FAQ & Section Info
Your selection for a radiator is heavily based around your PC case. The important thing to remember is to choose a radiator with a find density and thickness that is compatible with your fans. Keep in mind that radiators are much larger than the fan slots they are mounted on. Double check your measurements to ensure you have enough room in your case for the installation. Avoid aluminum radiators as they are corrosion prone.
Typically you should have at least a 120mm radiator for every GPU and CPU block in your system.
Only if you can cross ventilate it with cool air. A smaller radiator with a proper push pull fan setup will outperform a larger radiator with sub-par airflow
What does the radiator do?
The radiator's primary function is cooling of the fluid. With a radiator you typically have thin (in the range of milimeters) fins that are spaced apart to allow for air to flow through them. The radiator returns the cooled down liquid back to the reservoir. Typically a radiator will have fans connected to it to push or pull the air through the cooling fins.
What kind of fans do I need for my radiator?
You'll need to check the size of your radiator to see what size fans you'll need, but in general fans used to cool a radiator as part of a water cooling loop don't have to be all that powerful. In fact, due to noise considerations, most people building loops try to go with low-speed / low-noise fans or medium-speed / medium-noise fans. Noise reduction is usally a primary reason to build a water cooling loop in the first place. With the static pressure build-up on your radiator you want to make sure you can get the air through your fans.
The general process is as follows: