Originally Posted by bustacap22
Whats your thoughts on the Black Ice 420 Rads GTX extreme or SR 1. NO modding needed for the Switch 810. Plus both GTX and SR1 are 54mm thick. I believe that with these rads, push/pull can be achieved with RIVE MOBO. But with the low FPI on the SR1 (9 FPI), I hear that push/pull is not needed with this specific RAD. The GTX 420 (20FPI) would benefit from push/pull, however I hear that this specific RAD doesn't play well with others due to its restriction. Obviously, I am going for plenty of headroom and want the best temp possible. Your thoughts...
First, you're no longer restricted to "HWL ONLY" if you don't want to mod. The revised top panel (Gunmetal and Matte Black versions introduced this) has "slots" for the 140mm fan screws allowing 15mm OR 20mm rad spacing for the 140-based rads.
HardwareLabs radiators (Black Ice) are probably the best-finished, aside from Watercool, that you can get. The paint is impeccable, and they just look really darn pretty
However, you PAY for that pretty paint and for the name, as they are the priciest radiators, next to Watercool.
I have less experience with them than I do with Alphacool, XSPC, or a few others, but here are my impressions:
- The GTX combines high fin density (19-20fpi) with a thick profile (54mm), allowing for excellent cooling potential but requiring SIGNIFICANT fan power! You absolutely want to be running push-pull with this radiator, and ideally with 38mm-thick fans. Bgears Blasters are the best 140mm rad fans I've used, and even they aren't quite powerful enough to extract everything that the 140-version GTX has to give (in push-pull). It also scales really poorly with slower fan speeds, so you will likely end up with 2000rpm+ fans running push-pull to make the rad perform how it should.
- The SR1 is indeed optimized for lower-speed fans, but it is also thick; like ANY radiator, it benefits from push-pull fans. Push Pull is worth a 15-30% performance increase, regardless of the radiator (I have never seen it NOT benefit), and especially true for thicker rads regardless of fin density.
All-in-all, the Alphacool UT60 and XT45 perform equivalently or better than the HWL radiators do, but cost significantly less despite the fact that they are made with ~2x as much copper... Sure the NexXxoS rads aren't as perfectly finished, but unless you enter your radiators into beauty pageants it doesn't really matter as they (Alphacool) are perfectly acceptable in terms of finish.
The Alphacool rads also scale much better over a far wider range of fan speeds than the HWL rads do, which tend to be more specialized. An example of this is my running my UT60 240 with 4x Koolance 2600rpm fans in push-pull (5.4mmH2O and 106CFM each), and seeing a linear gain in cooling relative to fan speed. I will be adding a pair of 15-20mm Shrouds on the push side and 7mm shrouds on the pull side in the next few weeks to see if it performs any differently, but also because they look cool lol.
Regardless of which rad you choose, I really really suggest getting a 420 over a 360 and using push-pull instead of just one or the other; you get slightly more surface area than a 480, fewer dead-zones from the fans, and you take advantage of the space that you have much more fully.