This is #16 in my series of triple radiators the highly requested and hard to find Aquacomputers AMS Copper 360. While the automotive industry and most watercooling radiators utilize a very well refined soldering flat tube and folded fin design, a few have been trying methods of fabrication that don’t require special radiator manufacturing facilities and the AMS is one of those. Rather than your conventional soldered flat tube/two pass design, it uses special round tubes, a four pass design, and acetal ends with rubber gaskets to assemble the end tanks. The fins are also basically formed sheet metal plates that are pressed onto the round tubes and avoids any soldering construction. AMS stands for “Airplex Modularity System” in that this concept is also intended to allow a lego like construction and system that can be altered or modified in a modular way. For example the radiators can be connected side to side and pumps end tanks can replace the normal end tanks. It is put together like a waterblock and can be taken apart as well for cleaning or for modular changes. Last but not least, this is not your typical 120mm wide core, it is essentially a 140mm wide core with extra thickness that has been cut down in length and shrouded for 120mm fans so by frontal area alone it does have some width advantage over the typical 120mm radiator.
While I was immediately interested in testing this radiator, I had a hard time finding anyone to sponsor a sample as stock became very limited. I nearly gave up on trying to find one to review until making an effort to ask in the forums if anyone would loan me a sample that they already had.
Derelict from the Overclock.net forums was very generous in his offering to send me his pride and joy sample that he purchased himself. Without his generous support, this test/review would not have happened. Thanks!
The airplex modularity system is a fully modular radiator system for water cooling systems and shows competence and know-how of the 10 years of company history at Aqua Computer.
The most important features of the airplex modularity summarized:
- Fully modular system
- Extremely high cooling performance
- Very compact – shorter than most other radiators for the same fan site and only 146mm wide
- Indefinitely expandable in all dimensions
- No solder residue due to solder-free manufacturing
- Completely demountable for thorough cleaning
- System with multiple loops possible in one radiator
- Optimal flow / parallel tubing
- No lacquer coating for perfect thermal transfer
- Pump modules with reservoir available
- Many colours for side panel available (Brushed stainless steel, black aluminium, blue, red)
- Fins optimized for low fan speeds and excellent passive cooling performance
- No ignoble materials in contact with the coolant, only copper and stainless steel
- CC-manufactured components made from Delrin and stainless steel
- Highest precision on the individual components ensures easy mounting
- Riveted-in threads for fan mounting
- Large range of accessories available (Reservoirs, pump modules, feet, filter, sensors, …)
- Tested for pressures of up to 5 bar
- Copper fins available for maximum performance in compact dimensions
The system is based on a fin package with 21 copper tubes and pressed-on stainless steel flanges. On both sides of the fin package Delrin terminals are integrated. These terminals create a safe seal with the stainless steel flanges with a gasket ring and are screwed together. The Delrin terminals have integrated connection terminals which are lowered from the surface and have a round spacing above the thread. This spacing allows a connection adaptor to be pushed in two connect two radiator modules directly without any tubing pieces. The orientation of the radiator to each other determines the flow direction of the coolant: When connected side by side the connected radiators are connected serially, horizontally stacked radiators create a parallel flow set-up.
Additionally the system can also grow in length indefinitely. For this the fin packages are connected via optional Delrin connection modules.
Radiators in all lengths use the same Delrin Terminals, only the side panels and fin packages are different, hence by buying the components, a radiator can be rebuilt and modified. All sizes have a width of 146mm and hence fit perfetly into 5.25″. The height of the radiator in standard configuration (without the pump module) is 63.5mm and the length is 44mm longer than the according fan (e.g. 3x120mm fans -> Length is 360+44mm = 404mm).
The connection threads are G1/4″ in size and all 1/4″ fittings from our shop can be used with the system.
With the airplex modularity system. It is now possible for the first time to operate two separate loops in one radiator with the airplex modularity system. On radiators operated this way the cooling surface is split approximately at a 70:30 ratio between the primary respective secondary loop. This allows extremely compact two-loop cooling systems, to allow e.g. separate cooling of the heat-sensitive HDDs from the CPU and graphics card. The two cooling loops are completely separated from each other, mixing of the coolant is completely impossible.
By equipping the system with an optional pump module an extremely compact and easy to handle water cooling system can be realized. The offered radiators with pump module have the reservoir and pump already integrated directly into the Delrin terminal of the radiator. Depending on the type it even features an USB fan controller with water temperature measuring and optionally flow meter and/ or water filter.
An especially interesting feature is the Compact 600 pump module in the 12V version: It is equipped with the proven ceramic bearing from Aqua computer and allows whisper-quiet operation as well as many monitoring and control options via the integrated pump controller with USB interface. Mounting of a flow sensor and filter is easily possible and can be done quickly and hassle-free.
Extent of delivery:
One radiator, assembled and ready to use
Of particular interest is the 146mm width which as noted is actually more of a 140mm radiator core width so it is much wider than a normal 120mm radiator.
Also not the thickness at 63.5mm is about a tie in extreme thickness as the EK XTX so it’s extra thick as well.
And the length of 404mm per spec although I measured about 406 using my large calipers
Last but not least it is worth noting the “Solderless” construction note since this is done without any soldering construction it also lacks the possibility of residue such as flux and other soldering residue left behind which can be a potential maintenance issue with some conventional rads if they are not flushed and cleaned properly at the plant or by the user before put into normal use.