First and formost, I want to thank Hondacity for donating the HWLabs GTX360 for testing. I was having some trouble rounding up a few radiators that the Liquid Community was looking for numbers on and Hondacity gladly offered up a GTX360 for me to test. Many of you probably know Hondacity from XtremeSystems.org or Overclock.net. I have thanked Hondacity many times for his generousity, but if you are glad to see this review, be sure to thank him as well!
The HWLabs GTX360 is the latest evolution in the long line of radiators from HWLabs. The GTX series follows the widely popular Black Ice Xtreme or BIX line of radiators. The GT Xtreme (GTX) line covers the full range of sizes including a 120 (Single), 240 (Double), 360 (Triple) and a 480 (Quad). A while back I owned the GTX480, but for some silly reason I sold it off. Looking back, what a dumb decision it was to sell off a heat dissipating monster. I was kicking myself as I started analyzing the data from testing. Oh well, I am sure the owner of the GTX480 has put the radiator to better use than what I would have.
This is my first review of a HWLabs product and to be honest, I do not know much of the HWLabs product history. HWLabs has always been known by me to cater their radiators to high CFM/RPM fans, which is not the type of radiator I personally look to use in builds. However, from the time I opened the box, the GTX360 has met or exceeded my expectations. Everything including barbs, fan and mounting screws and the paint job is a true high gloss finish.
We all know the debate of low and high speed/cfm optimized radiators, and the GTX series is optimized to perform very well at high cfm sporting 20 FPI. Think about this for a minute, low speed optimized radiators have 8-12 FPI and the GTX flaunts 20 FPI. As with the low speed, this does not require you to run those specific fans as you can see when the low and high FPI radiators are compared on the same C/W charts. Staying on the topic of fins, there are two rows of fins between each row of tubes and giving each tube its own pair of fins. Every radiator I have reviewed only has a single row where the tubes share two rows of fins. The tubes are also not as wide or as deep. HWLabs states the tubes are 19mm x 1.2mm Maxflow. Another interesting design that makes the GTX series unique, the dual-pass dual-row flow pattern. The GTX flows front to back instead of side to side like most other. There is a hot side and a cold side flow configuration at work, placing your fans becomes a bit more important. Some planning on your build is necessary here, depending on if you want the barb side to be the first or second pass. Using the right port as inlet and left outlet, the barb side is the first pass or hotside and the back is the second pass/cold side. Left outlet and right inlet makes the barb side the second pass cold side.
Okay, so there is one more design feature is the side panels angle to the fan mounts. Other radiators have the fans flush againts the fan mounts and side panel lip. feature On the GTX the fans do not sit flush with the side panel lip and leave a slight gap. No this is not your fans, the gap is due to the angle of the side panel lip. The fan spaciing is the standard 15mm, no special requirements here.