Hello and Welcome to ExtremeRigs 2015 Radiator Review Round Up!

First of a big thank you to all sponsors – AquaTuning, AquaComputerCoolgate, EK, HardwareLabs, Koolance, Magicool, MayhemsPerformance PC’s, Watercool and XSPC.  Without these companies generous support this epic journey would not have happened.  It’s much appreciated when a company supports us even when they think that a product may not necessarily do well in a roundup.  Some companies choose not to participate when they think they won’t win, however surprises sometimes happen as you’ll see.  ExtremeRigs feels that, you, the reader really wins when you get to see everything that is out there and compare across the board, so please support those who spend real money to support us doing accurate testing for you!

In this round up we will be comparing a variety of “360” sized radiators – that is radiators that support 3x120mm fans per side. We will test performance in Push Only (3 fans fitted) and also with 6 fans mounted in “Push and Pull”.  I.E. 3 fans per side:

IMG_6718

Each radiator has it’s own specific review (see the links below for these).  This round up page will feature on the technical nature of the review and the round-up as a whole and will not delve into the specific features of each radiator.  Currently this round-up page has been updated with data for the 27 radiators listed below.  The links below have more accurate review data in each sub-review.

The contenders…

Alphacool Monsta 360 Radiator
Alphacool ST30 360 Radiator
Alphacool UT60 360 Radiator
Alphacool XT45 360 Radiator
AquaComputer Airplex Radical Copper 360 Radiator
AquaComputer AMS 360 Radiator
Bitspower Leviathan Slim 360 Radiator
Coolgate CG 360 Radiator
Coolgate G2 360 Radiator
EK PE 360 Radiator
EK SE 360 Radiator
EK XTX 360 Radiator
EK XE 360 Radiator
Hardware Labs Alpha Extreme III 360 Radiator
Hardware Labs Black Ice GTX 360 Radiator
Hardware Labs Nemesis GTS 360 Radiator
Hardware Labs Nemesis GTS 360 X-Flow Radiator
Hardware Labs Nemesis GTX 360 Radiator
Hardware Labs SR-1 360 Radiator
Hardware Labs SR2 360 Radiator
Koolance HX-360XC 360 Radiator
Koolance HX-CU1020V
Magicool G2 Slim 360 Radiator
Mayhem’s Havoc 360 Radiator
Phobya G-Changer HPC 360 Radiator
Phobya G-Changer V2 Full Copper 360 Radiator
Swiftech MCR320-XP Radiator
Swiftech MCR320-QPK Radiator
Watercool HTSF2 3×120 LT 360 Radiator
XSPC AX360 Radiator
XSPC EX 360 Radiator
XSPC RX v2 360 Radiator
XSPC RX v3 360 Radiator

In addition we have also reviewed the following radiators which are different sizes and hence not incorporated in this 360 only round up:

EK XE 240 Radiator
Hardware Labs SR2 240 Radiator

EK CE 140 Radiator
Hardware Labs Nemesis GTS 140 Radiator
Hardware Labs Nemesis GTX 140 Radiator
Hardware Labs SR2 140 Radiator
Phobya G-Changer 140 Radiator

Alphacool ST30 280 Radiator
Alphacool UT60 280 Radiator Review
Alphacool Monsta 280 Radiator
EK CE 280 Radiator
Hardware Labs Nemesis GTS 280 Radiator
Hardware Labs Nemesis GTS 280 X-Flow Radiator
Hardware Labs Nemesis GTX 280 Radiator
Hardware Labs SR2 Radiator
XSPC AX 280 Radiator

EK CE 420 Radiator 
Hardware Labs SR2 420 Radiator

There may even be more arriving soon!

Box Shot- Lr B&W-1

First let’s talk about the testing setup

74 COMMENTS

  1. Great Work … a new standard for radiator testing.
    The Koolance was a surprisingly good result. Push pull makes a bigger difference than many think.
    I’m happy my EK PE rads did OK, mostly keeping up with the XT45 rads they replaced.

    • The extra 5mm the PE rads allowed made the difference between push only and push pull for an overall better result

    • Yeah the huge shrouds on the PE mean that it’s really a slim radiator core tucked into the body of a medium radiator wrapper. I do wonder if reducing the shrouds would have made no real change in performance but would have meant it could have won a slim award!

