Archive for the ‘Radiators’ Category

Welcome to my second value ($100-$150) 2 x 120mm water cooling kit review, the XSPC Raystorm 750 RS240 DIY Water Cooling Kit w/ Free Dead-Water. These XSPC kits have been very popular among the forum users due to their extreme value and good Do-It-Yourself parts. This kit is very much DIY-custom regarding installation and does not come pre-filled like the AIO units such as the Corsair H100 or Swiftech H220. It does however come packed full of value and the performance level we expect from a DIY-custom water cooling parts.  Unlike the sealed AIO kits with their tiny little 1-2watt pumps intended for CPU only needs, this kit affords you flexibility and enough pumping power (6W) to expand later to include a GPU and extra radiator.  It also provides your usual DIY flexibility in allowing custom barbs/compression fittings and any flavor tubing you want to suit your custom build needs.  Last but not least, it comes in a mostly individual component package (Except for pump/reservoir combo) that makes future upgrading things like the CPU block less costly.  XSPC wraps all that up with some additional visual bonuses such as blue LED modules for both CPU block and reservoir that does add some nice visual flare to your custom water build.  The kit also comes at the ready with extra hardware to mount external radiators which is something those AIO kit’s just can’t do because you need to route tubes through case walls, etc.  In the end it provides you with a big box of water cooling goodness intended to start you in the journey of water cooling without breaking the bank and retaining as much flexibility in installation as possible.

This review is a “LIVING” review as I’m still in the process of testing and writing up the results.  If you have testing or review request, please post in the comments. 

A very special thanks to Mark from FCPU for sponsoring this XSPC Raystorm 750 kit, your one-stop-shop for all your PC modification supplies.



A quick photo of the Kit’s Raystorm block in darkness action!

Product Description

The XSPC Raystorm RS240 Extreme Universal CPU Water Cooling Kit comes complete with everything you will need to cool your CPU. This kit is designed to handle your CPU and can be expanded to handle more blocks as well.

The kit uses the newest XSPC CPU block, the Raystorm as the core cooling component. This block has a pure copper base and is a top of the line in performance and looks. XSPC coupled this with their RS240 radiator which is a thin profile radiator giving more flexibility with compatibility.

The reservoir is a combination of the XSPC dual bay reservoir along with a XSPC X20 750 pump. This pump has been revised and is much more reliable than previous revisions. It is now injection molded for seamless joints and this new revision 4 model is a black color.

This kit comes compete with all fittings, clamps, fans, mounting hardware and hose.

Note: Kit does NOT come with fluid or additive.


  • Designed for Multi-core CPUs
  • Complete Kit
  • Top End Performance
  • Full Copper Base Water Block


CPU Block
Compatibility: AMD Sockets 939, 754, 940, AM2, AM3
Intel Sockets LGA2011, LGA1366, LGA1156, 603, 604
*Requires mounting holes
Block: XSPC Raystorm – AMD and Intel
Sockets: AMD Sockets AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+
Intel Sockets LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA1155
Base Dimensions: 56mmx56mmx3mm
LED Support: 4x 3mm LED Holes
Radiator: XSPC RS240
Dimensions: 121x35x277mm (WxDxH)
Ports: G1/4
Screws: 6-32 UNC
Fans: 2 x 120mm (4x with push/pull)
Reservoir: XSPC X20 750 Dual 5.25″ Pump / Reservoir Combo
Fitting Ports: 2 x G1/4″
Dimensions: 149 x 100 x 85mm (WxDxH)
Tubing and Fittings
Tubing: 2 Meters – 7/16″ x 5/8″ Clear
Fittings: 1/2″ Barb (Hose Clamps Included)
Pump: XSPC X20 750 (Black Revision 4)
Pump Performance: 750 lph
Delivery head: 1.8m
Voltage: 12V (4pin)
Fan: 2 x XSPC 120mm x 25mm Radiator / Chassis Fan – 1650 RPM
Size: 120mm x 25mm
Airflow: 65.2CFM
Noise: ~29dBA
Static Pressure: 1.8mmAq
Operating Voltage: 5.5 – 13.8V.
Connector: 3-Pin
Wire Length: 45cm
Included: RayStorm CPU Waterblock
X2O 750 Pump/Reservoir
RS240 Dual Radiator
G1/4″ to 1/2″ Barb (Black Chrome) x6
Plastic Hose Clip x6
XSPC 1650rpm 120mm Fan x2
120mm Fan Grill (Black) x2
Intel and AMD RayStorm Brackets
Socket 1366 and 1155/1154 Backplates
Socket AM2 and AM3 mounting kit
80mm to 120mm Radiator brackets
3mm Twin Blue LED with 4Pin Molex
5mm Blue LED with 4Pin Molex
2 Meters of Clear 7/16″ Hose
24pin ATX Bridge Tool
K2 Thermal Paste

