We are all familiar with Koolance around Skinnee Labs, but we have never looped up a Koolance radiator on the bench. The primary reason we never even looked at the radiators from Koolance was due to aluminum but now they have copper radiators too. Although I have to admit, I knew nothing about them until I opened the boxes. Originally, I thought the only difference between the copper radiators was the barb ports. Yeah I was completely misinformed. For the next couple of pages we look at the HX-CU1020V.
My first reaction was on the fins per inch, the CU1020V or CuV as I have been calling it has a very high FPI measuring in at 29-31 fins/folds per inch. In addition, each tube has two dedicated rows of fins. This is very similar to the HWLabs GTX, I will say similar as I do recall a small marketing battle between Koolance and HWLabs a few years ago… and that is all I am going to say on that topic. There is only one row of tubes on the Cu1020V, resulting in the tried and true two pass / U-flow flow path. Now that I have the CuV out of the box and in my hands, this radiator is light (1.75lbs. / 794g), GPU blocks weigh more than this guy. The Cu1020V measures in at 395 x 120 x 30mm (LxWxH), 30mm is the thinnest radiator we’ve tested (MCR is 34mm), that’s only 5 mils thicker than your standard 25mm case fan. Finishing off the looks is the paint, which is a matte black but does have a bit more gloss to it than the others… but a nice clean paint job.
Back to the tubes and fins for a second. Rest assured the CuV uses brass tubes and end tanks with many copper fins. Each individual row of fins measures 4.5mm wide or 9mm between each of the 12 brass tubes. The Cu1020V does have a small 5mm plenum on each side, so like most other radiators you have the choice of side to mount fans. With the 5mm plenum, the core and resulting tube height/thickness is 20mm. With a high FPI core like this, we should see some excellent high RPM performance.
The CuV comes with standard 15mm fan spacing and M4 tapped mount holes. However, there is a tiny little surprise under each one of those pre-tapped holes. The surprise is an extra piece of what I am guessing would be aluminum –not sure– over the tube to help prevent a punctured tube. Christ that’s genius! I tried taking the best photo I could, scroll to the bottom of the page if quick (but come back). Even with Koolance’s tube guard, always check screw depth through the tapped holes… puncturing a tube is not a fun adventure. Put the screw in the fan hole and set the fan on the lip of the radiator, if you’re close then you need slightly shorter screws. Same goes for mounting to your case, verify your screw lengths twice before proceeding. Okay, one final thing is the adapters barb parts which certainly accept 1/4″ BSPP but I’m not sure on the actual barb port. Guessing from Koolance’s own product line its probably M12.
I forgot to mention the well place Koolance logo, sorry for the sarcasm but anytime you place an logo or stamp a side panel it’s going to be right 50% of the time. Half the folks will orient their radiator barbs up the other half barbs down, okay there is the vertical option but you get what I mean. I like the idea; just sometimes the stamping/logo does not really work for the orientation I plan on using
On your scroll down, you eyed shots of the fan spacing and FPI (and a little bit of dust from my photo tent); sorry about the slight angle too those shots are a little difficult sometimes. On the FPI close-up you can see the two rows of fins dedicated to each tube, with a high FPI like the CuV has there is going to be some variation quality of folds, even the low FPI rads have quite a bit of variation. Up next is a shot of the end tanks and barb ports with those adapters. And yes, those standout Koolance red silicone o-rings are under there.