The Deepcool Gamer Storm heatsink is a tower cooler standing over 155mm tall and weighing upwards of 1189 grams. At its heart are no fewer than six, 6mm diameter copper heatpipes and 48 aluminum fins. This is a hefty CPU cooler geared towards tackling thermal loads of up to 150W, with the minimum noise output its Beijing-based manufacturer can muster.
As with DeepCool's other recent heatsinks, the Gamer Storm ships with a novel new fan that skips the whole rubber-fan-post fad and instead comes clad in a resilient layer of rubber. Every bit of the fan frame that will ever make contact with the heatsink is covered, and so are possible errant rattling noises. A single 120mm PWM fan ships with the Gamer Storm heatsink (operating at 1500-700RPM), though extra wire fan clips are supplied so you can mount an additional 120mm fan to the back of it if you wish.
The Gamer Storm heatsink is compatible with all of today's current processors: Intel socket 775/1156/1366 and AMD socket AM2/AM3. It should retail for around $50 USD via the usual online computer stores.
As with previous Deepcool heatsinks, the rubber over moulded fans are at first a novelty, then inherently a nice alternative to those fragile, and at times hard to thread, rubber fan mounting posts which have become so common. Sometimes they install easily, but when you're arm-deep in the guts of a computer system it gets tricky. Deepcool made a point of showing off its rubber overmoulded fan range at Computex 2010 so it's no surprise to see these novel fans being bundled with its flagship tower heatsink - the aptly named 'Gamer Storm'.
Here's why these fans caught our attention. In the image below of a 120mm Deepcool UF120 PWM fan, the blue portions of the fan impeller and frame are made from rigid plastic. The light gray area is the rubber which has been over moulded to encapsulate the rest of the fan frame and essentially create a vibration dampening surface no matter where, or to what, the fan is mounted. Deepcool make a range of fans from 80mm - 120mm like this.
Moving on. Behind the 120mm UF120 PWM fan and its rubber over-moulded frame are the fins of the Gamer Storm heatsink. Towards the outer edges the fins have been spaced widely apart, in the center the fin pitch is closer. This is done to reduce air flow resistance.
The drive to add more heatpipes to heatsinks is not likely to subside anytime soon - at least one manufacturer at Computex started down the heatsink numbers game! Hopefully consumers won't distill heatsink shopping down to just quantity of heatpipes a CPU cooler has. That would be over simplifying things to the extreme! In any case, DeepCool's Gamer Storm heatsink has six 6mm diameter pipes, each cleanly soldered to the hefty copper base as you can see below.
Heatsink Installation and Hardware
The DeepCool Gamer Storm heatsink ships with two sets of metal brackets that screw onto the base of the heatsink and accommodate the full gamut of Intel and AMD processor sockets.
Rear motherboard support plates are first placed behind the motherboard, so unfortunately that means users may need to pull their board from the case. For both Intel and AMD mounting systems, small threaded nipples are attached to the studs on the rear support brackets first. After that it's just a matter of attaching the appropriate Intel or AMD mounting bracket to the base of the Gamer Storm heatsink, applying thermal compound evenly to the processors' integrated heatspreader and heatsink mounting base, then installing the CPU cooler with the spring tensioned thumb screws.
The mounting brackets all opt for a slightly larger metric screw than is typically used with threaded Intel brackets or even AMD's 6-32 thread screws. The nice bit about these brackets is that the Intel clips support all three socket formfactors, just by sliding in a pre-defined slot.
Spring tensioned, shouldered screws ensure that the DeepCool heatsink will be installed with the correct amount of force, not over tightened or unevenly mounted. Apart from mounting brackets, DeepCool supply four 120mm wire fan clips, a syringe of thermal grease and three fan power adaptors.
FrostyTech's Test Methodologies are outlined in detail here if you care to know what equipment is used, and the parameters under which the tests are conducted. Now let's move forward and take a closer look at this heatsink, its acoustic characteristics, and of course its performance in the thermal tests!
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