Ease of Installation

Just like in the last review, Corsair's Asetek-based products (the H90 and H110) both install in the same fashion, and in fact if you even have a mounting kit from a previous Asetek-based cooler you'll be able to basically just reuse it (which made my life a lot easier).

As a refresher, the Asetek-based coolers use a single metal ring that's attached through the mounting holes on the motherboard to a backplate. From there, you essentially insert the waterblock through the notches and twist it so the notches line up, then screw down the ring, locking the waterblock into place. It's a pretty simple affair and I still ultimately prefer it to the CoolIT method of cooler mounting. It just feels more precise and more secure.

Swiftech, on the other hand, employs the CoolIT backplate for mounting the H220, but remember that the product is their own. In fact, when you open the box, the H220 is almost entirely assembled already, with the fans attached and the backplate lightly secured to the waterblock. Swiftech tried to make installation easier by including four small adhesive pads on the backplate: just peel off the protective tape and then stick the pads to the back of your motherboard (after lining up the screw holes) and you should be off and running. Please, do yourself a favor and take the pads off. Trying to do this without the benefit of adhesive is nightmarish, since the mounting screws are already attached to the waterblock.

Ultimately, these coolers are both pretty easy to install and I have to be honest, I vastly prefer installing a waterblock instead of a large air cooler. Waterblocks and radiators are just easier to install because only the radiator is heavier than a good air cooler, and the sharp fins are basically kept away from your hands. Swiftech smartly employs adhesive on their backplate which does help, but unfortunately also runs the risk of wearing out over time.

Introducing the Second Wave of Closed Loop Coolers Testing Methodology
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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.
    Reply
  • 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...
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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."

    ...it 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! ;)
    Reply

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