XSPC AX360 Radiator Review
Welcome to Extreme Rigs’ first 360mm radiator review for 2016. We know there were a few gaps in the list of 360mm radiators we tested last year and we have received many requests for this one. So it’s with great pleasure that we can at long last provide some detailed info on XPCS’s AX360.
The black AX360 being reviewed today is also available in a white finish. The AX360 was released in 2012 and has proven very popular with water cooling enthusiasts over the years because of the stylish design, quality materials and excellent finish. This 360mm version is part of XSPC’s AX Series radiator range which has grown this year to now include models for both 120mm and 140mm fan sizes. The AX360 is also an option in both the D5 and 750 complete Watercooling Kits offered by XSPC. We also reviewed the newer AX280 earlier this year.
In this AX360 review we’ll be taking a close look at it’s construction, analyzing the performance data and comparing it’s results against the other 360mm radiators we have tested.
Firstly a big thanks to XSPC for providing the review sample of the AX360. The support offered by XSPC is greatly appreciated by Extreme Rigs and ultimately means you the reader can make more informed purchase decisions.
What’s in the Box?
The AX360 sample arrived in full retail packaging which is about as plain as it could be without being totally “brown box”.
The all black box is consistent with a lot of XSPC’s current range of water cooling products. Some are in fact “brown box” which we don’t mind at all, after all it’s what’s inside that counts and we’re sure that 99% of buyers don’t mind plain packaging if the associated savings are passed along into the retail price of the item.
We are not so happy with the way the supplied screws are placed on top of the radiator. Even though the bag of screws is taped to a piece of cardboard and to the bubble wrap, we have received radiators in the past with bent over fins with this type of accessory packaging. We don’t think it would take much more time and effort to fold the cardboard in half and place it at the end of the radiator. Now to be clear, this particular radiator wasn’t damaged in any way by the screws, but we do think some other manufacturers have a better packaging setup. XSPC have responded to this saying that our suggestion was their old method which resulted in more damage:
“We used to put them at the end in a separate cardboard box, but they caused damage to the end tanks. It’s possible to get damage from the way we ship them, but it would have to be a direct impact on that location. Most impacts are at the ends of the box which is why we don’t put the screws there.”
This is a fair enough explanation – kind of. Given that the AX series radiators are enclosed in an external housing and neither end is exposed, we still feel that the radiator core has less chance of damage during transport if the screws were at the end of the carton.
Extent of delivery as listed by XSPC:
- 30mm and 6mm 6-32 UNC screws
12 screws of each length are provided, so there are enough to install the radiator with either Push OR Pull fans mounted to a case panel, BUT NOT Push/Pull.
For a Push/Pull assembly you will need to acquire another 12 x 30mm 6/32 screws which XSPC conveniently offer in 4 packs if you want matching screw sets.
The hex head screws also have a Phillips Head screwdriver slot which makes for fast and easy installation with a back up in case one or the other ever gets rounded off or you can’t find your screw driver.
The threads are 6/32 UNC which we prefer over a 3mm thread for radiators because it is coarser and more tapered, meaning less chance of cross threading, and (theoretically) able to hold more weight which is of more concern with the larger (and thicker) sized radiators.
The thread length of the longer set is 30mm, but we measure the short screws at 5mm, not 6mm as listed, however 5mm should be long enough for use with all but the thickest of case panels provided filters or gaskets are not used.
So we have been warned!
If using a any of XSPC’s mounting brackets or vibration adsorbing gaskets the supplied screw sets could end up being a bit short, in particular if mounting with the gaskets between case panel and radiator. We didn’t have any samples to check against however, so please check screw length compatibility prior to final fitting, and remember to make compensation for a small amount of compression when tightening down gaskets if they are used.
Onwards to technical specifications!