EK CoolStream Slim radiators go where no radiator has gone before

When I started building computers back in the early days of Socket 7, 60-mm fans were the standard option and 80-mm fans were the exotic oversized choice. These days we've moved up to 120-mm and 140-mm spinners because they move more air at lower RPMs, meaning they cool better while producing less noise. As EKWB points out though, 140-mm fans are becoming less "exotic" and more "standard" by the day. The company just launched a new line of radiators called CoolStream Slim in 140-mm and 280-mm sizes.

The CoolStream Slim radiators are exactly 140 mm wide. That means these radiators might fit in places where other units that are wider than the fan mount might not. They're also relatively thin at 28 mm, so EK gave them a tight fin pitch of 22 fins per inch (FPI). The radiators themselves are made of copper. You can use any standard 140-mm fans on the CoolStream SE, but you'll probably want to be careful to choose fans with high static pressure due to radiators' narrowly-spaced fins.

The CoolStream SE radiators come in any color you want as long as it's black. You can order them from EK's webshop right now. The 140-mm version goes for 50€ ($49 without VAT) while the 280-mm model goes for 70€ (or about $68).

Comments closed
    • Coyote_ar
    • 2 years ago

    That design, with the fan stuck flush next to the radiator fins, is really a waste of cooling area.

    Once you use those radiators for a while, you start noticing they only get dirty with dust, below the fan blades. so basically a 12cm fan, usually has a motor size of ~5cm diameter. And the fan blade diameter is close to 11,5cm. Thats 103.86cm2 – 16.63cm2 = 84.24cm2

    So only a 84,23cm2 area is available to do the cooling. the rest is wasted. Now pull that same fan 1cm away from the radiator, and on a same radiator area you get 144cm2 cooling area. Almost twice the cooling. Almost the same cooling area on a single 12cm rad, as a dual 12cm rad with the fans right next to the fins.

    Are there so many thickness challenged cases out there to manufacture such a bad design in order to keep it slim?

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    If you don’t have space for a conventional radiator, the problem is your case.

    I’m sure these are decent quality radiators, but rather than throwing good money after bad, and buying unusual radiators that require a specific fan, just spend the money on any one of the hundreds of cases on the market that doesn’t have radiator mounting issues.

    Hell, in the sub-€70 bracket alone (the price of one of these radiators) there are probably over 100 cases capable of taking mulitple 240mm radiators from a wide range of vendors.

      • juzz86
      • 2 years ago

      You can run a CPU and single GPU (even a pair works) off a 280 with reasonable results, assuming you keep your ideals of temperature in check.

      You can’t really do the same with a 240 (28,800mm^2) safely – there’s an appreciable difference in total surface area (a 280 is actually closer to a 360 in total surface area (39,200mm^2 for 280, 43,200mm^2 for 360).

      So I do see an existing problem in the market for these rads to fix – 140mm radiators have traditionally been slightly wider than the fans along the long edge, making cases which claim ‘280mm’ radiator compatibility very hit-and-miss (and having built a few loops in a few cases, this bears true – but only if you’re dealing with 140mm gear).

      Despite the high-FPI and thus somewhat more expensive (and noisier – at this size at least) fans required, these should sell okay amongst the 140 crowd, and form a good basis for a better AIO should it come along. That’s 560mm of pretty good radiator in a potentially pretty small case. Enough to finally tip some old bastards in the direction of micro ITX, even 🙂

