Deepcool Gamer Storm CPU Cooler Review
By Rafael Otto Coelho on November 16, 2010


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Bronze Award

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.

Deepcool Gamer Storm
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Figure 1: Box

Deepcool Gamer Storm
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Figure 2: Inside the box

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.

Deepcool Gamer Storm
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Figure 3: Accessories

In Figure 4, you can see the heatsink of the Gamer Storm.

Deepcool Gamer Storm
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Figure 4: The Deepcool Gamer Storm heatsink

In the next pages, you will see this cooler in detail.

The Deepcool Gamer Storm

In Figure 5, you see the front of the heatsink. The fins have an assimetrical design.

Deepcool Gamer Storm
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Figure 5: Front view

In Figure 6, you see the side of the heatsink. Part of the fins are closed, creating an air tunnel.

Deepcool Gamer Storm
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Figure 6: Side view

In Figure 7, you can check the top of the cooler.

Deepcool Gamer Storm
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Figure 7: Top view

The Deepcool Gamer Storm (Cont’d)

In Figure 8, you can check the six heatpipes. They are soldered to the base of the cooler.

Deepcool Gamer Storm
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Figure 8: Heatpipes

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.

Deepcool Gamer Storm
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Figure 9: Base

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.

Deepcool Gamer Storm
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Figure 10: Fan
In Figure 11, you see some accessories that come with the Gamer Storm. There is an adapter that allows you to connect it directly to the power supply, and another one that also connects it to the power supply, but feeding the fan with +7 V instead of +12 V, making the fan to spin slower. A "Y" connector allows you to connect two fans to a PWM output of your motherboard. You can also see the small thermal compound syringe.

Deepcool Gamer Storm
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Figure 11: Adapters and thermal compound

Installation

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.

Deepcool Gamer Storm
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Figure 12: Clips attached to the base

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.

Deepcool Gamer Storm
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Figure 13: The heatsink installed

In Figure 14, you can see the Gamer Storm installed in our case, with the fan installed.

Deepcool Gamer Storm
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Figure 14: The Gamer Storm installed in our case

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 dissipation, 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.

Hardware Configuration

Operating System Configuration

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 2 °C error margin, meaning temperature differences below 2 °C are considered irrelevant.

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.

 

Idle Processor

Processor at Full Load

CoolerRoom Temp.NoiseSpeedCore Temp.NoiseSpeedCore Temp.
Intel stock (socket LGA1156)14 °C44 dBA1700 rpm46 °C54 dBA2500 rpm90 °C
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 G114 °C47 dBA2050 rpm33 °C56 dBA2900 rpm62 °C
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme14 °C45 dBA1400 rpm27 °C53 dBA1950 rpm51 °C
Thermaltake Silent 115614 °C44 dBA1200 rpm38 °C49 dBA1750 rpm69 °C
Noctua NH-D1414 °C49 dBA1250 rpm27 °C49 dBA 1250 rpm53 °C
Zalman CNPS10X Performa14 °C46 dBA1500 rpm28 °C52 dBA1950 rpm54 °C
Prolimatech Megahalems14 °C40 dBA750 rpm27 °C60 dBA2550 rpm50 °C
Thermaltake Frio14 °C46 dBA1450 rpm27 °C60 dBA2500 rpm50 °C
Prolimatech Samuel 1714 °C40 dBA750 rpm40 °C60 dBA2550 rpm63 °C
Zalman CNPS8000A18 °C43 dBA1400 rpm39 °C54 dBA2500 rpm70 °C
Spire TherMax Eclipse II14 °C55 dBA2200 rpm28 °C55 dBA2200 rpm53 °C
Scythe Ninja317 °C39 dBA700 rpm32 °C55 dBA1800 rpm57 °C
Corsair A5018 °C52 dBA1900 rpm33 °C52 dBA1900 rpm60 °C
Thermaltake Jing18 °C44 dBA850/1150 rpm34 °C49 dBA1300 rpm60 °C
GlacialTech Alaska18 °C43 dBA1150 rpm36 °C51 dBA1600 rpm60 °C
Deepcool Gamer Storm18 °C43 dBA1100 rpm35 °C48 dBA1600 rpm62 °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.

Deepcool Gamer Storm

Main Specifications

The main features of the Deepcool Gamer Storm CPU cooler include:

* Researched at Amazon.com on the day we published this review.

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.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Deepcool-Gamer-Storm-CPU-Cooler-Review/1131


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