Unboxing and Overview
Hardware Labs by itself does not operate a web shop and so we begin with the product packaging directly.
The colors chosen for the Nemesis GTR are black and red, with their “Rev it up!” slogan leaving little doubt on the application here. The packaging is two piece with an outer sleeve that is decorative having illustrations, names, logos and features on it and an inner cardboard box with two flaps and a seal that also acts as a warning label concerning the use of screws longer than apt.
Open it, and we see the radiator directly. The box works well and does not have any internal flaps that can hit the core and damage the fins as was the case with the first batch of the Nemesis GTS and Nemesis GTX radiators, and the accessories are on the side in a separate compartment:
Included here is a reminder that the Nemesis GTR is not a standard U-flow radiator in that the flow is top-bottom (or bottom-top) rather than side to side and as such there is a small performance optimization depending on the choice of inlet port and direction of airflow. The reminder included mentions the Nemesis GTX, although it is valid for the Nemesis GTR and Nemesis GTS (and the older GTX and GTS). The print should have been updated for the newer radiator series, and turns out it will be- I just happened to get the very first retail radiators available.
This is also why I am not showing the screws included. In here are 16 each of M4 threaded metal screws that are 6 and 28 mm long as with other quad radiators from Hardware Labs recently, however I was told that they are updating screws from this week to hit retail availability of the Nemesis GTR radiators. As such, a Nemesis 480 GTR purchased from next week or so will come with 16 each M4 threaded screws that are 6, 30 and 43 mm long. The first two lengths are fairly obvious, and the latter is intended for those who wish to use 38 mm thick fans with this radiator- again showing that the intent here is for high airflow be it via thicker fans, standard thickness fans at higher fan speed or standard thickness fans in push/pull.
On to the radiator itself now:
No more dark matter powdercoat finish here, the Nemesis GTR radiators will be available in a black carbon finish only at launch. This is a matte black finish with a light satin touch that is easier to maintain, and was used on the SR2 series throughout to provide some context. No company or product logo anywhere which is also nice to see, the unique looking end tanks help distinguish them immediately as it is. Only two ports here, unfortunately, although that was not a surprise considering how all the dual core style rads from Hardware Labs have been so till now with multiple ports being a unique selling point of their SR2 radiators instead. Having multiple ports here is harder than with more traditional U-flow radiators, however it is not impossible and so it would have been nice to see them included here. Perhaps a future iteration with ports on the top and bottom (as opposed to one side vs the other)? That would be nice. The end tank is brass, and both G1/4″ threads were threaded perfectly and perpendicular to the frame.
The fan holes are threaded perfectly as well with no issues here. They are spaced the standard 15 mm apart for 120 mm fans on radiators and cases, and note that these are aligned close but not directly over coolant tubes. In case you were still worried, there are screw shields included as well so longer screws used by accident will be stopped by them and at best bend some fins. Best to use screws of appropriate length as always though!
The fins were also pretty uniform- not at all easy to get with these short fins that also happen to be splitter type. Fin density is the same 16 FPI too, and the fins and coolant tubes are the same 25 micron and 1.2 mm thick respectively as with the Nemesis GTX. So what’s going on then? Shorter fin stacks as I first hypothesized? Let’s compare the Nemesis 480GTX (left) and the Nemesis GTR 480 (right) and find out (note the inconsistent naming scheme? That’s going to get consistent also I was told):
Yes, indeed! Significantly shorter splitter fin stacks on the Nemesis GTR allowing for more coolant tubes to fit in the same core. 2 more, in fact, at 16 vs 14 which will help lower liquid flow restriction. There are a total of 32 coolant tubes here with 16 per pass used. As if that was not enough, there was something else included with the radiators in the box I received:
Some samples of the bare fins themselves! This was really neat, and allowed me to do a few measurements I could not before. For instance, I know now that the Nemesis GTR fins (they call this the Type R revised fins) are just 5.7 mm high and the Nemesis GTX fins are 7.9 mm high. Both are also actually 25 microns thick as measured by a micrometer. Another thing to note here is that Nemesis GTX fins are not louvered (as mentioned before in other articles) which helps with low airflow performance:
whereas the Type R revised fins on the Nemesis GTR are louvered to help with high airflow performance:
The extent and angle of louver also impacts air flow restriction (which will be higher on the Nemesis GTR as it is) as well as thermal performance. There is a lot of engineering that goes in fin design itself, and I always like to learn more.
Let’s now see how the radiator ends up performing, beginning with liquid flow restriction on the next page.