Competing for supremacy in the lab today is DeepCool’s RGB AIO cooler known as the Castle 240R. DeepCool is a brand that’s been around since 1996, so they’re no novice when it comes to crafting quality computer components and accessories. It’s one of many AIOs out on the market– so join me, and let’s find out together if Castle 240R will stand out!
DeepCool Castle 240R Review
AIOs are the next step up in the never-ending battle to keep your important and expensive PC components cool. Watercoolers such as this typically cool a bit better than air but without the headaches of a completely custom cooling loop. Typically coming in sizes ranging from single to triple fan configurations, the 240R sits right in the middle, rocking a 240mm radiator and dual RGB fans. The pump sits on the RGB head unit, which can be attached to basically any modern CPU socket you might have. In fact, the 240R sports support for Intel sockets LGA2066/2011-v3/2011/1200/1151/1150/1155/1366 and AMD sockets AM4/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2/FM2+/FM2/FM1.
DeepCool also boasts Anti-Leak technology on the green and gray box, which is a great thing to have as water and electronics rarely mix well. As explained by DeepCool, the system has an elastic pressure-relief bag exposed to the radiator and the outside atmosphere. So, when the temperature and pressure inside the loop increase above atmospheric pressure (something that could cause liquid to leak out of a hole), the bag is compressed and allows the volume inside the AIO to increase, reducing pressure back to normal.
Included in the box are all of the various accessories you might need for mounting to the supported sockets, as well as pre-applied thermal paste on the block, in case you might not have your preferred brand handy.
Aside from the cooling benefits, noise reduction is one of the most significant selling points of moving to water cooling. The fans included with the Castle 240R are rated at just 32db or less, making them whisper quiet. The pump itself is also quiet, rated at a measly 17.8dB. You’re unlikely to hear the fans or pump over your GPU or mechanical keyboard clacking away during a game.
Installation is easily doable with one person. The included instructions make installation a breeze. Attach the mounting hardware to the motherboard, mount the fans and radiator, and then mount the head unit to the motherboard. The 380mm tubes allow for a wide range of mounting options in your case. In our case–pun intended–we chose to mount the radiator at the front of the system, taking advantage of the RGB fans and the glass front of the Divider 300 case we have it installed in.
Coolers that I test are installed inside a Thermaltake Divider 300 and allow several power cycles to set the thermal paste. I use included fans and thermal paste where possible as this is the likely end-user configuration. Coolers do their best to keep an i9-9900 cool during a max-heat Prime 95 run and during a full round of Warzone, with the maximum core temperature reported in the graphs.
During a normal run of Warzone, you can see that the DeepCool Castle 240R does out-perform the aftermarket air cooler we’ve chosen to pit it against, but not by much. When we step up to the full load delivered by Prime95, we can see that the lead increases to a full 8 degree Celsius difference. In this case, the difference between running on air and water becomes important as I like to keep my CPUs below 80*C when possible. The Castle 240R manages this soft requirement with some buffer left.
Configuring the included RGB on the fans and pump unit was a breeze. As you can see, it quickly synced up with the Gigabyte software and matched the motherboard LEDs. At the time of photographing, the PSU was not configured to match the rest of the system. And while RGB can be overdone, the head unit and fans are not excessively bright or overpowering. They fit in nicely with the overall understated performance.
At this point, you’re probably expecting a price tag that exceeds $100. Well, you’d be wrong. For very good AIO–both in terms of temperature and noise–DeepCool is asking for just $73.99 of your hard-earned dollars. And at that price, the Castle 240R is very compelling. When air coolers set you back $50+, stepping up to an AIO with included RGB for less than $25 more is definitely worth it. Of course, if you’re on a budget, you may not be able to spring for this, but if you can swing it, it’ll help extend the lifespan of your more expensive and hard-to-find components.