Swiftech H20-320 Water Cooling Kit Review

Swiftech H20-320 Review

  Swiftech H20-320 Water Cooling Kit Review  

 

Introduction

If you are an avid watercooler then Swiftech is a name you should know well, for those of you with more feline characteristics it may surprise you to find out Swiftech started life producing air heat sinks for CPU's. It really hit the big time way back in 2001 with the MC370 range of heat sinks. Looking back at these now most of us have better cooling on our mosfet's let alone our CPU's but its great to look back and see how far technology has advanced our hobby.

Watercooling became a focus for Swiftech just a year later, so Swiftech has been in the PC watercooling industry for nearly 10 years! Over the years they have continued to bring out well priced and great performing products. The kit on test today is aimed at beginners or people that are looking for a basic upgrade without the worry of having to connect up may different parts in their system. Anyways lets move on for a look at the discription and kit specifications.


Product Description  

The H20-X20 "Edge" series liquid cooling kits represent a true revolution in the world of liquid cooling. In effect, for the first time ever they combine Swiftech's extreme performance features with an ease of installation and a versatility that will allow all users, beginners and hard core enthusiasts alike to take full advantage of all the benefits afforded by liquid cooling.

Each kit is composed of only two elements:

  • The patent pending MCR X20 Drive Rev2 which combines radiator, reservoir, and pump into one unit and is also available for sale separately
  • A new version of the Award Winning Apogee XT waterblock.


    Specifications
    Intel Socket CompatibilitySocket 1366
    Socket 1156
    Socket 1155
    Socket 775
    AMD Socket CompatibilityN/A
    CPU WaterblockSwiftech Apogee XTL
    VGA WaterblockN/A
    RadiatorSwiftech MCR-320 Drive Revision 2
    Radiator Dimensions438 x 128 x 74mm
    Radiator Fan Specification3 x 120mm 3 Pin Fans
    PumpSwiftech MCP35X PWM Pump
    Pump Flow Ratevariable due to PWM function
    ReservoirBuilt In
    Tubing2m 1/2" -ID - 3/4" OD Clear Tubing
    Fittings4 x 1/2" ID Barbs
    Fluid 
    SuitabilitySimple CPU Watercooling
    Overclocking
    Package Contents1 x Swiftech X20-320 Edge Kit
    1 x RadBox Rad Mount
    Fillport Hardware
    Installation CD
    ! x Mounting Kit


Test Setup

Gigabyte UD3R V2
Intel i7 950
Mushkin Radioactive 2000MHz
Fractal Designs R3
Corsair AX750W

Testing

For the first test we set our i7-950 overclocked to 200x20 @ 1.25v for a clock speed of 4.0GHz. We allow the system to idle for 10 minutes and then run Prime95 'maximum heat maximum stress' setting for a further 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes we note the temperatures of all cores and the ambient temperature of the room. An average of all cores is taken, then the ambient temperature is removed from this figure and this gives us the delta temperature. Delta is the temperature difference above ambient which is a truer reflection of the heat-sink performance rather than mere maximum figures. Testing in an Igloo or the Sahara would give vastly different maximum temperatures, yet the Delta could be the same.

 

The second test follows all steps from above but with a 200x21 @ 1.35v for 4.2GHz overclock, the extra voltage in this test allows us to see if the heat-sink can cope when extreme loads and overclocks are applied. 


 


The graph for the 3rd test is where only the big boys hang out, 200x22 @ 1.45v. Only the premier league of coolers hang out here. Its an extreme test for extreme situations, definitely not your average overclock or volts being used but it helps to whittle down the men from the boys. Its also worth noting that the XSPC kit was actually at a higher voltage for this test and yet still remains the best performer.

 

Video Review

 

Conclusion

A surprising conclusion? I think so. I'm going to say this straight off the bat, with the Apogee XTL block and the MCP35X coupled with the 360mm MCR-320 radiator I had expected more from this kit.

