It is no secret that the Thermochill PA has a special place in liquid cooling, quirky or not. The community expected the TA to be the PA without all the quirks, but like any revision or improvement, there are always bits that do not come out exactly how you made them in your mind. I am guilty of this very thing all the time, I want the perferct piece of kit, the one that is in my head. We should not play down the TA series though. The Thermochill TA performs well from both a restriction and thermal standpoint, and the flux/flushing issue is finally a thing of the past. However, there is at least one more revision needed before the TA can hold up to its predecessor.
Thermochill fan or mount holes have never been user-friendly, but they were workable. I never had to use more than standard 6-32 machine screws, even though the holes were untapped. On the TA, we find the same untapped holes, but the TA holes just destroyed my machine screws. I even tried the using the tapping screws and then my normal machine screws, and that did not turn out much better. We have already let Thermochill know tapping the fan/mount holes is a big deal, and we are told it is in the works.
One of the bigger gripes many including myself have with the PA is the never-ending radiator flux. Even though I always quick flush before looping a radiator up, the PA was like the gift that kept giving, only the gift was flux and you did not want it. Well, I am happy to report the TA does not turn your loop into a snow globe like the PA did. I followed my norm, and did a quick flush—radiators are made in machine shops afterall—before looping, and the loop remained clear like normal. Another gripe I always heard but never minded myself was the G3/8 barb ports, compression-fitting users always had to use adapters, even G3/8 barbs took a while to appear. None of that is an issue now, the TA has G1/4 barb ports. Say goodbye to all your confusion and adapters.
Overall, the TA holds its own amongst the radiators out there as we saw compared to the MCR320. Restriction is very low and just a squeak above the legendary PA. Although, this review feels rather bittersweet since we finally have to say farewell to the PA. Yes, many of the small things that swayed folks away from the PA have been modified with the TA. That flushing/flux issue was a royal pain too. No sense in dwelling in the past, the TA core is here. Thinking back to the initial unboxing, the TA is significantly heavier when compared—using the highly scientific left hand versus right hand test—to the PA, not certain if that is the screw chewing sides or the increased copper though, probably some of both. I might be going overboard a bit about the fan/mount holes, but that is the only bad thing I have to say about the TA. If Thermochill follows through with tapping the holes once tooling is ready, then I do not have a bad thing to say about the TA. Would this be the best time for my 1200-1700RPM performance wish?
Okay, one last thing… what happened to the sixth tube on the left side of the radiator? I am of the opinion that reducing the width of the fin channels and getting that extra tube back in play would definitely help in getting performance closer to the standard set by the PA. Maybe we will see the missing tube re-appear in the next version/revision.
Last but not least, a big thank you Thermochill for sending the TA series over to the lab and for allowing us to provide feedback openly. Since we have the entire TA family, this is not the last you will see of test data, there is more to come. Almost forgot, the comparison is in the works as I finish this review, just want a certain number of radiators tested before publishing… Stay tuned.