There are times I truly think that CPU and GPU cooling designers have watched far too many reruns of “Home Improvement”. Yeah, Tim Allen’s theory that “more power” with no finesse or moderation solves everything was enjoyable to watch, but not so enjoyable when employed in cooling. Doesn’t cool well enough? Must need more (fan) power! While the end cooling result may be good….the noise output isn’t. There really needs to be a balance between cooling capabilities and noise. Being realistic, all of the cooling power in the world does you no good if the cooler is loud to the point of distraction and irritation. We have seen air solutions from Noctua, Phanteks, be quiet!, etc., achieve this balance, and all in one box open loops from XSPC, Swiftech and Cooler Master better them.
As much as I have talked about the need for balance when using air cooling, setting up a loop is much the same, and is certainly more involved. In addition to surface area, thickness of the radiator also comes into the equation, not only in terms of overall cooling performance, but in terms of optimum fan speeds, as well. Simply put, typically thicker radiators are capable of greater overall dissipation, but also require more airflow to keep air moving through in order to cool. This requires higher fan speeds and higher static pressure fans, which naturally results in more noise. So while a thicker rad may sound like it would always be your best solution, if your goal is silent computing it may not always be. Choosing a radiator capable of dissipating heat under the conditions you would ideally use it is the key, and it happens that XSPC’s RX Series has always had excellent low rpm characteristics and, with the new V3, has gotten even better.
XSPC’s latest revision of their thicker radiator, the RX360 V3, is designed to bring enthusiast level performance with even the lowest of fans speeds. Using a 13 fpi structure with copper/brass core, the low air resistance and excellent dissipation of the XSPC RX360 V3 offers far more cooling power at low fan rpms than other radiators of similar thickness. While most in class come in at 60mm thick, the RX360 V3 has also been slightly slimmed down to 56mm, which decreases chances of interference with other components. However, decreased size in no way means decreased performance. The RX360 V3 features two rows of 21 x 2mm tubes comprising a full 46mm thick core. The RX360 V3 is finished entirely in matte black, and features side and top/bottom G1/4” ports for versatile mounting. Included with the RX360 V3 are two black chrome plugs for the unused ports, as well as 6-32 case and fan screws.