        • BurntMyBacon
        • 2 years ago

        [quote=”juzz86″<]You can't really do the same with a 240 (28,800mm^2) safely - there's an appreciable difference in total surface area (a 280 is actually closer to a 360 in total surface area (39,200mm^2 for 280, 43,200mm^2 for 360).[/quote<] Sure you can. Your equation calculates the footprint of 2x120mm, 2x140mm, and 3x120mm radiators, but you aren't actually calculating the available surface area for cooling. I.E. the same 2x120mm footprint radiator with twice the fin count has significantly more surface area for cooling. Also, the same 2x120mm footprint radiator with twice the thickness has significantly more surface area for cooling. The caveat is that the radiator must be well designed to get the heat to all of these surfaces. Also, your fans must be able to handle the static pressure and push enough air to make effective use of the extra cooling surface. Assuming approximately equivalent thickness and fin structure, you numbers can provide a useful approximation (may be valid for comparing some AIO kits since many are just Asetek rebrands). As for a 2x120mm setup handling a CPU + GPU combo, I have a client with a thick Black Ice 2x120mm radiator, Sanyo Denki fans, and a Swiftech dual pump that has no trouble keeping 2x980Ti + a delided, overclocked i7 3770K at temperatures well below their typical air cooling levels (upper 40C - lower 50C for GPUs and lower 70C for CPU).

          • juzz86
          • 2 years ago

          Correct, my assumption above was a level FPI across the board. I actually wrote that but then decided against stating as such – sorry.

          I have also seen it done myself, so it is technically possible. The problem is that you [i<]require[/i<] the thicker, higher-FPI radiator and the Denki/Delta fans to get the job done - which means gaming with anything other than headphones, or in a separate room, is uncomfortable. Not to mention the coolant temp approaching the magic 60C, where you start damaging gear.

            • BurntMyBacon
            • 2 years ago

            [quote=”juzz86″<]I have also seen it done myself, so it is technically possible. The problem is that you require the thicker, higher-FPI radiator and the Denki/Delta fans to get the job done [/quote<] You make a good point. Though a high flow pump with good head pressure that keep the water moving through two gpu blocks, a cpu block, and a thick 2x120mm radiator can reduce the need for jet turbine level fan speeds, it is generally more effective to add another radiator (or replace with a larger one). I've never had coolant near 60C, so I'll take your word here (makes sense). You can't keep component temperatures lower than coolant used to take the heat away in a standard liquid cooling system and I prefer my liquid cooled GPUs to run well below 60C.

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 2 years ago

      Please suggest a well-built micro-ATX case that will accept a pair of 2×120 mm radiators exhausting heat out of the case (not adding heat to the case), with decent filters that isn’t too ginormous on the outside.
      P.S.: 2×140 mm would be a plus.

        • Chrispy_
        • 2 years ago

        As much as it pains me to say this, MicroATX is dead.

        There are few decent MicroATX cases for any set of criteria. The fact the 11-year old original TJ08 is still a frontline contender says how stagnant the form factor has become. Most of the modern MicroATX cases are larger than ATX cases used to be, or they’re super-cheap, nasty half-height things with nonstandard PSUs and awkward layout.

        The market today is either mITX or ATX, and if you have a compact mITX you want to stick a 280mm radiator in, then you’re probably doing it wrong (not even the NCase M1 can fit a 280).

        It’s depressing but cases like the NZXT H440 are considered normal or even compact, despite having space for two triple-fan radiators and another 140mm one. Compact ATX that is the size of a motherboard, plus a PSU went the way of the dodo about the same time as affordable AIO coolers became popular, because now every case on the market has to have maximum radiator compatibility to the detriment of pretty much everything else.

        • Freon
        • 2 years ago

        Thermaltake Core V21. The trick is it’s pretty huge for micro-ATX, same footprint more or less as a Corsair Air 540 but just slightly shorter, which sort of defeats the point of micro ATX.

          • Chrispy_
          • 2 years ago

          Whilst it technically fits JAE’s needs, I’m with JAE here; I honestly wish someone would make a microATX case that:

          a) Isn’t cheap and flimsy/
          b) Is actually compact.

          If you’re going to compromise on motherboard size, it’s because you’re trying to save space. The last thing any mATX buyer is interested in is a case that’s larger than most full-size ATX cases.

          I know you get it. I’m just venting at the stupidity of the mATX market and how they squandered what ought to be the ideal default size. After all, mATX has enough expansion slots for 99.9% of users and the board isn’t so compact that manufacturers have to lop off features from ATX models.

    • crystall
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<]The CoolStream SE radiators come in any color you want as long as it's black.[/quote<] Finally a little utilitarian Fordism in this market dominated by narcissistic RGB-led illumination.

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