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Hands-On: Deepcool Gamer Storm Baronkase

Deepcool has been pushing affordable cases with integrated cooling for a while now. We’ve had some experience with their mad-scientist inspired Gamer Storm Genome, so we were excited to get our hands on their even more ambitious follow up.

The newest case on the scene from Deepcool is the Deepcool Gamer Storm Baronkase Liquid. Maybe not the catchiest name on the market, but the complete package of tempered glass, metal build materials, infused RGB, AND integrated liquid cooling at a compelling price point is pretty remarkable.

Let’s find out if the Baronkase is able to pull off its lofty goals, or if it’s a little too ambitious for its own good.

You can pick up the Deepcool Gamer Storm Baronkase here for $129.49.

Construction and Aesthetics

Considering the price point, the construction is surprisingly solid. The case feels relatively rugged, especially the steel plates on the outside. Inside, the price tag is a little more evident- some of the pieces inside feels a bit thin and fragile. It probably won’t be an issue unless you plan on doing constant upgrades, which would be a pain anyway given the integrated cooling.

It looks great though. The metal construction gives this little case an aggressive look, and the included handle is a nice touch. It’s available in white or black, though the black looks especially good with the RGB accents.

Tight Features

The Baronkase is designed with smaller Micro ITX boards in mind, though it can fit full size ATX boards as well if you’re willing to work with extremely limited clearances. We installed a X299 board to test out the process, and the 24 pin motherboard power insert fit perfectly. It was a little tight, but we didn’t have any real problems.

Getting power to the CPU was also a tight fit between the radiator and the fan. If you have a bulky, modular PSU cable this could cause some problems with fan interference, so that’s something to keep in mind.

The Deepcool Gamer Storm Baronkase is trying to do it all, and for the most part it succeeds. The combination of metal and glass looks great, and the implementation of steel plating and a handle gives it an aesthetic well beyond its price range.

Probably the most unusual thing about the Baronkase is the placement of the PSU. Instead of mounting it in the bottom as usual, here it's moved to the top-front. There’s a pre-routed cable that goes to the outside of the case, so you can plug your power cable where you would normally expect.

In our experience with an ATX mobo, there were a number of steps before we could actually install the PSU. There’s a bracket required to mount the power supply, but it didn’t quite align properly due to the power cord extension. We managed to get it on with a little bit of pressure on the cable, but it was a bit unsettling given how tight everything is in there.

After the PSU installation, the radiator’s tubing was sitting between the PSU and the case divider, but it wasn’t pushing against the tubing enough to cause any problems. Cable management is going to be even more critical than usual when working in the Baronkase.

It’s definitely a close fit, and once it’s in there, it’s a pain to access the PSU again. Make sure to switch on the power supply before you install, or you might have to go through all these steps again when you realize your mistake.

When it comes to GPUs, just about anything will fit. Just about. If you want to install double slot cards like 1070s or 1080 Tis, you’ll probably need to remove one of the SSD brackets. Don’t worry, you’ll still have four more if you do.

If you want to go triple slot and install something like the Zotac GTX 1080 Ti AMP Extreme, you’re probably out of luck. These massive cards will hit the reservoir inputs, and potentially kink the tubing. SLI or Crossfire isn’t really an option either. Space is just too tight.

There are four SSD sleds, one on display behind the tempered glass panel, one behind the motherboard tray, and two near the column where the PSU is installed. Depending on where your SATA ports are located on your motherboard, you might lose access to a few due to the power supply housing column, even with a Mid ATX motherboard.

Cooldown

One of the key features of the Deepcool Baronkase is the integrated cooling. It consists of a simple AIO cooler with a single 120mm radiator, and a relatively standard backplate installation process. There’s a flow indicator in the front of the case so you can see when the coolant is moving which is a nice touch, though it does add some complexity to the cooling system for looks alone. Still though, it saves you the trouble of having to install your own AIO, and the fact the tubing installation has been taken care of already is pretty awesome for someone who is just getting into overclocking or liquid cooling. 

If you're planning on upgrading the stock AIO in the future, it shouldn’t be too difficult. A few screws and a little water cooling knowledge, and you can upgrade to a three 120mm or three 140mm radiator setup. That kind of defeats the point of buying a case with integrated cooling, but you never know what your cooling needs might be in the future.

There’s an average of assortment of I/O features, along with physical buttons you can use to manually change the RGB lighting. There is no USB-C support, which is an unfortunate oversight given how common that connection has become.

AIO Case

The Deepcool Gamer Storm Baronkase is trying to do it all, and for the most part it succeeds. The combination of metal and glass looks great, and the implementation of steel plating and a handle gives it an aesthetic well beyond its price range. The integrated RGB is a nice touch, and the cooling system looks great and is highly functional, assuming you don’t need more than a single 120mm radiator.

The only drawback, and it’s not really a drawback if you’re looking to do a SFF build, is clearances. If you want to go big, with plenty of SATA storage and a HUGE GPU, this case probably isn’t what you’re looking for.

However, if you’re interested in a Mid ATX build, or especially if you’re going Mini ITX, the Baronkase has the features, and the price point, to get the job done with style.