One radiator vs two?

Discussion in 'Water Cooling' started by GilmourD, Feb 4, 2018.

  1. GilmourD

    GilmourD [H]ardForum Junkie

    Jun 17, 2004
    So... I'm looking to go water-cooling on my box and I've been wondering: Is there actually any benefit to having two radiators vs one?

    I've got a Corsair Air 540, so there's PLENTY of space in there. I could put a 360 on the front and a 280 on the top, but how much benefit would there actually be to doing so?

    My ultimate goal is to keep idle as close to ambient as possible and have the full-load delta as small as possible.

    What do you guys think?
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
  2. Chapeau

    Chapeau Gawd

    Jul 17, 2016
    Hell, if you have the space then why not right. The more radiator the better...
    - The cost to performance ratio if you're adding a second radiator is pretty good. I'd say go for it..
  3. capt_cope

    capt_cope Gawd

    Apr 12, 2009
    Hard to say how much gain you'll actually see with the system in your sig, I'm guessing you'd be able to get a few degrees. Even a middle of the pack 360 should be easily able to dissipate more wattage than your CPU can generate. I'd rather have a great waterblock and pump with a single 360 rad than a "meh" waterblock and/or pump with 360 + 280. If you've already got a great waterblock and pump it certainly wouldn't hurt to add more radiator, but unless you're using some seriously crappy fans (or super slow for noise) I don't think you're going to see all that much improvement if you're only cooling a 6600k.
  4. guitarslingerchris

    guitarslingerchris Failure is just success rounded down

    Oct 29, 2004
    If you have enough capacity to dissipate the heat with a single radiator then what you gain is the ability to have things run more quietly.
  5. Kardonxt

    Kardonxt 2[H]4U

    Apr 13, 2009
    Unless you are running hard acrylic tubing that is a PITA to replace I would just install one for now and see what your performance is like. I have found over the years that if the air coming off the rad is warm a second rad will help lower temps. If the air is room temp then more rads won't make a big difference.

    Edit: Looking at your system specs I assume you won't be running a gpu block. If you're only cooling the cpu, one rad should be more than enough.
  6. noxqzs

    noxqzs Limp Gawd

    Aug 2, 2013
    This is one of those questions, where you almost have to get your hands dirty and test. Too many variables to really make a concrete decision. The extra rad will help with the amount of air you have to move, but only if flow rate does not suffer by adding the second rad. Another thing to try is a push/pull configuration on one rad. Is the rad sucking air from inside case to outside, or outside to inside the case? A good thing to try is changing the source of air for the rad. I usually prefer having the rad getting air from outside and blowing it inside the case to guarantee lowest possible coolant temp.
  7. Koween

    Koween Limp Gawd

    May 24, 2012
    The more - the better. Worst case - you can run your fans as slow as possible or even turn them off and run the pc with "passive" cooling while it's idling.
    I have a 420x60 cooling a 1080ti and a 5960x and I'm thinking of adding two more 240 radiators just so i can run fans even slower and keep gpu temps well below 50c. Ambient is usually around 23-24c.
  8. kimura14

    kimura14 n00b

    Dec 17, 2016
    I think the second will help a lot. Eventually it slows down. I use 2 360 rads in a pedestal and added a 240 for fun because the pedestal was getting very hot at full load. I gained a degree and a half of delta. Warm ambient of 24, though. I'm curious what the changing season will bring.