  2. Weighing in a bit late, but I just found this article (and the site). This was a great read! Thank you for doing this type of thing. There are many of us out there who want to upgrade, add to, or change our rigs completely. In depth articles like this are the life-bread for us regular folk to gather REAL information.
    I do have a question and of course am hoping you find this comment: How about testing the XSPC AX series radiators? I don’t know how you get your samples, but it would be interesting to see how they perform against the rads in this test.
    More fan tests would be a wonderful thing as well. Enermax has had the UCTP12P High Static Pressure PWM 120mm Fan out for some time with no virtually no information anywhere as to their validity for use a radiator fan. I noticed you folks have a pre-production sample Vardar from EK. I look forward to seeing how that plays out in production.

  3. Hey fast nate

    i was wondering how close you are to finishing the radiator roundup with just the push fan setup? thanks man

  4. Well, I think that the reviewers always get a mint rad. I already had to send back a Phobya G-ghanger 360 V2, a Phobya G-canger 420 V2, a Alphacool UT 60 420 , a Coolgate CG360CG2 and a Coolgate CG480CG2 , this because of heavy paint faults, scuff marks on the side panels , matt grey spots where paint is of, and the phobya 420 had a piece loose inside the rad. Al bad rads and these al got delivered and send back the last 2 months. The brands are asking good money, but deliver bad quality.

  5. I just posted this same comment on the other review for the Coolgate CG-360G2. I want to thank you for this extensive and extremely detailed review; an updated version to SkinneeLabs.com’s review and Martinliquidlab’s review on radiators (found here: https://martinsliquidlab.wordpress.com/category/radiators/). I was debating (as I’m a reseller for Koolance), weather or not to purchase the Koolance HX-360XC product or the Coolgate CG-360G2. As a result of your thorough testing I’m going to go with the Coolgate CG-360G2. I know you mentioned that it’s hard enough to put just one of these bad boys in your CaseLabs PC Case, but I’m going to put TWO of them in. My config will be set up like this:

    25mm Fan/65mm Rad/25mm Fan/65mm Rad/25mm Fan = 205 (sandwiched together side by side)

    Which will just cover the bottom of the width of my Origin Genesis PC Case. I’ll post the results later in a couple of months once I’m finished with my (hopeful) new Hackintosh build. We’ll see what happens. Again, thank you for your help. Greatly appreciated !!!

  6. Looks like the review is complete! Kudos!

    Yeah, I can guess how much it took to go through this painstaking review of 27 (!) radiators, and 486 (OMG!!!!) tests – and that so accurately and reliably. My greatest respect to you fast_fate, and all those who helped you on it.

    Needless to say, we are all missing the XS-PC AX360. Could you reach out to XS-PC and ask for a sample maybe? Or get a retail one? Anyway, we are all looking forward to that.

    • The Round Up will never be complete….
      Thanks for following along through the journey.
      It is a massive task to update, too much work to keep updating the individual reviews……
      which is why we had to make the decision to not keep updating all the screen-shots included in each indivdual radiator review.
      As each radiator test results is linked to every other radiator’s results for the relative scoring system, when a new set of results are added – all the old published data became redundant.
      So from now on, each new rad will still be included in the Round-Up, but will have a slightly different format in the individual reviews, so all currently published results do not appear incorrect.

      The AX360 has always been a noticeable ommission from the list.
      XSPC were kind enough to sponsor the RX360 V3 for inclusion, but the AX was never sent.
      If one becomes available it will be an inclusion for sure – but expect performance results to be very very similar to the EK PE360.

  7. […] mal ein umfangreicher Radiatortest, auch mit push/pull: Radiator Review Round Up 2015 – ExtremeRigs.net Verkaufe Plextor M6e 512GB, i3 & Pentium CPUs, Alphacool NexXxos ST30 360 Radiator. […]

  8. I’d really love to see similar testing on 140mm class radiators too. 140×2 (60.8 sq in) would be awesome since they’re so close to 360 rads (66.9 sq in)

  9. About the awards, if the XTX360 were available along with the XE360, where would it place? Would it replace the SR2 360 as runner up or share a “co-spot” with it or another radiator?

