Overclock.net banner

1 - 20 of 61 Posts

·
Call me VSG
Joined
·
12,852 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Seeing as to how these reviews and tests are getting frequent, I figured a test setup would be useful once the other things go in the TX10-D build. So I started looking at 360mm rads and decided to give this one a try. Of course no radiator review is complete without getting more samples involved so I went ahead and got more 360mm rads too! So without further delay, here's a small review of the SR2 360mm radiator:

1) Unboxing

W63LHq6l.jpg


v4yx1i8l.jpg


68aRf6cl.jpg


The radiator comes in a box similar to that of the Nemesis radiators, with information about the model on it. You would have noticed that the box looks a bit out of shape. I actually found that the inner box was so tightly packed inside that there was no way to remove it without tearing it open. While that is something I don't care about a whole lot once the radiator is installed, I definitely didn't like this and contacted the manufacturer. They were great in taking my feedback and told me things would be done to change that immediately. This was almost a month ago (during launch week itself) so hopefully the situation has improved since.

Now let's take a look at the radiator unit itself:

BAUx8PRl.jpg


dTfGXDIl.jpg


Something new here- a logo! It is only on one side so depending on your preference and radiator mounting, you can choose to display/hide it accordingly. I actually don't mind this myself, perhaps just "SR-2" might have sufficed here. But wait, there is no hyphen anymore in the product name. It is simply SR2 now, and so that logo needs updating.

1COLbIYl.jpg


The black carbon finish is a smooth, matte finish in contrast to the dark matter finish on Nemesis radiators available in some regions.

MoNKXmhl.jpg


utCy2QYl.jpg


The end tanks are made of brass and have a unique & symmetrical shape to them.

1cNvdrAl.jpg


The fins are very uniform and come in at ~40 microns thick. Note that this is soft copper so my caliper may have deformed it a little- this explains the lower value than what HWLabs advertizes at 45 microns. The fin density is 9 FPI throughout the radiator, with the fins being full serpentine type as opposed to the splitter type in the Nemesis radiators (which also have a higher FPI and thinner fins).

onWf6Jtl.jpg


PCHCxF7l.jpg


Another difference between the SR2 and the Nemesis GTX/GTS are the louvered fins present here. While not necessarily best for low fan speeds, this may help create local turbulence of air flow at higher speeds. The louver angle is not as high as, say, with the Mayhems Havoc and seems to be consistent in most places.

PnEtLQ8l.jpg


This radiator has 2mm thick tube channels (as opposed to 1.2mm in the Nemesis series) and some of them line up with the screw holes so they have implemented screw protector plates. I still recommend using the provided screws as always to leave nothing to chance. Speaking of provided screws,

Qa1JRvvl.jpg


liqOdlal.jpg


KLa9KYyl.jpg


This being a 360mm version, there are 12 M4 x 30mm and 12 M4 x 6mm screws provided- enough for 1 set of standard 25mm thick fans to be mounted in push or pull only. The radiator comes in measured at 396mm x 133mm x 60mm in dimensions with the fan holes being 15.5mm apart. More information is provided here: http://hardwarelabs.com/sr2/products/black-ice-sr2/sr2-360#dimensions

There are 2 ports on this, and for those looking for more ports I would encourage sending HWLabs a message via their website. They may be tempted to run a small batch with multiple ports as with the Nemesis rads w/primer finish only that the Modzoo had covered earlier this year. As of December 22, 2014, the Black Ice SR2 costs $123 in the USA.

2) Testing

To compare this against a few of its contemporaries, I looked at my quad rad results previously done and got a few more- Black Ice Nemesis GTX, Black Ice Nemesis GTS, XSPC RX V3- along with an Alphacool UT60 to see how it compared. While the first 3 in this list arrived just fine, the Alphacool radiator actually had at least 2 loose pieces of what sounded like solder balls in the tube channels. So take a note of this as this could potentially have an impact of the results- however small they may be. Unfortunately this is not enough cause for an RMA.

