Introduction

Deepcool was founded in 1996 with its headquarters in Beijing with the focus on providing the best and personalized thermal solutions for customers around the world. When it comes to enthusiast-grade PC components, Deepcool is a well-established and recognized brand that is gaining more popularity. The company is focused on providing better thermal solutions in the form of air and liquid coolers. Their Castle Ex is a high-end AIO CPU Cooler that has form and function in a single package. The company is offering PC Chassis, Power supplies, Case Fans, Laptop Coolers, desks for PC, Lighting solution. Gamer Storm is the brand of Deepcool under which enthusiast-grade PC Components are offered to the market. Tri-Stellar, Quad-Stellar, Genome/II, New Ark 90 are some of their popular and highly customizable PC Chassis in the market.

We recently did a roundup content on the high-end air coolers. It was quite a success and based on the community’s feedback we are planning another round-up content. This time the round-up content is on the best 240mm AIO coolers. We have chosen this size of the liquid cooler as it is still the most commonly used size in the liquid cooler category out of other available sizes which are 120mm, 280mm, and 360mm. We have reached out the over 30 brands and set ourselves a minimum of 15 coolers for the test. We are nearing our mark as the deliveries have started.

Deepcool has joined this content with their super smexy Castle 240EX White CPU Cooler. It is a 240mm sizing cooler with the same block which we have seen on the Castle 240 RGB and later iterations. The cooler is not in full white color as the tubes are in the black sleeve and to compliment that, Deepcool has provided two white and black colors fans (still TF120). Deepcool has informed that their Captain series coolers are reaching EOL. The cooler is compatible with AMD AM4/TR4 sockets and Intel LGA 775/1366/115x and 20xx sockets. Salient features of the cooler are:

  • Anti-leak Tech Inside, exclusively safe.
  • 25% more skived fins on the backside of the copper base, the heat absorption area extensively increased.
  • Flow route optimized to reduce operation noise and energy loss.
  • 2 specially tuned TF120 S fans are included (in matching the radiator’s properties).
  • Customizable Logo, exciting DIY experience.
  • Ultra-large copper base, extensive compatibility (including TR4).
  • 5V Addressable RGB, adjustable through motherboard or the included controller.

Item:                                     Castle 240EX White

Manufacturer:                   DEEPCOOL

Price:                                   £89.99 on Scan UK [At the time of the review]

USD 119.99 on AMAZON [At the time of the review]

Specifications

Packaging and Unboxing

The cooler is shipped inside a cardboard box in Deepcool’s standard styling.

The Deepcool’s focus on Anti-Leak technology is clearly visible on the packing box. The lighting on the block is compatible with:

  • ASUS AURA SYNC
  • GIGABYTE RGB FUSION 2
  • RAZER CHROMA RGB
  • MSI MYSTIC LIGHT SYNC
  • ASRock POLYCHROME SYNC

The specifications as well as salient highlights are printed. There are diagrams of the unit showing the measurement.

Anti-Leak Tech Inside has been elaborated here.

Opening the box will show a white color Styrofoam placed over the contents. The contents are tucked inside an egged carton for maximum safety during traveling.

Accessories

Following are included in the box:

  • 1x 240mm Radiator and pump unit
  • 2x TF120S 120mm Fans
  • 1x Intel Backplate
  • 2x Intel Mounting Brackets
  • 2x AMD AMx/FMx Mounting Brackets
  • 2x AMD TR4 Mounting Brackets
  • 4x Intel LGA20xx Standoffs
  • 4x AMD AM4 Standoffs
  • 4x AMD TR4 Standoffs
  • 4x Small Screws for the Mounting Brackets
  • 8x Fan Long Screws
  • 8x Radiator Small Screws
  • 1x Deepcool Case Badge
  • 4x Plastic Catchers
  • 4x Thumb Nuts
  • 4x Intel Long Screws
  • 1x Blank Spacer for Logo
  • 1x Lighting Controller
  • 1x Motherboard Sync Cable
  • 1x 3-way PWM Splitter Cable
  • 1x User Manual

Closer Look

The Deepcool Castle coolers with their double windowpane design on the water block with killer digital RGB lighting effect for infinity mirror effect really catches the eye. It is time to take a look at the white edition of the Deepcool Castle 240EX.

Radiator

The Deepcool Castle 240EX is a 240mm CLC cooling solution. It has a 240mm radiator with two specially tuned TF120S non-RGB fans which have been specifically tuned and designed for the radiator use.

