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DEEPCOOL Gamer Storm Gabriel Low-Profile CPU Cooler Review

Introduction and First Impressions

DEEPCOOL's Gabriel is part of their Gamer Storm series of products, and this low-profile design is rated up to 95 W to keep the latest processors cool under load. So how does it perform? We'll take a close look at the performance of this mini-ITX inspired air cooler in today's review.

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(Image credit: DEEPCOOL)

There are so many inexpensive options for air cooling on the market that it's almost overwhelming. At the top of the list in popularity are low-cost tower coolers from Cooler Master, with the ubiquitous Hyper 212 Evo at around $30, and the slightly smaller Hyper T4 at $25. But with a height of 159 mm for the 212 Evo and 152.3 mm for the T4 these coolers are not going to fit in every situation - and certainly not in a slim enclosure. There are plenty of low-profile CPU coolers on the market, one of the lowest being the Noctua NH-L9i, a $40-ish cooler which stands just 37 mm tall (with the fan!), but the tan and reddish-brown color scheme isn't for everyone, and the ultra-low profile design (which is also limited to a 92 mm fan) won't be required for many builds.

So when I began looking for a low-profile air cooler for my own use recently one of the options that cought my eye was this Gabriel, part of DEEPCOOL's Gamer Storm line.  The Gabriel had the advantage of being just $34.99 on Newegg when I picked it up, making it less expensive (and less tan and brown) than the Noctua. At 60 mm tall with its 120 mm fan installed, the Gabriel should fit in most low-profile enclosures, considering even half-height expansion cards are a bit taller at about 69 mm. The Gabriel also offers an understated look with a grey (well, mostly grey) fan. Of course appearances mean nothing unless it's well made and cools effectively, and for myself the question became, is this going to rival the experience of a Noctua (long my preferred brand) CPU cooler?

Continue reading our review of the DEEPCOOL Gamer Storm Gabriel CPU cooler!!

As a quick aside here I'll mention that Intel is no longer shipping heatsinks with their latest enthusiast processors (not that I would ever have recommended the use of the Intel CPU cooler with an unlocked part), so a CPU cooler will have to be on the system-builder's list if they're starting from scratch - even if previously the stock cooler would have sufficed. The market needs some good, low-cost options, and we'll see how the Gabriel stacks up.

First we'll check out the full specifications from DEEPCOOL:


  • Intel Socket 95W: LGA1156/LGA1155/LGA1151/LGA1150
  • AMD Socket 100W: FM2/FM1/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2/940/939/754
  • Overall Dimension (Without Fan): 120 x 118 x 40mm
  • Overall Dimension (With Fan): 126.5 x 123.5 x 60mm
  • Net Weight: 426 g
  • Heatpipe: 4x 6 mm Heatpipe
  • Fin Material: Aluminum
  • Base Material: Copper
  • Fan Dimension: 120 x 120 x 20 mm
  • Fan Speed: 900 ±150 – 1800 ±10% RPM
  • Rated Current: 0.21 ± 10% A (MAX)
  • Power Input: 2.52 W
  • Max. Air Flow: 61.93 CFM
  • Noise: 18.2~32.4 dB(A)
  • Rated Voltage: 12 VDC
  • Operating Voltage: 10.8~13.2 VDC
  • Starting Voltage: 7 VDC
  • Bearing Type: Hydro Bearing

Pricing and Availability:

First Impressions

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The Gabriel arrives in rather deluxe packaging, nicer than I was expecting given the price.

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Once inside the cooler is well protected in the cardboard container, with the fan and heatsink separately secured.

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Here we see the contents of the separate accessory box, and DEEPCOOL demonstrates good attention to detail with this. Screws are separate from other hardware, there's a tube of the company's thermal paste (though I used Noctua NT-H1 for consistency with comparison benchmarks), and there's even a case badge for those who want to advertise the brand.

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The instruction manual is easy enough to understand, and this looks like a simple product to install.

The heatsink offers good fin density and the nickel-plating I've come to expect from Noctua coolers. Here DEEPCOOL describes the heatsink's construction:

"Gabriel consists of a copper base with four soldered copper heatpipes and aluminum fins. The full set of heatsink is nickel-plated in order to inhibit oxidization and ensure a long lifespan."

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The base of the heatsink isn't perfectly flat, rather it is machined with a finely brushed finish:

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Thermal paste will be all-important here to provide a good connection to the processor, but this dependence is nothing new for budget coolers such as the aforementioned Cooler Master models whose direct copper pipes create an uneven surface when mating with the CPU.

Next we have the 120 mm fan, which is just 20 mm thick and has a very nice-looking cable as well.

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The fan has a decidedly blue tint in person

I'll quote DEEPCOOL again here for a description of the Gabriel's fan (and that cable):

"Gabriel is equipped with a high performance 120mm cooling fan, which can push 61.93CFM airflow to cool down the heatsink. This slim fan is PWM controlled, running at 900-1800 ± 10% RPM. However, it is very quiet - at 18.2dBA - due to its extraordinary dynamic balance.

The fan cable is made of PTFE (Poly Tetra Fluoro Ethylene), which withstands high temperatures and heavy duty usage. Two pieces of rubber cable ties are attached to route the fan cable to keep everything in place."

And with the fan attached with a pair of wire clips lets take a look at the finished product:

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Looks pretty good. I was a little disappointed that the Gabriel wasn't quite the neutral grey from their product photos, as it has a decided blue cast to the frame, though it's still a sharp-looking cooler. But enough about appearance! How does the Gabriel mount, and (more importantly) how does it perform? We'll find out on the next page.


