What size radiator do I need for my system?

A very hot airflow from radiator fans is a sign of a system, running at - or over - it's maximum cooling capacity.

Water needs to be adequately cooled with coldest ambient air temperatures therefore radiator should be getting as much as "fresh air" as possible. Hot air from radiator should also be dumped out of the computer chassis by the use of auxiliary chassis fans. Poor design and construction choice may result in insufficient radiator cooling which may lead to overheating of the components. In case of cooling capacity issues the symptoms are usually a slow, but steady increase in temperatures until the system reaches equilibrium and/or system encounters stability issues.

The best part of custom water cooling loop is that the system can be extended and the cooling capacity can be extended almost without limitations.

Rule of thumb is to use at least one 120mm radiator (section) per each water cooled component plus one 'spare'.

For example, if one is liquid cooling a CPU and a single high-performance graphics card it is recommended at least one 240mm (2x 120mm) radiator for good performance. Ideally, one would get a 360mm (3x 120mm) radiator for best performance. Motherboard- and memory water blocks usually have lower power output therefore they are not included in this equation.

Radiators also come in different sizes, but the 120mm type most common. For example, a 280mm radiator (2x 140mm), built for 140mm cooling fans, has 33% larger cooling surface than the 240mm variant (2x 120mm) thus it can dissipate substantially more heat given the same conditions. A 360mm radiator (2x 180mm), built for 180mm cooling fans, is 50% bigger than a 360mm radiator (3x 120mm), but fits only in a handful of computer chassis

The number and the size of radiators that can be installed in the system is usually limited by the type and size of the chassis, therefore EK recommends the use of larger, water-cooling friendly computer chassis.

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2 Comments

  • 0
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    Joseph Armeni

    Do you guys think a predator 280 with 2x 140mm Noctua NF-A14 + 2x 140mm EK vardar fans it comes with in push/pull can sufficiently cool a delidded kaby lake (91 watt tdp) running @ 5.0ghz at 60C + CPU motherboard VRM + Full water block Coverage GTX 1070 (150 watt TDP) with all the extra tubing bought ofc? In a basement that is always a bit cooler than room temp around 20C for room temp. The CPU VRMS also receive passive air cooling from the 2x 140mm intake fans on the front of the case as well as the 140mm exhaust fan on rear of case. The CPU VRM Heat sink block is a combo water/air block built by EK for ASUS so the VRMS would not solely depend on the water. The GPU will be full coverage as in gpu chip gpu vrms and gpu memory receiving nothing but water cooling no air at all.

    The PSU's heat will be isolated drawing cool air from the bottom vent of the case and  venting it right out the back plus it will be an 80+ titanium 12 year warranty seasonic prime unit with as little waste heat as possible to begin with.

     

    And would it be possible to get the PWM pump and fans to ramp up not only from cpu usage but also from GPU usage as in either/or will cause it to ramp up regardless of the state of the other? If the CPU starts getting used it ramps up if the gpu starts getting used it ramps up even if just the gpu is really working hard but the CPU isn't will the fan and pumps still go fast to keep the gpu cool?

    Edited by Joseph Armeni
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    Ivan Filatov

    Radiators tdp watts only in configurator, why not to put them on product page?

    Edited by Ivan Filatov
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