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How big is your radiator?

Posted on 1st Mar 2009 at 14:03 by Antony Leather with 14 comments

Antony Leather
It’s been an interesting twelve months for all the water-coolers out there. We’ve had the launch of the D-tek Fusion V2, Swiftech Apogee GTZ, OCZ Hydroflow and XSPC Delta V3 CPU waterblocks and we’ve seen plenty of new GPU blocks too. Blocks for both the Nvidia GeForce GTX 200 series and ATI Radeon HD 4800 series graphics cards have been launched as well as some interesting dual GPU blocks for the HD 4870X2 and the GTX295.

However, it’s in the field of radiator design that things have been most interesting with no less than three different approaches aimed at improving cooling performance from three manufacturers. Each has caused quite a stir in the water-cooling community because of the way they differ significantly from previous designs.

The first to rock the boat was Feser’s Monsta radiator. The clue’s in the name, albeit a slightly misspelt version of the word depicting anything from excessive to something big, hairy and ferocious. In fact if you cross the hair out of the equation this pretty much sums up Feser’s monstrosity of a radiator.

How big is your radiator?
How big is your radiator?

The main issue here clearly is its size and it's lucky the Monsta is on a limited production run else it's 476 mm (L) x 148.6 mm (W) x 104.2 mm (H) dimensions would render it difficult to use in all but a handful of very large cases.

Next up is Thermochill's new flagship model. The PA series has served us well since 2006 but the competition is catching up fast. We'd almost given up hope of a replacement but imagine our relief earlier this month when we found out the 'King of cool' crown wasn't going fall straight in to Feser's lap and images of the impending PA140.3 prototype were posted through a link over on the
Aqua-PCs forums.

How big is your radiator?

Again the biggest issue here is size. Bear in mind the radiator on the right is a PA120.3 which is no small radiator itself - you can see just how big and wide it is. Eagle eyed readers will also notice that it's also too large for 120mm fans - that's right you'll need to upgrade your fans too! 140mm is now the name of the game, or is it? Maybe this is the way standard case fans are heading? (Let us know your thoughts on that one...) It undoubtedly performs brilliantly but most of us will struggle to find room for it.

So what with radiators that are too deep or too wide, it's sounding a bit like goldilocks trying out the bear's porridge doesn't it? Well luckily someone has the sense to design a better 120mm type radiator that might actually be of some use to us mere mortals with limited space under our desks and cases that cost less than £200. XSPC's new RX range of radiators conform to the usual 120mm design with 15mm fan spacing but are a similar shape and size to most other 120mm type radiators (Thermochill 120.x, Feser Xchanger etc).

How big is your radiator?

What's more, they feature an incredibly low FPI of just eight. FPI, for those not in the know, is how many folds/fins there are in the copper strips that are bent into place between the small tubes in the radiator and act to increase the surface area in contact with the air.

How big is your radiator?

A low FPI means less resistance your fans will have when drawing air through the fins allowing you to use lower RPM fans for less noise. A high FPI will have a greater surface area but will mean you need to use some noisier beefier fans to use its full potential. Previous XSPC radiators and the Thermochill PA120.x series use 13 FPI and early tests show that the RX series can edge out the PA120.3 when using identical fans up to medium RPM.

So there you have it! If 2009 is the year you plan to water-cool your PC, or you're in the market for a radiator upgrade, let us know which you'll be considering...

14 Comments

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Kylevdm 1st March 2009, 16:48 Quote
I got an email from thermochill almost a year back saying that they were working on new radiator designs and therefore were not offering sponsorship nice to see a new radiator finally
knuck 1st March 2009, 17:18 Quote
I am a big choker when it comes to watercooling. I spent years reading about it (from 2000 to 2005) but never had the cash or the balls to do it :)

I am now done with college and will get a real job soon. I also bought the new Phenom II X2 720 Black Edition yesterday so i guess a good watercooling could be very interesting and I could actually afford it this time !
Combatus 1st March 2009, 17:42 Quote
LOL @ "get a real job soon". We all come to that stage after college/uni. Hmm yeah I guess I should actually get a job now! Damn those were the days! The first job usually sucks too! Still I can think of nothing better to spend your first pay cheque on than a load of water-cooling gear! ;-)
knuck 1st March 2009, 17:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Combatus
LOL @ "get a real job soon". We all come to that stage after college/uni. Hmm yeah I guess I should actually get a job now! Damn those were the days! The first job usually sucks too! Still I can think of nothing better to spend your first pay cheque on than a load of water-cooling gear! ;-)

well it will certainly be better paid than the 8.50/hour that I had at Microbytes ... I mean I only made about 500$ a month with that. There is no way that I will not get more than that now that I am not in college at the same time so I guess whatever pays more than before will be good for a first job :)
E.E.L. Ambiense 1st March 2009, 19:59 Quote
Hm, the new PA140.3 looks to have gone to 15mm fan spacing too. Interesting.

I snagged both a 240 and 360 XSPC RX rad a few weeks ago. Haven't messed with them, but looking forward to it.


Edit: Looks to be 16 or 17mm spacing on the PA140.3 due to the fan size increase. I'm looking forward to seeing these beasts in action!
phuzz 2nd March 2009, 11:28 Quote
My first job after uni was building PCs, which quickly became dull as fk but it did provide me with plenty of spare parts.
Anyway, I'm planning on water cooling my current rig sometime this year, I'm going to go for a whole new case so I can install the rads etc. in my own time. So my choice of rad is going to depend on which case I eventually go for, but at the moment I was thinking about a CM690 and a 2x120 in the roof...
Skiddywinks 2nd March 2009, 19:26 Quote
While I am sure it is going to be impressive results wise, I am quite disappointed that they didn't come up with an innovative way to improve the dissipation, rather than just make everything bigger.

Hell no would I mount that on my case. In fact, hell no to ever mounting a radiator externally.
naokaji 2nd March 2009, 19:39 Quote
There is still only exactly one case (cosmos s) that can fit a 360 rad (excluding Mountain Mods due to avalaibility outside of us) without modding, so really, feser is nuts for releasing such a oversize rad.

just my 2 cents.
Skiddywinks 2nd March 2009, 23:31 Quote
Usually all that is required is removing a few useless pieces of metal and drilling some holes for mounting, so the modding is usually pretty minor (I have the Cosmos S btw, love it. Got a BI GTX 360 in there as we speak).

That thing, however, I expect just straight up won't fit in anything. Short of tearing a side off.
WhiskeyAlpha 4th March 2009, 11:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by naokaji
There is still only exactly one case (cosmos s) that can fit a 360 rad (excluding Mountain Mods due to avalaibility outside of us) without modding, so really, feser is nuts for releasing such a oversize rad.

just my 2 cents.

True, but MM cases aren't that hard to get hold of in the UK ;)
Ironpipe 6th March 2009, 23:26 Quote
I have been using 2X140 fans on a self maid system. It is totally enclosed in a COOLER MASTER Stacker 830 Evolution. I can add or remove any of 3 cooling lines to Ram, CPU or Video Card in seconds. Run Prime95 OC E6600 to 4.1 Ghz and never exceed 45o C.
Ironpipe 6th March 2009, 23:38 Quote
Self made
jhanlon303 7th March 2009, 01:59 Quote
I have a tiny one. 2x40mm. It's overkill.

john
Aterius Gmork 7th March 2009, 03:06 Quote
Well, John, there's nothing about your cooling setup for that system that is not overkill. ;)
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