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  • lowlymarine - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Still, I can't help but feel it would be worthwhile to include a couple of the more popular air coolers as well for comparison. The Noctua NH-D14 and Cooler Master Hyper 212+ are very popular units, and in the case of the former runs around the same price as some of the mid-range closed loop options. I think it would be illuminating to see how these options stack up against each other, for situations where clearance and so forth aren't major concerns. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    I'll get there. :) Reply
  • Ratman6161 - Monday, February 04, 2013 - link

    I recently replaced my Hyper 212+ with the H55 so I can sort of make that comparison. I'm running an i7-2600K@4.4Ghz so a fairly similar setup to the test rig in the article. With the 212+ I used to idle at 32 - 35 C and peak out at about 65 C running Intel Burn Test. With the H55 I idle at about 24 and the peak under load is around 53 - 55. But....I've made other changes too. With the liquid cooler I turned the my three 120 mm intake fans and case's 140 mm exhaust down to their minimum speeds and put the variable speed fan from the 212+ on the H55 in place of the constant speed fan that came with it.

    The 120 mm intakes and the fan off the 212+ that's now on the H55 are all bios controlled and set to run at their minimum speeds unless the CPU temp goes over 50 C. However that condition is never met (i.e. it never does go over 50 C) unless I'm deliberately ramping things up with Intel Burn Test. FYI my goal is always the best overclock I can get with stock voltage. I don't get any better overclock than I did with the 212+ but it does run cooler and quieter due to all the fans now able to run at minimum speed basically all the time. Since I don't turn up voltage, something better than the H55 probably would not do any good in my particular circumstances and what I've basically achieved over the 212+ was a quieter system.
  • TreXor - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    53° C at full load with a 4.4 GHz overclocked i7-2600 on a H55? lol...

    Its time that you and all the other people that post ridiculous temps learn what programs to use to read out the real core temperatures. And its definitely not the software coming with your motherboard, reading out the CPU sensor in the socket...
  • althaz - Monday, February 04, 2013 - link

    Yeah, this is a great review, but it's mostly useless data without including good air coolers for comparison. Especially the Noctua NH-D14 (which is probably not the best anymore, but from what I've seen still offers superior performance per decibel to most closed-loop water coolers).

    From Dustin's comments it seems we can expect some more stuff in the future, which will make this excellent review much more useful.
  • Jambe - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Ah, Swiftech, makers of those eccentric heavy slabs of copper studded with helicoid aluminium pins. Nice to see them making new & competent products. Reply
  • drfish - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Lol, was thinking that same thing. Now THAT would make for a great read, all of the classic coolers over the years pitted against each other - mounting all of them "unconventionally" shouldn't be that hard, right? ;) Reply
  • maratus - Sunday, February 03, 2013 - link

    Actually, Swiftech has gone full-H2O after that and was always high-regarded amongst watercooling enthusiasts. Ever since Swiftech Storm was introduced, they became a major source of high-quality CPU and universal GPU waterblocks for custom builds. They also are the biggest reseller of Laing pumps and offer exclusive PWM-controlled version of DDC. MCR rads were the best in their price range for low noise fans and it's nice to see all-in-one kits as they have much more potential customers. I just hope that Swiftech will be more like Asetek in future and less like DangerDen, if you know what I mean. Reply
  • jasonelmore - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    it was taken off the market due to patent infringements. gabe used someone else's design. Reply
  • Aikouka - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Dustin, with the following statement...

    "The H220 itself is definitely a strong radiator, but Swiftech clearly tuned their fans for acoustics instead of performance." sounded like you were faulting the fans on the H220 as the main reason why the H220 can't compete with the other offerings. Out of curiosity, would you be willing to try different fans on it to see it that helps? Obviously, those numbers wouldn't be able to be used in any official context, but it would be interesting to see!

