It was bound to happen sooner or later, 120mm fans would be trumped by something larger and 140mm is here… kind of. I am always eager to add more cooling capability to my loops, as more radiator is always better. ThermoChill did not sit and wait for the 140mm market to start growing without them, they revised the long standing PA series to include the PA140.3. With the PA series being the radiator that set the standard, count on great performance across all fan speeds. What I am most interested in is the difference in performance by moving from 120mm to 140mm fans, luckily we have the ThermoChill family ready and waiting as our test subjects. I need to explain my slight pessimism in the opening line, it all stems from looking for fans to strap to the PA140.3 and maybe I had my expectations out of whack. There really is not a wide selection of fans available in 140mm. One thing I had to remind myself of is that the 140mm fan market is in its infancy and has a long way to go before there is anywhere near the selection of 120mm fans. 120mm is what I consider to be the case fan standard, until case designers/manufacturers update to hold 140mm fans the selection will remain slim. 140mm radiators are out there, just don’t expect them to knock off 120mm as the standard anytime soon, and be sure your case can fit a 140. Lucky for me benches can accommodate almost size radiator. Enough of my jabbering in the intro, lets take a closer look at the ThermoChill PA140.3
The PA140.3 is exactly like her smaller siblings, the only major difference being the added length and width to accommodate 140mm fans versus the typical 120’s. The PA140 measures in 75mm longer and 13mm wider at 480x142x60mm (LxWxH), than 120mm variant. Now this is not ThermoChill’s first adventure beyond 120mm, we cannot forget the PA160 now can we?. The PA140.3 sports the traditional matte black paint and the familiar 6-32 untapped mounting holes. One tidbit that never crossed my mind until it came to photos was the fan spacing, what the heck is standard fan spacing for 140mm fans anyway, is there one? Feel free to drop me a note and clue me in if so. Regardless of a standard or not, I measured the fan spacing at 20mm which does leave 5mm gap between the fans and I didn’t receive one of the dreaded neoprene gaskets (those gaskets are a pain anyway). Those fans mount up to the infamous 10mm plenum, which does give you a little breathing room when screwing those fans down. However, always double check your screw length before mounting up your fans. One of the worst mistakes you can make is rush along and puncture a tube with too long of screws. Speaking of tubes, yes they are still brass tubes but the PA140 has 13 rows (7 on the left barb port, 6 on the right) versus the 12 on the PA120 but still in dual row configuration. I was surprised to count only one extra row, I guess I expected at least 14 but it must have been impossible due to space. You have to leave enough room for those copper fins, you don’t want to short change the workhorse of the radiator now. You can count yourself in the last picture on the page. Rounding out the feature overview is the familiar ThermoChill PA 10 fins per inch and G3/8 barb ports. I mentioned this in the PA120.3-15mm review, but I don’t see any major problem with G3/8. Don’t worry, the soap box will stay hidden as that is all I’ll say about G1/4 versus G3/8 today. One last thing before the photo show, yes the 6-32 self-taping screws are included but I never use them so in the box they stay.
Above is a quick shot of the PA140.3 and the Yate Loon D14SM-12’s that we’ll be using for the testing, Yate Loons are a norm around skinnee labs and they’ve made their way into another set of radiator tests… remember fan choices are somewhat limited in the 140mm sector. The next two pics are a radiator review requirement, verifying the measured FPI and fan spacing. No surprise on FPI, the normal ThermoChill PA 10 FPI. But the 20mm fan spacing, again if there is a standard fan spacing for 140mm rads let me know… maybe it stays at 15mm since there is a 5mm gap when fans are mounted on the PA140.3?
This next photo hopefully achieves that sense of size difference I was going for. I can certainly say that 120mm rads feel small after moving the PA140 around the lab during testing, photos and review time. The extra size didn’t make the sides weak or anything like that, ThermoChill rads are always built like a house. I don’t know which felt a bit weirder, the 140mm fans or lugging the PA140 around… I’m just so used to 120mm.
And the shot I promised showing the tube count, also gives you a sense of difference in widths. Looking at the side panel lip there, you can see there is less of a lip on the 140 compared to the 120. Remember, the difference in width is only 13mm (PA120.3: 129mm / PA140.3: 142mm). Alright, time to take the PA140.3 out of the photo tent and start getting some numbers that you came looking for… on to pressure drop testing.