Largest radiator I've tested so far...
Here's a pic comparing it to the XSPC RX360, a radiator that seemed quite large when I first got it but now... well, see for yourself:
This radiator was kindly provided by Caseking, Germany.
Since my last radiator reviews, I've changed my testing setup and method. I got some valuable input from Skinnee, AndreaBZ and many others on how to tweak and improve the testing.
- New fans: I'm now using Scythe Kama Flex 1900 (120mm) and Sharkoon System Fan Power (140mm). I switched to the Kama Flex because they are simply better than the ones I had previously and I switched to the Sharkoons because the Spire fans I used before were no longer available and for this test, I needed a lot of 140mm fans.
The Sharkoon fans are rated at 85 CFM @ 1500rpm but this is in open air, so I guess it's pretty much irrelevant when it comes to radiator testing.
- Better control over heat load: I have the heaters connected to a watt-meter and I manually record the wattage every five minutes.
- C/W curves: Since I now have a better idea of the actual heat loads during each test run, I adjust for the differences. The easiest way to do this is to calculate C/W curves, showing the water-ambient temperature difference per Watt of heat applied.
- More temp-sensors: I am now using three temp sensors on either side of the radiator, measuring the air in as well as air out temperatures.
- Recalibrated: All of my sensors were recalibrated, which was necessary after changing the sensor-arrangement.
- Laing DDC (MCP355) with EK X-Res
- 2x Inline heaters
- 4x Water-temp sensors
- 6x Air-temp sensors
- GMR flowmeter
- T-Balancer bigNG and Sensorhub for monitoring and logging temperatures amd flowrates
Each test run lasts 35 minutes, 25 minutes are warm up and the data from the last 10 minutes is all averaged out.
I don't control flowrates. The pump is always going at 12V and flow is as high as it can be in the loop. Just like the CPU blocks are tested with different flowrates due to differences in restrictiveness, I'm also testing radiators at "their own" flowrates, depending solely on their restrictiveness.
I do compare radiators of the 120-mm-format with those of 140-mm-format, even though such a comparison can never be 100% fair. The rads are being tested with different fans and (deliberately) different fan-speeds. Still, we want to know how a 560 does against our favourite 360, right? Just keep in mind that the comparison can only be seen as a rough guide and different fans would (and do) lead to different results.
Having changed the test setup, I needed to retest the radiators, of course. Unfortunately, most of the radiators from my previous roundup are no longer here for testing. I retested what radiators I coul, but it was enough to cover the main cornerstones, which are:
- XSPC RX360 - Best 360 for low-speed fans.
- Black Ice 360 - Best 360 for high-speed, high-pressure fans.
- Magicool Slim 360 - Solid budget 360. Basically this one marks the low-end.
- Black Ice 420 - This was also retested and it's interesting to see the differences in performance due to the different fans use since the first test.
Now for the results:
No real surprise here. In terms of restrictiveness, the GTX 560 pretty much marks the middle ground among the rads in this comparison.
C/W, single row of fans, push
C/W, double fan rows, push-pull
Not surprisingly due to it's sheer size, the GTX 560 is way ahead of the crowd in these comparisons.
Here are all of the curves, single fan row and double fan rows (DF) together in one, slightly chaotic graph:
Here we see that even with one row of fans in push, the GTX 560 can stay ahead of contenders with fans in push-pull. On the other hand, a push-pull RX360 is actually slightly better than a GTX 560 in push at low fan speeds.
It's also interesting to see some of the other relations between different rads and fan-configs in this graph.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Because the radiators are placed vertically on my test-bench (fans blowing horizontally), I'm not getting accurate Air out readings. I moved the sensors to a better spot after the first few runs but it still seems a bit off. I grayed out the Air out and Air capacity values becuase I suspect they are wrong. If you look at the data from the GTX 280 (original sensor placement) you can see that it just can't be right. Look at the data from the RX360 (new sensor placement) and the values make more sense, but I'm still not sure if they are correct.
Ambient temps are in a range of 4° (+/-2°) and Heat load in a range of 12.6 W (+/-6.3 W). That's not great, but I can't do anything about either.
For now, that's all. Hope you enjoyed the read.
Special thanks to Skinnee for providing samples of how he collects and compiles data.
The original, german article can be found here on DeXgo.com.