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Old December 31, 2010, 07:56 AM
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Hi all,

Long time lurker here - but finally decided to register today.

I'm sure like many of you, this holiday season has brought lots of awesome pc stuff. For me, it's the possibility of watercooling with my new 800d case. I've done a lot of research, but there are still a few things which remain unclear. I was wondering if you fellow Canucks can help me get in the loop (so to speak - as if that pun hasn't been made before, eh?).

So onto my question - I am planning to throw a 360 rad into my case with a push - pull configuration. Thickness isn't that big of a deal. What is the best rad for this situation? I notice that XSPC's RX360 is nice and thick, but only preforms well with low to medium speed fans. is there a better triple rad solution out there for push - pull right now?

Thanks,

Ebb
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Old December 31, 2010, 08:08 AM
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barely any differences in triple rads at all grab a 320 swiftech. you can spend more if you want but the performance will be almost the same.
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Old December 31, 2010, 11:04 AM
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I was in the same boat a few months ago when I was planning my build. I wanted a nice large and thick rad but after reading several threads and reviews, I ended up with a swiftech 320. I've got 3 Scythe S-flex 1600's in push on it, my i7 920 OC'ed to 3.8, and it folds away at ~ 50'C. Can't beat that when you consider the rad only costs ~50 bucks or so.
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Old December 31, 2010, 11:13 AM
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Most rads are pretty similar, except fora few that are specifically designed for HIGH airflow like the Hardware Labs GTX360. Skinnee Labs | Triple Radiator Comparison V2

I went with XSPC rads because they are so thick and work well with minimal airflow (quiet) They are over 60mm thick, while the swiftechs are 34mm thick. Surprisingly though, the performance is very similar despite that.

Have a good read over that Skinnee labs review. There is very little difference between the rads, and the cooling you gain by going with 1400RPM+ fans is minimal also. My 930 @ 4.2 idles 40* and peaks at 70* (several hours of prime 95) with just an RX360 and 3 1000 rpm fans. The motherboard block is in that loop too.
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Old December 31, 2010, 11:25 AM
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Bear in mind that two medium fans in push-pull doesn't automatically equal 1 high-speed fan. And depending on your definition of "low-speed" and "medium-speed", a pair of them may not quite reach into the "high-speed" zone, where a different radiator might suddenly be best.

My own personal rule of thumb is that two fans running at X rpm are, at best, equal to a single fan running at 1.4X rpm.
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Old December 31, 2010, 01:10 PM
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Thanks for all the input guys.

But sadly, I still have so many questions!

Is the upcoming TFC admiral (standard 360 rad) worth the wait? I've heard the hype about Feser rads, but is that only for their "Monsta" series?

More noob questions to come sadly - provided you guys don't mind.
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Old December 31, 2010, 01:33 PM
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Those admiral rads sure do look good. And Feser has done a great job with their marketing. I guess they have to be good... how else can you sell a litre of coloured water for $20.

The new rads look great and appear to have multiple ports in the end tanks, which could make routing your loop easier, but basically the reason that all of these radiators perform so similarly, is because they are limited by physics. The water/aluminum and aluminum/air interfaces can only transfer so much heat. Of course having different flow paths, different fin densities and different styles of tubes will have some impact, but radiators have been used in non-pc applications forever (too lazy to Google the history of radiators) and manufacturers have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn't.

If you want them for the looks or for the end tank ports, that's fine, they really do look good. If you want them to drop your cpu temps massively, then just pick up something cheaper/available.
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Old December 31, 2010, 01:51 PM
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As far as push/pull vs just a push, or a pull, it can make a huge difference, or none at all.

If you're looking for a silent (or close) solution, and you want to use fans that are 1. quiet and 2. don't move much air and 3. don't provide a lot of pressure when you throw them onto a restrictive rad, then push pull will give an almost double 'boost' in rad efficiency.

Kind of like the old Thermochill PA vs HE designs.

the PA moved to a really open fin design. No real need for a fan that can move a lot of air through a tight spacing of the fin, since there wasn't a lot of resistance to air movement.

The HE was a tight and restrictive fin setup, which was actually more effective if you had a really high level of air movement, but it did need fans that could maintain that movement and they needed to work well when restricted, which is what I mean by 'air pressure'.

so it depends on the rad. If it's a really open design, push pull won't get you any more than push or pull alone. If it's pretty tight, and the fans don't seem to be getting air through as well as needed, then a 'pull' on the other side compensates, and usually gets you back to the airflow of the one fan.

One fan through a tight rad can end up being 30% as opposed to a 100% if it's a slow fan, that can't handle pressure restriction.

Two fans working together can assist it back to 100% through the tight rad, so it's no improvement over a single fan, just that it makes it 'flow' to a single fan's full potential. Two fans of the same type, especially if they're a low speed/quiet fan, doesn't give you a lot more that one. You get the slight boost, but usually it's only if they have no restriction whatsoever. Through a rad, they'll almost always end up back to the flow of one single fan.

Also, it can make it quieter since a fan that's struggling can make a lot of wind rush noise.

Hope that makes it a little more clear. Depends on the rad for which setup of fans is better, and you'll only be completely sure of what fans, what config, will work best when you have the rad and start setting up, but I always find that a pair running 'push/pull' / Silent fan models ends up with a good cooling result, and still really quiet.


Gray
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