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The Best PC Radiators Worth Your Investment

Amber Smith
  Nov 26, 2022 11:03 PM

A PC radiator is a vital component that helps monitor the heat from the water loop to make sure the PC’s temperature stays low. When finding the best PC radiator, you need to take into account several factors, including size, length, and thickness. You also have to find out whether you choose larger surface area or a higher fin density whilst ensuring sufficient cooling power of the radiator towards every single component in your loop. 


Overview

It is important to pay attention to certain key areas before purchasing a PC radiator. The first thing to keep in mind is that you’ll want to make sure that the cooling capacity of your water-cooled PC is optimized with the cooling temperatures being maintained at the lowest degree possible and with the least efforts being made. Another thing to notice when it comes to choosing a good-quality radiator is that they are offered in various sizes and levels of thickness. 

Take a brief look at our top selections below.

  • Top-rated PC radiator: Hardware Labs Black Ice Nemesis 360GTS. View on Amazon

  • A decent 280-mm PC radiator: Alphacool NexXxoS XT45. Check Amazon

  • Best thermal performance PC radiator: Hardware Labs Black Ice Nemesis 420GTX. View Amazon

  • Best PC radiator for large surface area: EKWB EK-CoolStream SE. Check Amazon

  • Best PC Radiator For Mini-ITX Cases: Alphacool NexXxoS UT60. View on Amazon


In-depth analysis

1. Hardware Labs Black Ice Nemesis 360GTS

The Hardware Labs Black Ice Nemesis 360GTS is the top choice and the best overall PC radiator, especially for a mid-tower system’s limited space. 

One notable feature of this HWLabs radiator is its outstanding manufacturing quality, which means you can totally rely on it to withdraw the heat from your loop effectively and efficiently. Its small form factor allows it to function excellently in  a push configuration. 

With the size of 360 mm, this radiator is compatible with most PCs in the mid-tower range and above. Its 30-mm thickness creates versatility, which gives builders more clearance. The 16 FPI of the copper fin core helps disperse heat more efficiently. 

In summary:

Pros

  • Outstanding manufacturing quality

  • Great performance 

  • Small form factor

Cons

  • Defeated by bigger options

Today’s Best Deal: View on Amazon

2. Alphacool NexXxoS XT45

Overall, the Alphacool NexXxoS XT45 performs quite well, slightly in the middle of the pack compared to its competitors. Alphacool also delivers unquestionable quality and at such a reasonable price, it's understandable that this radiator is so highly rated.

Despite its 280-mm size, the radiator has a thickness of 45mm, which gives users heaps of cooling power for a smaller case. The core is made of copper while the remaining consist of aluminum and steel. 

Additionally, the 12 FPI means there is no need for a push or pull configuration for effective cooling. The nice versatility thanks to its five ports provides users with more options to create those rigid runs.   

In summary:

Pros

  • Full copper

  • Build quality

  • Outstanding cooling

Cons

  • Thicker, so more clearance is required than normal radiators

Today’s Best Deal: Check Amazon

3. Hardware Labs Black Ice Nemesis 420GTX

The Hardware Labs Black Ice Nemesis 420GTX is the best radiator for its exceptional thermal performance. With the ability to store three 140-mm fans on each side and an FPI of 16, this radiator is capable of monitoring lots of heat. 

With 420 mm in length and 54 mm in thickness, this PC radiator is among the ones with the highest cooling potential on the list. With enormous surface area and suitable fan configuration, the copper fin core will be able to cool your liquid easily and effectively. 

This is a highly recommended product for those who prefer fans that run at low speeds, which lowers its volume as well. Although the price may be quite high, the performance is definitely equivalent to what it is worth. 

In summary:

Pros

  • Excellent cooling capacity

  • Great for heat distribution in limited circumstances

Cons

  • A bit costly

Today’s Best Deal: View Amazon

4. EKWB EK-CoolStream SE

 The EKWB EK-CoolStream SE is still a great choice despite not having the same cooling performance as HWLabs and Alphacool radiators.  Its 480-mm size isn’t going to fit in without a solid-sized case but that means you are going to receive a large surface area to get your loop cooled. 

The 28mm thickness means this has a slim form factor. It also features a 22 FPI, which is in the higher range in this respect. All these characteristics combined with a maximized fan configuration can give your entire loop effective cooling and still maintain overclocking headroom.

This is another excellent product coming from EKWB, with a full copper core and some of the best construction quality on the market. 

In summary:

Pros

  • Massive surface area

  • High build quality

  • High FPI

Cons

  • Only full or super-tower compatibility can fit its large size.

Today’s Best Deal: Check Amazon

5. Alphacool NexXxoS UT60

AlphaCool is a top-choice brand for radiators, usually thanks to its great performance together with affordable prices. Its 140mm slim form is compatible with ITX systems, helping to cool their loop efficiently.  Thanks to its thickness, not only your CPU but your CPU can also be cooled as well. 

Its small size allows it to fit in a lot of computer cases. However, its 60mm of thickness means you need to check the clearance for that before purchasing. This PC radiator has five ports, which makes it more versatile for your tubing runs. This feature is especially beneficial when coping with limited spaces such as an ITX case. 

In summary:

Pros

  • Great choice for slim form factor builds

  • High quality

  • Versatile

Cons

  • Pricey form factor

Today’s Best Deal: View on Amazon


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Last update on 2022-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API


Final Word

An important thing that you should keep in mind when it comes to purchasing the best PC radiator is that you need to make sure there is sufficient surface area for the liquid in your custom loop to be efficiently cooled. It is up to you to decide between radiators with more length or more thickness. However, please ensure that the radiator of your choice is combined with a compatible fan configuration so that your newly purchased PC can deliver its performance at its best.


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Amber Smith
Amber Smith
Amber is originally from Canada. She has a strong passion for technology and has been a writer in this field for the past 10 years. She graduated in 2005 with a master degree in computer science and has worked for several tech companies. In her free time, she loves reading and writing about various topics, including shopping, life hacks, and of course tech products.