US – $89.99 Captain 240 EX PH – Php4350 – PCHUB (DeepCool Captain 240 EX Red)
AIO watercooling is here to say and many brands have ultimately matured their releases to the point of there’s really limited ways in improving it. That in itself is a good thing and as DeepCool has shown in this latest releases, its the small things that count. The new Captain EX series of 120mm, 240mm and 360mm AIO liquid coolers receives various improves from the original Captain focusing mostly on the fans and some minute detail refinements. The new DeepCool Captain EX fans feature slower fans speeds but quieter overall performance. Today we’ll take a look at the 240mm offering from DeepCool as well as the newest refresh for the product which includes support for AMD’s new AM4 socket for its Ryzen processors. Read on to find out how the DeepCool Captain 240 EX performs in both Intel Kaby Lake and AMD Ryzen processors!
Upgraded high-density water Micro channel with powerful self-governed circulation system, 10% more efficient heat dissipation.
Amazing glass design &patented visual external-circulation system
Updated tooling free installation solution, Solid 100% metal material clip
Unique silent TF 120 double-blade fan to offer a higher Air pressure for radiator, more efficient to take heat away
Upgraded anti-explosion rubber Tube, anti-corrosion, crush resistance thermostable material
The DeepCool Captain EX is packaged in a full-colored box highlighting the color the cooler inside. Some details are highlighted in the front and back but the box doesn’t really say much other than specifications.
Inside the package we have various inclusions including the Captain EX AIO itself, two 120mm fans, a backplate, a fan hub, and mounting brackets for various sockets.
The included fans are TF120 fans which are rated for 1800RPM and can push 153CFM with an static pressure rating of 3.31mmH2O. The fans have rubber-lined mounting holes which are designed for anti-vibration.
The pump/block head is the signature of the Captain series with the exposed rigid tubing. Its a hit-or-miss in the looks department and does not always appeal to everyone and knowing the exposed tube might break is also a bother during installation but ultimately its quite durable and you can manhandle this thing pretty much just to get the right mounting.
The tubing are covered in mesh which
Processor: Intel Core i7 7700K (relidded, using CLU) Motherboard: ASUS Maximus IX APEX Memory: G.Skill Trident Z DDR4-3200 GPU: ZOTAC GTX 1080 AMP Storage: Intel SSD 750 PSU: Seasonic P1000
So we’re compiling a new set of cooling performance reviews and with new platforms comes new tests and in this review we’re going to be focusing on the Intel Core i7 7700K and the new AMD Ryzen 7 processor. We’re using AIDA64 stress test to generate more realistic temps rather than other heat-generating stress test, this makes sure we’re showing real-world values rather than extreme scenario that will be rarely experienced by users.
NOTE: Our Core i7 7700K has been relidded with a Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra. Performance WILL vary on stock chips. Here’s a screenshot of the thermal performance of the 7700K at 5ghz prior to delidding using the TT Water 3.0 360 AIO.
We can infer a 10*C performance difference from a retail CPU but again, OC results may vary.
First up we have the Intel Core i7 7700K overclocked to 5Ghz. All CPUs in this test used the Noctua NH-T1 thermal compound with the fan speed set to auto for the best out of the box data comparison. All tests were done in an open test bench. Ambient case temps will affect results so do take note.
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Overclocked 7700K results are quite good versus the others in the test and its just a hair short of the 360 rad results so if you’re looking at a daily 5ghz OC, this should be a good reference on what kind of performance you can expect from various cooling.
Moving over to the AMD Ryzen 7 results, we had to wait for updates from our software to get proper readings of the temps and as noted by AMD there is a 20*C offset on its Tctl.
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As of this moment, many brands have implemented AM4 mounting upgrade programs for their users but as of the release of AMD Ryzen 5 only a few have been in circulation and reviewed and in our case we only have the media seeded Noctua NH-U12S SE-AM4 which is a single tower, single fan cooler. This may not be an apples to apples comparison but it should give you a picture of how different cooling techniques perform. As we can see from the chart, AMD’s Ryzen 7 1800X
User Experience & Conclusion
The DeepCool Captain EX series reminds us that there’s room to accentuate the pump/block on AIO cooler rather than their standard shapes that we’ve seen from other brands and while we will probably see an RGB variation of the Captain EX in the future, as of right now it offers a great balance of value, performance and ease of use.
Installation was pretty easy and straightforward and while the seperate mounting bracket pieces may seem awkward, having only 2 to work with for either AMD or Intel installations was pretty easy and the new AM4 compatible bracket made it possible to mount it on the newer AM4 motherboards. The AM4 bracket basically adds new mounting holes adjacent to the AM3 ones to accommodate the new specifications for AMD’s socket AM4.
Going over performance, we’re looking at results from an overclocked Core i7 7700K at 5ghz at 1.3v which sees us hovering around a few *C above 80*C which is quite acceptable. We’d love to see this processors do below 79*C but it seems to run warm at 5Ghz. On stock, the DeepCool Captain 240 EX does manage to cool the 7700K at 69*C peak.
DeepCool does supply a fan hub for its fans and our motherboard doesn’t seem to read off of it. The fans are fairly quiet though and provide good airflow. They’re slower than the original Captain’s fans but deliver fairly quieter performance.
Other than the fixed colors, there’s really nothing to nitpick about the DeepCool GamerStorm Captain EX series of coolers. It offers a great price point and decent performance and while some may not love the steampunk inspired block, its completely subjective and doesn’t take away much from the rather great overall offering of the DeepCool Captain EX cooler.
Overall, if you’re looking for a decently priced 240mm AIO cooler for your AMD Ryzen or Kaby Lake processor and don’t want to bother with the latest and greatest with RGB or other gratuitous features, the DeepCool GamerStorm Captain EX offers the best value in terms of compatibility, performance and value.
DeepCool backs the Captain EX series with a 3-year warranty. We give it our B2G Bronze Award and B2G Recommended Seal!