The dimension of the radiator is 282 x 120 x 27mm. The thickness of the radiator is 27mm. With 25mm fans the overall thickness would be 53mm. The radiator has a total of 48mm of thickness with the barbs which is still less than 52mm of overall thickness with the installed fans. The radiator has a 20 fins per inch one (FPI).

The radiator is made of aluminum hence it is lightweight. This is Deepcool’s own design. Fin stack is dense and taking into account the left and right side channels, it has a total of 11 channels for water flow. It is following the double tunnel configuration. It has a standard inlet and outlet blocks for the water flow. There are no protective sheets over the fins under the fan mounts. So, take care while mounting the fans as longer screws could damage the fins which would hamper the performance of the cooler. It is recommended to use the supplied long screws to mount the fans on to the radiators. Even the fin stack is spray painted. There is a gap of 105mm between any two fan mounting holes on the radiator.

The elegance of white color is speaking of itself though this is not pure white rather off-white or cream white tone. The spray paint job is no money here.

The blocks on both ends of the radiator are rectangular and have sharp edges. There is a sticker pasted on the far block with a warranty void if removed warning.

The total depth of the radiator including the barb fittings is 45mm. The unit comes with a pre-applied thermal paste. There is no sticker on this end block. The tubes are firmly fitted to the radiator using straight barbs with a stylish cover.

Don’t open the black-labeled port as it is for the factory use only otherwise the vacuumed pressure inside the loop will be lost.

The right side of the radiator has a pressure release valve at the near head side. The Deepcool is using Anti-Leak technology which is their patented tech in their liquid coolers. With AIOs, the major concern of the users has always been the fear of leaking which may happen due to the internal loop’s pressure or due to the loose fittings. Deepcool, after 5 years of R&D, has come out with a unique solution that they have named as Anti-Leak. There is another sticker here cautioning the user not to tamper with else the warranty would be void.

Deepcool has installed an elastic based pressure-released bag on the outlet side of the radiator. One side of this bag is dipped in the coolant whereas the other side is exposed to the air. When the internal pressure reached the atmospheric pressure or exceeds it the bag will be squeezed. This would increase the internal volume of the loop and would cause the increased pressure to be released in the air through the valve. This would reduce the risk of leakage in the AIO owing to the increased internal pressure. The press-relief bag is made of the premium EPDM material produced by DuPont with properties like elasticity, anti-corrosion, heat resistant. So far, everything looks good on the paper.

The soft tubing is made from upgraded anti-explosion rubber tube manufactured using an anti-corrosion, crush resistant and thermostable material. The soft material tubing is flexible and doesn’t produce kinking which is always a plus. Deepcool is using mesh sleeve on the hoses to give them clean look. The length of the tube is approximately 380mm. They could have increased the length to a minimum of 400mm though!

Pump/Block

Let’s take a look at the main element of this cooler. It is the water block with the pump housing. We have the same block as is on the original Castle series coolers but with one key difference. Now, the top housing has a lid which is removable and a customizable backlit logo.

There are markings with arrow indicators. The open side indicates the user to rotate the top lid in that direction to take off the lid the close indicates the closing direction of the lid.

The block has a size of 86x75x71mm. There is a highly reflective glass top covered with a protective sheet. The top lid Deepcool has provided two features at the users’ disposal:

  • The user now can change the direction or orientation of the logo so that it will always be right up side.
  • The user can use the blank cover to use their own logos to be feature under the immersive lighting.

The above picture shows the blank cover that has been supplied in the accessories.

The tubes are installed in 90° mount on the base of the block making them to protrude by approximately 18mm. Tubes can be rotated to the left or right side position. Two cables are coming out of the pump housing.

One is 3-pin flat cable with approximate length of 270mm. This is the RGB connector that can be hooked up with the provided RGB controller or dedicated RGB sync cable. The second cable is a 3-pin flat power cable. The LED connector is using the format +5V-D-G. Its rated voltage is 5VDC with power rating of 2.25W.

The base has a size of 52x52mm which is quite large given the size of CPU IHS that we will be using for the testing. I7 6850k has a surface area of approximately 37x37mm. The base is implemented in a polished finish cooper. Please, note that it is not fully polished to give mirror effect. It is rounded on 4 corners It seems to be a plain surface. Deepcool has used 25% more skived fins on backside of the copper base hence the heat absorption area is increased. The Deepcool is using pressure charging impellers driven by three phase x-life motor to deliver strong liquid flow yet be quieter.

