HWLabs GTX 360 Radiator Review

Thermal Test Results

Heat Loads

Now that we have all of the methodology, specification and data explanation documented and detailed lets get on with what you all are looking for…the results.

Here is the main chart for bringing all of the logged data in and using this data to calculate Water Avg-Air In, and C/W. Now this is a change from the method we used previously. We used to just use water outlet averaged temperature in the calculation, but now we are using the loop water average in the calculation. This change was brought on by a brave fact finding mission by Martinm210. I have mixed feelings about the use of loop average versus water out, but the testing norm has been changed and I will following the community testing standard. Another column you see in the table is Air Capacity Used, this column shows the rise in air temperature relative to the water temperature. Another way to look at Air Capacity used is a measure of efficiency, how efficient is the radiator at moving the heat load from the water running through the tubes to the air passing through the radiator.

You will obviously spot the higher watt run for 600RPM, I had to stop the test before the run could complete. I have had problems in the past where the radiator cannot dissipate the heat, the water temp rises to the point where tubes start melting and there is the lovely risk of an electrical fire (long story). So, my safety is 55ºC water temps. If I see water temps getting close I stop the test. I will not risk the equipment or my house for numbers.

With the explanation out of the way, the test data show can begin.

Now for the performance numbers and muscle flexing portion of the program…This chart plots the Water Avg-Air In Temperature or Delta versus the Heat Load applied. This chart is the most useful in estimating the Delta for a given heat load (watts) to be applied to the radiator. Simply locate the wattage on the X axis and move up to find the Delta for a given fan speed. Add this delta to your ambient temperature, and that is what you can expect for a loop water temperature.

For information on calculating heat load for your loop here are two resources I have used in the past. Another method I have used in the past is to Google search TDP for a specific component, that should also help in estimating the heat load that will be in the loop for a specific component. The primary one for me is linked below, they take a lot of the google searching out of the equation and break everything down to just the numbers you need.

Please remember, calculating the power consumption and using that as heat load is not exact and is only an estimate. This estimate will be higher than actual heat load applied as you do transfer some heat to the air circulating in your case around the components. How much difference I cannot begin to speculate, but I just want to state that it is only an estimate and not an exact specification.

Applied C/W

Now that we have looked at the plotted results, lets apply the C/W results with a given Delta (Water Avg-Air In) to find how much wattage can the radiator dissipate. Below is the data table for calculations of Deltas of 15º, 10º, 5º and 2º. Here is my classifications for those deltas.

  • 15º Delta: Low Performance, an overloaded but capable loop.
  • 10º Delta: Average Performance, very capable of good temps and representative of an average system.
  • 5º Delta: High Performance, for those of you looking to achieve the best possible temps.
  • 2º Delta: Ultra Performance. extreme setups only, this would be an ultimate setup where you limit to dedicated block loops.

Here are the plotted C/W results over the fan RPM range, as you can see the results do follow close to a plotted trendline. This trendline might not mean much to you, but to me the trend line helps me see that my testing and resultant data are accurate. Additionally, if you plan on running your fans at a speed other than the ones I tested here is another reference point to estimate the results you will see.

With the C/W calculated, we can apply a specified wattage to give us the watts dissipated for our RPM range. This chart is just the plotted results for a 10º Delta or Average Performance from the data table in the beginning of this section. The GTX360 does not have the best performance and low RPM, but starting with the 1400RPM test, the GTX starts to show its amazing performance. The number my eye keeps jumping to is the 2800RPM test, over 1100watts of heat dissipation amazing for a triple radiator.

Here are the plotted results for a 5º Delta or High Performance from the data table in the beginning of this section. The 5ºC numbers in the mid speed fan range are still really impressive, the GTX matches or beats the PA120.3 with medium speed fans between 1400 and 1800RPM.

Here are the plotted results for a 2º Delta or Ultra Performance from the data table in the beginning of this section. This chart is purely to show what wattages and fan speeds you need to get really close to ambient water temps. I typically say this delta is not going to happen for most out there, but high speed fan numbers are impressive once again.

 

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