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Deepcool Gamer Storm Castle 280RGB Review: Bigger Than It Cools

Our Verdict

The Deepcool Gamer Storm Castle 280RGB adds significant visual zest to a PC build while turning in a middling, thermal load performance.

For

  • Decent cooling performance
  • Sleek CPU block face and glowing, RGB lighting
  • 280 radiator may also fit 240 radiator mounting support

Against

  • Costs more than better performing coolers in the segment

Features & Specifications

The Deepcool Gamer Storm Castle 280RGB is not only a lengthy product name, but it also happens to be one handsome liquid cooler that performs quite admirably in a market dominated by smaller 240 AIOs. Its larger 280 (2x 140mm) radiator should favor a higher thermal load capacity for hotter CPUs, but even with the extra surface area it falls behind ultra-high-performing 240 and 360 AIOs. The Castle 280RGB therefore sits in a performance realm bookended by more popular cooling alternatives.

The Deepcool Gamer Storm Castle 280RGB (breath) supports most current generation CPUs by Intel and AMD, including the powerful Threadripper line. Beyond the usual brackets and mounting hardware, Deepcool includes a small syringe of thermal compound and a surprise bonus in the form of an adhesive-backed PWM distribution module to allow one-to-many 4-pin connection.

Specifications

Thickness1.125 inches / 28.58mm
Width5.8 inches / 147.3mm
Depth12.75 inches / 323.85mm
Pump Height2.8 inches / 71.1mm
Speed ControllerBIOS
Cooling Fans2x 140 x 25mm
Connectors(1) 3-pin(3) 4-pin PWM(4) 4-pin RGB
Weight85oz / 2410g
Intel Sockets2066, 2011x, 1366, 115x
AMD SocketsAM2(+), AM3(+) AM4, FM1, FM2(+), TR4
WarrantyOne year

The Castle 280RGB pump top boasts an RGB-lit logo with what can only be described as a recessed depth appearance when fully illuminated. The cone-shaped pump housing is relatively free of visual interference with only the pump PWM and power cables protruding from beneath the base and the twin, 90-degree swivel fittings aligned along the same side. The pair of tubing runs on the Castle 280RGB are somewhat short in length, but fully sleeved from end-to-end with a black, nylon braid.

The CPU cooling block face consists of a satin-smooth, milled copper plate, secured around its perimeter by machine screws. Four mounting holes around the solid ABS plastic base allow the Castle 280RGB to accept one of the included motherboard base plates.

Using 140mm fans on a 280mm radiator puts the Castle 280RGB in somewhat of a middle ground between 240 and 360 AIOs. Most radiators in this size are designed to look, feel and sometimes fit where a 240mm can be mounted, while 360mm radiators would be far too large to consider. 

Deepcool provided alternative 120mm fan screw mounts for cases that might be wide enough to accommodate the Castle 280RGB’s 280mm but only have 120mm radiator support.

Since the 280 radiator is larger than your typical 240 AIO, accommodation within your destination chassis of choice should be planned carefully. The alternative mounting holes may help, but the shorter tubing length requires a bit more preparation to ensure proper placement without strain on the tubing fittings.

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  • phobicsq
    I've never understood the AIO thing, water cool or don't.
    Reply
  • Karadjgne
    There's multiple cases out there that don't offer 160mm or better motherboard clearance for an aircooler, but will mount a 120/240/360mm radiator. So if wanting to get a bigger cpu, add some OC and still have cooling capability over or above the cpu output, often a larger rad is the only alternative. Considering a decent, full custom loop can easily top $900 and requires greater periodic maintenance, fluid top-offs, fluid changes etc, an AIO fills the niche between what's cost effective and available when big-air simply is not an option.
    Reply
  • Reynod
    Nice work mate.

    :)
    Reply
  • HideOut
    This just in, a 280mm won't outsool a larger capacity 360. Who'da thunk it...
    Reply