Deepcool Gammaxx GT RGB CPU Cooler Review

Looking to add some RGB lighting to your system as well as make it cooler?  The Deepcool Gamaxx GT RGB tower cooler could be the right way to go.

In the Box

With the GT you get

  • The mounting hardware for AMD and Intel.
  • A tube of thermal paste
  • Mounting screws
  • RGB controller
  • Mounting bracket
  • Fan mounting clips
  • One 120mm RGB fan
  • One RGB splitter cable
  • The manual
  • Product guide

This, apart from a screwdriver is all you’ll need to get this installed into your system. The larger brackets are used for AMD CPUs and the smaller for Intel. The mounting screws are universal and will work with both AMD and Intel. The back bracket is multi functional and will work with older AMD systems, AM4 systems and also Intel systems from the past few generations. To see if your system will be compatible with the cooler, check the page here.

All the mounting hardware is well made and mostly metal. The fan clips are a even fairly robust too, these do have to be a bit flexible to go on, so don’t worry about that. The actual brackets are solid metal and feel strong, so there is no concern there. Even the plastic mounting bracket feels well made and durable.

fan-clips

Design and Build   

Starting off with the top section and this features a metal plate with a cool modern cutout design, this not only looks good but it allows the RGB to illuminate through it. There are also small protruding sections that glow when turned on, you’ll see how all that works further down in the review. The top section also comes in two varieties, there is a Grey topped and a Black topped offering. The Black looks better in my honest opinion and I think is the revised variant. But if you order one, you may get a Black or Grey depending on the retailers stock.

The build of this section is great though as its all metal (Aluminium) and is mounted in place via two bolts, this means it could be removed to be modded if you wanted, keep in mind that this could damage it and more than likely void the warranty. So if you proceed with that, its at your own risk.

For the main tower the Gammaxx uses an Aluminium finstack that uses the latest in air cooler technology. It utilises 0.5mm fins to help draw heat away from your CPU, but it doesn’t do it alone as it also uses Copper heatpipes that are integrated into the finstack. There is no mention of the pipe diameter, however Deepcool have told me that the pipes are 6mm in diameter, which is about standard for coolers at this price point. This all sounds good in theory, but will it in practice?

The finstack also has a pretty cool feature which is a cable management section, rather than leaving the cable loose, its routed in a cutout section on the stack, this is pretty clever and clean up the cables coming from the tower. Its a very nice little touch that makes this cooler more appealing.

cable-management

There is also little in the way of branding, I like this approach as it makes the overall design much cleaner in my opinion. The only bit of branding that I could find was located right at the bottom on the CPU cooling block. Its nicely and once its in your system you’d be hard pushed to see it.

branding

Onto the cable now and its also very nice, it features some mesh covering and I think it looks nicer than an traditional uncovered cable. Only downside is that this adds extra bulk to the cable, which makes it a little trickier to manage later on. It can be worked with, but requires extra care to make it look tidier.

cable

Next up is the 120mm included fan, this like metioned is RGB capable and features PWM support. It also has rubber pads which help eliminate any vibrations from the fan. The blades are opaque and feature grooves which help pull air into the finstack and improve cooling, again this will be covered further on. The blades finish should also help with the RGB too as its works better to distribute colour than a Black fan would.

fan

The fan also uses a two cable setup, these cables are finished in the same material as the one on the tower and pose the same problem. But they are well made and feel robust. The two cables have two different purposes. One is for the RGB and the other for power. If you do get a bit confused with what cables are which, refer to the manual as its very helpful in that regard.

fan-cables

Size wise the cooler is quite tall. It measures in at 156mm, so make sure that your case can accommodate a tower this tall. Its also 79.2mm deep and has 32.5mm clearance. This poses no threat to your RAM as the coolers fan doesn’t go over the RAM slot, so even with taller RAM, you will be fine. If you have a compact mATX or mITX then it may cause problems as there is less space to work with, but with a full size ATX board there is not any problems.

dims.png

Installation

The install process is actually quite simple and if you follow the steps in the manual you’ll be just fine. But here is a quick guide to how to install it on a AM4 motherboard. Before you start make sure that you have some kitchen roll, cleaning solution (use the one pictured) and the correct Philips head screwdriver. The kitchen roll and cleaning solution is only needed if you are swapping out coolers and need to clean your CPU. If you are doing a new build you won’t need to clean the CPU but its best to prep it with the 2nd bottle (Blue top) and dry it with some kitchen roll before installing the cooler.