The Castle EX series coolers are using low profile double chamber design with separate channels for coolant flow. This will help increasing the heat exchange efficiency, and decreasing the operation noise and energy loss. The motor of the unit is using high quality ceramic bearing to obtain the near silent performance level. The pump has a rated speed of 2550±10% RPM at 12VDC rated voltage. Power consumption is 2.4 Watts using 0.2A current. The noise level is rated at 17.8 dB(A).

Fan

Deepcool has provided two specially tuned TF120S fans with this cooler. These are actually enhanced version of the original TF120 with specs tuned for better performance on the radiator. The frame of the fan is in white color whereas the blades and the anti-vibration rubber pads are in the black color.

Each fan has 9 blades with dedicated air channels on each blade. There is a GamerStorm brand logo sticker in the middle of the fans. There is additional layer at the trailing edge of each blade to counter the air drag. The logo in the center is in the white color. Each blade’s far edge side has symbols printed.

Looking at the side of the fan will clear the picture even better. The main frame is made of the plastic. There is a ring running across the fan blades which is a part of the main frame. It has same styling as can be seen on the center sticker and the far edges of the blades. GAMER STORM is printed on one side whereas the top side has two arrow indicators. They show the direction of the airflow and blade spin. The overall frame design helps in flow-amplification with noise-cancelling.

Looking at the backside of the fan, we can see a 4-arms assembly holding the blades and the center. There is a GamerStorm brand logo and name printed on the top of the sticker pasted in the center. TF 120S is printed in the center. The fan is made in China. One of the arms has widened body as it carries the power cable. There are air-forming channels on the edges of the frame.

Each fan has a flat 4-pin PWM connector cable.

The specifications of the fans are:

Dimension120x120x25mm
Speed500~1800RPM ±10%
Static Pressure2.33mmAq
Noise≤32.1 dBA
Air Flow64.4CFM
BearingHydro
Connector4-pin PWM
Voltage24VDC
Current0.15A
Power1.8W

 

Cables and Controller

Let’s take a look at the bundled accessories.

Deepcool has provided:

  • 1-2 PWM Splitter Cable
  • Motherboard Sync Cable
  • ARGB Controller

Deepcool has bundled one 2-way PWM splitter cable. The user can connect both fans of the cooler to a single header or power source using this cable.

There is Motherboard ARGB Sync cable. One end has a proprietary 3-pin connector to which the pump block’s LED cable is connected. The other end has two ARGB connectors. One is labeled for the Gigabyte motherboards and the other is labeled for the Asus/ASRock/MSI motherboards. The user can sync the lighting of the block with the motherboard’s lighting this way.

Deepcool has bundled a dedicated controller as well. It has three buttons with this labeling:

  • Mode +
  • Speed
  • Mode –

The top button loads the next lighting mode. The middle button controls the lighting speed and works only in the dynamic lighting mode. The bottom button loads the previous lighting mode.

The controller has SATA connector on one end and the 3-pin proprietary connector on the other end.

RGB Lighting

The cooler features a 16.7M true color ARGB flowing light system with 5 in-built effects:

  • Dynamic
  • Static
  • Breathing
  • Comet
  • Fashion Collision

Here are some pictures for your eye pleasure.

Installation

We have tested the cooler on the X99 platform using 2011-3 socket. Installation mechanism is straight forward on this socket as you don’t need backplate on this socket. Here are the steps:

Install the Intel LGA-20xx standoffs on the socket area.

Install the Intel brackets on the pump housing using 4x small size silver screws.

Install the fans on the radiator.

The cooler comes with a pre-applied thermal paste. These pictures were taken after using the cooler hence that is not visible. Place the block on the CPU by aligning the holes on the brackets with the tips of the standoffs. Use thumbnuts to secure the installation.

Connect the 3-pin power cable of the pump to the fan header. Connect the fans’ 4-pin connectors to the fan header(s). Setup the RGB lighting cables and you are good to go.

There is no clearance issue with respect to the DIMM slots and first PCIe slot. Make sure your chassis has clearance for 240mm radiator.

Testing Methodology

Following test benches have been used: –

  • Asus Rampage V Edition 10
  • Intel i7 6850k
  • XPG Spectrix D41 32GB @ 2666MHz
  • Colorful GeForce GTX 1050Ti Vulkan
  • Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD
  • Cooler Master MWE 650W Gold
  • Custom Open Air Testbench

The software used for testing and monitoring include:

  • Asus Real Bench v 2.56 (Intel)
  • Real Temp GT v 3.70 (Intel)

Here is the settings table for testing:

OC Clock (MHz)4000
OC Voltage (V)1.21
Turbo BoostDisabled
C-StatesDisabled
Speed StepDisabled
Thermal PasteNoctua NT-H1/Stock Paste
Test Run Time60 minutes
Idling Time15 minutes
Fan SpeedManually set to run at 100% speed.