    Although, I will admit that the idea of suggesting ponying up another $12-25 per fan (Enermax Magma, Noctua PF-12, etc.) to make an already expensive product work better is a bit ballsy of a marketing tactic! ;)
  • chaos215bar2 - Monday, February 04, 2013 - link

    I'm not sure why you got the impression that the H220 couldn't compete. Overall, I got the impression that the H220 was one of the best coolers reviewed. It just sacrificed a little performance for a significant reduction in noise. Reply
  • ypsylon - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    I would jump into H220 immediately. Drooling on it since first news appeared. Unfortunately there is small issue - nobody selling this thing in Europe. I inquired in few places across EU and so far nobody is eager to jump on it. Importing it from US is out of the question as I could build full custom loop for money spend on H220+S&H+VAT+2.5% duty fee. Still I have ~40 days ahead before planned WS switchover. If I can get H220 in that time I would, otherwise going with H100i + 4 AeroCool BlackSharks. Not interested in AIO 140/280. Reply
  • Nickel020 - Monday, February 11, 2013 - link

    Actually, already has it on pre-order and usually offers quite reasonable shipping rates across Europe:

    More shops should be listing it once it actually becomes available.
  • BrightCandle - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Its not uncommon for a custom loop to get down to +25C at load, so these bigger radiator designs are starting to get really close to the performance of going fully custom at a lot less cost and hassle. Reply
  • ShieTar - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Sure. Now if those would just be provided for the 225W GPU instead of the 77W CPU, they might get actually relevant for a gaming computer. Reply
  • pcfxer - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link


    This man ^^^^^ has got it. Why the hell aren't they hooking these up to GPUs? Does a closed loop kit for GPUs even exists? I've had one video card die from a heavy HSF combo and I still hate seeing that much flex in card.

    A closed loop setup is literally perfect for this. Any pump noise and fan noise from that would be worth it (if still reasonable, I normally hunt for options on SPCR).
  • Death666Angel - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    There is the "Arctic Cooling Accelero Hybrid" and you can buy mounting kits for these CLCs to install on your GPU of choice. No full body CLCs I am aware of other than that. And since there are so many different layouts and removing the heatsink of most graphics cards voids the warranty, the market seems very small compared to these CPU CLCs. Reply
  • Runamok81 - Sunday, February 03, 2013 - link

    With the help of custom brackets from modders have been installing closed loop GPU coolers for years. Reply
  • Jeaux Bleaux - Saturday, February 02, 2013 - link

    From the article you didn't read; "At CES, the H220's pump was demonstrated keeping a pair of GTX 680s and an i7 cool." Reply
  • MadAd - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    1- Corsair dropped the ball with me with my H60 recently. The pump was shrieking until i installed a fanmate to limit it to about 2k rpm (my friends coolit works at about 4k normally). The through board fittings were so sloppy I had to find 4 small washers to brace the board against the clamp or suffer less pressure on the cpu mount and to cap it all the fan they supplied committed both sins of a bad silent fan, high turbine noise AND a ticky motor noise. Probably one of the worst fans ive ever owned (and ive spend hundreds on specialist panaflos, scythes etc through the years).

    2- I would like to see reviews of these done in a fully loaded system too. That puny board with no GPU does not represent a normal PC at all. Yes punypc is good for isolating just the cooling hardware, so why should this matter? Theres a part of these ongoing reviews that seems to have been overlooked, someone using consumer friendly closed loops are likely using this for case cooling in some way too, thus a fully loaded system running a gaming bench say, would add heat to the system and show thes coolers in a different light, eg where they start to break down.

    Thats the enthusiast end, on the other end with the growth of ITX and shelf size PCs my mind is not whether I can cool something in isolation, its whether I can use a single 120mm closed loop to do the whole system. 1 fan for the whole box, and that cant really be replicated in that test pc there either.

    Just a few thoughts, no complaints, im more than happy with the reviews here. Thanks again for all the hard work.
  • landerf - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Does the H110 come with a Y connector for the fans? Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Nnnnnnope. Reply
  • landerf - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    So for most the cost is actually +5 after a quick trip to ebay. Not that I mind. My last Corsair Y connector disintegrated. Reply
  • krutou - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    In a future review, I'd like to see entry level (similarly priced) custom loops included.

    Primarily, I'd like to see the XSPC Raystorm 750 RS240 (~$150) reviewed. XSPC is known for their excellent performance and I'd like to see it compared to an upgradable AIO like the Swiftech H220.
  • aguilpa1 - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    I have been looking intently at the Kraken 60 because of it's performance, and ability to hold 4 fans in push/pull as well as what appears to be longer tubing than a standard closed loop. I have a full tower Lian Li the P80 I believe and it has an old school design of the power supply above the motherboard tray. I am not sure I could work those really short tube lengths that are the norm for these systems, assuming everyone has clear space right above the motherboard.

