As a first foray into the highly competitive AIO cooler market we find that the Maelstrom 120 does a pretty decent job. DeepCool has put together a nice little package with this unit. Easily one of the more intuitive installation designs on the market and really nothing to get distracted or confused with. I especially like the included fan and wouldn’t replace it with anything else although a more neutral color would have been prefered. Another nice feature is the white lighting on the pump. With a purported price of 74.99 USD I find that this is right in the right price spot, if not maybe just a touch too high.
Unfortunately I did find several areas where the Maelstrom 120 could use some refinement. Most notably would be the machining for the screw holes on the radiator. This is something that should be a no brainer but easy to fix as well. Also it would have been much more convenient if the plastic protective cap for the pump stayed in place on it’s own. Having to worry about it falling off and possibly scratching the cold plate was extra hassle during the installation. One thing I have noticed during extended testing is the presence of air in the loop. While using the unit for an extended period of time I can hear air bubbles becoming momentarily trap in the pump and causing a slight bit of cavitation. While this is something that I would expect to hear during initial testing, I have had the system on for over 24 hours now and am still hearing air bubbles. This could be the reason why the performance while acceptable is not impressive.
Overall I feel that DeepCool is headed in the right direction with the Maelstrom 120. It is a very decent AIO and with some refinements could become a top shelf cooler someday.
ThinkComputers.org would like to award the Deep Cool Maelstrom 120 with a 7 out of 10 score.
– Ease of installation
– Excellent included fan
– Quiet operation
– Fit and finish is just a bit off
– Coldplate protector needs some adjustment
– Too much air in loop
– Performance could be better