today I want to introduce you to some new variants of tubing, some of which haven't been out too long.
This roundup is mainly about the popular sizes (in europe) 13/10mm (3/8") and 16/10mm (5/8"). While you were pretty much stuck with only a few choices for these sizes in the past, there's now a range of different brands and colors available to choose from.
When choosing the size of the tubing, it's important to know which requirements the product should meet and you shouldn't just pick one that's fashionable at the time. Even though the 16/10 (5/8") tubing can outperform the 13/10mm (3/8") when it comes to the bending radius, it's not always the best choice because of its sausage-style looks. Overall, the radii of high quality 13/10mm tubing are usually more than enough for most users, anyway. 13/10 tubing by Primochill and Koolance can, for example, achieve radii a lot smaller than those of Masterkleer tubing.
When taking a look at the larger 16/10mm tubing, the difference in radii are only minor, so the more important aspects are the color and the price. A long time there was no way around Tygon tubing, because of the awesome bending radius and its clear looks, even though you paid 10€/meter for it. Luckily, there are now several other competitors available that can take on the Tygon in both these aspects.
Last but not least, there's also the 19/13mm royalty, which appears to take the same route the 16/10 took: except for a few exemptions the only differences are, once again, in the color and the price.
Also, before buying your favorite tubing, be sure to think about what case it's supposed to be used in. When, for example, using 11/8mm tubing (which offers great bending radii), it'll almost look lost in a Big Tower case, which wouldn't be the case when using 16/10mm. On the other hand, 11/8mm can be the best choice in tiny cases, like those used for HTPC´s, to avoid having to use angled fittings or anti-kink-springs.
Also, there's the choice of colors: a lof of the new tubing is UV reactive, making it easier to create some accents in a watercooling-loop in the dark when using a UV light. Of course, this isn't everybody's style and some of the UV tubing has the disadvantage of a slight blue color, that can be very visible on black, clear or white tubing. Those who don't want this effect should try to look out for tubing that's not UV reactive.
So let's get to the most important part, comparing pictures. I'll start with the 13/10mm (3/8") tubing.
The white versions of Masterkleer and Primochill tubing are first:
(Please excuse the stains on some of the UV pictures, coming from some faulty 19/13mm tubing, that marked off on the rest)
Masterkleer: 3.99 Euro / per meter
Primochill: 5.99 €/m
Here's a three-way-comparison between Koolancetubing 13/10mm (uv reactive), Primochill Primoflex Pro 13/10mm and Tygon 12.7/9.5mm tubing
As you can see, the expensive Tygon scores best when it comes to transparency.
Also, there's Masterkleer tubing in this size for only 2.69€/m, but it also offers very poor bending radii when compared to these three rivals.
Here's a picture comparing Primochill in 13/10mm and 16/10mm with Masterkleer in 13/10mm (3/8")
Still, to be frank, even the cheapest Masterkleer tubing is sufficient for most uses.
Next one is a comparison between green Masterkleer, Primochill and Koolance in 13/10mm.
The Koolance and Primochill tubing are about the same when it comes to bending radius, though the one by Koolance is a bit stiffer, resulting in more pressure on the waterblocks.
Let's get to the very popular color blue! Prices are the same as the other colors by those companies in this size.
As you can see, the Primochill tubing isn't UV reactive.
Next is the black 13/10mm tubing. Once again, the variants by Koolance and Primochill aren't UV reactive, avoiding the blue sheen seen on the Masterkleer, which is a result of the UV particles.
Now it's the turn of red Masterkleer, Primochill and Koolance tubing, looking like this in daylight and UV light:
So let's get to 16/10mm (5/8") tubing. As said before, there aren't any big differences concerning the radii.
I especially like the Primochill, offering very tight bending radii and very clear looks at 6.29€/m.
Comparison between Primochill 16/10mm and Clearflex 15.9/9.5mm:
Koolance also offers large tubing, but sadly only in 16/13mm variants, that kink a lot earlier than 16/10mm because of the thinner walls.
This is what Koolance offers in 16/13mm:
Priced at 5.99€/m, you can see a huge difference to the 16/10mm tubing in the pictures of the green variants.
Coming up is a comparison between the popular Masterkleer 16/10, an XSPC 15.9/9.5mm tubing and the almost unknown Nalgene 15.9/11.1mm.
The Nalgene scores best when it comes to bending radius, closely followed by the Masterkleer and XSPC.
One thing I didn't like about the Nalgene tubing is the continuous writing on the walls, so I'd probably choose a competitor.
Black tubing also gets more and more popular so here are the most commonly used variants in 16/10mm (5/8") :
It starts with Masterkleer 16/10mm for 4.99€/m, followed by Tygon 15.9/9.5mm for 9.99€/m and ends with Primochill 16/10mm for 6.29€/m.
Only the Masterkleer tubing in this comparison is UV reactive and the Tygon offers the best bending radius.
Next up is a larger comparison of Masterkleer and Primochill in 16/10mm (5/8") - get your own impression of the colors blue, red, green, white and silver!
I'll close with a bending comparions of rather unknown, but very good tubing: Nalgene 19/13mm (1/2"):
I hope that my little overview could be of some help when choosing the right tubing.
This roundup will probably soon be expanded with other variants, but for now I can't see any more tubing in this amount or I'll get nightmares.
Until the next review,
Thanks go out to the company Aquatuning.de for providing the samples and my girlfriend for her patience until 80 meters of tubing were stored away after days of taking pictures.
- Update 01/24/11 -
Meanwhile, the Masterkleer tubing is available in a revised and improved version, also featuring the new colors: yellow, orange, pink and purple). I received tubing in 13/10mm and 16/10mm for these new pictures. The 13/10 also struck me as being more resistant to kinks as it was before. The colors look better, too – they look a lot like those of the Primochill tubing, while being less expensive. :bigok: The slight blue shimmer I complained about last time is gone now, too. The new versions are available in retail packages of 3.3 (at 8€ for 13/10 and 12€ for 16/10mm) or 15 meters.
Let’s see a few pictures of the new 16/10 versions in the 3.3m packages:
Comparison in transparency and bending radius Primochill 16/10 <-> Masterkleer 16/10:
As you can see, the new MK tubing is equal to the more expansive tubing by Primochill!
Therefore I award the new Masterkleer 16/10 tubing the award for value for money!
Link to the 16/10mm 3.3m packages:
Aquatuning - neue Masterkleer Schläuche 16/10mm
And a few pictures of the 13/10mm Masterkleer tubing:
(I didn’t take pictures of 2-3 sorts as they didn’t differ from the old MK versions!)
And the link to the 3.3m 13/10mm packages:
The new tubing is also available in the following sizes: 10/8, 11/8, 15.9/11.1, 15.9/12.7 and 19/13mm!
New Alphacool HF 13/10mm tubing:
Alphacool.de also sent me some new tubing. It’s made in the USA and also offers rich deep colors, while not being UV active and therefore you don’t see any anomalies in the color. When it comes to bending radius, it can’t quite compete with the tubing by Primochill or Koolance and is currently only available in 13/10mm at a price of 4.95€ a meter.
Here’s a link to the tubing:
Alphacool Schlauch HF 13/10
It’s currently available in the colors red, blue, orange, black, clear, white and green.
Comparison Alphacool HF 13/10mm green <-> Masterkleer 13/10mm green:
This is an example so you can see the differences in transparency.
Once again, thanks go out to www.aquatuning.de and www.alphacool.de for providing this tubing.