DeepCool Castle 360EX
DeepCool Castle 360EX A-RGB Review Verdict
If you are in the market looking for a white color 360mm AIO then there are plentiful options now including the DeepCool Castle 360EX A-RGB White which is a comprehensive and complete cooling solution that would cater to your cooling requirement and comes recommended by us.
Quality - 9/10
Design - 9/10
Performance - 8.5/10
Features - 9/10
Value - 8/10
- Adequate Cooling
- Stylish Block Design
- Infinity Mirror Effect
- FC120 A-RGB White Fans
- Easy Installation
- Stunning A-RGB Lighting
- Comprehensive Mounting hardware
- RGB Hub
- Fan Hub
- No extra thermal paste
- Fans are loud at full speed
- The block is not a low profile one and may not suite to all requirements
In this content we are taking a look at the DeepCool Castle 360EX A-RGB WH liquid cooler. The Castle 360EX has been the flagship 360mm AIO from DeepCool which now has a successor namely LS720. The Castle 360EX A-RGB WH is the white edition AIO with everything in white except the mounting screws which literally could have been silver or white for that matter.
We have three CF120 White edition performance fans coupled on the white sprayed radiator. The tubing is also in white color. The block has the same footprint as we have seen on the other Castle V2 series coolers. The cooler is compatible with the Intel LGA1700/1200/115x/20xx and AMD AM4 sockets
Packaging and Unboxing
The cooler is shipped inside a cardboard box.
DeepCool has changed the packing theme some time ago and this cooler also follows that scheme. There is a flyer cover over the cardboard box. The cooler features the Anti-Leak technology which was introduced with the V2 series earlier.
The cooler and mounting hardware is tucked inside an egged carton for maximum safety during traveling. The fans and the accessories are placed inside dedicated boxes.
DeepCool has provided a comprehensive user guide for ease of installation.
There is an Intel backplate that is not metallic. It has standoffs pre-installed which reduces the installation steps.
There are 4x thumb screws and 4x small size screws for the installation of the mounting brackets.
- 4x Intel LGA20xx Standoff pillars
- 4x Intel LGA 115x/1200 spacers
- 4x Intel LGA 1700 spacers [1700 printed on them]
- 2x Mounting Brackets
- AMD Mounting Brackets
- 4x AMD Standoffs
- 4x AMD Pillars
DeepCool has provided 12x long and 12x small Philips screws to install fans on the radiator and radiator in the chassis.
The Deepcool Castle 360EX A-RGB WH is a 360mm CLC cooling solution. It has a 360mm radiator with three CF120 A-RGB WH fans.
The dimension of the radiator is 402 x 120 x 27mm. The thickness of the radiator is 27mm. With 25mm fans, the overall thickness would be 53mm by incorporating the heads of the screws. The radiator has a 22 FPI count. There is a gap of 105mm between any two fan mounting holes on the radiator.
The radiator is made of aluminum hence it is lightweight. This is Deepcool’s own design. The blocks on both ends of the radiator are rectangular. Fin stack is dense and taking into account the left and right side channels, it has a total of 12 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 onto the radiators.
The right side of the radiator has a pressure release valve at the bulkhead side. 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 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 far head of the radiator has a sticker pasted on it as can be seen in the above picture. This is not an Asetek design.
The above picture shows a close view of the fins. DeepCool has done a good job in the overall finishing with the E shape fins.
This cooler is using two barbed fittings with metallic covers for reinforcement and better aesthetics.
There is what seems to be the refill port. It has a warranty void sticker pasted over it. This port is supposed to be for factory use only for maintenance. Don’t try to open it as you may lose the vacuum pressure of the loop.
We have a full-length white color tube in this cooler. The soft tubing is made from upgraded anti-explosion rubber tubes 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 sleeves on the hoses to give them clean look. The length of the tube is approximately 465mm. This length is more than one would need.
Let’s take a look at the main element of this cooler. It is the water block with the pump housing. This cooler has retained the basic footprint of the Castle series coolers which is a circular cup shape design of the pump housing with an infinity mirror display.
The block has a size of 91x79x47mm which is larger than what we saw on Castle 360EX’s 86x75x71mm. There is a highly reflective glass top covered with a protective sheet. The top is where the first visual difference is coming from Castle EX series coolers when compared to the Castle RGB and RGB V2 coolers. The top lid is removable. The user can rotate the cover inside the block to make the DeepCool text always face upward regardless of the orientation of the block.
The above picture shows the block with the top lid removed. It is still a mesmerizing look! Oh, and did we mention that the lid is A-RGB backlit?
The tubes are installed in a 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.
The pump housing has a 3-pin power cable and a proprietary 3-pin A-RGB connector cable.
There is a sticker on the front side of the block indicating the directions in which the lid can be rotated to open or close it.
The left and right sides of the block are blank.
The motor of the unit is using high-quality ceramic bearing to obtain a near-silent performance level. The pump has a rated speed of 2550±10% RPM at 12VDC rated voltage. Power consumption is 2.52 Watts using 0.21A current. The noise level is rated at 17.8 dB(A).
Let’s take a look at the base of the block. The base has a size of 53x53mm approximately which is quite large given the size of CPU IHS that we will be using for the testing. The unit comes with the pre-applied thermal paste.
The above picture shows the copper base after removing the thermal paste. Taking a closer look at the black color base housing, we can spot two mounting holes on which the mounting brackets are to be installed.
Deepcool has provided 3x CF120 A-RGB white fans with this cooler. Each fan has 9 opaque blades with dedicated air channels on each blade. There is a DeepCool brand logo sticker in the middle of the fans. There are anti-vibration rubber pads on every mounting corner. The main frame has a circular ring covering the blades’ assembly.
