ALPHACOOL is upping the game with continuous innovation and sometimes catching up with industry trends. One thing I really appreciate about their approach towards their products is that they continuously upgrade previous product lines with new hardware giving them a new fresh breather and whatnot. ALPHACOOL has always supported my crazy ideas. Last time we took an extensive yet hectic undertaking in which tested ALPHACOOL’s NexXxos series radiators in various sizes and thicknesses. That content has got a good response from our community and still trending quite well.

ALPHACOOL released a new generation of their ever-popular NexXxos series radiators called HPE. HPE stands for High-Performance Edition and ALPHACOOL changed their approach completely when it comes to radiator design and cooling performance. There are key differences between the HPE and the previous generation radiators from Alphacool. These are:

Radiator HPE NexXxos Standard NexXxos
No of Channels 14 12
Width/Thickness of Channel 2mm 1.8mm
Width/Thickness of Fin 6mm 8mm
Material Copper Copper
Outer Dimensions Unchanged Unchanged


Rad Std

Alphacool has increased the thickness or width of the channel from 1.8mm to 2.0mm in the HPE NexXxos series radiators which would increase the coolant throughput in the radiator. Alphacool has also reduced the span or width of the fins between any two consecutive channels. This has allowed them to feature more fins in the HPE NexXxos radiators over the standard NexXxos radiators resulting in up to 20% heat transfer efficiency. To sum it all up in plain English, they have increased the surface area of these radiators without actually changing the size of the radiators and allowing more flow paths for coolant. This would achieve better heat dissipation from these radiators.

Now comes the million dollars question of what actually is the thermal performance of HPE series radiators. When we did the last testing of regular NexXxos series radiators, ALPHACOOL was interested and we were set to test HPE series radiators on the same line. However, it took some time for these samples and sizes are still not in a complete range as I had wanted to do the first time. But, we are covering the mainstream radiator sizes which would suffice for the majority of the users out there.

We are using the following size radiators in this testing:

  • 240mm Size
  • 280mm Size
  • 360mm Size

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Radiators are usually specified in terms of fan mounts or multiples of them. For instance, a 360mm radiator would mean (120mm x 3) that the radiator has 120mm fan mounts and the user can install up to 3x or 6x (push and pull) 120mm fans on the radiator. Similarly, a 280mm radiator would mean the 140mm fan mounts (140mm x 2) where a user can install 2x 140mm or 4x 140mm fans (push/pull) on the radiator. This is what we mean when we say the size of the radiator.

Following HPE series radiators are tested:

These radiators are listed at the following prices:

  • €89.98 for 240mm HPE-30
  • €93.97 for 280mm HPE-30
  • €104.98 for 360mm HPE-30

If you are a keen reader then you would see that we are using the word HPE-30. What does it mean? This means that these radiators have a thickness of 30mm. ALPHACOOL carries 30mm, 45mm, and 60mm thickness radiators and then they have special size series.

To make this content crispier, we have added the following regular NexXxos radiators:

  • Alphacool NexXxoS XT45 Full Copper 240mm Radiator V.2 – White Special Edition
  • Alphacool NexXxoS XT45 Full Copper 280mm Radiator V.2 – White Special Edition
  • Alphacool NexXxoS XT45 Full Copper 360mm radiator V.2

Here we can see XT45 which implies that these radiators have a thickness of 45mm. This would now definitely be an interesting comparison as we are pitching new 30mm thick radiators against regular 45mm thick radiators.

I will not go into detail about XT45 series radiators as we have already covered them in quite an effective article. Click here to read our take on ALPHACOOL NexXxos XT45 Full Copper series radiators.



The specifications of 240mm HPE-30 are:

Specs 240mm

The specifications of 280mm HPE-30 are:

Specs 280mm

The specifications of 360mm HPE-30 are:

Specs 360mm

Packing and Unboxing

Since these radiators come in the same style packing boxes and have the same color, we will show the unboxing of a 360mm HPE-30 radiator here.