    I wish reviewers would test these units in a case and not just the glossy brochure model. I have seen them even worse set up on a test bench where installation is not even considered just raw performance numbers with no real world basis for installation and use.
  • Kepe - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Dustin tested these inside a case? Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Saturday, February 02, 2013 - link

    Uh...I tested these inside a case, yes. All of this information is readily available on the conspicuously named page "Testing Methodology." Reply
  • yohanus - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Swiftech has been a great company. I have built multiple water cooling setups using their products and have been nothing but pleased when dealing with them on the internet or, more importantly, on the phone.

    I must admit that these closed loop systems look really nice compared to taking a Buick A/C condenser and heater core, a pump, some cpu coolers and building a single cooling system that runs two computers. The benefit of a closed loop system is that it just works while a homebrew system allows you the satisfaction of tinkering.
  • Sabresiberian - Saturday, February 02, 2013 - link

    Yah the Swiftech system here looks like it might be the choice for someone looking to get into watercooling of more than just the CPU at a relatively low cost. (that being said - GPU waterblocks are expensive, heh).

    I'm wondering though if starting off with a better pump, fans, and radiator might be worth the extra cost, especially if you plan on cooling 3 GTX 680s or the like.
  • ggathagan - Saturday, February 02, 2013 - link

    It comes down to whether or not it's more expensive to buy the H220 and modify the loop with additional water blocks and radiators, or to build from scratch.

    From what all I've read on this particular system, the pump is easily the match to Swiftech's premier pump, the MCP35X.
    That is the basis for their other waterblock/pump combo, the Apogee II.

    If you already know that you want to cool a triple GPU system, the H220's components aside from the waterblock/pump might be wasted if you have a full tower case that can accommodate larger radiators and fans.

    Further, starting from scratch gives you the flexibility to pick-and-choose each individual component.
    In that scenario, you might find that there are other brands that provide you with a better waterblock, fan or radiator than the ones offered by Swiftech.
  • glenster - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    The Thermaltake Water 2.0 Extreme is 27dB--how does it compare? Reply
  • Beenthere - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Before long they will be using auto sized radiators to try and surpass the excellent and reliable cooling provided by a highend HSF costing 1/2 the price of an inferior closed loop coolers that can and have leaked in the past causing hundreds of dollars in PC hardware damage, lost data, lack of use of the PC for weeks, RMAs, etc. Why people are so gullible as to buy an inferior CPU cooling system is beyond me. I guess when you're technically challenged, you equate water to better cooling even when it's not. Reply
  • Stuka87 - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    "Meanwhile, the radiator itself has a larger reservoir than the competition, is user accessible and serviceable, and is produced from higher quality materials. Instead of just using aluminum, the H220 has copper fins and brass tubing, which theoretically will allow it to both dissipate heat more effectively and last longer. "

    In the quote above, it is stated that the H220 uses copper and brass instead of aluminum. While copper is great as its the best conductor of heat, brass is significantly worse than copper or aluminum. Kind of seams like a price cutting tactic over the use of aluminum and copper. Unless I am missing something?
  • Death666Angel - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    My guess would be corrosion. Reply
  • Galcobar - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Galvanic corrosion -- two dissimilar metals in contact are a problem, particularly with something reactive such as copper. It's why you can't use steel brackets to hold copper piping.

    Copper and brass (a copper-zinc alloy) are electrochemically similar so galvanic corrosion isn't an issue. Aluminum, however, is much more anodic than copper or brass.
  • Nickel020 - Monday, February 11, 2013 - link

    Brass is what's used in almost all high-end watercooling radiators, Swiftech isn't cutting any corners there. The fins themselves are actually copper, and that's what's most important. There's also different kinds of brass, and the one they're using for the tubing is almost certainly better than aluminum. Otherwise you'd find high-end watercooling radiators made with aluminum tubing, but they all use brass or (a few) copper. Reply
  • Gc - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    The Cinica Eurora article says they claim increased power efficiency in part by running the processors at lower water-cooled temperatures. It could be interesting to see how much power each water-cooling system takes, both for comparing with air-cooled systems, and for comparing with potential processor power savings. Reply
  • Gc - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    [Sorry, "air-cooled" is the wrong term for the contrast. These water-cooling systems carry the heat to an air cooled radiator also, just like the vapor cooled heat pipes in many CPU coolers carry heat to an air cooled radiator.] Reply
  • RaistlinZ - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Can fans be mounted on the Swiftech for push/pull config? If so, they've got my money. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Saturday, February 02, 2013 - link

    Why yes. YES THEY CAN! And in fact their fan control header supports up to seven fans! Reply
  • Beenthere - Saturday, February 02, 2013 - link

    How many times can reviewers be duped by CLC hype and PR? Either the reviewers are technically challenged or ethically challenged... Being here to stay does not equate to be a rational choice. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Saturday, February 02, 2013 - link

    It's not hype. It's the fact that these products are growing both in number and popularity. More and more vendors are entering the race, so saying they're here to stay is technically correct, at least for the next couple of years. They're popular.

