today I want to introduce you to some new variants of tubing, some of which haven't been out too long.
This roundup is mainly about the popular sizes (in europe) 13/10mm (3/8") and 16/10mm (5/8"). While you were pretty much stuck with only a few choices for these sizes in the past, there's now a range of different brands and colors available to choose from.
When choosing the size of the tubing, it's important to know which requirements the product should meet and you shouldn't just pick one that's fashionable at the time. Even though the 16/10 (5/8") tubing can outperform the 13/10mm (3/8") when it comes to the bending radius, it's not always the best choice because of its sausage-style looks. Overall, the radii of high quality 13/10mm tubing are usually more than enough for most users, anyway. 13/10 tubing by Primochill and Koolance can, for example, achieve radii a lot smaller than those of Masterkleer tubing.
When taking a look at the larger 16/10mm tubing, the difference in radii are only minor, so the more important aspects are the color and the price. A long time there was no way around Tygon tubing, because of the awesome bending radius and its clear looks, even though you paid 10/meter for it. Luckily, there are now several other competitors available that can take on the Tygon in both these aspects.
Last but not least, there's also the 19/13mm royalty, which appears to take the same route the 16/10 took: except for a few exemptions the only differences are, once again, in the color and the price.
Also, before buying your favorite tubing, be sure to think about what case it's supposed to be used in. When, for example, using 11/8mm tubing (which offers great bending radii), it'll almost look lost in a Big Tower case, which wouldn't be the case when using 16/10mm. On the other hand, 11/8mm can be the best choice in tiny cases, like those used for HTPC΄s, to avoid having to use angled fittings or anti-kink-springs.
Also, there's the choice of colors: a lof of the new tubing is UV reactive, making it easier to create some accents in a watercooling-loop in the dark when using a UV light. Of course, this isn't everybody's style and some of the UV tubing has the disadvantage of a slight blue color, that can be very visible on black, clear or white tubing. Those who don't want this effect should try to look out for tubing that's not UV reactive.
So let's get to the most important part, comparing pictures. I'll start with the 13/10mm (3/8") tubing.
The white versions of Masterkleer and Primochill tubing are first:
(Please excuse the stains on some of the UV pictures, coming from some faulty 19/13mm tubing, that marked off on the rest)
Masterkleer: 3.99 Euro / per meter
Primochill: 5.99 /m
Here's a three-way-comparison between Koolancetubing 13/10mm (uv reactive), Primochill Primoflex Pro 13/10mm and Tygon 12.7/9.5mm tubing
As you can see, the expensive Tygon scores best when it comes to transparency.
Also, there's Masterkleer tubing in this size for only 2.69/m, but it also offers very poor bending radii when compared to these three rivals.
Here's a picture comparing Primochill in 13/10mm and 16/10mm with Masterkleer in 13/10mm (3/8")
Still, to be frank, even the cheapest Masterkleer tubing is sufficient for most uses.
Next one is a comparison between green Masterkleer, Primochill and Koolance in 13/10mm.
The Koolance and Primochill tubing are about the same when it comes to bending radius, though the one by Koolancetubing is a bit stiffer, resulting in more pressure on the waterblocks.
Let's get to the very popular color blue! Prices are the same as the other colors by those companies in this size.
As you can see, the Primochill tubing isn't UV reactive.
Next is the black 13/10mm tubing. Once again, the variants by Koolance and Primochill aren't UV reactive, avoiding the blue sheen seen on the Masterkleer, which is a result of the UV particles.
Now it's the turn of red Masterkleer, Primochill and Koolance tubing, looking like this in daylight and UV light:
So let's get to 16/10mm (5/8") tubing. As said before, there aren't any big differences concerning the radii.
I especially like the Primochill, offering very tight bending radii and very clear looks at 6.29/m.
Comparison between Primochill 16/10mm and Clearflex 15.9/9.5mm:
Koolance also offers large tubing, but sadly only in 16/13mm variants, that kink a lot earlier than 16/10mm because of the thinner walls.
This is what Koolance offers in 16/13mm:
Priced at 5.99/m, you can see a huge difference to the 16/10mm tubing in the pictures of the green variants.
Coming up is a comparison between the popular Masterkleer 16/10, an XSPC 15.9/9.5mm tubing and the almost unknown Nalgene 15.9/11.1mm.
The Nalgene scores best when it comes to bending radius, closely followed by the Masterkleer and XSPC.
One thing I didn't like about the Nalgene tubing is the continuous writing on the walls, so I'd probably choose a competitor.