One particular to take extra note of is that this kit does not come with fluid. It does however come with a bottle of IandH Dead Water (Biocide), so you will need to buy a gallon of distilled water or a liter of water cooling fluid. In spirit of “Value” I chose the first because a gallon of distilled at Wal-mart is only 88 cents which fits this value theme nicely.  Also noteworthy is the 1.8m head pump and low restriction Raystorm CPU block that should leave you with some extra pumping capacity to handle adding more to the loop later.  There are also several other nice features not expected in a value kit such as the LED modules for pump and block, the 24pin ATX bridge tool to make bleeding easy, and the external radiator mount brackets so you can install the kit on back or on top of cases with limited space.  There is quite a lot in just one box..


Welcome to my first kit “living” review, the new Swiftech H220 kit planned for release in late February. This is a rather unique product to water cooling as it is squarely aimed at combining the benefits of prefilled plug and play sealed kits and the expandable custom or DIY water cooling kits. While Swiftech has been in the DIY or custom kit business for some time via several innovative integrated options such as the H2O-X20 Edge, Elite, and separate component Ultima HD series, these kits are premium priced and require users to assemble and fill them prior to use which can be intimidating for new users. With the watercooling market filling with new users every day, many have been opting for the sealed systems such as the Corsair H100 or Thermaltake Water series due to their low price point and easy filled at the factory plug and play use. Unfortunately those systems are sealed not intended for expansion beyond the basic CPU cooler.

That’s where the Swiftech H220 comes in and as far as I know, the only system under $150 that comes already filled and plug and play in addition to being something intended for expansion.

This review will be the “Living” format in that I plan to release data and adjust my review and testing based on feedback I get through the comments. Please comment if you have any wishes of the review and test format.


The all new Swiftech produced pump motor integrated to the Apogee Drive 2 copper base

A special thanks to Gabe from Swiftech for providing the review sample:

Press Release

Swiftech® to unveil new H220 all-in-one CPU cooler during CES 2013

Long Beach, CA January 3rd, 2013 13:53 PST – Rouchon Industries Inc., dba Swiftech® is proud to announce the imminent release of the H220 CPU cooling kit, a new all-in-one liquid cooling system compatible with all current Intel® and AMD® desktop processors that will ship to consumers already pre-filled for plug-and-play operations. Setting itself apart from similar offerings, the product will also feature full expansion capabilities to include additional cooling devices for graphics and or chipset. The H220 will be unveiled during the Consumer Electronics Show held from January 8th to 11th in Las Vegas, NV and Swiftech® will demonstrate several systems featuring the new cooler capabilities at the Mandalay Bay Hotel Penthouse suites.

In a related announcement, the company disclosed that they had successfully developed and begun high-volume manufacturing of a new generation of Swiftech-made mini-pumps, specifically designed for the liquid cooling market. The pump combines a compact design, high-reliability (60,000 hours MTBF) and the high head-pressure performance characteristics necessary to drive multiple devices in the same cooling loop. Being PWM controlled, the device can be driven by any motherboard like a regular CPU fan. Thanks to this new pump and to substantial economies of scale, the company claims that their new H220 CPU cooler will offer thermal performance with a low to inaudible acoustic signature rivaling that of the best custom kits, all at the price of an entry-level product. In the words of Gabe Rouchon, the company’s Chairman and CTA, “This thing is ridiculously quiet; if the chassis light wasn’t on, I couldn’t even tell the system was running”.

Mr Rouchon also stated: “User convenience and the vast movement of novice builders towards liquid cooling was a critical consideration in the H220 design. It dictated that the kit would be pre-filled and completely plug-and-play. As a result, tuning and operations are as simple as using a regular CPU cooler. But with a 15 year heritage serving the enthusiast community, we also wanted to eliminate some of the limitations of the existing low-cost systems which are unable to accommodate add-on components because (a) they are sealed-up and offer no means to refill the system without voiding the warranty, and (b) the type of pump they use is not adequate to drive sufficient flow to cool more than a CPU. The Swiftech® H220 kit addresses both issues by featuring a reservoir with fill-port built into the radiator so that the system can be easily emptied or refilled by the user at will, and by our new high-pressure pump. It all seems that 15 years of innovation and know-how, together with some of the most extensive R&D we ever conducted have led us to this moment, and we are truly proud to present a solution that finally bridges the gap between full custom and sealed-up liquid cooling kits”.

