Gamer Storm Lucifer Review

red454 - 2013-11-17 18:55:06 in CPU Cooling
Category: CPU Cooling
Reviewed by: red454   
Reviewed on: January 22, 2014
Price: $60

Gamer Storm Lucifer Introduction:

Gamer Storm is a new division of Deep Cool and as you can probably guess, the focus of Gamer Storm is, of course, gamers. Under the Gamer Storm umbrella there are several items, including the GS120, which is a 20mm-thick fan for small cases, the GF140 high-performance fans, the Dracula 7970 GPU cooler, and three CPU coolers — the Gabriel, the Assassin, and for today's review, the Lucifer. This new cooler from Gamer Storm can operate with an included 140mm PWM fan or fanless in a "silent" passive mode. My wife usually calls me when review products show up at the door, but this time it was a little different. She called me to tell me that Lucifer had arrived and was waiting for me. Uh, what? Well, I suppose I knew it was going to happen one day, just not so soon. Should I be excited, scared, or maybe a little of both? This would be a perfect Halloween review.

The Gamer Storm logo even has a backstory. From the Gamer Storm website: "The face Logo of GAMER STORM represents a gamer. A drop of blood and tear on the left part of the face reflects the hardships gamers have been through and they never lose faith in their belief. The right part is the Sanskrit of GS, meaning that gaming is the religion of gamers and they show their enthusiasm about extreme gaming performance and gaming products."

 

Gamer Storm Lucifer Closer Look:

The box has a dark, ominous look about it. The foreboding graphics are purposely understated as Lucifer needs no fancy introduction. Right there on the front panel it says, "Devour The Heat In Silence." For some reason, Sympathy for the Devil (by the Rolling Stones) is now playing in my head. Seriously, the layout and design of this box are just perfect.  The metallic green font against the matte black background poised next to the oversized logo send the message that this cooler is ready for business.

Remarkably, there are no pictures of the cooler on the box. One side panel simply has the logo and Lucifer name while the other side calls out the features, noteably that the "Lucifer CPU cooler is designed to cool those processors under 100W in fanless mode to create a totally silent system: meanwhile, Lucifer is capable of cooling high-end processors up to 130W TDP with the help of good airflow inside the case."

The rear of the box lists the socket coverage and also the general specifications. The top has a nice carrying handle, which I really like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Johnny Cash would love this packaging — everything is black. The entire system is well secured, especially the heat sink. It resides in its own separate box within a box, and it is ultimately wrapped in clear plastic. There are two identical smaller boxes; one contains the fan and the other contains all the hardware and instructions.

   

 

The box contents include hardware to mount the Lucifer to all the current sockets from Intel and AMD, including LGA 2011. At the lower left are the fan mounts — two for the included fan and two for an extra fan and the thermal paste. Above that are the mounting brackets for AMD. To the upper right are the adapters for LGA 2011, and the square insulator pad for LGA775. Down below to the lower left are all the hardware and mounts for Intel LGA1150, 1155, 1156 and 1366.

The instruction set unfolds like a map and is printed on both sides and includes easy-to-follow graphics for Intel and AMD installations.

 

Gamer Storm Lucifer Closer Look:

The Lucifer doesn't look like the other coolers on the market. I mean sure, there is a single tower heat sink and a fan. But usually they are square or rectangluar. Not this one — it has a very distinctive shape with a deep cut through the center, almost separating it into two halves. Measuring 140X136X168mm overall, it may not be a good candidate for a mini ITX build. The six 6mm heat pipes are offset from each other rather than being in a straight line, and they are in a direct path and more exposed to the airflow which should help with cooling. Keep in mind that the Lucifer is designed to be used in passive (silent) mode with no fan, so we will certainly have to see how well it can handle the heat all by itself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Removing the fan reveals a lot of surface area, and to operate in passive mode (no fan), you need all the surface area you can get. The heat pipes are offset to help with RAM clearance.

 

 

The top view of the tower shows the termination points for the six nickel-plated, copper heat pipes. The top looks a bit like a winged demon, ready to "devour the heat". There are four notches for the fan mounting clips if you want to use two fans. The bottom is polished mirror smooth.

 

 

The base has a relief for the bracket that attaches the cooler to the motherboard. Since this bracket is not retained to the base, it can move around during installation. If you lay your case flat and work from the top, this won't be a problem. But I usually work from the side with my case in the upright position, and in this orientation, gravity is not your friend.

 

 

Gamer Storm's 4-pin 140mm PWM fan has nine blades that use Gamer Storm's AACC (Airflow Auto-Control Channel) technology to push the air without any vortex issues, which ultimately gives you a quiet fan, even at full speed.

 

 

As I mentioned earlier, installation of the Lucifer would be easier if I laid my case flat, but the case I am using is large and heavy, so I try to not move it around any more than I have to. So, installing the Lucifer is a little more challenging. Side to side, there is clearance between the RAM modules and the fan, but very little. I moved the fan up just a tad so it basically sits on top of the RAM. You can use all four slots, but tall modules may cause problems. You really don't want to move the fan up much or the fin stack will lose airflow. With the offset nature of the Lucifer there is room for a second fan, but not much more.

 

 

The stamped steel backing plate is heavy and has an insulating layer to protect the back of the motherboard.

