360mm AIO worse than 280mm? Aluminum vs Copper radiator?

thtran6

Upstanding
Oct 2, 2018
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Hello guys,

I'm currently cooling my i7 8700k 5.3 Ghz with a 280mm AIO from EVGA
(Evga 280 clc) which was customized with 2 noctua nf a14 ippc3000 fans instead of using the stock evga fans.

I am considering upgrading to a 360mm aio.
However, after reading a lot of articles and looking at many Youtube videos, it seems like the Evga 280 clc constantly ranks at the very top and even surpasses many 360mm aio.

For example, here is a comparison chart for a bunch of 360mm and 280mm AIO running at full rpm for a cpu stress test: (performed by gamer nexus)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJejyyVPNe4
https://imgur.com/XvjTOON

As you can see, the evga beats many famous 360mm AIO when using its stock evga fans, let alone the industrial noctua fans I use.

So my question is: bigger cooling surface (i.e. radiator) doesn't translate to better themal performance?
OR, could it be possible that the EVGA 280clc did better simply because its stock fans hae higher rpm?
With this result shown, would it be even worth it to upgrade to a 360mm aio?

Another thing that makes me curious is, the Fractal Celsius S36 360m AIO.
This particular AIO has a COPPER radiator, which is thermally better than most other 360mm which use ALUMINUM radiator to lower cost. So in theory it should outperform those AIO which use aluminum rad.

However, performance wise, according to the above chart, the S36 is near the bottom rank. Why is it so bad when it has such a superior radiator, compared to the cheap Aluminum radiator on the Evga 280clc?

Thank you for all of your inputs!
 

lthampton

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Jan 8, 2019
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Unless you're going to run a custom loop, not necessarily advised to get a 360mm. They are better for custom loop systems with multiple componets, but for just a cpu just stick to your 280
 

thtran6

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Oct 2, 2018
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Thanks for your advice.
Yea I was really curious about the 360mm aio's cooling potential, because I just got gifted a new case (Lian Li o11) which can house several 360mm and the thought of upgrading my aio immediately comes to mind.

But yea I'm still surprised and curious at the same times about how that S36 could be so low in the rank given its copper radiator! @@
(P/S: My original thought was to buy the S36 and replace its stock fans with 3 Noctua industrial nf f12 fans)
 

lthampton

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Jan 8, 2019
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Yeah at a point you reach a dimenishing return, and they are great for cooling large amounts like a resivour say, but for running it in an AIO loop doesnt have enough liquid for it to be as efficient as it could be. Or atleast, thats my theory.
 

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