2.1 Liquid flow restriction

Testing methodology:- I used an XSPC D5 pump with an XSPC D5 bay reservoir. The pump was powered by a direct SATA connection to an EVGA 1300G2 PSU, and was controlled by an Aquacomputer Aquaero 6 XT. There was an in-line flow meter previously calibrated, as well as a Dwyer 490 Series 1 wet-wet manometer to measure the pressure drop of the component under test- in this case each radiator. Every component was connected by 1/2" x 3/4" tubing, compression fittings and 2 T-fittings with the manometer.

FPDsRfXl.jpg


Ok then! While those two Black Ice Nemesis radiators top the liquid flow restriction chart here, the SR2 is actually the least restrictive radiator from the set. So this time the USP of he SR2 is high loop flow rates instead of high air flow as with the SR-1. The UT60 is one of the least restrictive radiators out there and comes close, with the XSPC RX V3 in the middle here.

This is interesting to say the least, the SR2 seems to have been designed for loops with multiple blocks in mind so as to minimize the restriction added from radiators. This sounds good to me except for 2 things:

1) Not all blocks can take benefit of higher flow rates (that's a topic of discussion for another time)

2) While it does provide a tremendous decrease in restriction relative to the other current Black Ice offerings, there are other radiators out there with similar low restriction.

Let's also note here that the decrease in radiator restriction which may result in a higher average loop flow rate also means a lowered mean residence time in the radiator. While you generally want as high a flow rate through blocks as possible, you also want a low flow rate through a radiator. So this is where one needs to see if the other components in the loop are restrictive relatively and whether the blocks used benefit from an increase in flow rate- however big that may be.

2.2 Air flow restriction

Testing methodology: A Noiseblocker-eLoop B12-P was mounted in "push" and an Extech 45158 thermo anemometer was placed 6" away from the rad/fan assembly and in the same spot each time to eliminate the effect of deadspots or variation in the X/Y axes.

gtuyeopl.jpg


To be honest, there is very little to differentiate between the different radiators. The various factors of radiator thickness, fin thickness, FPI all are designed keeping airflow in mind and this shows with all the radiators. The SR2 is in the middle of this very tight pack here.

2.3 Thermal tests

Testing methodology: Everything needed (monitor, peripherals, motherboard w/CPU and GPU, radiator, PSU and so forth) was placed in a sealed climate controlled box at 25 +/- 0.05 ºC. Each radiator was connected by Koolance QD3's for easier changing of fans and radiator. The flowrate was held at 1 GPM constant. The CPU, an Intel i7 4770k at 4.6 GHz and 1.3 Vcore, was held at a constant load using a custom XTU profile and the GPU, an EVGA GTX 780 Ti Classified KPE under load from Unigine Heaven 4.0 at 1080p/extreme HD settings, was overclocked and overvolted such that the total system power draw was 650w as measured by a Kill-A-Watt unit inside the hot box. A near constant heat load into the liquid loop helped achieve stable liquid loop temperatures (as measured by 3 separate in-line temperature sensors hooked up to the AQ6) pretty quickly. The tubing and fittings were insulated by a heater sleeve with the heat function not being utilized. Every single measurement was done twice to be sure.

wtbqvxRh.png


WepaodHh.png


I3yLC10h.png


mFfz5dyh.png


zeiggrhh.png


B0XqlrIh.png


20kZwoDh.png


Yez3adah.jpg


It is fairly clear that all these 5 rads perform very close to each other, mostly within a few tenths of a ºC of each other and that's where other things like the accuracy and precision of temperature sensors come into play. I did choose them to run at low-med fan speeds, so there was definitely a motive there. But let's look at the SR2 here- among the HWLabs newest offerings, it is very close to the Nemesis GTS which is a lot thinner but way more restrictive. It's real competition here is the Alphacool UT60 which has more or less similar dimensions, fin density, tube channel thickness and number of rows.

3) Conclusions

So who is this rad for? Frankly I am not a 100% certain here. It seems to be targeted at the brute force thick rads like the Alphacool Monsta but then again it faces competition from a lot of other rads in a similar thickness range. If you are looking for only a HWLabs offering then get the Nemesis GTX today. Thanks to production optimizations, the price point of the Nemesis GTX and GTS has gone down significantly since launch. For example, the Nemesis 360GTX has gone down from $130 to $105 in the USA. The Nemesis 360GTS is even lower at $63. The SR2 comes in at $123 at launch. The only reason to go for the SR2 here would be if you absolutely need the super low restriction of the rads which is itself a mixed bag in that you need to be sure the multiple blocks in your loop can benefit from it.

