For comparison on the charts, I’ve included data from the ThermoChill PA120.3 15mm. To me the PA sets the bar on performance for 120mm triples, as you view the charts just know the PA is optimized for low to medium speed fans where the 30 FPI on the Cu1020V is optimized for high speed.
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. 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.
We did hit our safety on 600w at 600RPM, but I had to kill the test. The temps were just too high. The higher density radiators just do not perform well at very low fan speeds, but they certainly make up for it as you increase the speed, CFM and static pressure. We have 11 tests in the data table and used for calculations. With the explanation out of the way, the test data show can begin.
With the data chart above we get to use all those mystifying numbers to build the charts that follow, hopefully these charts put the data into a form that makes sense to the majority of you reading the review. The chart below 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, which 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.
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.
Moving to 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. The high FPI radiators always seem to have data that is slightly off the trendline on low rpm’s. 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. There have to be some of you out there that geek out for C/W, come on I know you are out there…
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. I am quite sure I have stated the CuV has a very high FPI and despite the slim profile, low speed fans just do not have the static pressure to take advantage of all that fin surface area.
We’ve established our average performance, now lets cut that delta in half to 5º Delta. The story will be the same as 10ºC, just half the heat load but visual representations always seem to get the message across a little better (especially with my goofy explanations).
Now here we have 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. A 2º Delta is rather tough to achieve with a radiator that was created for silence, but possible on some high FPI beasts. However, to achieve 2ºC deltas you have to make a choice of Delta, Noise, or Wattage of the loop. With the CuV you’re going to need some serious fan speeds to achieve a 2ºC delta on a loaded loop.
The Koolance CU1020V does very well after 1800RPM and despite the thickness can dissipate more heat than a PA120.3 above that 1800RPM step. That is all the thermal data we have today, time to look at market pricing and the conclusion…