    • Black Plates for AM2/AM3, LGA 775 and LGA 1156. ( No need for back plate for LGA1366 ).
    • Mounting brackets for all sockets
    • Rivet nuts for LGA 1366
    • Washers
    • 2 sets of fan clips to attach up to two 120mm fans to the heatsink
    • 4 pin Y splitter for fan
    • Molex to fan 12v converter
    • Molex to fan low speed 7v converter
    • Thermal Paste
    • 120mm Deep Cool fan.(66.3cfm)
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    The heatsink.

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    The heatsink very closely resembles the Thor's hammer from far away. Its similar looking, but that's where similarity ends.
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    The heatsink feels very solidly built. Its heavy and measures over 1.1kg making it one of the heavy tower coolers available in the market. The weight does come as a surprise considering size of the heatsink. There is not much flex when you push the fins which is a good sign. Fins on this cooler won't bend easily while you handle it.
    Overall very impressive looking heatsink and it does not feel cheap.
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    The design uses interesting fin arrangement. There are total 48 fins, one of them is the top one which is screwed down for aesthetic appearance only and does not come in complete contact with heatpipes.

    There are basically 2 sets of fins of different shape that are used to take the heat away from the 6 heatpipes measuring 6mm each going through them. This is very interesting and is suppose to maximize the cooling while keeping the noise down. There are also square holes cut in each fin as a part of design.
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    The base measuring 50mm x 40mm approx. is another interesting aspect of this cooler. It has flat polished base. The 6 heatpipes are sandwiched between two parts and soldered in place.

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    The quality and finish of base is excellent.
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    To add to that, there is small array of find on the top of the heatsink base which increases heat dissipation are on the heatsink. Next to it are the screw holes to screw in the brackets.
    The finish of the base is perfectly flat and it makes very good contact with my lapped CPU IHS. Unfortunately I forgot to take picture of the base impression and I will add it whenever possible. But rest assured that if your IHS surface is good, it will make good contact with the base.

    Here are few more pics of the heatsink from different angles.

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    The fan.
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    The fan is another thing that will grab your attention. It's not usual low quality fan that we tend to get bundled with many heatsinks. This is rubberized frame which is very important feature. This act as a dampener and does not produce any rattles while in operation. Honestly every since I got this fan, I have used it in all the heatsinks I have tested including the venomous X which is compared against this heatsink in this review.

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    The fan has 9 blades and is rated at around 66.3cfm @ 27.6dbA which is perfect balance between airflow and noise. Cable is nice and log at 42cms and it comes pre sleeved which is another nice touch. Overall , you get a quality fan bundled with this heatsink which is good to see.

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    Installation.
    Installation is very straight forward and is clearly explained with pictures in the manual. You can also download the manual at the link given below.
    Regardless the installation, you have to attach the corresponding spring loaded screw bracket to bottom of the heatsink.

    Manual Download Link : http://www.deepcool-us.com/Product/GAMER_STORM/Installation/GAMER_STORM.pdf

    The installation for LGA 775 and 1156 requires you to place the backplate on the back of the motherboard and then use provided hex nuts to fasten the heatsink on the CPU by bolting down the spring loaded screws.
    On AM2 / AM3 socket, you need to remove the stock AMD retention bracket from the top. You still need to use included backplate and hex nuts to mount the heatsink.
    For LGA 1366, there is no need to use the backplate. Instead you simply use four rivet nuts and bolt the screws through the motherboard.
    Its illustrated perfectly in the manual which is very clear and easy to understand.
    Then you can mount the fans using included clips and you are good to go.
    The heatsink can be mounted in any orientation. Facing top or facing back of the motherboard.
    Due to the design of Lian Li PC A70F cabinet which has exhaust towards rare, I used the heatsink facing the back.

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    Test setup and Testing methodology.
    I had plenty of time to test this heatsink. My primary LGA1366 setup was used to test this heatsink.

    CPU : Intel Xeon W3520 Lapped IHS @ 4.2Ghz (1.200v vcore)
    Motherboard : Gigabyte X58A-UD7
    RAM : Patriot Viper II DDR3 2000 at 1600Mhz 7-6-6-20 1T
    Power Supply : Tagan BZ 1300W
    Cabinet : Lian Li PC A70F with stock 2x140 mm front intakes and stock 2x120mm back exhaust fans running at their normal speed.
    Fans used : Included DeepCool 120mm fan + Additional UF120 fan for dual fan testing. (66.3cfm like the included fan ). Stock fans on Noctua NH D14.
    How I tested.


    Testing heatsinks is not a easy or simple job if you want to do things properly.
    For the test to be uniform, I always tested the heatsink during afternoon period with climate control setting on air conditioning set to moderate 26C which was allowed to run for 30mins to bring the entire room to between 26-27C before booting the PC.
    My machine is away from windows so there is no chance of direct sun heat affecting the temperatures.
    For temperature measurement, I used electronic thermometer to measure ambient which was always maintained between 26-27°C.
    All 3 heatsinks were installed by redoing the TIM application. The thermal paste used was Thermalright Chill Factor 3. Thermalright Venomous X was used with these same Deep Cool Fans. While stock Noctua fans were used to test NH D14. This was done as NH D14 is designed to perform with that central fan.

