What is the better material of radiator(copper or aluminum)?


May 19, 2008
May I ask for advice about liquid cooling radiator?

What is the better material of radiator(copper or aluminum)?

We know that using copper radiator can avoid the galvanic corrosion with the aluminum component and has better conductor of heat,,but i didn't find the proof of performance.maybe you guys had some experience to share.

i tested a aluminum radiator and copper radiator(hw labs);the results were similiar.
that's what i am confused.
Could it be said that the only attractive condition of copper radiator is no galvanic corrosion ? or any else reason copper is better

Is the copper radiator an attractive condition for gamers’choice?

Thank you in advance!!


Supreme [H]ardness
Aug 25, 2006
I agree is just not worth it and if the rads were identical size etc. etc. the difference in performance in this application would likely be below the error of the testing method. IMO - personally - just talking about me - having used heater cores, water-cooling specific rads and my current rad on this machine is copper tubing with alum fins, the mounting location and fans are what is really important given rads of the same basic size. I would also throw out as speculation that a brass/copper rad is much easier to manufacture in that the method used to bond the fins to the tubes is easier to do making for a better connection at that critical heat transfer point. Alum is more difficult and expensive to do a really good job at bonding the fins to the tubes, or it used to be that way. Put another way is that a good alum rad is as good as a copper/brass rad but even cheap copper/brass rads are well made from a manufacturing viewpoint and I cannot say that for an alum rad unless I had detailed specs and information from the manuf that typically is not available. And in closing I go back to mounting and fans would probably be more important anyway in overall system performance.

Just my 2 cents.


Fully [H]
Jun 10, 2005
Galvanic corrosion can easily be avoided with a few extra precautions - Having said that, there's absolutely no reason to use an aluminum radiator... For the most part, they perform identically to a copper radiator (and potentially much worse than a copper radiator when compared to the high-end rads like the Themochill) and furthermore, they're just not as good looking IMO.


Jun 19, 2004
I'll second Bill's statement about fan location/orientation over the performance difference between Alu/Copper or Brass. Obviously, the OP stated the number one reason why WC'rs stay away from Alu in fear of galvanic corrosion. Most modern CPU/GPU blocks are now made of copper, and even when mixing an inhibitor to help fight GC, it only lasts so long before it begins to break down. That is probably why you don't see performance numbers for aluminum radiators vs copper covered on any WC website. Ultimately, there isn't really a benefit in moving to Aluminum in the long run because many don't remember to change their fluids regularly, or, don't want to do so as its easier to just run with a non mixed metal environment to avoid the hassle.