Water cooling your system is a good option for dissipating a few Celsius degrees, if you want to switch from air cooling to water cooling and don’t know what radiator to get to complete the puzzle then I think you should keep reading to know more about what makes a good radiator.
What’s a PC radiator?
A radiator is kind of an essential part of a water cooling system for a gaming or a more advanced PC, the main job of a radiator is heat dissipation using one or two fans mounted on it, the fans expel the heat out of the radiator by cooling down the water, then the cooled water gets back to the CPU or GPU.
Water is more efficient than air when it comes to transferring heat.
Copper is more corrosion resistant and transfers more heat out of the radiator but it’s more expensive.
Aluminum radiators though are much cheaper and they are a good option if you’re on a budget.
Larger radiators and more cooling fans mean more heat dissipation and better performance.
Do I need a radiator for my PC?
Only if you have a water cooling system, if you’re using air cooling then No, you don’t need a radiator.
Water Cooling Your PC
It’s more useful to use water cooling than air cooling because water transfers heat more efficiently, quieter system, and won’t spread the heat all over other components, but it’s not that important if you don’t need to, you better save the extra money for other upgrades.
Best 480mm Radiator for 2021
Below are the best 480mm radiators based on people’s reviews and quality, keep in mind that radiators made of copper cost more than the ones made of aluminum or brass copper.
Precaution: the 480mm radiator is quite large so make sure first it fits into your case.
XSPC RX480 Radiator V3
The XSPC RX480 comes with a Matte Black Painted core and frame, and a density of 13 fins per inch, It fits 4x120mm fans so you can get the best cooling performance with 4 fans working at the same time, the core is made of core and brass so don’t worry about corrosion, the core thickness is 46mm.
- Fins are fragile and can be bent easily because it’s too long.
- Small visible flaws that can be ignored.
Thermaltake Pacific DIY Liquid Cooling System CL480
The Thermaltake Pacific comes with full fins made of high-density copper, chamber and housing are also made of copper, the tank though is made of brass, the thickness is 64mm which is more than the radiator above.
It was designed to achieve maximum heat dissipation at both low and high airflow operation.
The Thermaltake Pacific transfers heat uniformly which gives it an edge over other radiators.
The stainless steel side panels make it durable and reduce the weight at the same time.
- Not compatible with copper and nickel water blocks.
- Only recommend with parts made of Aluminum.
- Recommend if you have all Thermaltake.
XSPC EX480 Radiator
Weighs approximately 843g which is much less than the Thermaltake Pacific which weighs 2100 g, the XSPC EX480 is designed for low-speed fans giving a high-performance cooling without making much noise.
The core is made of copper and brass with a black matte paint finish, like the others, you have the ability to mount 4x120mm fans on both sides for push and pull operations.
They didn’t mention the density of the fins or fins per inch (FPI) but by taking a quick look at the radiator fins you can tell that the density is not high.
Fins are fragile.
That’s all, check out my other post where I talk about the best 360mm radiators.
Also, leave a comment below if you haven’t seen your favorite radiator listed above or haven’t found what you were looking for.