    I'm not sure what your beef with them is, either. Boutiques tend to prefer them over heavy air coolers and if the reliability was a serious issue, those boutiques would be less likely to run them.
  • iamezza - Saturday, February 02, 2013 - link

    Beenthere is just a forum troll with no life.
    Every single comment he makes is deliberately inflammatory.
  • Treckin - Saturday, February 02, 2013 - link

    Why aren't the Antec closed loop coolers ever mentioned/tested on Anandtech? Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Saturday, February 02, 2013 - link

    The check didn't clear? Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Saturday, February 02, 2013 - link

    Cute! Honestly, they haven't been volunteered and Antec is in a weird transitional period. If you guys want to see the Antec stuff tested I'd be happy to, but it does look like more of the same Asetek kit. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Saturday, February 02, 2013 - link

    Well, check that. The H2O 920 has a fatter radiator than any of the other units I've tested. I may just have to get a couple of these monsters in for review after all. Reply
  • Treckin - Sunday, February 03, 2013 - link

    It is, however they ship different fans, and use a different waterblock. Additionally, they featured the software controlled fans and pump monitoring as well as an onboard decibel meter (who knows how accurate...).

    Also, the tubing is different between the other asetec units.

    I would certainly like to see those numbers if you could :)
  • resiroth - Sunday, February 03, 2013 - link

    I have a mini itx computer so the thermals should if anything be worse, and I idle at 25C and load at 55C. Room temp is somewhere around 22C I guess. So basically the deltas are 3C idle 33C load. It's an i5 750 overclocked to 3.8ghz.

    No risk of a pump leaking (however small that might be)
    ~ Equal performance
    Much quieter in db
    Much nicer noise signature (a fan has a hum, more pleasant then a pump)
    Top down cpu coolers may have auxillary cooling effect on motherboard components

    Harder to install?

    Still interested in seeing these get better and better, but for now it seems like a worse air cooler which has no real benefits. I guess if you're upping the voltage loads just to get an extra 10% (and risk an early death of your chip at such extreme voltage increases) it could be useful, but why not take a 10% performance hit for fairly significant improvements in noise, stability, durability, price?
  • Death666Angel - Sunday, February 03, 2013 - link

    Maybe I missed it (I have been known to be blind at times), but you didn't mention what you are cooling with, did you?
    Also, you cannot compared your temps to any mentioned in this article, as you seem to do. :)
  • AngelOfTheAbyss - Monday, February 04, 2013 - link

    Either you like closed loops or you don't.

    Personally, I like them because you can move the heat from the cpu to the outside of the chassi without having to disperse the heat inside the chassi before wenting it.

    One of my machines is a 3930K@4.3 in a Antec P190 chassi with a H100 using 2x120 (push) + 2x140mm (pull) fans on the rad which make it really quiet.

    Unless you suffer from pump grinding (see WLW WL on overclock), the pump should barely be audible (i have had to patch my two H100's but not the H80).

    Note also that most comparable air-coolers weigh alot and don't employ top-down fans.

    In my htpc (Antec ISK 310-150 EC + A10 5800K), I put a big shuriken due to space constraints, couldn't figure out how to mount a closed loop (bummer).
  • rms8 - Monday, February 04, 2013 - link

    I love the articles here!

    Regarding the reviews of the current market of self contained H2O coolers....I have a custom H20 setup with an XSPC CPU block & RX360 rad, Swiftech pump and Intel i7-2600K.

    I have BIOS setup to run the CPU at 1.6Ghz when idle, but will ramp up to 5.2Ghz depending on needs. At idle the temps are in the 26-28 degree range with no fans running. When running Prime95, it will run at upper 60-'s/lower 70's with fans maxed out.

    I really don't know how good this is compared to some off the shelf self contained setup.
  • jasonelmore - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    It's a shame the Swiftech H220 got taken off the market due to patent infringements. It was the only Closed Loop cooler that i'm interested in. Reply

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