DeepCool’s Gamer Storm Captain EX 120 is a compact All-In-One (AIO) liquid cooler with a unique appearance that really catches the eye. I am going to take a look at the cooler and see how it performs compared to some other solutions. I am going to be using the AM4 platform to test how well it can dissipate heat from a mildly overclocked Ryzen 7 1800X processor. The cooler retails in the UK for around £59.99.

Unboxing the DeepCool Gamer Storm Captain EX 120

DeepCool Captain 120EX

The box displays the unique styling of the pump block and an overview of the features.

  • Enhanced high-density water micro-channels with powerful autonomous circulation system provides 10% more efficient heat dissipation.
  • Amazing glass design &patented visual external-circulation system.
    Updated tool-free installation solution with 100% metal clips for solid and secure attachments.
  • Unique TF 120 double-blade fans offer a higher air pressure for the radiator and achieves more efficient heat dissipation.
  • Upgraded anti-explosion rubber tube manufactured using an anti-corrosion, crush resistant & thermostable material.
  • Closed impeller driven by powerful three-phase induction motor delivering stronger liquid flow & pressure.
  • Ceramic bearing with a long service life of MTBF 120,000 hours.
  • Insanely awesome steam punk appearance & unique reactor-style pump housing.
  • Bionic red LED lighting that breathes in life during operations.

DeepCool Captain 120EX

Everything inside the box is packaged individually and the waterblock has preapplied thermal paste.

DeepCool Captain 120EX

The contents of the package. Included are:

  • The AIO unit
  • A 120mm PW< Fan
  • Universal bracket
  • AMD mounting kit
  • Intel mounting kit
  • 4x fan screws
  • 4x long fan screws
  • DeepCool logo sticker
  • Instructions
  • Advertisement booklet

DeepCool Captain 120EX

The pump block itself is really eye catching. It features a unique “Steampunk” style housing which almost looks like a Reactor of sorts. The pump itself is powered by a 3-pin fan cable and doesn’t support PWM. The clear ring inside the top of the block pulsates with a red light when powered up.

Installation

Installation of the cooler is actually very easy, and the instructions are well documented and laid out. I will be installing the cooler on an AM4 system.

DeepCool Captain 120EX

From the User Manual for AM4

The cooler doesn’t use AMD’s default backplate but instead uses a universal one that is included. For AM4, you slide some long screw mounts through the correct holes on the backplate (They are labelled) and place the backplate behind the socket with the screw mounts going through the holes. For this I needed two hands and had to lay my case down on its side but you could do it standing up easily.

DeepCool Captain 120EX

Next, you take the metal stand offs and screw them in place over the screw mounts. These stand-offs have a non conductive sticker at the base to prevent shorting.

DeepCool Captain 120EX

Once the stand-offs are in place, you place the metal bars on top of the screw mounts and then screw in some caps to secure them.

DeepCool Captain 120EX

Once the mounting kit is installed, it is simply a matter of placing the cooler on top of the CPU and screwing in the screws on each side. The plate itself doesn’t make contact until it is screwed in quite far. The screws themselves will stop once it has reached optimum pressure, so there is no chance of over-tightening.

Test platform and Fan curves

To test the DeepCool Captain, I used the following test platform:

  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X overclocked to 3.925 GHz
  • CPU Vcore at 1.27V
  • GSkill TridentZ 2x8GB 3200 MHz C14 RAM
  • MSI B350 PC MATE motherboard
  • Seasonic FOCUS Platinum 850W
  • Noctua NT-H1 Thermal paste used on ALL coolers

In addition, I used a fairly aggressive fan curve. The curve maintains 50% RPM on the fans until 62C is reached and ramps up to 100% fan at 70C.

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