Up to this point, we only got acquainted with air cooling systems from Deepcool, although they have long and firmly registered two CBO lines at once in their assortment — Captain (even in the second revision of EX) and Maelstrom. In addition, there is a third, top-end Castle series, which has not even appeared on sale in our open spaces yet. It is also noteworthy that all these systems are produced under the «gaming» sub-brand of the company Gamer Storm. And in this review we will talk about the average, in terms of size and position, 240-mm CBO called Captain 240EX RGB.
Packing and scope of delivery
The product box turned out to be extremely informative. In addition to the image of a colored water block, all the necessary data about the dimensions and compatibility of the device are given here, as well as its advantages are listed.
Inside, everything is traditionally packed in a pressed cardboard tray, as in all other maintenance-free CBOs. The heatsink, water block and parts from the kit are wrapped in individual plastic bags, some of which are even signed.
The delivery set turned out to be very voluminous. This, in addition to the radiator and water block, includes:
- installation instructions;
- Deepcool product catalog;
- LED Strip Light;
- RGB lighting control panel;
- Adhesive Gamer Storm logo
- splitter of the four-pin connector for connecting fans to four ports, double-sided adhesive tape and a tie to it;
- adapter cable from two RGB connectors to a standard 12VGRB port.
- two 120mm fans;
- four mounting screw studs for AMD and Intel LGA 115x/1366 sockets;
- two metal mounting feet for Intel LGA 115x/1366/2011 sockets;
- two metal mounting feet for AMD sockets;
- plastic reinforcement plate;
- four metal racks;
- four metal knurled nuts;
- four screw studs for Intel LGA 2011 sockets;
- braided four-pin fan power extension cord;
- eight short mounting screws to secure the heatsink to the case;
- eight long screws for fans.
If you have already seen sets of ready-made CBOs, then the appearance of Deepcool Captain 240EX RGB will look familiar and understandable. The system consists of a two-section radiator measuring 274x120x27, two powerful hoses in a nylon braid and a water block combined with a pump (it just looks unique). Everything is painted black. The total length of the hoses including fittings is 330 mm. Their outer diameter is approximately 12 mm.
The heatsink is made of aluminum and has two sets of mounting holes for two 120mm fans placed side by side. Radiator fins are band-type, stacked at 20 FPI (fins per inch). Between the ribs, along, 14 channels stretch through which the refrigerant is pumped. The total heat dissipation area is about 6300 cm². The weight of the entire system assembly with fans is 1100 grams.
The tubes are fixedly connected to the radiator fittings and pressed into metal sleeves. The thickness of the radiator manifold here is 18 mm. It must be taken into account when installing in a case, since this part will protrude beyond the dimensions of the fans towards the rear panel when mounted upwards, or upwards if the CBO is mounted from the front. Turning the system in a different way will not work due to the specifics of attaching the hoses to the water block. There is a plug on the side of the hose through which you can replace the refrigerant and remove excess air if it enters the system. However, a warning is pasted on it that self-opening of the circuit leads to the loss of the guarantee for the system.
The collector on the opposite side has a thickness of 14 mm. The thickness of the radiator side frames of 27 mm will allow you to easily put it in most modern chassis.
The combined plastic water block in this system is made unusually. The company itself calls it «visual CBO», that is, the user can observe the flow of liquid through the built-in L-shaped glass tube. In practice, the idea does not justify itself. The movement of the liquid itself is not noticeable, but it can only be seen if air bubbles enter the circuit, which is not very good in itself. In this case, refrigerant is usually added and excess air is removed. But what this thing specifically adds is the extra height of the pump, which is as much as 85 mm. As a result, if you want to put a sandwich of four fans on the radiator, when installed upwards, the system assembly can cling to the pump on some sockets.
The user will mainly see the water block in such a projection, as shown in the photo below. The white area behind the radial grille is equipped with RGB backlight diodes. There are two cables coming out of the device. One of them, braided, 260 mm long, is the power supply of the pump for three contacts. The second, without a braid, 380 mm long, is the four-pin RGB lighting power connection.
The hoses enter the water block from the side opposite the glass tube through L-shaped fittings. It should be noted that the angle of their rotation is extremely limited. If the upper hose can still be turned somewhere, then the lower one can only be slightly shifted up by 30 degrees. Turning them in the opposite direction will not work due to the rigid fixation on the radiator. This imposes serious restrictions on the possible options for placing the heatsink in the case and turning the water block on the processor.
