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Radiator size - Do I need to beef it up?

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Jul 19, 2013
Okay, I may be pushing it a bit here regarding radiator size (might be way too small)...

A good while back I bought the "EK-KIT P280" which have served me very well over the years.

It consist of a CPU block, a D5ish pump with a built-in reservoir and a EK-CoolStream CE 280 radiator (45mm thick).

I'm building a new hard tube rig and would VERY much like to re-use all the components.

My new hardware:
Gigabyte Aorus Master X570 (watercooled CHIPSET)
AMD 5950X
PowerColor Liquid Devil RX 6900 XT

All water cooled...

2x Arctic P14 PWM PST CO Radiator fans (140mm)

Do I need a bigger radiator?

I'm hoping "no", but I'm having a gut feeling that tells me otherwise....

Ehh, you could use it, but with push/pull fans at high speeds 2x140mm for a 5950x, 6900xt and chipset (latter negligible, but still adds to the load) will get toasty quick (read: air-like temperatures or worse), . I'd absolutely go at least 3x120mm...
It will be enough. After the loop is saturated, temps may be higher than most would like for water, but it will work for sure. :)
I don't know about that. Maybe if the radiators were 60mm style but these are 45mm so I think that 6900XT will use up the 3x120 by itself at full use. I would definitely add push/pull fans to all spots at least. Those Arctic are pretty good fans but you will need more to keep that thing cool.
I just tried to edit two of my replies in this thread - Now they are gone....

Didn't mean for that to happen....

I hate mobile editing
I restored it... :)

Doesn't that old "rule of thumb" apply any more?

You know where you have 1x120mm of radiator per cooled component plus 1x120mm per overclocked component.....
That rule of thumb is 120mm for every 100W... You can get away with plenty more, but that was the rule for quiet and 'better-than-air' temps. You'll be fine but just warmer. Try it and see if you like the cooling and noise levels to maintain. :thup:
I'll try to recreate the deleted the best I can.

1st - I've ordered a single 45x140mm radiator that I HOPE I can fit inside my case.

2nd - Doesn't that old "rule of thumb" apply any more?
You know, 1x120mm radiator per cooled component plus 1x120mm per overclocked component....

If that one still applies, won't my 3x140mm be enough?
Also - these are 45mm radiators - a BIT thicker than a lot of others.
Ha! Sorry for the confusion...😅

120mm per 100W..... Hmm.... That changes everything a bit.

It's "check spec" time for me I guess 👍
I would say buy a new case that will hold everything and the proper cooling even if it means waiting to buy parts slower as you save. All the work that goes into building a custom loop would be wasted if you don't get good results, which I don't think you will. Or just get a good air cooler either way you will be much happier.

This is why I'm on air at the moment, I'm waiting to buy my last two parts then rebuilding the loop.
My case is a Phanteks Evolv X - Although they claim there's plenty of room for radiators, you can't really install them in a meaningful way.

Front rad/fans would have to pull air INTO the case if you want to filter the air just a little bit...
Not a fan of pulling hot air into the case.

But if I can't come up with something good, I might as well find myself another case and larger radiators 🤷‍♂️
In from the front and bottom, if you have the ability out top and rear ..... that is the best case solution for a decent air flow, cool air in and warm air out. If you try and reverse that you will be pushing warm air from inside the case through your rads, in the end it will only make a degree or two difference at the most but if you are already rad limited that degree or two might be a big deal.
Phanteks makes some great water cooling cases unfortunately that is not one. Still a very nice case just not designed for water. Their enthoo pro 2 is more like what you need.

Just for reference you want the intake for the radiator. That is the cool air that works best. I generally then run my second radiator on the top, I prefer intake their too.
My initial plan was to have 3 x 140mm fans in the front, pulling cool air through the filter and into the case.
I would then have 2 x 140mm fans at the top, pushing air through my radiator and out of the case.
Lastly I would have a single 140mm fan at the back, pushing air through a radiator and out of the case.

The single 140mm rad was just ordered today.

The top mounting plate for the radiator is a custom laser cut plate - I would have to make a new one in order to make room for the new single 140mm rad.

I COULD perhaps install 3 x 140mm fans at the top and use THEM as intake and then have the exhaust move out through the front and back...

That's 1 x 420mm rad at the front and a 140mm at the back.... . 🤔
DonÂ’t overthink it. If a fan works well there, a radiator probably will too assuming their is enough airflow. The problem with that case is the front has a very limited intake ability. The same goes for the top unfortunately. If they make mesh replacements that would work. Also you might run into the radiator and fans hitting other parts like the motherboard, etc.
Sorry I could install 3 x 120mm fans at the top, not 3 x 140mm
Right now the top fans are mounted about 0,5mm from the motherboard...
Tight fit 😬

But that's because of the 45mm radiator.

Wouldn't have been possible to install the old rad if it wasn't for that laser cut plate.

Sorry - I'm a little confused, so we may not be talking about the same thing.

IF I where to keep this case, where would you place the rads (and what kind of rads)??

Never mind re-using the old 280mm rad - thought experiment...