The H220 CPU liquid cooling kit is maintenance free for the duration of its 3 year warranty period, and will be offered at a Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price of $139.95
For further information, review samples, or visiting our suite at the Mandalay Bay from January 8th to 11th , please contact:

Source: Rouchon Industries, Inc., dba Swiftech®


Manufacturer Prerelease Specifications:

Technical Specifications
Material Brass Tubes, Copper Fins
Body Dimensions 269mm x 127mm x 29mm
Fill-Port thread G1/4
Dimensions 120mm x 120mm x 25mm
Speed PWM adjustable 800 ~ 1800 RPM
Airflow 24 ~ 55 CFM
Static Pressure 0.53 ~ 2.29 mmH20
Noise Level <;;;;;;16 ~ <;;;;;;33 dB/A
Connector 4-Pin
Speed PWM adjustable 1200 ~ 3000 RPM
Voltage 12v
Power 6W
Connector 4-Pin
MTBF 60,000 Hours
Material PVC
Dimensions 5/8” x 3/8” (16/10 mm)
Radiator Dimensions

H220 dimensions

What stands out to me as the critical spec above is the 60,000 hour MTBF of the pump, this means the pump (The one wearing part) is designed to operate 24/7 for 6.8 years. If you have been around in the forums, many of the lower cost kits do see problems from time to time and it’s usually the pump that becomes the problem. 60K is even higher than most of the premium DIY/Custom pumps out there (Typically 50K), so my hat is off to Swiftech for being able to specify a pump MTBF rating that high and that’s important to keep in mind when buying the economical kits. If a pump out there doesn’t come with a MTBF rating, you just don’t know what to expect. It could last a few years or it could last only a few months before failing. While I have generally had good luck with pumps lasting, most of the pumps I have used long-term were rated at 50,000 MTBF hours. Only time will tell for sure, but I really like the specification.

The other parts in the kit I know fairly well from the DIY/Custom side of things. The radiator core is an MCR220 QP and the fans are the Helix PWM. Also the copper base in integrated pump/block comes from the Apogee Drive II design.

All in all, a very nice specification package and clever idea to make the kit already filled and plug and play.

XSPC EX360 Radiator

Posted: December 22, 2012 in Radiators
Tags: , , ,

This is an old test I had never finished publishing, the XPSC EX360 radiator. The EX360 is XSPC’s slim thickness extreme radiator designed for top performance with slow to medium speed fans. While the RX360 is a proven top performer, not everyone has the space or budget for the higher cost RX series. The RS360 is also a good all around radiator, however in an effort to improve performance, a different type of construction was implemented to produce the EX line.

A special thanks to XSPC for providing the review sample:

Manufacturer Specifications:

This is not my test data, but I felt is was important enough and an excellent set of data to mirror here for those sandwich questions that come up now and then.  Shane (HESmelaugh) did a whole bunch of testing on trying to sandwich two radiators with fans in all sorts of configurations that vets out this common question extremely well.  In a nutshell he found that when using slower fan speeds of 800 and 1200 RPM there was no practical benefit to stacking radiators.  The reason for this is that air has very poor specific heat capacity and for the most part already heated up after it passes through the first radiator leaving the second radiator with already used up warm air that simply doesn’t have any storage for more heat.  In addition the second radiator causes problems with fan performance adding air and water restriction to the single radiator condition.  I suspect this may change very slightly with extremely high fan speeds (3000+RPM) types, but I think it’s pretty well safe to say stacking of radiators just doesn’t work well at all and generally should be avoided if the intent is performance increase.

Here is the source:

More Radiator-Sandwich testing

Radiator-Sandwiches / Stacked RadiatorsIt’s a while back that I posted some rudimentary test results on stacked rads in this thread.I still have the two magicool triple-rads from that test but now, I also have heaters (300W) which allow for much better testing. So I gave this whole sandwich-thing another go.All of the tests were done with said Magicool Slim rads, Nanoxia FX-1250, a 300W heater and a MCP355. All of the numbers are indications of the temperature difference between water- and ambient-temperatures achieved after 35 minutes of heating the water.Here are the different scenarios tested:Solo Rad with 3 fans
Solo Rad with 6 fans

2 Rads separate with 6 fans (3 each)

Sandwich with 3 fans

Here, the water flows to the rear rad first. This way, the airflow goes from the cooler to the warmer radiator.

