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Deepcool Dukase v2 Case Review

Rating: 8.0.

Deepcool has a history of producing unusual and innovative cases such as Tristellar and Genome so we had very little idea what to expect from their new Dukase v2. Our first impressions are of a case that looks quite similar to the NZXT S340, with its shiny white powder coated finish, compact form factor and windowed side panel. The window in question is acrylic, rather than glass, and the size looks fairly average with a large bezel, despite the fact that the v2 window is larger than the original Dukase.

It would be fair to say in early 2017 that Deepcool Dukase v2 has a retro feel about it that is rather familiar. The question, as ever, is whether this budget case is actually any good.

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Specification:

Materials SPCC+PLASTIC (ABS) (Panel thickness: 0.7mm)
Product Dimension 483mm (L)×213mm (W)×504mm (H)
Weight Net.: 6.5kg
5.25″ Drive Bays 2
3.5″ Drive Bays 3
2.5″ Drive Bays 3
I/O Panel 1×USB3.0, 1×USB2.0, 1x Audio (HD), 1x Mic
Expansion Slots 7
Cooling Fans Pre-installed: Rear: 1×120mm fan; Optional:
Front: 2×120mm or 1×140mm
Top: 120/240/140/280mm (L×W×H not exceed 310×140×56mm)
Power Supply Type ATX PSU (Length less than 170mm)
CPU Cooler Compatibility 170mm height
VGA Compatibility 390mm
Motherboards ATX/Micro ATX/Mini-ITX

The shiny white finish has been neatly applied and it isn’t immediately clear which parts of the case are plastic and which are steel. Remove a few thumbscrews and it quickly becomes apparent the side panels are steel and the clip-on top and front panels are plastic.

There is a certain knack to releasing the front panel as it engages with the top panel and requires you pull very hard to release the panel and then pull the bottom of the panel outwards before it can be removed. You are unlikely to perform this task very often as the only cooling hardware you can install at the front is limited to 1x 140mm fan or 2x 120mm fans, so this would really be for occasional cleaning. It simply isn’t an option to squeeze in a liquid cooler at the front so if you want to go down that route the cooler will go in the roof.

Deepcool has thought about this and the roof of the case has been raised to allow increased air flow for the exhaust.

If you prefer custom loop cooling to All In One there is a fair amount of room to install your pump and reservoir. It’s not exactly the same as a dedicated pump mount but we found it easy to securely attach the hardware with nuts and bolts, without any need to drill holes.

When it comes to cable management the Deepcool Dukase makes it easy to secure the PSU cables as there are plenty of anchor points, although a few more would make things even better. It’s a bit of a struggle to keep the cables tidy as the interior of the case is heavily perforated and there are no cable management grommets. On the plus side you can hide most of the cables under the power supply cover, although the amount of space you have depends on whether you install hard drives in the two caddies.

The wiring from the rear fan that connects to the fan controller hub is messy and the wiring for the two Noctua fans on the Alphacool radiator added to the clutter.

Overall the build looked pretty good however it would help if the Deepcool Dukase was taller and provided more cable management holes. This is not a major criticism as the Deepcool Dukase is clearly aimed at the budget market and in that sense it does a very fair job.

Testing
To put this case through its cooling paces we will be using a test system consisting of an Intel Core i7-5820K, GeForce GTX 980 and an SSD. This system allows us to produce a substantial amount of heat and effectively test the Deepcool Dukase‘s cooling capabilities.

For stress testing we use a mixture of AIDA64 and FurMark to create the maximum heat output.

Test System:

  • Processor: 3.3GHz/3.6GHz Intel Core i7-5820K
  • Motherboard: EVGA X99 Micro 2
  • CPU cooler: Alphacool custom loop
  • Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2800MHz RAM
  • Graphics card: GeForce GTX 980 4GB
  • Power supply: Corsair RM1000i SE 1000W
  • Storage drives: Corsair Neutron XT SSD
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro.

Cooling Performance.

The enclosed nature of the Deepcool Dukase and the minimal amount of ventilation in the slotted front panel clearly affects airflow. With our chosen Alphacool and EKWB custom loop hardware the temperatures for CPU and GPU were about five degrees warmer than the Aerocool P7-C1. There is plenty for scope for airflow at the rear of the case and in the roof so the restrictions are certainly at the front.

We cannot claim the Deepcool Dukase gave us any cause for concern. The styling of the front panel includes a stealth door and the consequence is slightly reduced air flow.

Acoustics performance.
With our chosen cooling hardware installed in the roof of the case noise levels depended on the setting of the integrated fan controller. On Low or Medium speed the noise was minimal while at High speed the fans were clearly audible. The Noctua NF-F12 PWM fans are premium pieces of hardware and we have to consider this as a best case scenario.

Then again if you use a tower air cooler where the fans are a distance from the outer edges of the case you will likely find the Deepcool Dukase is effectively silent.

This is impressive when you consider the panels of the case have no noise deadening material and rely on clever air flow management.

Closing Thoughts.

We have mixed feelings about the Deepcool Dukase v2 as it bears a strong passing resemblance to the NZXT S340. Deepcool has done thing differently so what looks like a plain front is actually a stealth door and you have the option of installing two optical drives and a 3.5-inch external device. If you prefer to use custom loop hardware then, like us, you may end up removing the drive bay hardware.

Our point is that the NZXT S340 came out in 2014 and the Deepcool Dukase v2 hasn’t really moved things on significantly. The current themes in case design include tempered glass and RGB lighting which are almost completely ignored by the Deepcool Dukase. There is a channel in the side of the power supply cover that will accommodate a lighting strip but that is as far as it goes.

If we move away from preconceptions and approach this case with fresh eyes then it looks neat and tidy and comes in at a budget price. The only noteworthy feature is the fan controller so you are buying the Dukase v2 pretty much on aesthetic grounds. Balanced against that we wish the case was slightly taller so it was easier to install liquid cooling hardware in the roof. Cable management is good but could be improved.

Cooling performance is entirely acceptable but is clearly affected by the design of the front panel.

Overall we like the Deepcool Dukase v2 but cannot claim it is either exciting or innovative.

MSRP is £69.99 inc vat in the UK. We have no available links at this price on publication day unfortunately.

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Pros:

  • Plenty of options for mounting a pump and reservoir.
  • Acrylic window shows off the interior.
  • Integrated fan controller for three fans.
  • White powder coated finish looks good.
  • Textured inserts on front and top panels.

Cons:

  • No cable management holes above the motherboard.
  • Very tight for space in the roof of the case, even with a slim radiator.
  • No option to install a radiator at the front of the case.
  • Limited cable management for the fan controller.

KitGuru says: Deepcool Dukase v2 is a tidy budget case that lacks innovation.

Rating: 8.0.

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