Step 1 – Select the larger of the two mounting brackets and screw them into the cooling block (as in the photo). A magnetic screwdriver does help but its still fairly easy to install without one. This is the same for Intel, but instead of the larger brackets, use the smaller ones.

install step 1

Step 2 – Take the rear mounting bracket and insert the Hexagonal shape mounting parts in the holes marked AM4. This works the same for Intel, but just make sure that you select the right holes for the motherboard and CPU you have.

install-step-2

Step 3 – Place the rear mounting bracket behind the motherboard and black it on a hard surface like a desk or the motherboard box. (Tip – use the anti static bag if you remember, its just a safety precaution I always take) After you’ve done that, screw in the mounting screws and hand tighten. Make sure that they aren’t too tight as not to damage the motherboard, but they need to have a solid grab, so just don’t over tighten them. You can then add the thermal paste, the instructions state to add five drops on the CPU, but a small pea size blob in the middle works just fine.

Remember to remove the plastic at the bottom of the tower before doing this part.

be-sure-to-remove

Step 4 – Hold the tower over the motherboard and line up the bracket screws with the mounting holes that you just installed. Once aligned, give it a gentle push and begin to tighten the thumb screws. Do this is a cross pattern as to not add too much pressure to when one corner. You can do this by hand at first and then finish with a screwdriver. But again don’t over tighten them.

install-step-4

Step 5 – Is to install the fan. Before you do this have a look at your motherboard and see which orientation would work best for you. You then get the clip and slot it through the holes in the fan, once thats done align the fan up to the tower and carefully attach the clip into the cutout in the side of the tower. The next step is to plug in the fan, now there may only be one CPU fan header on your motherboard and if that is the case, insert it there. If there is two, refer to you motherboard manual to see which to select.

install-step-5

Step 6 – Is to install the RGB cable, now you can either do this outside the case or inside, that is your preference. But you want to make sure that the little arrow on the RGB cable is lined up with the 12V on your motherboard. If there isn’t a clear marking, again refer to the motherboard manual before installing it. You then want to connect the tower and fan to the RGB splitter cable. This will have to be done after you’ve installed your motherboard into your case. You can route them however you want, but you’ll want to attach both cables into the splitter to get them both working fully.

That is pretty much it. Now if you have an older motherboard that doesn’t have an RGB header you can still get an RGB effect by using the supplied cable. It won’t give you full control but it will allow you to change a few things. It would have been nice if this was done in software instead, but at least you do have some control.

rgb-remote

RGB lighting

Quick disclaimer here – Due to some unforeseen issues with my motherboard I couldn’t test the RGB to its full capabilities and can also show what it will allow me to.

So with that out of the way the RGB implementation on the Gammaxx is great. The GT will work with Asus Aura Sync, MSI Mystic Light, Gigabyte RGB Fusion (what I’m using) and ASRock RGB, so as long as you have a board that features any of those you can control the cooler in that software. This is great if you have a compatible board but if you don’t you’re stuck using the controller and like I said Deepcool should have thought of this and developed their own software to control the coolers lighting, that would have made it so much better for those that don’t have a board that works with the latest RGB features.

Taking all that into account you experience will be different to mine and in my case probably better. This is no fault of Deepcool as its a motherboard software issue. But RGB fusion should allow you to have full control over the colours, effects and everything inbetween. This will of course will not be the same if you are using say Asus Aura or MSI Mystic Light as the options for effects and colours more than likely will be different. So that is something to keep in mind. But enough of that and lets talk about the look of it and the colours.