Sandwich with 3 fans – Version 2

Here the water goes to the front rad first, so the airflow goes from the warmer to the cooler radiator. It’s clear that this is less optimal than the option above but I wanted to test how much of a difference it makes.

Sandwich with 6 fans

Sandwich with 6 fans – Version 2

This is, again, the less optimal flow with the airflow going from warmer to cooler rad.

Rad-Rad-Fan Sandwich

Here, I only tested the optimal flow-version (airflow from cooler to warmer rad).

I also tested with the radiators in parallel flow, but I lost some of the data and got the rest mixed up, so I’ll have to redo those tests.

Results 1


The first, shocking realization is this: The stacked rads almost always perform worse than the solo rad with the same number of fans. The rest of the data is as expected: Two separate rads perform best, more fans are always better and the airflow going from warmer to cooler rad is slightly worse than the other way around.

I couldn’t believe that the sandwiches performed worse than the solo rad, initially. I retested everything and got identical results, though.

So, I thought it might be a question of air-pressure. The fans need to build more pressure to move the same amount of air through two radiators than one. This would lower performance.
To test this hypothesis, I set up the loop with the solo radiator again. This time, I installed the second radiator as well, just as in a stacked setup, but didn’t add the extra radiator to the loop. This way, the second rad acted as an “Airbreak” in front of the fans and I could see how much of an effect this would have on temperatures.

Results 2 – Airbreak

The results affirm my theory in two ways:
1. We see that the “airbreak”-rad has a huge impact on temperatures (much more than I would have guessed).
2. We see that the performance loss is smaller with higher rpm. At 800rpm the loss is 49%, at 1200rpm it shrinks to 23%.

There should be a tipping point where the fan produces more than enough pressure and the stacked rads start outperforming a solo radiator.
Unfortunately, the only high-rpm fans I have here are Yate Loons and since they have closed corners, I can’t do a stacked rad setup with these fans.

But I have some Yates here that are 38mm thick and have open corners. The thicker fans should produce more pressure and might be able to overcome the extra resistance in a stacked setup sufficiently.

Results 3 – 38-mm-fans

The thick Yates unfortunately don’t go higher than 1250rpm either, so I couldn’t test higher rpm. Though from the results it’s clear that there is an advantage to the thicker fans. Now, at 1200rpm, the stacked rad’s performance catches up with that of the solo rad.

Too bad it wasn’t enough for the stacked setup to get ahead, but I already have something else planned.
The thing is, the Magicool rads seem to simply have too high an FPI count to be useful for stacking. At least at the kinds of fan speeds that my ears tell me are reasonable.

So I ordered a second Magicool Slim Elegant rad. This rad has much lower FPI count and did exceedingly well at low rpm. This should make it an ideal candidate for rad-sandwiching. 

So, while I once again have to leave you with an “I will do more testing on this later”, I think I have come to a useful conclusion here: When stacking rads, the fan pressure requirements increase greatly. Low FPI-rads as well as high-pressure fans should be preffered for such setups.

Hope you liked this report.


This is #16 in my series of triple radiators the highly requested and hard to find Aquacomputers AMS Copper 360.  While the automotive industry and most watercooling radiators utilize a very well refined soldering flat tube and folded fin design, a few have been trying methods of fabrication that don’t require special radiator manufacturing facilities and the AMS is one of those.  Rather than your conventional soldered flat tube/two pass design, it uses special round tubes, a four pass design, and acetal ends with rubber gaskets to assemble the end tanks.  The fins are also basically formed sheet metal plates that are pressed onto the round tubes and avoids any soldering construction.  AMS stands for “Airplex Modularity System” in that this concept is also intended to allow a lego like construction and system that can be altered or modified in a modular way.  For example the radiators can be connected side to side and pumps end tanks can replace the normal end tanks. It is put together like a waterblock and can be taken apart as well for cleaning or for modular changes.  Last but not least, this is not your typical 120mm wide core, it is essentially a 140mm wide core with extra thickness that has been cut down in length and shrouded for 120mm fans so by frontal area alone it does have some width advantage over the typical 120mm radiator.


