Front radiator/fans for Evolv X: 140 vs. 120?
Longtime lurker here. I'm planning a custom loop in a Phanteks Evolv X, and I was surprised to find that my rad of choice -- Hardware Labs Black Ice Nemesis 420 GTS Stealth -- won't fit up front. The 148mm opening in the PSU shroud is too small for the 420 GTS's 153mm girth. (Evidently the Evolv ATX had the same issue. Who knew? But it's disappointing that Phanteks didn't give us the extra 5mm needed when designing the X. I mean, c'mon, it's 5mm.)
I could dremel out the shroud, but honestly the case is just so lovely that I'd prefer not to do violence to it if I don't have to. So I'm considering other rad options, and hoping for input. Realistically, I see two choices:
1. Use a narrower 140mm rad. Hardware Labs's L-Series, their slimmed-down OEM line, has a 420 that is actually 140mm wide. (Interesting note, though: the L-Series only comes with a 2-year warranty, not HW Labs's normal lifetime warranty.) There are also offerings by Primochill, Magicool, Koolance, EK, etc., that would fit -- but frankly I prefer the superior build quality of HW Labs's stuff, the (admittedly smallish) performance advantages aside. That said, I have no experience with the L-Series, so I don't know if it's actually comparable to a 420 GTS Stealth. With less tubing inside, I'd expect slightly lesser performance from the L-Series.
2. Switch to a 120mm rad. The Nemesis 360 GTS is obviously a frontrunner choice, but it's hard to find, and there are lots of other respectable 360s out there.
My dilemma is determining whether 140mm or 120mm will be the better choice in terms of noise-to-performance in a push-pull configuration. (The pure thermals, at least on the two HW Labs options above, are likely to be very close; I don't care about a 10% difference.) I'm looking for quiet over straight-up performance, which ordinarily would nudge me in the direction of 140mm fans: lower speeds, lower static pressures, less noise. I'm imagining six 120mm fans spinning up like a goddamned jet engine. But I haven't built with 120mm fans in so long that I've forgotten whether they're truly much louder.
Further complicating this is the design of the Evolv X's front panel. It uses a single row of fan-mount holes down one side, for both 120mm and 140mm fans. On the opposite side are two offset rows of holes, one for 140s and another for 120s. As a result, the area where the 140s' impellers would be is a bit blocked by the metal used to frame up the 120mm holes. I have to wonder if the blockage won't create more noise than just using (unblocked) 120mm fans.
Thoughts? I don't suppose anyone has run into the same issue with the Evolv X? Thanks!