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German Engineering it is! Yup, that is. ALPHACOOL is using a cardboard box to ship their products inside. This is the XT30 version of the HPE 360 radiator. The 240mm and 280mm radiators are ST30.

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Opening the box will show that this radiator is placed inside a bubble sheet for protection from getting damaged during shipping.

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ALPHACOOL has provided:

  • 1x User Guide
  • 1x Warranty Paper
  • 1x Plug opener/closer

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There is a black color accessory box provided as well.

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ALPHACOOL has provided:

  • 12x M3x30mm Screws
  • 12x M3x35mm Screws
  • 12x Small Screws for radiator mounting
  • Spare Parts containing extra screws in both thread size
  • 1x Allen Key

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The radiator has a dimension of 391.5x124x30mm. Here 30mm is the thickness of this radiator. After installing 25mm thick fans the overall height would be 56mm approximately including head of the screws. This radiator is made of copper material from blocks, to fin stacking to channels. This is where ALPHACOOL is quite good.

This radiator has FPI (Fins per Inch) count of 18. It is still dense due to HPE design and we would need high static pressure fans for this radiator. The spacing between mounting holes is 105mm. we can easily count the channels to be 14 in number.

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ALPHACOOL has wisely used flushed G1/4” ports and plugs on these radiators. This means that ports and plugs fit in same line and height as are of the housing. We can see that ALPHACOOL is using dual head design.

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There is a dedicated drain port on the far head of this radiator. It is also flushed and has a plug on it.

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There are G1/4” threaded ports which don’t have plugs rather they have blue color rubber covers. Idea is simple. There are a total of 5x G1/4” ports on this radiator. 3 of these ports are properly covered using metallic plugs whereas two don’t have these plugs. This is simple as we would need two ports on this radiator for connectivity.

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The above picture shows a close-up of the fin stacking. We can copper shimmer despite the complete assembly having a black color coating. ALPHACOOL has done a good job with fin stacking. We have a neat and clean placement of this stacking. There are no bends.

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ALPHACOOL has placed a protective plate under the mounting holes. This plate runs on the entire length. This is there to prevent the fins from getting damaged by excessive screwing.

Let’s take a look at the comparative statement of these radiators.


Test Loop Configuration and setup

Radiator testing is a hectic and time-consuming undertaking. We wanted to set up a loop so that we can remove the radiator easily without draining the complete loop and then refilling it as it would have added more time and energy. This is where quick disconnects come into play their role which is significant as they allow us to break the loop without spilling or draining it. Let’s take a look at what stuff we have used in this loop.

Alphacool Eiszapfen Schnellverschlusskupplungsset G1 4 AG

We have used Alphacool Eiszapfen quick release connector kit G1/4 outer thread – Deep Black. A single kit costs €29.98. In my opinion, these are a must-have for some key specific usage like where you are continuously swapping components and for tech testers and benchers.

Alphacool Eiszapfen Schnellverschlusskupplungsset G1 4 AG Deep Black 1020153 02

The above picture shows the concept. We can release both parts of this fitting. A few drops may spill but that is normal. We have used these two quick-release fittings on the radiators so that we can easily remove the radiator after the completion of testing and add a new one for testing.

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ALPHACOOL has sent us a soft tube in black. This is Alphacool EPDM Tube 16/10 – Black 3m (9,84ft) costing around €18.98.

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The EPDM is from ALPHACOOL’s industry line of products and it has more temperature resistance than regular PVC tubing and enables working temperatures far above 100 °C. Even at higher water temperatures, the EPDM Tube remains dimensionally stable and prevents the hose from warping at points with tighter bending radii or connections.

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ALPHACOOL has also sent AlphaTube HF 16/10 (3/8″ID) – Ultra Clear 3m which costs around €16.98. These conform to 16/10mm size.

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These are ultra-clear and are best suited if you are going to use colored coolant in the loop.

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We are using ALPHACOOl’s Apex Liquid ECO 1000ml clear. It is shipped inside a cardboard box. It costs around €14.98.

