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11 Quad Radiators tested + 2 other Rads - Roundup

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#1
bundymania

bundymania

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Once again, it's time for another review out of Bastelorakel's test laboratory. Today's review is about quad radiators: radiators that can be fitted with four fans on each side. Because of the increase in produced heat by CPUs and GPUs these models are getting especially more and more popular with users that don't want to use an external solution but still want a suitable radiator for their high end system. To show in which regions the quad radiators perform, I've also included the popular triple HTSF and the Mora 2 in this review. Even though radiators in this class can already reach an appealing performance at low fan speeds, I've also performed tests at several speeds up to 1500rpm.
Up to 1200 rpm I used the among watercooling enthusiasts very popular Yate Loon D12SL12, even though the newer ones do have a lot of side noises. For the 1500 rpm tests I used Gelid Wing 12 fans, which worked very quietly at low rpm while still reaching a good airflow, which makes them a recommendation for both radiator and case usage. As I only had four of those, I couldn't use them on the Mora, though.

Update 10/26/09: Thermochill 120.4 and HWLabs Black Ice SR1 480 added. Descriptions and new results added.
Update 04/29/10: Koolance "High Flow" & "Low Flow", Swiftech MCR420 QP, EK Coolstream XT480, Phobya Xtreme Quad 480, Phobya G-Changer 480 V1.2 added. Descriptions and new results added.



Test setup:
Case: Microcool Banchetto 101 Bench Table
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EX58-Extreme
CPU: Intel Core i7-920 @4.2Ghz - 1,40V (Value set in BIOS) - Bios: F7
RAM: Corsair XMS3 Dominator DIMM Kit 6GB PC3-12800U CL7-7-7-20
Video Card: Sapphire HD 5850 (not part of the cooling loop)
PSU: Seasonic M12D-850 850W
CP-Block: Heatkiller 3.0 Nickel Edition
NB-Block: Mips Fusionblock Nickel
Controller: Aquaero VFD
Flowmeter: Aqua Computer Highflow
Thermal compound: GELID Solutions GC Extreme Thermal Compound
Pump: Laing Ultra (Koolance PMP-400 top)
Pump decouling: Noise Destructor V1.1
Tubing: Feser 16/10
Quick release couplings: CPC 9,5mm metal
Reservoir: Alphacool Cyclone
Temperature sensors: 3x inline + 1x inside of reservoir
Water additive: Feser One UV Clear/Blue Ready-to-use
Fittings: 10mm Perfect Seal + 11mm Bitspower fittings
Fans: 9x Yate Loon D12SL12 + 4x Gelid Wing12 Gamerfan

To stress the CPU, Prime95 (Small FFTs) was used in the newest version. Monitoring and logging of the temperatures was done by the Aquasuite in intervals of five minutes after at least 60 minutes.
The most relevant value in my test is the difference between the room's temperature and the water's temperature when exiting the radiator. This value shows the radiator's performance by showing how well the radiator can use the room's temperature to cool the water. The smaller this difference, the better the performance. The results should be understandable easily for any interested reader, so I'll only present this value for various fan speeds in addition to the flow rate.


The contestants in pictures and technical data:

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Phobya Extreme Quad 480


Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Technical data:

Material: copper fins, brass antechambers
Size: (L x W x H): 264x242x46mm
Fittings: G 1/4"
Weight: ca 1567g
Mountability: 16x M3-threads on top (for 4x 120mm-fans)
Pressure tested: 2 Bar

Scope of delivery:
1x Radiator
16x M3x30mm Phillips screws

Price: ca 70 EUR (around 93 US $)


Phobya G-Changer 480 V1.2

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image


Technical data:

Material: copper fins, brass antechambers
Color: matt black
Size: (L x W x H): 532x125x60mm
Fittings: G 1/4"
Weight: ca 2100g
Mountability: from both sides for fans or mounting
Pressure tested: 2 Bar
Misc: screw for deairing

Scope of delivery:
1x Radiator
16x M3x30mm Phillips screws
4x decoupling
2x black screw plugs

Price: ca 80 EUR (around 106 US$)



Phobya provided two quad radiators for this comparative test.
The first model, the Xtreme Quad 480, is a rock solid radiator that stands out for its uncommon design. Except for the Mora, on all the other radiators in this review the fans are mounted in a row, but on this one, they are placed in a 2x2 square pattern. Well, this design might seem odd to a few readers, but it's this way for a reason: the size fits most midi tower cases as it's made for mounting it on the side of one. Of course, separately placing the radiator away from the case will also work, even without an additional stand: the mounted fans provide enough stability for it to stay upright. The radiator features a fan grill, that four fans can be mounted using the included M3 screws. The grill's edges are a bit rough and one thread wasn't very well made, but you can't complain, concerning the low price tag, the good performance and the, apart from those issues, not bad quality.