If you are open to other radiators also, even then the SR2 doesn't get any favors. The XSPC RX V3 and Alphacool UT60 are less expensive ($90 and $96 respectively) and have multiple ports (7 in the case of the latter!). Sure, build quality on the SR2 is great- especially compared to the UT60- but the whole low restriction argument is less valid here too. Looking at the trend that the Nemesis radiators went through with an optimized production leading to lower costs, I would expect a similar update here in the coming months. But till then I can again not justify picking it over these 2 rads.

Where does that leave this rad then? Don't forget that this is a set of some excellent rads, and aesthetics/build quality/warranty are all a factor. I should also point out that if one needs to use a Mayhems Blitz kit on the UT60 then that cost effectively cancels out the price difference between it and the very clean SR2. So if you need a low restriction HWLabs radiator that comes with their usual and fantastic limited lifetime warranty, then the SR2 is for you. But if you would rather not pay the early adopter fee, then you can either wait for the prices to lower in the coming months or look for other radiators.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,348 Posts
I knew it was you before I even opened the thread
biggrin.gif


Another great review well done man. I wanna grab some of these to replace my alphacraps with lol.
 

·
Call me VSG
Joined
·
12,852 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by bond32 View Post

Do you have another set of fans to put on both sides of the rads? As if you haven't already done enough testing... possibly something to think about in the future.
I do, but doing push-pull on all the rads here and in the quad size roundup will take forever. I had proposed in there going it for 2 extreme cases and 1 average case and that's still in the works.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,899 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by geggeg View Post

I do, but doing push-pull on all the rads here and in the quad size roundup will take forever. I had proposed in there going it for 2 extreme cases and 1 average case and that's still in the works.
I cannot believe you didn't already do that.......

I kidd I kidd
wink.gif


The extreme cases would be cool though. I would venture a guess that the GTS series in push pull are really effective.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Another great review as always! @geggeg would you have any set up in mind that might take advantage of the lower flow restriction on the SR2?
 

·
Call me VSG
Joined
·
12,852 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by bond32 View Post

I cannot believe you didn't already do that.......

I kidd I kidd
wink.gif


The extreme cases would be cool though. I would venture a guess that the GTS series in push pull are really effective.
lol

Yeah I figure the high FPI, slim rads and low FPI, super thick rads would be the extreme cases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rexr0d View Post

Another great review as always! @geggeg would you have any set up in mind that might take advantage of the lower flow restriction on the SR2?
I'd take a look at CPU and GPU block roundups from someone like Stren and see how they fared with different flow rates. The ones that can take good advantage of higher flow would benefit from a higher average loop flowrate. Note that the tests I did was at a fixed flow rate as opposed to fixed pump power. So in that latter case, lower restriction rads might have a higher tangible benefit too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
So would you say there would be no benefit in me returning (no restocking fee) my SR-1 I just ordered and getting the SR2 instead?
 

·
Call me VSG
Joined
·
12,852 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I can't say that without having tested out the two together. Closest I can do is use the relative difference between the Nemesis GTX and the SR2, and also the SR1 to say that the SR2 would probably scale better than the SR1 at higher fan speeds. If you won't have to pay much more, I'd say go for it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
There are quite different results in this review, with fans 800 RPM Push



and in Extremerigs review, with fans 750 RPM Push



In this review it is (from better to worse)
360GTX > 360GTS > SR2 > UT60

And in second it is
SR2 > 360GTS > 360GTX > UT60

So the only clear thing is that UT60 is worst)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
Nemesis GTS? You was so brave to go with those rough Dark Matter finish
wink.gif
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
On top and in front it may be seen a little.

I myself can't decide what to choose. Nemesis GTX and GTS have those weird coating, SR-2 has huge logos on both sides, and UT60 is outdated a little and performs worse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
This is Nemesis GTX on top

 
1 - 20 of 61 Posts
Top