Final Words & Conclusion
The reviewed LCS kit performed very well and handled both tested processors, including the Core i9 9900K at 5 GHz. The results were a notch better than with the 240EX version, but this shouldn’t be a surprise. As for the product itself, the Deepcool Castle 280EX includes a patented pressure-relieving radiator, dual TF140S PWM fans, and a good pump design (which is inaudible). It’s even more comfortable on the eye this time, and also customizable courtesy of an interchangeable logo. Overall, the noise levels are nice. At maximum speed, the Deepcool Castle 280EX is loud, but it’s still a bit better than the 240 mm version. It’s possible to set a less noisy fan curve – silence is always desired (well, there are very few exceptions).
Aesthetics & Design
Starting with the aesthetics, the 280EX looks very good. Putting the RGB LEDs only on the pump head is a nice compromise for those who aren’t particularly fond of extra lighting in their systems. You can’t forget that you can apply your custom logo to it as well. The wiring looks ok, there are not too many cables, and it was rather easy to manage it all properly. The tubes are sleeved, they bend quite well, and additionally, they’re long enough (38 cm) even for larger systems. Installation is not time-consuming, and it’s rather easy, so most (or all?) users should manage without any problems. We appreciate the bundled RGB controller for the lighting, which comes in handy if your motherboard doesn’t have any RGB headers. Still, it’s a pity (for most users) that the thermal paste is pre-applied and there is no spare tube (but you’ll probably again use your favourite one anyway, chosen based on our test, right?)
The Deepcool Castle 280EX costs 149 USD. We think that it’s not a sensational offer, but it’s worth the money, especially given that it’s TR4 compatible out of the box. If you are looking for a value liquid cooler with some RGB functionality (no RGB fans this time!), you might want to consider the Deepcool Castle 280EX. The performance is excellent, and the idle noise levels still amaze us (like they did in the 240EX version). It could have been a bit quieter under load (again, it’s even better than in the 240 mm version). Yet, for those who want a cooler that looks attractive – the Castle 280EX’s pump design with the RGB (which you can adjust using the motherboard or the attached controller), customizable logo, and the anti-leak system makes this product a proposal that’s well worth considering, especially that you get a 3-year warranty here, and the anti-leak solution as well (but let’s hope you won’t have an opportunity to experiment with that).
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