Master of Cramming
- Jan 19, 2019
Just a point of data for anyone else who is watercooling with 280s. I was having a very hard time fitting 2 HWL GTS 280mms in there. The ends of the radiators were touching/pushing against the side panels (probably had something to do with the tolerances I have seen WinterCharm talk about). I was also not able to get the radiator mounting rails completely on the radiators due to the screw holes on one end of the radiator being slightly outside where the holes in the mounting rails ended. I had a Corsair 280mm rad from a previous build and was able to get that to fit with a few mms to spare. Not sure if this was just due to weird tolerances on the HWL rads, but just another data point of a 280mm rad that fits in the case.
My 280s fit and all 8 screws lined up, but they are touching front and back panels... afaik, the corsair (and bitspower) rad is an L series.
Despite the "Real" clearance in Winter One being 214mm and HWL's listed dimensions being 212mm, the GTS 280 has considerable variance, due to its very loose tolerances. It's quite annoying as this can sometimes lead to a bad fit. However, based on what you described with the screw holes on one side not lining up, @doot4runner it may be that you got a bad unit and should see if you can return that one / RMA it.
I know this is a silly question to ask the guy who designed this case, but do you have any concrete data of real-world application with loops in different configurations to be able to confidently say that one configuration performs better than others?
Yes. Beyond a reasonable doubt, based on working knowledge + really good models, and simulation data from the Beta Program. There is a real efficiency increase in cooling if you are using counter-current flow when you have the same air going through multiple radiators in a case (only applies to solid panel setups). It comes from maintaining a better ∆T between Air and Water through the entire loop.
In real-life ∆T is constantly changing at each point across the loop. To measure it we use Log-Mean ∆T (also referred to as LMTD)which measures the effective ∆T between the hot side in/out temps and the cold-side in/out temps.The math for LMTD can be found here but it's not worth getting into, because a picture works much better to demonstrate why you'd want to do this:
For any given inlet / outlet temps on the hot/cold side, there is a difference in LMTD, as you can see from the image below.
Operating the same loop with the same inlet outlet temps, you can see an effective difference of an additional 13ºC of ∆T.
In PC watercooling loops, at high enough flow speed, you are only looking at about a 4-8ºC drop in water T across 2 radiators, based on your heat load and flow rate. I went ahead and did some calculations based on values found in @Qzrx 's loop from the Beta Program.
SOLID PANEL BOTTOM >> TOP LOOP
Hot Water In: 46ºC
Warm Water Out: 42ºC
Cool Air in: 23ºC
Warm Air Out: 39ºC
(Air-Water) LMTD for countercurrent flow: 12ºC
(Air-Water) LMTD for co-currnet flow: 9.8ºC
PERF PANEL ALL EXHAUST LOOP
Hot Water In: 44
Hot Water out: 42
Cool Air In: 23
Cool Air Out: 32
(Air-Water) LMTD for perpendicular flow: 15ºC
Or put it this way: you could potentially dump more heat or take that extra difference between the two temps and reduce your Coolant-CPU ∆T by that much (so about 2.2ºC which could be quite nice, in a sequential radiator setup, IF you have countercurrent flow).
This data confirms most of what I found, independently and by another person testing his loop, and evaluating radiator performance in various configurations. The only mistake they made, IMO, is they did not separate the two radiators in configuration 6 (the closest to our countercurrent flow), which does restrict flow considerably more than separating those fan / radiator pairs, so the performance delta you'd expect to see is much larger than the data I have shows.