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ALPHACOOL Apex series Liquid is a high-end coolant. This product does not contain any dangerous and aggressive ingredients and it is ready to be used out of the bottle. The additives included effectively protect the water loop from corrosion, limescale, and other contaminants and minimize the surface tension of the liquid, making it easier to dissolve bubbles in the loop. An additional positive side effect is that the pump is lubricated and its service life is significantly extended.

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We have used Alphacool Core temperature sensor G1/4 IT/IT with C/F Display – deep black costing around €21.98. It is shipped inside a non-board packing.

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This monitor allows users to get the temperature of the coolant. It has a LCD display and temperature can be read in degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit. It has two cables coming out of it. It is MOLEX powered. I wish ALPHACOOL has used a SATA connector.

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The Alphacool Core temperature sensor is very compact and can be integrated into any loop thanks to its two G1/4″ internal threads. It does not matter whether the system is equipped with hoses or hard tubes. Using an adapter with G1/4″ external thread, the sensor can be used on all exposed G1/4″ threaded openings on the radiator, reservoir, graphics card cooler or CPU cooler.

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The above picture shows the monitor in action. This is a coolant’s temperature.

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ALPHACOOL has also sent high-quality splitter cables. These are:

In case you are wondering why the 9-way splitter cable is, it is for ALPHACOOL SuperNova 1260mm radiator testing as that radiator can house 9x 140mm fans as well as 4x 200mm fans.

These are sleeved cables and I really appreciate the implementation. The single connector side has a longer run before being split into further cables. We did not observe any performance drop using these cables.

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We have used Alphacool Filling bottle Core 500ml to fill the loop.

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We have used Alphacool Eisblock XPX Pro Aurora – Full Brass Black Digital RGB. It is their premium water block for CPU cooling. We have tested the chrome version of it earlier. Click here to read our take on Alphacool Eisblock XPX Pro Aurora – Full Brass Chrome Digital RGB.

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We have used Alphacool Core 100 Aurora reservoir Acetal/Acryl with VPP Pump for this loop. Its dedicated review will come soon. This unit comes with ALPHACOOL’s new VPP APEX pump.

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We have used Alphacool Core 120mm fan PWM 3000rpm (120x120x25mm) fans for 240mm and 360mm radiators. They have a high static pressure rating of 7.83mmH₂O with airflow rating of 93.6 CFM while spinning at 3000 RPM.

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We have used Alphacool Core 140mm fan PWM 3200rpm (140x140x25mm) fans for 280mm radiator. They have a high static pressure rating of 6.99mmH₂O with airflow rating of 153.9 CFM while spinning at 3200 RPM.

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Above are a few pictures of the loop.

Thermal Testing

We have used the below-mentioned configuration for this testing:

  • Intel i7 13700k
  • Sabrent Rocket DDR5 2x16GB @ 4800MHz CL40 kit
  • Colorful GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4G [For Display]
  • Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 2TB NVMe SSD
  • be quiet! Straight Power 11 850W Platinum PSU
  • Thermaltake Core P6 TG Snow Edition converted into an open-frame layout

Here is the settings table for testing:

P-Cores Clock (MHz) 5300 All Cores
E-Cores Clock (MHz) 4200 All Cores
Voltage (V) 1.260
Turbo Boost Disabled
C-States Disabled
Speed Step Disabled
Thermal Paste ALPHACOOL Sub-Zero
Thermal Paste Application Dot Method in the center.
Test Run Time 30 minutes
Idle Time 10 minutes
Fan Speed 100% PWM Duty Cycle
Pump Speed Full speed
Header CPU_Fan/Pump headers
Stress Software CINEBENCH R23.2
Monitoring Software HWInfo64