While I was immediately interested in testing this radiator, I had a hard time finding anyone to sponsor a sample as stock became very limited.  I nearly gave up on trying to find one to review until making an effort to ask in the forums if anyone would loan me a sample that they already had.


Derelict from the forums was very generous in his offering to send me his pride and joy sample that he purchased himself.  Without his generous support, this test/review would not have happened.  Thanks!

Aquatuning Specifications:–copper-fins–one-circuit–stainless-steel-side-panels.html

The airplex modularity system is a fully modular radiator system for water cooling systems and shows competence and know-how of the 10 years of company history at Aqua Computer.

The most important features of the airplex modularity summarized:
– Fully modular system
– Extremely high cooling performance
– Very compact – shorter than most other radiators for the same fan site and only 146mm wide
– Indefinitely expandable in all dimensions
– No solder residue due to solder-free manufacturing
– Completely demountable for thorough cleaning
– System with multiple loops possible in one radiator
– Optimal flow / parallel tubing
– No lacquer coating for perfect thermal transfer
– Pump modules with reservoir available
– Many colours for side panel available (Brushed stainless steel, black aluminium, blue, red)
– Fins optimized for low fan speeds and excellent passive cooling performance
– No ignoble materials in contact with the coolant, only copper and stainless steel
– CC-manufactured components made from Delrin and stainless steel
– Highest precision on the individual components ensures easy mounting
– Riveted-in threads for fan mounting
– Large range of accessories available (Reservoirs, pump modules, feet, filter, sensors, …)
– Tested for pressures of up to 5 bar
– Copper fins available for maximum performance in compact dimensions

The system is based on a fin package with 21 copper tubes and pressed-on stainless steel flanges. On both sides of the fin package Delrin terminals are integrated. These terminals create a safe seal with the stainless steel flanges with a gasket ring and are screwed together. The Delrin terminals have integrated connection terminals which are lowered from the surface and have a round spacing above the thread. This spacing allows a connection adaptor to be pushed in two connect two radiator modules directly without any tubing pieces. The orientation of the radiator to each other determines the flow direction of the coolant: When connected side by side the connected radiators are connected serially, horizontally stacked radiators create a parallel flow set-up.
Additionally the system can also grow in length indefinitely. For this the fin packages are connected via optional Delrin connection modules.

Radiators in all lengths use the same Delrin Terminals, only the side panels and fin packages are different, hence by buying the components, a radiator can be rebuilt and modified. All sizes have a width of 146mm and hence fit perfetly into 5.25″. The height of the radiator in standard configuration (without the pump module) is 63.5mm and the length is 44mm longer than the according fan (e.g. 3x120mm fans -> Length is 360+44mm = 404mm).
The connection threads are G1/4″ in size and all 1/4″ fittings from our shop can be used with the system.

With the airplex modularity system. It is now possible for the first time to operate two separate loops in one radiator with the airplex modularity system. On radiators operated this way the cooling surface is split approximately at a 70:30 ratio between the primary respective secondary loop. This allows extremely compact two-loop cooling systems, to allow e.g. separate cooling of the heat-sensitive HDDs from the CPU and graphics card. The two cooling loops are completely separated from each other, mixing of the coolant is completely impossible.

By equipping the system with an optional pump module an extremely compact and easy to handle water cooling system can be realized. The offered radiators with pump module have the reservoir and pump already integrated directly into the Delrin terminal of the radiator. Depending on the type it even features an USB fan controller with water temperature measuring and optionally flow meter and/ or water filter.
An especially interesting feature is the Compact 600 pump module in the 12V version: It is equipped with the proven ceramic bearing from Aqua computer and allows whisper-quiet operation as well as many monitoring and control options via the integrated pump controller with USB interface. Mounting of a flow sensor and filter is easily possible and can be done quickly and hassle-free.

Extent of delivery:
One radiator, assembled and ready to use

Of particular interest is the 146mm width which as noted is actually more of a 140mm radiator core width so it is much wider than a normal 120mm radiator.

Also not the thickness at 63.5mm is about a tie in extreme thickness as the EK XTX so it’s extra thick as well.

And the length of 404mm per spec although I measured about 406 using my large calipers

Last but not least it is worth noting the “Solderless” construction note since this is done without any soldering construction it also lacks the possibility of residue such as flux and other soldering residue left behind which can be a potential maintenance issue with some conventional rads if they are not flushed and cleaned properly at the plant or by the user before put into normal use.