Performance Results

I mentioned in the introduction that the new Corsair radiators are operating off of the same OEM hardware as NZXT's resident 140mm-based radiators. What I didn't mention was that Corsair doesn't have any software control for the fans or even any allowances made towards connecting and controlling the fans at all beyond the conventional motherboard headers. Corsair needs to hope the fans used on their H90 and H110 are enough to differentiate them from NZXT's Kraken series.

Swiftech, meanwhile, also uses PWM control, but includes a breakout block with the H220 to connect as many as seven different fans to a single PWM channel. It's worth noting, too, that though the Swiftech H220 is a 240mm radiator (like the Corsair H100i), the building materials and pump are almost completely different. The pump uses Swiftech's own secret sauce, while the radiator uses brass and copper instead of the garden variety aluminum the other radiators use. On top of this, they're using their own fans. Suffice to say, it's going to be interesting to see if the H220 can prove the extra effort and higher quality components are worthwhile.

Cooling Performance

Whether it's Corsair, NZXT, or good old-fashioned Asetek, the results don't lie: the 280mm radiator is just plain more efficient than any smaller block. Swiftech's H220 puts in a reasonably strong showing, though interestingly it has trouble overtaking the Corsair H80i at higher speeds. There's a very good reason for that, though, and you'll see it in a second.

Meanwhile, Asetek's single 140mm radiator basically continues to be a bust. It's by no means a terrible product, but the H90 and Kraken X40 are both pretty underwhelming. A thicker 120mm radiator with two fans continues to be a comparable if not superior choice.

Acoustic Performance

If the Swiftech H220's performance is a little underwhelming, this is why. The H220 itself is definitely a strong radiator, but Swiftech clearly tuned their fans for acoustics instead of performance. At 30% fan speed only the X60 and H110 can offer both better thermal performance and fan speed, but at 100% fan speed, the louder, more aggressive fans are just able to push more cool air through their respective radiators.

What must be kept in mind is that while the H220 isn't necessarily blowing up the charts, the noise levels and thermal performance need to be connected and placed in context. The H220 is able to deliver competitive performance at lower noise levels than the competing radiators, and really only has to worry about the Corsair H110 and Kraken X60 beating it. Both of those are much harder to fit into most cases, too, a problem the Swiftech H220 doesn't have.

Testing Methodology Conclusions, Part 1: Corsair
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • Beenthere - Saturday, February 2, 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.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Saturday, February 2, 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 2, 2013 - link

    Beenthere is just a forum troll with no life.
    Every single comment he makes is deliberately inflammatory.
  • Treckin - Saturday, February 2, 2013 - link

    Why aren't the Antec closed loop coolers ever mentioned/tested on Anandtech?
  • HisDivineOrder - Saturday, February 2, 2013 - link

    The check didn't clear?
  • Dustin Sklavos - Saturday, February 2, 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.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Saturday, February 2, 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.
  • Treckin - Sunday, February 3, 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 3, 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 3, 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. :)

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now