Before we move on to the results, let me write a few lines on the new platforms from both camps. We have seen AMD AM5 and Intel Raptor Lake S CPUs taking more power and this time both sides have aimed at reaching the maximum clocks regardless of the thermal limit. In fact, they run into thermal limits right away depending on the cooling solution and the clocks being used. This has made testing of CPU coolers challenging because viewers/readers are not used to a new nomenclature which is what clocks are sustained under a given load using a particular cooler. That is if the cooler is capable of providing enough cooling head to sustain the high frequencies. Traditionally we are used to going the other way around which is which cooler is better in terms of thermal capacity. Despite this, we are using temperatures as a base of measuring these radiators

The ambient temperature was in the range of 14.8°C to 15.5°C. Since the variation in the ambient temperature is below 1°C, we are reporting absolute temperatures in the graph. The testing is done on an open-air bench system. Once inside the chassis, the temperatures are expected to rise and would largely depend upon the optimal airflow inside the chassis.

Let’s take a look at the results.


This test was done using Intel’s default settings with power limits imposed. The CPU was drawing roughly 225W power so this is a 220W domain result.

Thermal Performance Idle Temperature

All radiators have provided a similar idle temperature which is what I was expecting. We are also showing the coolant temperature in this graph.

Thermal Performance Load Temperature

Now, we are coming to the main test result which is heavy load testing. We have used the CINEBENCH R23.2 Multi test for 30 minutes. The top slot is taken by Alphacool NexXxos HPE-30 Full Copper XT30 in Dual configuration. Meaning, we have used two of these radiators in a loop. Here are key extracts:

  • Using 2x HPE-30 360mm radiators in a same loop give 2.5°C gain over using a single HPE-30 360mm radiator.
  • HPE-30 360mm radiator has a marginal gain of 0.5°C over an XT45 360mm radiator.
  • HPE-30 240mm radiator has a same performance as of XT45 240mm radiator.
  • HPE-30 280mm radiator has a marginal gain of 1°C over XT45 280mm radiator.

We will cover the outcome in the conclusion. We did not run noise-normalized testing this time as we wanted to see the full thermal performance headroom of these radiators.


ALPHACOOL has released a new series of radiators named HPE. This series is under their naming convention of NexXxos radiators. These are available in multiple sizes and thicknesses. The core product in any radiator is the fin stacking and channels connected by these fins. Alphacool has increased the thickness or width of a channel from 1.8mm to 2.0mm in the HPE NexXxos series radiators which would increase the coolant throughput in the radiator. Alphacool has also reduced the span or width of the fins between any two consecutive channels. This has allowed them to feature more fins in the HPE NexXxos radiators over the standard NexXxos radiators resulting in up to 20% heat transfer efficiency. So, we still have the same size radiators but with more surface area and improved coolant flow channels.

ALPHACOOL has sent the following radiators for a build which, unfortunately, is delayed due to PC Case availability/delivery:

Following HPE series radiators are tested:

All of these radiators have a 30mm thickness. I have been doing some crazy ideas from time to time and ALPHACOOL has always been supporting us to execute these ideas. Like we did a mod on Esibaer 360 and then did a thermal performance testing of ALPHACOOL NexXxos radiators in various sizes. This time around, I decided to test the ALPHACOOL’s HPE radiators against the regular or what we can say non-HPE radiators and see what the performance of new radiators is.

We have used below mentioned non-HPE radiators for this testing:

  • Alphacool NexXxoS XT45 Full Copper 240mm Radiator V.2 – White Special Edition
  • Alphacool NexXxoS XT45 Full Copper 280mm Radiator V.2 – White Special Edition
  • Alphacool NexXxoS XT45 Full Copper 360mm radiator V.2

There is one critical difference among these radiators besides HPE design. All HPE series radiators have a thickness of 30mm whereas non-HPE radiators have a thickness of 45mm. Now, this would be interesting and can actually better tell the tale about this HPE design.

The new HPE series radiators have an FPI count of 18 and they are tested for 0.8 Bar pressure head. The fin stacking and channels are made of copper and we can see copper shimmer despite having a black color coating. These radiators have flushed or recessed G1/4” ports and plugs which is a wise design. Each of these radiators have 5 G1/4” ports. One of these ports is a dedicated drain port located towards the far head of the radiator.

