Question Mini ITX Custom Loop XFlow vs Dual Passthrough Radiator


Apr 25, 2015
So i’m planning a new build that will be my first time doing a full custom loop and I’ve been pondering going with a crossflow radiator for some time now during the planning process but wasn’t sure. The build would be in a Fractal Design Node 304 (yes I know Fractal says that you can only do a 120 or 140 CLC but I say otherwise) and both the GPU (planning on a RTX 2080 Ti) and CPU (8 core 3rd Gen Ryzen or 12 core if leaks are real) will be included in the loop. I have plans to put a 184mm rad in the front though for the rear i’m unsure if I should go with a 30mm crossflow or a 54mm dual passthrough radiator; both front and back will be in push/pull if all goes according to plan. I’ve looked around and all the CLCs that I find (Corsair, NZXT, Cooler Master) all seem to have 30mm thick radiators. The order will go CPU/140/GPU/184 and the pump will be integrated onto the CPU block. I’ve gone ahead and started modding the front of the case by cutting out a hole in the front panel for direct airflow that i’ll go ahead and fixate some mesh to for some filtration.

Black Ice Nemesis 140GTX Dual Core

Black Ice Nemesis 140GTS XFlow

Black Ice Nemesis 184GTX Dual Core

Swiftech Apogee II CPU Block/Pump


So did some more research on theoretical thermal performance. According to the (estimated) math the 184mm radiator has an estimated cooling volume of 1,000,000m/cubed, the 140GTS has about 750,000m/Cubed, and the 140GTX has about 1,400,000m/cubed. Now according to the chart on the Performance PC product pages a 140GTX has a estimated cooling capacity of 550W while a 120GTX (estimated 1,100,000m/cubed) does about 450W; which would mean that the 184mm should be able to handle roughly 416.999W (400W to be on the safe side for margin of error). Now according to the Tom's Hardware review of the 2080 Ti Founders Edition it pulled just shy of 280W during gaming and torture tests with about 360W at abs peak so the 184mm radiator should have no problem keeping the GPU under control as it would be receiving fresh cool air from the front.

Now seeing has the 120GTS has about 625,000m/cubed cooling volume and is about the size of your typical 120mm CLC radiator that (in my uneducated opinion) used to be more than enough to cool anything and everything on the CPU side of things up until recently with intel's inclusion of the 9900K which loves to run really hot; it would be reasonable to assume that either option (GTS or GTX) should be able to cool better than a typical 120mm CLC with the GTX pulling ahead significantly. Obviously at this point it's clear that even though larger than a 120mm, the 140GTS is not as much bigger as I had hoped on it being. However the question still remains that given the possibility that I do not have clearance for the 140GTX radiator (which I will have to do some paper mock ups of to do rough estimates for sizing) would the cross flow radiator be theoretically good enough to cool a 8-core Ryzen 3000 CPU given that in the demo that AMD showed off it consumed about 30% less power than a 9900K which according to Gamers Nexus can pull up to about 200W.
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