TECHNOLOGY X TEST PROTOCOL
At Technology X, we test our CPU coolers slightly different depending upon the cooler’s marketed purpose, whether it be for a silent operation or extreme overclocking. Our goal is to test in a system that has been optimized with our SSD Optimization Guide, however, CPU C State alteration may or may not have occurred depending on the motherboard and BIOS configurations. Additionally, we also try to include links to the benchmarks used in our report so that you as the reader can replicate our tests to confirm that your cooler performs the way it should.
TECHNOLOGY X TEST BENCH
All of the components we use for testing are standard off-the-shelf PC components from major manufacturers, which can be purchased at a variety local retailers and online. We’ll also provide links to our components for those of you that find an interest in our equipment.
We’d like to thank Intel, ASRock, and Crucial for providing vital components in this test bench, without which this report would not be possible. Check out our review of the Intel Core i7 5960X, ASRock X99 OC Formula, and the Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4-2666 memory kit, used in this report.
|PC CHASSIS:||Thermaltake Core V51|
|MOTHERBOARD:||ASRock X99 OC Formula|
|CPU:||Intel Core i7 5960X @ 4.2GHZ OC|
|MEMORY:||16GB Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4-2666|
|POWER SUPPLY:||Corsair TX850 v2|
|GRAPHICS CARD:||ASUS STRIX GTX 970 OC|
|STORAGE:||ADATA 1TB Premiere Pro SSD|
In order to test our CPU cooler, we’ll be running a CPU stress test and monitoring our temperatures using AIDA64, which is a great utility for benchmarking, testing the stability of, and monitoring your system.
To test our cooler, we ran AIDA64’s ‘System Stability Test’ for 1 hour and recorded the highest temperature reached on any core. We did so at both the stock core frequency of our Intel Core i7 5960X, as well as overclocked to 4.2GHz, and 4.5GHz.
During all tests our ambient temperature was approximately 24.8C while the cooler’s intake temperature was a slightly warmer 26.8C
We don’t normally test our coolers at clock speeds as high as 4.5GHz, but after seeing our 4.2GHz results, we had to see what it could do at higher thermal loads. At 4.2GHz, our load Delta is only 38.2C! that is easily the best we’ve ever seen on this CPU. Increasing our clock speed to 4.5GHz saw a relatively high increase in temperatures as well, with a Delta of 56.2C, which is an increase of 18C or nearly 47%, which is quite a lot considering it is only roughly a 7% increase in clock speed. Still, this is the first cooler we’ve tested that could keep our CPU below 85C at 4.5GHz.
We tested the cooler’s noise output by using a sound meter placed one meter away from the system’s case with the side-panel closed. We tested the cooler at both full speed (2200 RPM) and an idle speed of 800 RPM. We also tested the sound of our overall system’s cooling without the cooler’s fan turned on to illustrate the difference. That result was an average of 28 dB.
Admittedly, our noise testing environment is not the absolute best. That being said, at idle we found the fans and pump to be whisper quiet, and fairly indistinguishable from the rest of our system. However, at full speed these fans can be fairly loud, sounding similar to a small air-conditioning unit. It isn’t so loud that it can be heard over a movie or game at reasonable volumes, and when we turn the air-conditioning on in our office, it is impossible to hear over it, but in a completely quiet room, it’ll definitely be clearly noticeable.
REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
DeepCool is probably not as well-known as some of the other company’s in the All-in-one cooler market such as Corsair or Thermaltake, but they’re definitely strong competitors in that arena. The Gamer Storm Captain 360 is one of the few 360mm AIOs available on the market, and that is probably for good reason; most people who’d want such a large radiator will likely be interested in a custom-loop, which would obviously be much more expensive. While most in the market for an AIO are probably looking for a much more compact solution. That being said, we still think there is definitely a market for AIOs of this size and we really look forward to more coming to the market.
DeepCool’s offering in the Gamer Storm Captain 360 is definitely a formidable one. This cooler easily offers the best cooling performance we’ve ever seen, even besting the top of the line Noctua NH-D15, while that is an air cooler, it does perform at the same level as most high-end All-in-ones, and is certainly no pushover. However, for that extra cooling performance, you do make some trade-offs. The Captian 360 is definitely quite a bit louder, and requires a case that can properly fit a 360mm radiator, which thankfully is a lot easier than it use to be. That being said, we believe that for many users who want the absolute best cooling performance they can get without investing in a custom-loop, the Captain 360 is a top choice, and should certainly be considered.
We like the DeepCool Gamer Storm Captain 360 so much that we feel obligated to present it with our Technology X Gold Seal award!