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  • Let’s Open up a Thermaltake RL280 Aluminum Radiator
  • Let’s Open up a Thermaltake RL280 Aluminum Radiator



    A little over four years ago I did a review of the RL280 Radiator from Thermaltake.  The rad had some amazing build quality and was one of the flagship products for their new TT Premium line of DIY watercooling gear.

    I didn’t think about it at first but the radiator had a dark secret that got the community enraged.

    It was made from Aluminum

    Now, I understand the issues associated with galvanic corrosion and the part that mixed metals play in a DIY watercooling loop.  These are serious problems that I feel are blown out of proportion because end users can be pretty idiotic.  As they say we only know what we know and if you don’t know then you don’t know. 

    Given the public backlash surrounding the RL280 Aluminum radiator Thermaltake had decided to launch a new line of copper radiators, not because they needed to but, rather to quell the bad press and ultimately give users what they wanted.  (at least the vocal ones)

    After running this radiator nonstop for four years, I thought it would be fitting to tear it open and see just how much damage had been done. 

    Here are some vital stats

    • In use between August 2016 to August 2020
    • This radiator had been in a total of two builds
    • The builds went through at least four hardware changes
    • Fluid was completely changed four times
    • Only used Thermaltake C1000
    • The longest the fluid was in the loop was two years
    • Radiator flushed with distilled water with every coolant change

    As you can see from the video and photos the radiator is in extremely good shape.  The only sign of corrosion is at the top of the tank where an air bubble had stained the side with a couple black marks.  You’ll see a bunch of red stain which is from the dye used to color the loop and could either be from the Dye added or from the red opaque that we ran in the loop in the early years.

    I hope you like the video, I was messing around with mixing two cameras together and felt this little project would be a great way to test it out.

    Be sure to check out the other projects referenced in this article, links below.

    Thermaltake View X31 Modding Project
    Custom Painting a Thermaltake Core V51 Casemodding Project
    Thermaltake Pacific RL280 Radiator Review
    Hardware Asylum at HackFort 2019