    • Most likely it would be a runnner up alongside the SR2 MP. It has similar thermal performance, less optional ports than the SR2 MP, but it gains a drain port. Still a great radiator. I have to say though if you’re buying EK, the only reason to get the XTX over the XE is price, aesthetic or because you really want that drain port.

  10. […] to take good data requires a lot of attention to detail and data logging time.  Just look at our radiator round up for how hard it is to accurately measure air temperature into a radiator.  The reality is that the mainstream review sites simply don’t have time to […]

  11. Im kinda of noob on this, dont understand to much the graphs.

    According to this review, what rads should i use for using Scythe GT ran @ idle =400rpms / load = 800rpms ? HL SR2 or EK XE or another?

  12. Was wondering why you didn’t have any Swfitech rads. Was it you could not get any?
    I used Swiftech, EK, XSPC and Alphacool
    I end up most times going with Swiftech for most of my builds.

    • Swiftech would not sponsor, it would be helpful to let Swiftech know that their buyers like our reviews and would like them to participate 🙂

  13. Great job guys! Keep it up.
    After Martin has abandoned testing, you are the first who uses such high quality engineering standards.
    I think that you should think about more SEO for you site, found it accidently 🙂

  14. Your perspective is all wrong because your all young men and look to buy a single radiator that has the best specs but the price to performance ratio is really what matters because you could take the side of the case off and turn it into a wall of radiators so really being compact and having the highest spec radiator is simply a waste of money unless of course you used all the available nearby space(really this is impossible) and thus cooling power per dollar is king(as most people are not rich) and buying multiple magicools is truly the best solution(rad stacking doesnt work each one needs its own fresh supply of cool air you will have to think about your design. Really for the average person running your pc with the radio exhausting push pull and feeding a tube of air conditioned air off your air conditioner into the case sealing it and having all the rads exhausting is the cheapest easiest setup for cooling during gaming sessions. Then when your done gaming turn your ac off(you also have to set the temp very low so it runs continuous which also leads to the evaporator coils icing over after many hours(or days if temps above 70f into the 80s of course every ac is different) or outdoor temps below 70f). But this is hardly very efficient also if you have many magicool rads you dont really even have to run fans you can cool the pc passively while its idle and only turn the fans and ac on when you game that way you would spend the absolute least amount on electricity. Of course to be completely efficient with power would require allot more money and design skills in the future we should have much better condenser units outside with far more efficient assymetrical blade fans to limit noise and daisy chain from a very large outdoor compressor providing the first stage to smaller ones inside the house possibly even coupled with very large water cooling loops to second and third stages tied directly to the main processors. That way you get phase cooling to all your crucial chips and all heat is exhausted outside direct connections to the cooling loops would be the most efficient. We also need systems to switch from active phase for gaming and another maybe water cooling loop passive or with light fans for idle or home office web browsing usage.

  15. Great job and good review.

    In the last my worklogs alwats I installed 1×360(60mm) and 1×240(60mm).

    And now I would like if is this necessary for 5930k and 980 Ti Classified with a modered OC or is valid with a 2×240 and 30mm thick.

    Thanks for your job

    Regards!!!

  16. Hi, maybe that is a noob question, but are you only testing push configurations because push is better than pull? Heard some people say they have better results with pull.

    • Originally we did only test / publish Push Only results after our comparison tests showed Push Only performed better than Pull Only.
      Then we added Push/Pull to go along with the Push Only data.
      To do Pull only would add a significant amount of time to the testing process, so we chose the best of the two (+ Push/Pull)
      Some fan manufactures say Pull Only is what the fans are designed for and will possibly even last longer when run in that configuration.
      Without some data to back those statements up we are kind of skeptical. We’ve had fans fail prematurely in both scenarios and likewise have fans which have run seemingly forever.

      • Thanks for the detailed answer! Did your comparison tests show that push only also works better at low fan speeds (below 1000rpm)? I read that people having slightly better results with pull only at low speeds.

  17. Has anyone actually tried fitting HWL nemesis GTX 420 radiator ontop of a define r5 or define S ?
    I cant make up my mind if I should go for a rad that certainly fits like EK-CE 420 or Alphacool UT60 but hwl nemesis GTX is the best radiator but im not sure if it fits or not, it clears the memory wich is the highest part out of my mobo.

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