Auto PWM using CPU Fan Header

Pump SpeedConnected to the AIO Pump header to run at 100% speed

 

We are using Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste for coolers testing. Using a same thermal paste for all coolers would ensure the standardization. Delta temperatures are reported on the graphs. The testing is done on an open air bench system. Once inside the chassis, the temperatures are expected to rise and would largely depend upon the optimal airflow inside the chassis.

Not every run of the stress test may yield the same result. This could well be due to many factors like mounting pressure, thermal paste application, varying ambient temperature. Not to mention the silicon differences even among the same category of the chips. Hence, it is pertinent to mention the testing methodology along with the specifics.

Let’s take a look at the results.

100% PWM Duty Cycle

Auto PWM

The result is self-explanatory with Deepcool Castle 240EX performing that well.

Acoustic

The noise level at 100% PWM duty cycle was measured at 49 dB(A) with an ambient sound level of 34 dB(A).

 

Conclusion

The Deepcool Castle 240EX white is a 240mm CLC cooling solution. It has a 240mm radiator with two specially tuned TF120S fans. The dimension of the radiator is 282 x 120 x 27mm. The thickness of the radiator is 27mm. With 25mm fans, the overall thickness would be 53mm. The radiator is made of aluminum hence it is lightweight. This is Deepcool’s own design. The radiator has 20 FPI. The soft tubing is made from an upgraded anti-explosion rubber tube manufactured using an anti-corrosion, crush resistant and thermostable material. The soft material tubing is a bit flexible and doesn’t produce kinking which is always a plus. There is an Anti-Leak pressure release valve on the side of the radiator which is Deepcool’s implementation of taking care of the loop’s internal pressure and the way to release the pressure before it can become dangerous with the risk of leakage.

The block is following the same design as we have seen on the original Castle series coolers with a few much-needed modifications. These modifications include customizable backlit logos. The user can now take off the lid of the block and rotate the logo in 4 directions as per requirement. Deepcool has provided a blank plate for users’ own customized logos to be used on the block. We have the same double window panes with an infinity mirror lighting effect for pure immersion. The base is made of copper and is polished finish but not mirror-like. The base measures 52x52mm. Deepcool has increased the skived fins by 25% hence increasing the surface area for heat dissipation.

The Deepcool is using pressure charging impellers driven by a three-phase x-life motor to deliver strong liquid flow yet be quieter. The Castle EX series coolers are using low profile double chamber design with separate channels for coolant flow. This will help to increase the heat exchange efficiency, and decreasing the operation noise and energy loss. The Deepcool has provided two specially tuned TF120S fans. The fans are using the Hydro Bearings. The frame of the fans is in white color whereas the blades and the anti-vibration pads are in black color. This is purely aesthetic as it matches the black color tubes making one of a fine white color cooler with a black touch to it. The users who would be looking for a white cooler may not like this approach. Deepcool has provided an RGB controller for the digital RGB lighting on the block. It is SATA powered and has simple operations of loading lighting modes and controlling the speed of the dynamic lighting modes. The user can also sync the lighting with motherboard 5V lighting headers using the bundled motherboard Sync cable.

The Castle 240EX White is listed at £89.99 [Scan UK] and USD119.99 [AMAZON] at the time of the review. Deepcool is offering 3 years limited warranty on these coolers. The cooler packs a solid power punch with great looks and stunning digital light show on the block making this cooler a Must Have.

Many thanks to Deepcool for sending in their Castle 240EX White cooler for our 2021 AIO cooler roundup comparison. We’ve reached out to most major brands in an effort to compare the best AIO coolers of 2020 against each other and let you know which ones come out on top. Please make sure to check out our 2021 AIO COOLER ROUNDUP and again, thanks to all the companies taking part.

Brand Website Cooler Review
AZZABlizzard 240
SilverStoneIceGem 240
Fractal DesignCelcius+ S24 PRISMA
CORSAIRH100i RGB Platinum
AntecNeptune 240
XPGLevante 240
ARTICLiquid Freezer-II
EK Water BlocksEK-AIO 240
ID-CoolingAura Flow X 240
Cooler MasterMaster Liquid ML240L ARGB V2
ASUSROG RYUO 240
EnermaxAquafusion 240
DeepCoolCastle 240EX White
AeroCoolP7 L240 or Mirage 240
ReevenNaia 240
Lian LiGalahad
be quiet!Pure Loop 240

 

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