Lets recap though because this kit does have some positive points. It is very easy to set up because you basically only have 2 parts, the rad and the CPU block. Hook these up together what ever way suits your system and that's it job done. The kit comes with everything you could need for mounting it on or in your case too. Short of a bottle of distilled water you wont need anything else to get this kit set up and running. It may take a bit of planning to get things looking tidy and I would whole heartedly suggest you put some thought into this stage. Do it right it can look great, rush it and you'll end up with a complete mess and a birds nest of wires in the bottom of you case.

Now I did find a few issues, first one is the price. £255? It would have to be epic for this price and yet the XSPC kit I tested previously that was over £100 cheaper beat it in every single temperature test. The MCP / DDC pumps are renowned for needing damping when fitting to a case. Without it the noise from the pump resonates into the case and can create a hell of a racket. Swiftech have appeared to have neglected to address this point when bolting the pump to a thin walled metal radiator. The pump noise just gets amplified down the radiator body as it would a case making it incredibly annoying. Some kind of thick gasket needed to be designed for this application to make it much quieter, especially when it's almost made to be run outside of your case. Talking about it being outside your case, the wires just look terrible. There's no excuse for the lack of braiding OR clean black wires now, the wires on the fans also need to be longer for external use in my eyes.

So basically we have an expensive kit, that's noisy and can not compete thermally with a kit that's £100 cheaper. The XSPC kit may require a little bit more time and thought but its really just a few more hoses. If you can fit two on the Swiftech kit then you are capable of fitting a few more with another kit.

It's not very often we are quite so blunt with a conclusion but our advise would be give the Swiftech kit a very wide berth, get over to Specialtech and buy the XSPC kit and save yourself the £100 and be happy knowing you've bought a much better kit.



Thanks to Swiftech for the sample on test today, you can discuss your thoughts in our forums.

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Most Recent Comments

15-06-2011, 08:01:53

tinytomlogan
We take a look at a very simple kit from Swiftech thats bursting with high quality parts. How does it perform on the OC3D test rig?



Continue Reading

15-06-2011, 08:19:10

marsey99
wow

with such a big delta on the low volts i didnt expect it to make it to the 1.45v test tbh

on paper this kits looks great, shame it fell at the last hurdle :|

15-06-2011, 08:19:11

SieB
They want how much for it now...? 255

Can't believe how close the temps with the D14 are to it in the 4ghz and 4.2ghz test, spending 195 more than the D14 for a few c* difference is a joke

15-06-2011, 11:08:33

jonowee
For two less tubes?... no thanks, now please take my money for a XSPC RX kit.

15-06-2011, 11:39:21

dugdiamond
is it me, or is the 'rad mount block' a 120mm fan housing? i have a few of them, from a very old 'monster' server case

15-06-2011, 11:49:51

piotrekhc
April fools price ^.^

15-06-2011, 12:13:35

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by dugdiamond View Post

is it me, or is the 'rad mount block' a 120mm fan housing? i have a few of them, from a very old 'monster' server case
Not quite no, watch the video again and look for the part where you can see where the base part screws into the frame.

15-06-2011, 12:35:51

badtaylorx
well now,,, why don'cha tell me what you really think!!!

15-06-2011, 13:50:49

steve30x
I had watercooli9ng for two and a half years and I wont do it again in a hurry. That kit looks like what a beginner needs and its much tidier than a kit with four pipes , but the pump is too bloody loud and its too expensive for the temps it gives.

16-06-2011, 07:54:13

Rastalovich
I'm in the feline crowd when it comes to this stuff.

So if I give you the opinion of the type of market these "kits" I'd imagine to be targeted at, i.e. the inexperienced who wants to pay 1 fee and have everything they need and not keep jumping back'n'fore on forums to be n00b-reminded they haven't bought something. (cos I think if you're experienced, you'd bit-select parts ? )

Anywho, if the difference between this kit and the other one recommended in the review is both performance and price - this one "shouldn't" sell.

100 or whatever cheaper, a willing beginner will surely favor the other. Unless of course, the other kit disappears off the market.
Reply
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