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Low Flow vs High Flow Radiator Performance

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Simple question - is there any noticeable performance difference between radiators designed for high airflow fans, and those designed for low airflow fans, assuming you have the proper fans for either one?

For example,
Low Flow
vs
High Flow

something in between

Also, if anyone knows, what are the best radiators for each type of fan? And (noob question alert) more fins per inch means higher airflow is better, right?
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post #2 of 14
More FPI means higher static pressure and CFM are required for optimal performance, preferably in a push/pull config (1 fan on each side of the radiator). I don't know if the performance is that great, but I do know that the XSPC RX series and the HW Labs SR1 series radiators are great low airflow radiators with comparable cooling capabilities.
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post #3 of 14
When the fin density (FPI) of a rad is higher, it needs a more powerful fan to push/pull air through. Performance certainly is better but at the expense of quietness.

Skinnee has compared a variety of 360 rads, including the SR1-360 (representing the low fan speed category) and the GTX Extreme 360 (representing the high fan speed category).

Link:http://skinneelabs.com/triplesv2.html

To answer your questions:
(1) There will be noticeable thermal difference among rads designed for different fan speed.

Neglect the ultra-low fan speed of 600rpm for the time being.

At a low fan speed of 1000rpm, the GTX360 suffers while the SR1-360 excels. The difference is a noticeable 10.18C vs 7.88C.

At a high fan speed of 2800rpm, the GTX360 excels while the SR1-360 lags. The difference is 2.38C vs 3.3C, not as wide though.

Edit#1: These temps are Delta T (Water Ave - Air in ). The lower the better.

(2) And basing on Skinnee's graphs, for an i7 920 at 4.2GHz (1.35v) CPU only loop, I say the 'best' among those rads tested are:

For low fan speed (600-1000rpm), XSPC RX360.
For med fan speed (1400-1800rpm), Thermochill PA120.3
For high fan speed (2300-2800rpm), HWL GTX360
LL
Edited by windfire - 7/26/10 at 10:45pm
post #4 of 14
Windfire pretty much summed it up.

lower RPM fans will work best with the lower FPI radiators because their is less resistance to air flow through the rad.
So as FPI increase the necessary RPM on the fans increases too.
This is due to RPM being linear to the CFM it generates and the static pressure is also proportional

What I have read is the Europeans like to be cold and silent thus the love to have radiators in the sub 10 FPI to use <1000rpm fans and still get temps that are a delta of about 10C of course they spend weeks modding their cases to put in 5 radiators too
    
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post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
how about a low flow fan paired with a low FPI radiator, vs a high flow fan paired with a high FPI radiator? is one better than the other, or just different?
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post #6 of 14
there is a difference no doubt

the high FPI with high rpm fan will perform about 7degrees if not more cooler but at a cost

Those high rpm fans are not exactly the most silent,
Gentle typhoons tend to be the happy middle ground that are fairly quiet and fairly high rpm
so to clarify
using a higher FPI with low RPM will be bad
using a low FPI with high RPM will be loud but about the same as a HIGH HIGH setup 2 degrees hotter uuuuhahhhh

i plan on using a Black Ice Xtreme 3 X-Flow Radiator with 1850rpm Gentle Typhoons (with a fan controller of course for web browsing)
this is a High-Mid setup that will keep the 980x nice and chilled
with plenty of head room
Edited by richardrubiks - 7/26/10 at 10:15pm
    
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post #7 of 14
The real question is do you want to hear you r fans or don't you ? your system must please you and no others, I don't mind hearing a fan or two so I go for high air flow and low fluid flow. tell us what you decide
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Performance definitely takes precedent over silence, but if I can have both it would be great. I don't mind paying $20-30 for a single fan, or $60-90 for 3 fans (since I'm definitely getting a 3x120 radiator) if the high quality bearings or whatever allow them to have high RPM and remain relatively quiet. I just want something quieter than my current Scythe 120x38mm Ultra Kaze, 3000RPM airplane engines

if the difference between a high flow setup and a low flow setup (paired with the appropriate radiators of course) is only about 6-10c, I'll probably go low flow
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post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by tommy1993 View Post
Performance definitely takes precedent over silence, but if I can have both it would be great. I don't mind paying $20-30 for a single fan, or $60-90 for 3 fans (since I'm definitely getting a 3x120 radiator) if the high quality bearings or whatever allow them to have high RPM and remain relatively quiet. I just want something quieter than my current Scythe 120x38mm Ultra Kaze, 3000RPM airplane engines

if the difference between a high flow setup and a low flow setup (paired with the appropriate radiators of course) is only about 6-10c, I'll probably go low flow
The difference between a HWL GTX 360 (paired with fans at high 2800 rpm) vs a HWL SR1-360 (paired with fans at low 1000rpm) is 2.38C vs 7.88C, so the difference is about 5.5C.

If compared with a HWL SR1-360 with fans at 600rpm, then it is 2.38C vs 10.82C, the difference is about 8.44C.
So, the range is from 5.5C t0 8.44C which matches your ''6-10C''.

Therefore, I suppose you would opt for a radiator excelling with at low rpm fans (eg SR1-360).
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
yeah, I want to push my overclocks to 4ghz on the cpu and as much as I can on the graphics card (which will soon be 400 series), but I don't feel the need to pull every last bit of performance out of the system, it's worth the quiet to me. so that's decided, thanks for all the help (=

to wrap up some loose ends, are there any ideal low flow fans for the SR1, or will just about anything do? and how much does static pressure matter for that specific radiator?
Edited by tommy1993 - 7/26/10 at 11:18pm
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