    For torture testing, the best program one can use is Linx GUI. The burn in tests were conducted as follows.
    • PC was allowed to boot and remain idle for 10mins to note down idle temperatures.
    • Temperature was monitored using Real Temp and CPU-Tweaker
    • LinX is set to use all available ram for maximum stress on the entire CPU subsystem.
    • It was allowed to complete 5 runs while CPU-tweaker and Real Temp were left logging the minimum and maximum temperature.
    • I have made countless runs over past 2 months to ensure results are indeed accurate
    So here is an example of the screenshot of LinX runs completed and temperature logged using both Real Temp and CPU Tweaker. The screenshot below is actual dual fan run of Deep Cool.

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    Click thumbnail for full view.
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    Why I didnt use chilled room or lower room temperature
    We live in India. Most of our urban population resides either in extremely hot or hot and humid conditions. Temperature here in Mumbai never really goes down to low 20s or in high 10s even at night. So this is why room temperature was not lowered below this 26-27°C.
    This is where some of the results start to break usual pattern we see in many reviews. Here in this climate, Highly overclocked i7 CPUs don't idle at high 20s or low 30s. In fact this very good Xeon 3520 which does 4.2Ghz at just 1.200v idles in very high 30s and sometimes crossing 40°C on hot afternoon with EIST and C1E enabled which clocks it down to 2.4Ghz when not under load. This is the reason there are no results with chilled room and benching done at higher clocks.

    Keeping this in mind, let's have a look at the results.

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    Results and Conclusion
    Intel Xeon W3520 @ 4.2Ghz(1.200vcore), 1x120mm DeepCool 66.3cfm fan

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    Intel Xeon W3520 @ 4.2Ghz(1.200vcore), 2x120mm DeepCool 66.3cfm fans, Stock fans on NH D14.

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    As you can see, the results threw few surprises. I was never expecting this to perform on the par with the big guns. In fact I was so sure that I messed up installation of Venomous X that I retested this countless times with similar results.
    What we have here is an excellent candidate for your cooling requirements. Matching and at times beating the Venomous X when both the fans are used is no joke. Noctua NH D14 which is huge compared to the other two. And for Gamer storm to come this close to it, is an achievement. And considering the target price of this product and what you get, it is a bargain considering target price of this product is US$55. You get quiet a kit and very good bang for your buck with this package.

    Unfortunately as we speak, this is not available in India. But don't worry, this should change soon. :)

    This time around, I really cannot find any real flaws or faults in this product no matter how hard I try to invent one. For Deep Cool to come out with a product that directly enters into the big boy's league is something I was not ready for or expecting. This product was able to displace Venomous X permanently from my system.

    My Score Card
    Design : 9/10
    Functionality : 9/10
    Performance : 9.5/10
    Value for Money : 10/10
    Overall : 9.5/10

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    Digg this Review Here :Digg - Deep Cool Gamer Storm Review. Battle of the Titans.
     
  2. RoBoGhOsT

    RoBoGhOsT Perambulating
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    good review as always :D cooler seems pretty good , waiting for it to be available at good price here :)
     
  3. Shripad

    Shripad Well-Known Member
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    Yup, its a solid cooler.

    I am finishing up the review of their Ice Blade Pro and Killer whale premium soon as well.
     
  4. kidpikoon

    kidpikoon Active Member
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    Great review!!!

    But why no back panel for 1366???

    Wont 1.1Kg be too much for it to handle on its own???
     
  5. panther

    panther Active Member
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    thanks, but what would be its expected price?
     
  6. Shripad

    Shripad Well-Known Member
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    LGA 1366 has its own metal reinforcing back plate behind the socket. So does LGA1156 actually but its smaller I guess. So that itself act as support. Other than that I dont really know why there is no backplate like the venomous X. But it was definitely very secure in place and with LGA 1366 you dont need to use the hex nuts standing you can screw em on first on the spring loaded screws and then simply bolt entire thing through the board. And the rivet nuts are big enough to spread the load.

    There was no obvious bend in motherboard when it was installed. You cannot over-tighten the bolts with this cooler like you can with thermalright coolers. There are fixed threads and then it locks in. SO there is no chance of accidental excessive pressure here.

    When I know it, I will let you all know. At the moment its not available.
     
  7. OverlorD

    OverlorD Active Member
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    Might want to correct that to DDR3 mate, though its understood. But still.
     
  8. ragzdiablo

    ragzdiablo Well-Known Member
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    the coin pic is amazing..the reflection is under focus and not the real object... :D

    awesome review.. :)
     
  9. niceguy1430

    niceguy1430 Active Member
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    Very in-depth review, and some amazing variety of angles of photos. Way to go, as usual Shripad.
     

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