The built-in pump has a ceramic bearing with a predicted MTBF of 120,000 hours and a three-phase electric motor. It operates at a constant speed of 2200 rpm, while the noise level, according to our measurements, does not exceed 37 dB (A), and there are no sharp parasitic overtones in the background. In other words, the device is very quiet and does not require speed reduction. Two metal clamping mounts in the form of spring-loaded screws are built right into the sides of the water block.
The base is copper, has the shape of a regular square with a side of 54 mm. By default, a thin layer of thermal interface is applied to it, which greatly facilitates the first installation out of the box. For re-installation, you will have to purchase thermal paste separately. But most of all I was touched by the mounting screws here. In appearance, these are ordinary hexagons, there are eight of them, but if you look closely, you can see cylindrical inserts in the center inside. And this means that without a special tool they cannot be unscrewed. So the manufacturer subtly hints that he does not want users to look inside.
The base is relatively even, with traces of radial polishing. However, it is not very resistant to scratches, and even wiping the thermal paste completely off it can be problematic.
Two complete fans of 120x120x25 mm format have a standard frame with gray rubber dampers glued on it at the corners. They belong to the Gamer Storm TF120 series and are built on a hydraulic bearing, modestly but objectively promising only 50,000 hours of MTBF. Of the interesting points, it is worth noting the design of the impeller, which has nine blades, on the trailing edge of which an additional wing is added to increase the level of static pressure. The range of available speeds is from 500 to 1800 rpm, regulated by PWM. From extraneous sounds, the shuffling of electronics in the engine area is heard, which increases in proportion to the increase in speed. The silent range is in the region of 500-700 rpm and 35-40 dB(A). Moderate but well-detectable noise levels from a closed enclosure occur at 1200-1300 rpm and 53-54 dB(A). Anything above and up to 1800 rpm and 64 dB (A) is already very strong aerodynamic noise. Power supply cord is four-pin, nylon braided, 270 mm long.
On the radiator, the fans look as follows. The manufacturer tried to compensate for the lack of illumination on them by the presence of an LED strip in the kit.
The thickness of the heatsink and fans as an assembly, including the screw heads, is 55 mm.
And here is the tape itself. Its total length is 350 mm, 21 RGB diodes are evenly soldered along it. From above, all the electronics of the tape are laminated, then even the ingress of liquid here is unlikely to cause serious consequences. There is double sided tape on the back of the tape. The power cable is 380mm long and terminates in a custom four-pin RGB connector with a latch.
The backlight of the tape and the water block looks like this: when connected to a suitable motherboard, it is possible to set any of 16.8 million combinations of colors and lighting effects. All diodes reproduce white color correctly.
In case a suitable motherboard is not available, Deepcool has included its own RGB remote control in the kit. The SATA Power connector is used for power supply, the cord length is 395 mm. The remote has a length of 55 mm and three buttons. The «M» key is responsible for the cyclic change of modes and backlight colors. The remote control allows you to reproduce red, green, blue, orange, purple, cyan and white colors, both in the constant glow mode and “breathing”. After that, there are three modes with a change of colors, then everything repeats. The middle key allows you to adjust the brightness of the backlight in five levels. If you hold it down for a few seconds, then the backlight can be turned off completely. The «S» button allows you to select the playback speed of the current effect, in five options, from slow to very fast. The length of the wires of the two connectors that connect to the fan and radiator is 170 mm.
The complete power splitter is also an interesting device. This box, triangular in profile, allows you to hang four fans at once on one four-pin port and control their speed using a PWM signal. The speed will only be read from the device included in the first port marked in white. If PWM control is not supported, the propeller will simply be supplied with constant 12V and run at maximum speed. The length of the cord in a nylon braid is 420 mm, the device itself has a length of 75 mm and a width of one face of 20 mm. It is sold separately in stores and can be useful for those who do not have enough free connectors.
For those who managed to get a board with a 12VGRB connector, there is an adapter 400 mm long in the kit. When connecting, be sure to make sure that the 12 V pin goes to 12 V on the motherboard connector, since there is no protection against incorrect connection.
And the last nice accessory in the kit is an extension cable for the four-pin fan power connector in a nylon braid, 400 mm long.
Let’s move on to installing the CBO and testing its effectiveness.