Gamer Storm Lucifer Specifications:

P/N
Lucifer
Compatibility
Intel LGA  2011/1366/1155/1156/1150/1150/775 130W
Core i7-i5-i3
Core 2 Extreme
Core 2 Quad & Duo
Pentium - Pentium D - Pentium 4
Celeron Dual-Core
Celeron / Celeron D
 
AMD FM2/FM1/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2 125W
FX X8/X6/X4
A10/A8/A6/A4
Phenom II X6/X4/X3/X2
Phenom X4/X3
Athlon II X4/X3/X2
Athlon X2
Athlon /Athlon FX
Business Class
Sempron
 
Heatsink Dimension
Overall Dimension
140X110X163mm
140X136X168mm
Heatsink Material
Aluminum Fins
Copper Heatpipes
Heatpipe
Φ6mm x 6 pcs
Fan Dimension
Φ140X140X26mm
Fan quantity
1 pcs
Fan Speed
8700±200~1400±10%RPM
Rated Voltage
12V
Start Voltage
10.8V
Rated Current
0.17±10%A(MAX)
Power Input
2.04W
Air Flow
81.33CFM
Air Pressure
N/A
Noise
17.8~ 26.1 dBA
Life time/Fan Life time
N/A
Fan control
PWM
pin connect
4-pin
Cooling Power
130W
Weight
1079 g

 

Gamer Storm Lucifer Features:


 

All information Courtesy of Gamer Storm @ http://global.gamerstorm.cn/Product/Lucifer/

Gamer Storm Lucifer Testing:

Testing of the Gamer Storm Lucifer will be accomplished by installing the cooler into the test system case, rather than a test bench. Most systems are built and mounted into a (relatively) sealed chassis, so this method will be used to generate the idle and load results to give a real world view as to the cooling performance one can expect, based on the test system listed below. Of course, your results may vary by several degrees due to case design and ambient air temperature. The CPU load is generated by Prime 95 version 27.9 for a period of two hours, with a cooldown period of one hour after the computer has returned to an idle state. Real Temp 3.70 is used to log the temperatures with the highest and lowest averages across the four cores of the Core i7 4770K test CPU. Ambient temperatures are kept at 24 °C during the testing to minimize the effect of temperature variations. Each cooler is tested with the manufacturer-supplied thermal compound as delivered.

Since the Lucifer is designed to be used with and without a fan (in silent mode), we are also going to test it with no fan and see how it holds up.

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Coolers:

 

 

 

 

At idle, the Lucifer is able to keep my 4770K CPU at 27 °C stock with the included fan, and 29 °C without the fan (passive). With the CPU loaded, we are at 75 °C with the fan which is certainly acceptable, and without the fan, we are at 87 °C.  A little toasty, but not horrible considering in passive mode you are relying on case airflow, and this will be rather subjective depending on your case style and the placement and number of case fans. But I don't really think many people would buy the Lucifer and not use the fan.

As for overclocking, the gap really narrows and we are at 83 °C which is just a few degrees above the AIO (All in One) Nepton 280L liquid cooler, and this is impressive. The Lucifer can indeed run with the big boys. Now, passive mode (without the fan) was not so good, and I really didn't expect it to be. Temps crept up through the 80's, into the 90's and they were still going up, so I killed the testing since it was pointless to continue. I don't believe anyone is going run a higher-end cooler like the Lucifer on an overclocked system and not use a fan. 

Now let's talk about RAM clearance. The finstack clears the RAM slots, so tall memory won't be a problem. My Patriot Viper sticks fit just fine. I did have to move the fan up just a little to clear the tops of the Viper sticks, but I don't think this affected the fan performance. Taller RAM may be an issue as you would have to move the fan up high enough that the finstack may not see the full volume of airflow from the fan, so check your RAM compatibility.

Gamer Storm Lucifer Conclusion:

I've been really impressed with the Lucifer. It is an attractive cooler that is easy to install and gives you the option of running in passive mode — not many coolers can do that.

When using the included fan, cooling performance shows that the Lucifer can run with larger, more expensive coolers. The fan is quiet and can move plenty of air when necessary. And under normal use in passive mode, the Lucifer's large surface area can still handle the load of a stock 4770K, and a lower TDP processor such as the i3 or i5 would likely give even better results. Overclocking simply pushed the temps too high for passive use. And really, you have to have some case fans anyway, so why not just use the 140mm PWM fan that comes with it and thermally speaking,  you will be prepared for anything your CPU can dish out.

Testing coolers as often as I do means that I am in and out of the case quite often. And the way some coolers install (like some of the Noctua models) can really spoil you. Most of the time, I am working on the test system with the case upright, and with the retaining bracket being separate from the base, it can be a bit of a challenge to install. However, if you lay your case flat, then you won't have any problems installing the Lucifer. And most people install their cooler once and never really touch it again.

The next thing to consider besides cooling performance is RAM space. Large coolers are notorious for smothering the RAM slots and the way the heat pipes are offset, the finstack is kept clear of the RAM slots. The Patriot Viper RAM that I am using fits just fine, and all four slots on the motherboard are accessible (when the fan is removed). But taller RAM may have some issues, so check to make sure your RAM will fit.

The build quality is top notch, right down to the packaging, and the unique style just begs to be in a case with a big side window. The Lucifer packs a thermal punch and proves that it really can "devour the heat".  Expected pricing should be around $40, which is a lot of bang for the buck.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: