View Full Version : Single large vs. two smaller radiators?
I realise that there have been a lot of threads about multiple radiators and whatnot, but I don't think I've seen anyone explain the benefits and tradeoffs between the two options.
Specifically, I'm wondering if there's a good reason to not go with a pair of 1x120mm radiators instead of a single 2x120mm radiator providing that you have enough space and pump power.
I ask because there're now quite a few cases on the market that have multiple 120mm fan mounts and enough interior room to mount a pair of single radiators without having to hack something up, good for people who (like me) don't necessarily trust themselves to cut into a case or who (again like me) dig the un- or light-modded look.
There is no problem with that, but there is more flow resistance, which in turn leads to less performance in the end.
However, it does work if you have a 120mm mount or two with some space.
The only disadvantages of going with 2 single rads I can think of are flow and cost. Tube routing will be a bit more difficult too. Two single rads should work mostly as well as a dual rad performance wise. I say go for it.
if you wanna go for it ,it should be ok if you have a high end pump the tubling will be abit crazy though :P
The biggest drawback (other than cost) is the impact on flow rates. You'll have to use a lot more tubing (most cases with 2 120mm fans have them front and back) and you'll introduce at least 2 additional 90° bends (going into the second radiator). As long as you've got a pump with enough head a system like this will provide decent results, but they won't be as good as with a single dual radiator. So, if performance is the main reason for water cooling, modding the case is still a better option, but if you're going for quiet then the two radiator setup will work just fine.
Sweet, so it seems that my I'm-too-CS-to-mod solution might actually work, provided I've got a "strong enough" pump. I'm really hoping that a D4 qualifies as one of these?
I'm not sure that I'll eventually go this route, but I think it would be kinda neat to stuff some big system (think SMP) into a mid tower and cool it with water. But just in case I do, this is good to know.
As an aside, since I've brought SMP into this thread: if I were to not go with two two cores, would a single 120mm heater core or "real" radiator dissipate enough heat to make such a solution (two Prestonias) a viable alternative to air? Noise levels and reliability count a little more than cooler temps (if it's quieter and cooler than air, then it's been successful in my book).
I swear I'm going to go crazy trying to work something out in my mind, and then broke trying to put whatever I settle on into a rig...
As a second aside, rather than opening a new thread: DD lists the BIX2's width as 5.25": this makes me hopeful that it might fit into a nice, tall 5.25" drive rack?
Thanks again for putting up with all the extra q's :)
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