Introduction, Specifications and Pricing
For those that read most of our cooling reviews, you may remember Gamer Storm by Deepcool, as we have looked at a few of their coolers, including the Lucifer, Gabriel, and even their VGA cooling solution, the Dracula. In the past, our testing showed that the Gamer Storm offshoot of Deepcool was at the top of its game, and brought forth some serious contenders to your hard earned dollars when it came to air cooling a CPU or GPU.
Recently, Gamer Storm has jumped on the same wagon everyone else has been getting onto lately, and decided to jump into the AIO cooling game. Today, we are here to look at one of three new AIOs added to Gamer Storm's current lineup of CPU cooler offerings. Of course, Gamer Storm has brought a more budget oriented AIO with a single 120mm radiator, and that kit is denoted with an X at the end of its name. The other two kits are another single radiator version, and a dual 120mm radiator cooled system. However, instead of featuring the same plain black fan as the 120X, these kits sport higher quality black and red GF120 fans, which will help these AIOs to color match quite a few motherboard themes.
With a lot of AIOs being built by two major manufacturers, what we see across many of these units is that fan choice is what will make or break an AIO, so there are two ways to win our attention in these systems. One way to grab our attention is to outperform all other AIOs currently out there, no matter the sound levels, as we all know great performance is rare (save for brands like Noctua and a few others).
The second way to get us to pay attention is to develop an AIO that can compete in the mix of all the others, and do it with much less noise than the other systems deliver. At this point, we will assume the Maelstrom 240 that we received for testing falls into one of these groups, and later in this review we will show just how well this new Gamer Storm cooling solution compares to the almost endless list of AIO offerings out there today.
The chart that Deepcool has provided for the Gamer Storm Maelstrom 240 is sort of hit and miss with their information, but we do see good information, even if displayed haphazardly. The chart begins by discussing the "main system" dimensions, which is what is typically referred to as the head unit. The head unit measures 7mm from side to side, but 85.6mm if you include the swivel and ninety degree fittings, and it stands 31.5mm tall on top of the CPUs IHS. They also do not mention here that it features a plastic casing, which displays the Gamer Storm logo, or even that it lights up when powered.
Now we can move on to the all-aluminum radiator that is 274mm in length, 120mm in width, and sticks with the 27mm thickness of most other AIOs on the market. They also make no mention of the twelve inches of tubing used to connect the two, nor do they mention that it uses a corrugated plastic covering to keep it from kinking, or getting damaged from vibration eating into the tube.
Here is where things get a bit tricky to understand. They tell us that they supply two 120mm fans that top out at around 2200 RPMs, but just below, we see some astronomical specs for these fans, and here we assume they added the fans together for these figures, as our results do not reflect that level of airflow coming from each of them alone. The rest of the chart is pretty solid for what information is provided for power draw of the fans and the head unit, but there is one other thing listed here that our testing showed to be drastically different, and that is the rotational speed of the pump in the head unit. While this chart shows the 2800 RPM as the maximum for these coolers, our sample spun up to 6250 RPM as reported by AIDA64.
At the time of writing, we are still slightly ahead of the release of this product. Obviously, availability will get better than the nothing that is currently available, and via emails we were given the MSRP for the Maelstrom 240. We were told to expect these to hit the market very near the $105.99 price point that Gamer Storm has set. Comparing this to other dual radiator AIO release prices, we feel that Gamer Storm has priced it right for what we get on paper. However, there still is the dreaded testing that we put all these coolers through to see just how well they perform, and for now, we will keep our opinion on the pricing to ourselves until much later in the review.