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Does radiator thickness matter?

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Hey All,

I'm currently working on my first water cooling setup, for the stock cooler for my CPU just isn't making the cut. I use my computer mostly for gaming and of course that is when I reach my highest temperatures. Recently with the warmer summer months I've noticed an unpleasant increase in CPU temperature while gaming so I have decided to make the move to water cooling. I've always known that I would end up water cooling but just haven't had the capital to make the move since I finished my build in March.

On too my question that prompted me to make this post: Does radiator thickness affect cooling performance? If so is it a drastic change?

For example:

Swiftech MCR220-XP
Thickness: 34mm

Black Ice® GTX240
Thickness: 54mm

I was debating between these two radiators. I currently only plain on cooling my CPU for my GPU doesn't seem to run very hot. If I ever upgrade the GPU and need to cool it I was thinking of just adding a 120mm Rad to the loop.



My Rig:
Case: CM Haf-X 942
MoBo: Asus Rampage III Formula
CPU: Intel i7 960 @3.2GHz
GPU: MSI N460 GTX Hawk
RAM: 6GB Corsair DDR3 CM3x2G1600C9

Planned Water Cooling Components:
CPU Waterblock: Swiftech Apogee XT (Rev 2)
Pump: Swiftech MCP655
Tubing: PrimoFlex UV Blue 1/2" ID x 3/4" OD
Fittings: Bitspower Compression G1/4 Thread 1/2" ID x 3/4" OD (BP-CPF-CC5)
Undecided: Fans, Reservior (suggestions are welcomed)
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post #2 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by amatthie;14288300 

Swiftech MCR220-XP
Thickness: 34mm

Black Ice® GTX240
Thickness: 54mm

It does matter, the more thick they are, the more surface area they have to cool the water.

Get the black Ice Gtx 240 with two high speed fans in pull, or 4 if you have the place.

triples-v2_heatdiss-5dT.jpg
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post #3 of 41
Yes, radiator thickness matters, but it's how that extra thickness is used that determines the overall performance characteristics of the rad. Fin density, core thickness, and plenum depth also matter.

For example, the HWlabs SR-1 rads are fairly thick, but the actual core is thin and the fin density is low. This means it's easier for a fan to blow air through so you can use lower speed fans more effectively.

However, because there's less surface area due to the thin core and low FPI, cooling performance suffers. To get performance more in line with other rads, they made the rad thicker with deeper plenums (basically an integrated shroud). Using a plenum or shroud makes more effective use of the fan's airflow by spreading the air out over the surface of the rad better and eliminating fan deadspots.

The end result is a rad that works well at low fan speeds, but is surpassed by other rads at higher speeds, including thinner rads (e.g., the Swiftech MCR). If you added shroud(s) to the MCR to bring it to the same thickness as the SR-1, odds are you'd get better performance at most fan speeds. Or better yet, use the space for fans in push-pull for an even more significant improvement. But that's only if space is an issue. If you have unlimited space, good rad + shrouds + fans in push-pull will obviously perform the best.
post #4 of 41
So I have a question now, would a thicker rad be better or would a smaller one with a shroud be better?
post #5 of 41
lets make this simple ..you want to run slow moving fans (quite set up) get thick rad (low FPI~fins per inch)
if you want 1800+ RPM fans (better heat dissipation~loud set up) your best bet 20 (FPI+)
hope this makes sense
Edited by coolhandluke41 - 7/20/11 at 8:51pm
    
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post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by vdn20;14289310 
So I have a question now, would a thicker rad be better or would a smaller one with a shroud be better?

It really depends on the whole set up - the specific rads, the fans and how fast they're running.

For best use of space, fans in push-pull on a thin rad is going to perform better than single fans on a thick rad or single fans + shroud on a thin rad.

If it's too complicated, just do what the last guy said. Get the thickest rad you can and if it's high FPI use fast fans (noisy, performance), if it's low FPI use slow fans (quiet).
Edited by subtec - 7/20/11 at 9:24pm
post #7 of 41
how is xspc rx360??
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post #8 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by teichu;14290188 
how is xspc rx360??

The RX is, I think, the most popular rad around. Low fpi count allows for medium and slow fans (low noise) and the all copper channels and fins make it all the more attractive.
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post #9 of 41
The RX series is pretty nice. But, the Hardware Labs Black Ice GTX really is the best rad you can buy atm. I should have purchased one myself. :/
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post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky 13 SpeedShop;14290575 
The RX series is pretty nice. But, the Hardware Labs Black Ice GTX really is the best rad you can buy atm. I should have purchased one myself. :/

Totally different rads though - RX is geared for low noise, while the GTX is a high FPI, high performance beast.
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