The second quad radiator by Phobya is called G-Changer 480 and comes with the usual fan screws, fan decoupling and another useful feature: As the radiator features 4 1/4" threads, the user can choose whether to use to threads on the front or on the top of the radiator. This is rather useful for mounting and putting the tubes in the system. This feature can also be used to connect a fillport to one of the threads, making an additional reservoir redundant.
The workmanship of my test sample was good, there were no damages visible to the paint or the fins. This radiator also excels in its performance, as there are only a few products in this review that are insignificantly better, but cost a lot more.
Overall a worry-free deal with enough performance for modern systems.



Koolance HX-CU1320H (Low Flow) & Koolance HX-CU1320V (High Flow)

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Koolance HX-CU1320H (Low Flow / Horizontal)



Material: copper fins, brass pipes
Size: (L x W x H): 535x126x44mm
Fittings: G 1/4"
Weight: 1700g
Screw threads: M4

Scope of delivery:
1x Radiator
16x M4x32mm Phillips screws
1 pair of 6mm-fitting spacers

Price: 76 EUR (around 100US$)


Koolance HX-CU1320V (High Flow)

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Koolance HX-CU1320V (High Flow)



Material: copper fins, brass pipes
Size: (L x W x H): 515x126x30mm
Fittings: G 1/4"
Weight: 1000g
Screw threads: M4

Scope of delivery:
1x Radiator
12x M4x32mm Phillips screws
1 pair of 6mm-fitting spacers

Price: ca 80 EUR (around 110US$)


The American cooling company Koolance also provided two quad radiators for my review.
The first one is the slim radiator HXCU1320V, optimized for high-rpm fans, which, obviously, bears HardwareLabs' signature. The threads for the fittings are on the front and it's also supposed to work well at low rpms. In Germany, the radiators cost between 76 and 80€ and come safely packaged with all required screws. Both radiators are of outstanding quality, that's for sure.
Due to the low distance between the fins on the thin "High Flow"-model you don't have to be a prophet to predict a bad performance under 800 rpm, but at higher rpm the radiator really shows what it's made of. The second model already works well at lower fan speeds and reaches a good standing on my scoreboard.
There're better alternatives for silentfreaks, but due to the price tags and for people, who don't really care for the volume of their PC, these radiators provide a solid alternative, as even the "low flow" one can keep up with most other quad radiators are speeds over 800rpm.


Swiftech MCR420 - QP 480mm Radiator

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image


Swiftech MCR420 - QP 480mm Radiator
Bilderreihe 5
Size: (L x W x H): 521x128x34mm
Fittings: 1/4"
Weight: 1100g
Screw threads: UNC 6-32

Scope of delivery:
1x Radiator
Screws

Price: ca 80 EUR (around 106US$)


The company Swiftech, based in California, has existed for years. In the past, they were already able to win several tests, with the CPU-Block Apogee XT among others. Because of this, this quad radiator mustn't miss in my review. As usual for radiators made by Swiftech the antechamber looks rather strange and the body of the radiator is a bit more wide than most other radiators of this size. It comes with all required screws for mounting, which are in the, over here, very uncommon standard UNC 6-32, and a notice warning of too long screws.
Overall, I liked this radiator a lot, partly because of the above-average quality and partly because of the good overall performance.



EK Water Blocks EK-CoolStream RAD XT 480

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

This Radiator is based on the Eastar/Magicool Model, but has some new technical design and a enhanced Look with the new EK Logo.
The workmanship of my test sample was good, there were no damages visible to the paint or the fins. This radiator also excels in its performance, as there are only a few products in this review that are insignificantly better, but cost a lot more.
Overall a worry-free deal with enough performance for modern systems.



HWLabs Black Ice SR1 480

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Material: Copper, brass
Color: black
Size: (L x W x H): 517x133x54mm
Fittings: G 1/4"
Weight: 1490g
Screw threads: M4

Price: ca. 130 EUR (about 172US$)

The company Hardware Labs is well established since years and offers a large range of high quality radiators in a lot of sizes and designs, though there is one thing that all of those have in common: superior quality.
The new SR1 radiators are available from single to quad for fan sizes of 120 and 140mm. Up until now, the Black Ice radiators with their low distance between the fins were made for fan speeds beyond 800 rpm, so they couldn't really hold their own in the low rpm field that's so popular here in Europe. With the new SR1 series, this aspect is now a thing of the past - the new series are very potent products, which are now also and especially optimized for lower fan speeds. Another useful feature is the fact that the distance between the fins is different on the sides. On the side with the fittings, the distance is clearly bigger than on the other side, creating a built-in shroud, improving overall performance. Of course I tested mounting fans on both sides, resulting in a better performance on the side with "shroud", with a maximum difference of 0.7°C. In my results, I used the side with the best results.
The SR1 series knows how to appeal to the customer: the matt black paint is flawless like all the threads and the distance between the fins is now ideal for lower fan speeds and a resulting lower volume. The radiator for this test was supplied by the company www.caseking.de.
Special thanks go out to Mr. Wilbert Yuque from Hardware Labs.