The lighting is really nice, the top section is fully illuminated and there are no hotspots or areas that are poorly lit. Its really vibrant and vivid and what colour do work look great. It looks best at night when the lights are low and the effect is lovely. Its so much better than the spire cooler I had before this. Keep in mind that these pictures don’t do the cooler justice and its much more vibrant in person.

The fan lighting is nice too, I compared it to that of my Corsair HD120s and they use a completely different approach. The Corsair utilise a series of LEDs around the outer edge of the fan, this makes the lighting brighter at the edges and duller in the middle. Deepcool have mounted theirs in the bearing housing and this more prominently lights up the centre with the light spreading across the blades. So the Deepcool is really bright in the centre and less so the further from the LEDs. Both look great but I prefer Deepcools version, it just looks nicer and unlike the HDs you can’t see the LEDs as clearly and this just looks nicer. The colours are again really vibrant and vivid, also reasonably accurate too.

As a whole the RGB implementation into the cooler is brilliant and if you don’t like RGB you can stick to one colour for accent lighting or completely turn it off via your software. If you don’t have the ability to control whether its on or off, you could simply choose to not install the RGB cable into the header. As long as the fan power is in, the cooler will function normally, just without the lighting. But to be honest, when you see it in person, you’d likely want to keep it on.

Cooling and Noise

Test system

  • Ryzen 7 1700 (3.2GHz)
  • Gigabyte Aorus Gaming 5
  • 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4
  • Zotac GTX 1070 Amp Extreme
  • NZXT S340 Elite
  • 3 x Corsair HD120

Now onto the coolers bread and butter if you will, the main reason why we buy coolers is to keep our expensive CPUs cool, so is the Gammaxx any good? Well yes. I did a few tests and compared it against the stock cooler that comes with the Ryzen 7 1700 CPU. So here are my findings. (Max temps recorded)

Test 1 (Idle): Stock cooler 28C Gammaxx 26C

Test 2 (Aida CPU test): Stock cooler 40C Gammaxx 41C

Test 3 (Aida full test): SC 56C Gammaxx 61C (spiked to 62C as I took the screenshot)

Test 4 (Gaming 1440p – Overwatch Epic preset): SC 51C Gammaxx 42C

Test 5 (Gaming 1080p – Overwatch Epic preset): SC 55C Gammaxx 45C

The results from test one show that at idle the Gammaxx does perform marginally better but not by much. Test two again showed the coolers to be pretty much on par with one and other and provided numbers that are too close to really say that one is definitively better than the other. Test three showed the Gammaxx performing worse than the stock cooler, I’m not entirely sure why that is as both tests where run in the same environments under the same conditions. I re ran the tests again just to make sure and got the exact same results, so I am a bit puzzled to why the Gammaxx performed worse. 61C is still impressive and during everyday tasks the CPU would unlikely hit those temps as it probably wouldn’t experience a load that intense. This was shown by its performance in gaming. Test four showed a 9C improvement over the stock cooler and test five provided a 10C difference. So given a typical case use the Gammaxx did outperform the stock cooler by quite some margin. I do also understand that Overwatch isn’t the most CPU intensive game, but Rise of the Tomb Raider is and even with that the max temp the Gammaxx saw was

Noise wise the cooler is very quiet, at idle the noise emitted from the cooler is negligible and I can’t hear it above the noise coming from the system fans. Unfortunately I have no way to gauge the dB level accurately. But I will say that even under load it was no louder than the stock spire cool which is very quiet.

Summary

So would the Gamaxx GT be a good way to add some RGB to your system, well, yes. The cooler is well built, nicely designed, easy to install, can be paired with a variety of CPUs, its quiet, cools well and has the ability to control the RGB without software. Now I will admit that the lack of dedicated is a bit of an issue (for me) as for some reason RGB fusion and it didn’t mix well. But as a cooler its on par with the other air coolers at this price point, but this adds extra RGB. So is it worth it. If you can live without the RGB then I’d opt for something else as you’re likely to find a cooler that will perform as good but for less. But if you really must have an air cooler with RGB, then this is a pretty great one.

Score 8/10

Pick one up here: www.amazon.co.uk/deepcool-gammaxx-rgb

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