The main frame is made of plastic. There are two arrow indicators. They show the direction of the airflow and blade spin.
There is a flat 4-pin PWM power cable coming out of the fan. The second cable is the A-RGB one with the proprietary 3-pin connector.
Looking at the back of the fan, we can see a 4-arms assembly holding the blades and the center. The fans are 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.
The salient specifications of the fans are:
|Air Flow||69.34 CFM|
|Air Pressure||2.42 mmAq|
|Noise||≤ 30 dB(A)|
|Fan Connector||4-pin PWM|
|LED Power Consumption||2.25W (Pump) / 6.6W (Fans)|
Cables and Controller
Let’s take a look at the bundled accessories.
DeepCool has provided an adapter cable that allows the fans and pump A-RGB LEDs to be connected to the supported 5V headers on the motherboards. They have given the connector for the previous version of the GIGABYTE motherboards. 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 +
- 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 a SATA connector on one end and a 3-pin proprietary connector on the other end.
There is a 5-port A-RGB hub to which the fans and pump A-RGB cables are to be connected and then the hub can either be connected to the provided controller or to the motherboard.
The Hub has an adhesive strip on the base to stick it to the PC Case which should be magnetic.
The hub has a 3-pin proprietary connector cable.
There is a 4-pin 4-port fan hub as well. Fan 1 is the one that controls the speed.
The Hub has an adhesive strip on the base to stick it to the PC Case which should be magnetic.
The cable coming out of the 4-port fan hub has a 4-pin PWM connector.
The cooler features ARGB flowing light system with 5 in-built effects:
- Fashion Collision
Here are some pictures.
The installation is simple and convenient. We need 11 components to set up the mounting hardware for the block. It took us three attempts to properly install the block on the Intel LGA1700 socket. This is something you should keep in mind when using this cooler on that socket. Better recheck the mounting before putting it to use. Other than that, there is no other observation.
The cooler being an AIO has no clearance issue for the RAM and PCIe slot. However, make sure that your case supports 360mm AIO. The dimension of the radiator without fans is 402x120x27mm (LxWxH).
The following test bench is used: –
- Intel i7 12700k
- GIGABYTE Z690 AERO G
- Sabrent Rocket 2x16GB DDR5 kits
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 FE
- Sabrent Rocket Q 500GB NVMe SSD for OS
- be quiet! Straight Power 11 1000W Platinum PSU
- Thermaltake Core P6 TG Snow Edition in an open-frame layout
Here is the settings table for testing:
|P-Cores Clock (MHz)||4800 All Cores|
|E-Cores Clock (MHz)||3800 All Cores|
|VCore (V)||1.140V [Overrides to 1.183V]|
|Thermal Paste||Noctua NT-H1|
|Thermal Paste Application||4 small and 1 large dots on the IHS.|
|Test Run Time||30 minutes for XTU Stress Test
20 minutes CINEBENCH R23
|Idling Time||10 minutes|
|Fan Speed||100% PWM Duty Cycle|
|Software||Intel XTU and CINEBENCH R23|
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 and varying ambient temperature.
Not to mention the silicon differences even among the same category of chips. Hence, it is pertinent to mention the testing methodology along with the specifics.
We are not measuring the noise level at the moment due to environmental noise which is beyond our control. The fans are loud at full speed and I would suggest PWM Auto control or a custom fan curve.
The DeepCool Castle 360EX A-RGB WH is a 360mm CLC solution. Everything about this cooler is White color except that of the mounting screws which could have at least been silverfish if not white. The dimension of the aluminum-made radiator is 402x127x27mm. The thickness of the radiator is 27mm which would be 53mm approximately with the fans. The FPI count is 22.
DeepCool is using Anti-Leak technology on this cooler as well. We saw that with their V2 of the Castle coolers. The soft tubing is made from upgraded anti-explosion rubber tubes 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. Deepcool is using mesh sleeves on the hoses to give them clean look. There is what seems to be a refill port which is factory reserved don’t attempt to use it as it would void the warranty.
The block is also in the white color and retains the same beautiful and aggressive footprint as we have seen on the other Castle series coolers so far. This block is larger in size as compared to the previous versions of the series. This is probably to make room for the removable lid on the top. There is a cover in the lid with DeepCool branding. It is removable and rotatable. We have an infinity mirror effect on the top of the block. The base measures 53x53mm approximately. The block comes with the pre-applied thermal paste on the copper base.
The pump has a rated speed of 2550±10% RPM at 12VDC rated voltage. Power consumption is 2.4 Watts using 0.21A current. The noise level is rated at 17.8 dB(A). The Deepcool has provided three CF120 fans with this cooler which are in white color and feature A-RGB lighting. These fans are rated at 12VDC with a rated current of 0.17A with a power of 2.04W. The fan speed is 500 ~ 1850±10% RPM. Maximum airflow on 12VDC is 69.34CFM. The noise level is rated at <30 dB(A). The maximum static pressure is 2.42mmAq. The fans are using the Hydro Bearings.
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. There is also a 5-port A-RGB hub and a 4-port Fan hub included.
The installation is simple though it took us three attempts to correctly seat the cooler on the Intel LGA1700 socket. This is not the first time I am experiencing this issue as I have seen it recurring on some other coolers and particularly on those where guesswork is involved. Guess, they should look at how Noctua has done it!
The Castle 360EX A-RGB WH is listed at $133 at the time of the review. Deepcool is offering 3 years limited warranty on these coolers.
The cooler has a good performance through a new generation of pumps is clearly leading the way as we have seen the case with the Fractal Design Lumen S36 RGB. Maybe the LS series of liquid coolers would bring healthy competition to the table.