You’ve been eyeing up the PA140.3 for the last several pages now… but how big of a hole is the purchase going to leave in your pocket? Well, I have some bad news for those of you in the US… you’re going to have to spend a little extra and order from Europe. I don’t want to detour the review here, but before ThermoChill changed ownership in May of 2009 many Etailers dropped the ThermoChill line due to availability and lack of warranty response. The new owners have a lot of ground to make back up here in the US, hopefully we’ll see ThermoChill rads back in the product list of US Etailers soon. On the other hand, the overall availability of 140mm is about as bad as 140mm fans.
In typical Skinnee Labs fashion, we’ve put the ThermoChill PA140.3 under the bright lights, forced City Water at 5.0GPM through the tubes and applied 600w of load several times in order to see how she stacks up. While we had several small surprises along the way –okay, more like interesting tid bits rather than surprises– we encountered nothing that put us on the floor in shock. The PA series has been around for quite a while and we’ve become quite comfortable with the features and design specifics of the PA, the PA140.3 follows the original pedigree and delivers solid performance. You cannot deny the increase in cooling capability with the increase in surface area that 140mm brings, but the story doesn’t end there. Besides somebody like me that relies on a bench setup where radiators of nearly any size can be worked into the loop, how the heck are folks confined to a case going to fit 140mm radiators internally. Yes, you do have external options like on the roof or even securing the PA140.3 off the back of your case. I guess radiator footprint hasn’t deterred many of you before, why should 140mm be any different… There is not a lot left to say about the ThermoChill PA that hasn’t been said already. At risk of sound liking a broken record I’ll spare you the history lesson, just know the ThermoChill PA series is the reason you see many of the fan optimized radiators today. I’m having a hard time with the cons or negatives though too. Remembering my position on G3/8 barb ports, all of my negatives relate back to the 140mm form factor and available fans. To be candid, those problems are not necessarily the fault of the PA140.3 but the whole 140mm movement. However, the laborious flushing preparation still furrows my brow.
To close out another review, thanks to ThermoChill for sponsoring this look at their expanded line of PA series radiators. Like all the ThermoChill radiators that have hit our bench before, I enjoyed the testing and getting a chance to explore the buzz surrounding 140mm. I stand by my earlier remarks regarding the 140mm market, the fan size needs increased adoption by case designers and manufacturers in order for more fans to be available and increase the availability of 140mm radiators. We’ll just have to wait and see if 140mm is what lures us all away from our beloved 120mm radiators and fans. But if cases don’t start making the move, the modding community will only be able to keep the 140mm market alive for a limited time. Thanks for reading, see you again soon with another product being put through the ringer on our bench.