Thermochill 120.4 Quad Radiator


Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Material: copper fins, brass antechamber
Color: matt black
Fittings: G 3/8"
Weight: 2200g

Scope of delivery:
1x Radiator
16x 10mm self-cutting screws

Price: ca. 100 EUR (about 133 US$)

The radiators of the English company Thermochill could almost be called a legend by now. They've won countless tests worldwide, though there were a few aspects that could have been improved. The paint wasn't perfect at all times and a couple of users reported contaminations on the inside. Another characteristic are the exotic 3/8" threads for fittings, making adapters usually necessary. Also the distance of the fan holes was a bit larger than those of other radiators, so that it didn't fit mounting holes and fan grills and required special grills.
Thermochill worked on those problems: luckily, the distance between the fans is now the usual 15mm and the paint of my sample was a lot better than before.
It comes with a notice recommending flushing the radiator with warm water before use, even though when I did that, almost clear water came out of it which is another improvement to older models. Only the 3/8" threads are still part of the radiator.
The test results of this radiator can also be taken from the diagrams below.


Watercool Mora 2 Pro

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Material: aluminium fins, copper pipes, stainless steel casing
Fittings: G 1/4"
Weight: 2800g
Pressure tested: 20 Bar
Size: (L x W x H): 428x388x57mm

Scope of delivery:
1x Radiator
4x M4x8mm screws
4x spacers M4x20, steel
1x manual

Price: ca 120 EUR / fan grill 36 EUR (about 159 resp. 48 US$)



MagiCool XTREME QUAD 480 Long Radiator

http://www.abload.de...mg_9646542z.jpg http://www.abload.de...mg_9662b0sn.jpg http://www.abload.de...tremexl6p6g.jpg


Technische Daten:

Material: copper fins, brass antechamber
Size: (L x B x H): 510 x 120 x 45mm
Fittings: G1/4"
Weight: ca. 1560g
Screw threads: M3
Pressure tested: 8 Bar,
Fittings: G 1/4"

Price: ca. 73 EUR


XSPC RX 480 Quad

http://www.abload.de...mg_8174e6oq.jpg http://www.abload.de...mg_8179s2wt.jpg http://www.abload.de...mg_8182t3qu.jpg http://www.abload.de...mg_8183b22e.jpg http://www.abload.de...mg_8577r25f.jpg

Size: (L x W x H): 510x125x58.5mm
Fittings: G 1/4"
Color: black
Material: copper
Screw threads: UNC 6-32

Price: ca 105 EUR (about 139 US$)




TFC XChanger Quad


http://www.abload.de...mg_9702q6iv.jpg http://www.abload.de...mg_9706a59d.jpg http://www.abload.de...mg_227153dm.jpg http://www.abload.de...mg_252192pa.jpg http://www.abload.de...mg_25360435.jpg
http://www.abload.de...mg_2541m6si.jpg http://www.abload.de...mg_254903v1.jpg http://www.abload.de...mg_2553s3lp.jpg

Size: (L x W x H): 527x126x60mm
Fittings: G 1/4"
Color: black

Scope of delivery:
1x Radiator
16x screws for fan mounting
16x screws for mounting on the case
4x decoupling

Price: ca. 100 EUR (about 132 US$)


Watercool HTSF Triple

http://www.abload.de...mg_9750a6h1.jpg http://www.abload.de...mg_9751q6cu.jpg http://www.abload.de...mb/htsfrrxd.jpg


Size: (L x W x H): 412x120x40mm
Fittings: G 1/4"
Color: black
Material: copper pipes, aluminum fins

Price: ca 60 EUR (about 79 US$)



I don't want to bore you with details about those older radiators that are well known from other reviews, so I'll stick to the Magicool Quad and the XSPC RX 480.
The low priced Magicool is the latest addition to a successful series of radiators with unmatched value for money and a, for this price region, good quality. The Xtreme Quad radiator tested by me provides a reasonable performance to cool current quadcore CPUs.
Let's come to the new XSPC RX 480: this radiator could proof impressively, that the maximum of quad radiators hasn't been reached till today. While the TFC did already perform very well, the XSPC could even top the TFC. As the scope of delivery of the XSPC isn't as large as the TFC's - decoupling, fittings and anti corrosion additive are missing -, the prices of both are about the same.