November 16, 2015 | 12:21 PM - Posted by Daniel Meier (not verified)

So what low-prpfile cooler did you end up putting in your personal system, if you dont mind me asking.

November 16, 2015 | 03:18 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

My own system is in flux as I work on enclosure reviews with all available hardware, but I'm leaning towards the Noctua NH-L9x65. I haven't picked it up yet, so it's been anything from my old NH-U9B SE2 to this Gabriel to my Corsair H75. Right now I'm actually testing another air cooler for an upcoming review. Stay tuned! :)

November 16, 2015 | 08:19 PM - Posted by Ian (not verified)

I just ordered an L9x65 from Amazon. I'll let you know if it's any good.

November 16, 2015 | 09:02 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

Nice. I really like the more traditional 92mm size for compatibility.

November 17, 2015 | 06:17 AM - Posted by Daniel Meier (not verified)

Looking forward to it. Really interesting seeing a larger group of PC enthusiasts getting into the smaller form factor.

November 16, 2015 | 02:36 PM - Posted by derpydoo (not verified)

would've been nice to see this compared to the stock heatsink and other low profile coolers.

November 16, 2015 | 03:21 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

I agree. I bought this for enclosure review photos, thought it was interesting enough for a quick review. For sure other low-profile reviews will include these results for reference. There were no stock cooler results as Intel has eliminated them from retail unlocked parts like my 6600K. It's a relevent question, I'll see about adding results to the next review as a benchmark.

November 21, 2015 | 07:31 AM - Posted by sensacion7

Thanks for the great review

December 1, 2015 | 09:48 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

Thanks!

November 21, 2015 | 09:08 PM - Posted by HERETIC (not verified)

Would have been nice if you'd put mosfet/VRM temps in
the charts.
The good side benefit of down facing coolers...
The downside of water................................

December 1, 2015 | 09:48 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

I thought about this, and it's a valid question. The next change to cooler testing methodology might indeed be the use of a thermal gun to compare these numbers.

November 27, 2015 | 09:39 PM - Posted by John Blanton (not verified)

It also would've been nice if the ambient temperatures for the temperature testing results weren't left out. Why not just post the actual measured temperatures and be done with it?

December 1, 2015 | 09:45 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

Actual measured temps are not useful between coolers when the ambient temps are not totally controlled. For example, here are the actual recorded numbers with this Gabriel cooler with the stock 6600K: 

  • Idle 23 C, 66.6 F ambient
  • Load 53 C, 66.6 F ambient
  • Stress 66 C, 66.7 F ambient

There's barely a rise in the room leading up to the conclusion of the stress test, so I could easily have just presented those temps with the ambient ~66.6 F noted in the chart. However, look at the results from the Corsair H75 for the same CPU:

  • Idle 19 C, 67.5 F ambient
  • Load 43 C, 67.5 F ambient
  • Stress 54 C, 67.5 F ambient

Nice consistent room temps for each recorded run, but these are almost a full degree higher than the ambient temps from the initial Gabriel tests (67.5 vs. ~66.6 F).

As much as I'd prefer to use the recorded temps, I have to use delta temperatures as each cooler's room conditions were slightly different.

December 7, 2015 | 11:51 PM - Posted by Lunyone

Nice review. I like to see other affordable options than just the usual samples that might be given from the bigger brands. To be honest, I'm not much into SFF, but I do try to help people that might be looking for something like this.
I also appreciate the pictures about the RAM clearance (my #1 concern with all coolers), so great work there.

I would also like to see some lower cost options (<$30) to compare to this and other coolers (SFF or even regular sized CPU HSF's). I'm always looking to find solid cooling options on a budget, since most of us are trying to build systems on a tighter budget these days.

There was also a typo, I believe, under the 4th picture down. Talking about the screws on the backside of the Mobo. Here is what you wrote:
"The design of the heatsink provides excellent clearance around the components on the motherboard, and I didn't any issues in this area with the heat pipes pointed upward."

I think you meant to say "and I didn't have/find any issues in this area with the heat pipes pointed upward"

December 12, 2015 | 08:20 AM - Posted by Guillermo P (not verified)

Excellent review, I mean really nice review, compact, helpful, comparative and well done.

Ill like to try this on a htpc. Thanks

November 15, 2016 | 08:04 AM - Posted by Gökhan Tahir Özkan (not verified)

hii dear @sebastian peak

thanks for review

i use i7 6700 CPU (3,4 ghz-turbo 4 ghz)
İ will not overclock i dont think in future

i dont decides between NOCTUA NH-L9x65 and Deep Cool Gabriel cooler

which one i choice ?

February 23, 2017 | 08:27 AM - Posted by mark_menace (not verified)

i was a bit disapointed about this cooler about the RAM clearance, i bought this for my micro atx board since it was stated on the deepcool site that its compatible with it, im using an MSI A68HM-E33 V2 the ram clearance sucks im using an Corsair Vengeance 1866 and the heatsync itself blocks the fins of my ram, maybe if the heatsync's orientation can be change on an amd fm2 socket it would be possible for me the use the cooler but the technician told me its imposibble for me to change it since its intended orientation for the AMD CPU socket was as is. So if any1 could give me some advice on what should i do to make use of this cooler. the reviews are good though.

February 23, 2017 | 08:29 AM - Posted by mark_menace (not verified)

or is there any sample pics on you guys installing this cooler on an AMD board. i noticed most of the reviews i read online only showed the installation of this cooler on an Intel Socket.

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