Posts Tagged ‘Radiator’

XSPC EX360 Radiator

Posted: December 22, 2012 in Radiators
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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.

This is #15 in my series of triple radiators the new Coolgate HD.  This model is one of their newer line that utilizes a more dense split fin technology for the fins, it has 12 copper tubes, brass end tanks, an air bleed screw, and the same clear protected copper plated finish.  This is a really unique looking radiator with its copper plating and I was eager to see the results considering it uses more desirable copper tubes, it’s over width,  and it uses split fin in a slimmer 34mm thickness package.


A special thanks to Coolgate for providing the review sample:




I measured about 128mm wide, 34mm thick, and 402mm long.  I also only see 2 G1/4 ports and one air bleed screw.  I believe the tubes and fins are copper and the end tanks are brass.  I also see there are a full 12 tubes and 13 rows of fins for a slightly oversized width which is good.

This is #14 in my series of triple radiators the Coolgate Single Row Acrylic.  This is a newer premium revision of the previous Magicool 360 Elegant that has been revised to include copper plating and the premium Coolgate brand name.  It is a slimmer 34mm thickness radiator with a very unique copper plating, copper tubes/fins, see through acrylic end tanks, and an air bleed screw.  For those that want shiny copper and fluid visibility, the Coolgate Single Row Acrylic may just be the radiator for you.


A special thanks to Coolgate for providing the review sample:



While there isn’t a website or specification set for this particular model, I did link the magicool elegant below.  I have is a slightly different model with the copper plating.  My screws were also 6-32 instead of the specified M3.  I also believe the tubes and ends that attach to the acrylic ends are both copper doing a slight scraping test which is good for thermal performance.
I found the thickness to be about 34mm.