Test Results:


http://www.abload.de/img/600bcig.jpg



Difference (delta T) of the room temperature to the water temperature. Lower value equals better performance)





http://www.abload.de/img/800nges.jpg








http://www.abload.de/img/1200bd1y.jpg








http://www.abload.de/img/1500vew3.jpg








http://www.abload.de/img/durchflussifgt.jpg







Conclusion

Once again it was shown that the quad radiators weren't at their maximum performance. The XSPC RX 480 claims the throne und knows how to appeal with its great quality, even though there were reports of users having quality issues with products by XSPC - this wasn't the case with my test sample. Both the threads and the paint were fine.
The TFC Xchanger combines top performance with an extensive scope of delivery and also good quality, so this radiator is a good recommendation when looking for a high end model.
Once again, the Magicool wins the value for money-reward. Even though the radiator can't quite catch up to the top, it still offers good performance for its low price tag.
Surprisingly, the well-tried HTSF triple radiator wasn't too bad, either. The Mora tops the line-up because of its massive surface. For users, who don't want to mount their radiator externally, quad radiators are a good choice as an internal installation is no problem in most big towers.
For the future, most companies have announced radiators for 140mm fans and some of them do even already sell a couple of those. Times change, so we can be curious about what we'll see next.
One more thing about those 1500 rpm Gelid fans: I was surprised by the quietness and the scope of delivery. A little controller and decoupling are included. Another useful feature is the removable hub for easier cleaning.

Edit / appendix 10/26/09
Two more radiators were added to this review. The Thermochill didn't lower its guard and appeals with its quality and performance.
In this appendix, I really liked the new Black Ice SR1 480. The quality is outstanding, so it's definitely worth the money. HWLabs takes another huge step towards the users who want their PC as silent as possible, venturing into territories new for them. With fans at high rpm, the radiators by this Asian company already had an outstanding performance in the past, but now they can also score a lot at low speeds because of the bigger distance between the fins.
As the radiators in this review are very close when it comes to performance and as the results may vary depending on your PC, I recommend not persist in the standing in the diagrams but choosing the radiator by also taking a look at the scope of delivery, the quality and the service apart from only the performance.
Special thanks:
Thanks go out to the following companies for their support with creating this review:
www.koolance.com , www.swiftnets.com www.Alphacool.de , www.thermochill.com , www.xspc.biz , www.laing.de , www.magicool.biz , www.watercool.de , www.mips-computer.de , www.pc-icebox.de , www.ekwaterblocks.com , www.hwlabs.com

#2
Elemental_Dragon

Elemental_Dragon

    Always needs to be faster!!!

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I believe the koolance was selling from koolance direct for $75? http://www.koolance....?product_id=817

I bought it and had it shipped as it worked out to be so cheap at the time :D

Nice to see it's still kicking butt! Should see the results with high RPM (>2000rpm) - tis rediculous!

~Bex
PERSONAL BESTS : E8600 @ 4.8GHz <thumb> E6750 @ 4GHz <thumb> QX9650 @ 4.4GHz<thumb> I7 920 @ 4.6GHz!

Skorchio : "when you turn that on your log on to windows sound should be "Hello ladies and gentelmen thank you for choosing elemental airways, we are now cruising at 36,000 feet""

Bex : "Who said girls can't play PC games or overclock!? Do I look like your imagination!?"
Aaron : "TBH, a girl doing all that is a pretty perfect girl!"
Swift_Wraith : "could someone please check bex for a penis?"


#3
reefer86

reefer86

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really pleased again with XSPC, im looking for a new rad for the top of my case as im only use a thin rad so the RX might be my choice of weapon.
My Rig.

Case : Corsair 800D
CPU : AMD X4 965 C3
Ram : 4Gb Crucial Tracers 1600 7-7-7-18
Motherboard : Gigabyte 790FXT-UD5P
Graphics : HIS 5870 - EK fullcover Block
Sound : XFI Titanium Pro
PSU : Be Quiet Dark Power Pro 750w
Storage : 80gb Intel SSD GX2 - 1Tb Storage
Cooling : Swiftech GTZ - EK 5870 FC Plexi -XSPC RS360 and XSPC RX120 - Xspc Res

#4
Elemental_Dragon

Elemental_Dragon

    Always needs to be faster!!!

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RX isn't thin. RX is dual pass like the TFC / TC radiators.

But I still request 2000RPM fan tests be done to show the capabilities of the high FPI rads more...

~Bex
PERSONAL BESTS : E8600 @ 4.8GHz <thumb> E6750 @ 4GHz <thumb> QX9650 @ 4.4GHz<thumb> I7 920 @ 4.6GHz!

Skorchio : "when you turn that on your log on to windows sound should be "Hello ladies and gentelmen thank you for choosing elemental airways, we are now cruising at 36,000 feet""

Bex : "Who said girls can't play PC games or overclock!? Do I look like your imagination!?"
Aaron : "TBH, a girl doing all that is a pretty perfect girl!"
Swift_Wraith : "could someone please check bex for a penis?"





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