The housing of these radiators is made of metal and has HPE branding over it. There is protective plating under the mounting holes to prevent damage to the fins from excessive screwing. Speaking of screws, ALPHACOOL has provided two sets of screws. One set has an M3x30mm thread size and the other has an M3x35mm thread size. I would love it if ALPHACOOL starts using Philips screws. Allen key is included for these screws.

In this testing, we are aiming at knowing the full cooling potential of these radiators. We have set up a modular loop using quick-release fittings and ALPHACOOL’s premium Eisblock XPX PRO AURORA – Full Brass Black Digital RGB block and high-performance VPP APEX pump housed inside a Core 100 AURORA Reservoir Acetal/Acrylic. We have used ALPHACOOL’s 16/10 straight and adapter fittings as well as HF series clear tube. We have used ALPHACOOL Sub-Zero thermal paste which is my personal favorite paste at present. I still have to test APEX thermal paste which has even better specifications than Sub-Zero.

We have used Alphacool Core temperature sensor G1/4 IT/IT with C/F Display temperature monitor in this loop. This monitor has a colored display and outputs the coolant temperature in degrees Celsius or degrees Fahrenheit. It is MOLEX powered which I wish would have SATA powered. It is using two G1/4″ internal threads on the fitting with an integrated sensor probe. We can easily integrate it into any component in a loop. We have reported coolant temperature as well in our graphs thanks to this handy accessory from ALPHACOOL.

Quick-release fittings made my life easier. However, I ran into a situation where my inventory of quick-release fittings and a few adapters were not enough. I ended up disassembling two builds to free quick-release fittings so that I could complete this testing. We have also used Phobya Y-cables to daisy-chain the fans and control them from a single fan header. These are high-quality sleeved cables with due diligence given to the design.

Coming back to testing, in our last undertaking we evaluated different thicknesses and sizes of radiators to determine the performance level of each. This time, however, the competition is introduced strictly between HPE and non-HPE radiators in the same sizes but with different thicknesses. You can say it was HPE-30 against non-HPE 45. Here 30mm and 45mm are the thicknesses of the radiators.

We have used ALPHACOOL’s Core 120 and Core 140 fans for this testing. These fans pack excellent static pressure and airflow ratings. Using every high-end, high-performance, premium product in the loop ensures that we are only measuring the difference strictly coming from the radiator itself. The pump and fans were set to run at their full speed. Same coolant, same thermal paste, same pasting method, same block, same configuration; you are getting the point here.

So, what is the outcome? Here are key takeaways from this testing:

  • 240mm HPE-30 has a similar performance as on 240mm XT45 radiator
  • 280mm HPE-30 has a similar performance as on 280mm XT45 radiator or even slightly better
  • 360mm HPE-30 has a similar performance as on 360mm XT45 radiator or even slightly better
  • Using 2x HPE-30 360mm radiators give 2.5°C over a single HPE-30 360mm radiator
  • 30mm HPE radiators are offering the same performance as XT45 non-HPE radiators

In my opinion, these 30mm thick radiators are actually winning the game here simply because they offer the same performance level that regular NexXxos 45mm thick radiators offer and this lower thickness give them a better edge when it comes to compatibility and clearance of the PC Case. Not just the high-end cases but the regular or mainstream as well.

This result has left me wondering what to expect from 45mm thick HPE radiators. I am hoping that ALPHACOOL now would let us test some other sizes like 420mm, 480mm, 560mm for extensive coverage. We are eyeing those 180/200mm sizes as well.

The HPE-30 radiators are listed at the following prices:

  • €89.98 for 240mm HPE-30
  • €93.97 for 280mm HPE-30
  • €104.98 for 360mm HPE-30

ALPHACOOL is offering a 3-year warranty on their products.

To other brands, if you are reading this, please consider sending us your radiators to have a cross-platform comparison and see which brand stands where in the market with the respective product line.

Nauman signing out for now.

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