The ThermoChill PA120.3 has been on the market since summer of 2006 without a single change. time now. The PA as it is commonly known, has been given the name the “King of Cool”. Many companies have tried copying it and changing the fan spacing, modifying the tubes and so on. But no one can truly match the heat dissipation capabilities of the PA120.3 in the triple radiator class. The PA120.3 offers some unique features opposed to other radiators, such as fan spacing and barb ports. If you’re not prepared for these difference from the standard 15mm fan spacing and G1/4″ barb ports you’re in for a surprise when planning your loop.
Lets move on to the review and test data shall we…
The Thermochill PA120.3 is never shy when having its photo taken, if this is the first picture of a PA120.3 you’ve seen then something is seriously wrong with you or you’ve stumbled on to this review by accident.
The PA series is redesign of the HE series from ThermoChill, the PA was designed by XtremeSystems legend Cathar (known for the G-series Storm waterblocks). The PA120.3 is a beast in every sense of the word, weighing in at 1.8kg the PA measures 430mm X 128mm X 61mm (LxWxD). The PA uses a double row 2-pass tube system, meaning there are two tubes for the thickness of the radiator, and the coolant (water or what have you) makes two passes in the air flow path while in the radiator. Now, there are a couple of features on the PA that I hinted at earlier. One of those being the G3/8″ barb ports, this differs from the normal G1/4″. G3/8″ fittings used to be impossible to find, thanks to EK and Bitspower along with G3/8″ to G1/4″ adapters the search for proper fittings or something that fits in the barb ports is much easier. The other difference with the ThermoChill is the fan spacing, which is 25mm (24.5mm factory spec.) versus the common 15mm spacing we see on all other radiators. If you have already modded your case for a standard radiator or ordered a case with standard fan spacing you are in trouble when it comes time to mount the TC in your case.
The FPI for the PA series is 10 FPI, which is 4 FPI less than a Swiftech MCR and 2 FPI more than the XSPC RX line at 8 FPI. There is some debate where the PA is designed for low or medium speed fans, we will have to wait and see what the performance test results show for an answer to that question. There has also been heavy debate (what aspect of the PA has not been heavily debated) regarding the fan screw and case mounting holes. I for one have always been able to use 6-32 screws for mounting fans to the radiator and 6-32 again for case mounting. As for screw length, 1.25″ screws on the 25mm fans and 3/8″ screws for the 38mm fans since they are open corner. One additional item I add to the fan screws are a fiber washer just to add a little space between the screw and the radiator tubes. There is nothing worse than puncturing a tube with a screw since that voids your warranty, especially a radiator that costs $100+.