Swiftech H20-320 Edge Water Cooling Kit Review
Although we are seeing some very impressive factory sealed watercooling units coming out of CoolIT and Corsaire these days. Nothing can really compare with the beefy aesthetics of a custom water cooling kit and that is why companies like Swiftech are still going strong despite the influx of consumer grade coolers coming out. Today we will be taking a look at the Swiftech H20-320 Edge Water Cooling Kit and see if it is the right choice for your next gaming or overclocking build:
Provided by: Swtiftech
- AMD Phenom II 965 Black Edition
- Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler
- Crucial DDR3 PC3 16000 2 x 1 GB
- Kingwin 1000W
- ATI Radeon 5570
- Western Digital 1TB HDD
- Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit Edition
Specifications and Features:
Engineered in the USA
One or more patents pending
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;
The kits are available in two models:
• The H20-220 Edge with dual 120mm radiator
What Differentiates the H20-X20 Edge kits from other all-in-one kits available on the market?
• Versatility: the ability to add more devices to the liquid cooling loop; other all-in-one kits available on the market are completely sealed, and users are unable to either add more water-blocks for cooling the graphics, the chipset, or add more radiators if and when needed.
• Performance Range: the ability to tune the cooling system from zero noise to extreme cooling performance;
• Upgradeability: the ability to upgrade the water-block when new CPU form factors will appear on the market, and thus to keep the core cooling system (the MCR Drive radiator-pump) in use for many years to come!
• Reliability: current all-in-one kits have little or no track record with regards to long term use; the H20-X20 Edge kits are backed by Swiftech’s 10 years of experience in the field of liquid cooling;
• Easy Maintenance: what happens when a low cost all-in-one kit fails? there is no possible DIY maintenance because these kits are factory sealed. If disaster strikes, all the parts in the H20-X20 Edge kits can be hot-swapped by the user easily, thus guaranteeing little or no interruption in the use of their system.
• Support: with 10 years of experience designing, manufacturing and setting up liquid cooling systems, Swiftech includes not only multiple hardware sets to accommodate various installation strategies, but also provides the most comprehensive installation guide in the industry, including fully detailed pre-built 3D models, so you can resolve any problem you may encounter when you personalize your system.
The patent pending MCR-Drive Rev. 2 radiator has been designed to allow reliable operations in both horizontal and vertical orientations thanks to its new reservoir design. Coupled with the unit, is also the new PWM controlled MCP-35X pump. This pump can be adjusted in speed via the motherboard BIOS from 1300 rpm to run silent, or all the way to 4500 rpm maximum for extreme performance, as well as anywhere in between.
Just like a CPU fan, the pump can also be set on Auto, and be fully managed by the motherboard. Thanks to its unprecented head pressure, the MCP35X pump is ideal to run several devices in the loop such as additional water-blocks for VGA cooling applications, and/or extra radiators.
The second element of these kits, the Apogee XTL, is a budget friendly variant of the Award Winning Apogee XT. It features the same 250 µm micro-pin matrix technology, mounting system, and has identical (world’s best) performance, together with the same flow characteristics. It only differs from the XT by the top housing which is made of black Delrin instead of chrome plated brass, and the absence of reversible inlet/outlet plate which allows use of extra large compression fittings in the XT.
Everything in the kits has been done to facilitate setup, and to create a professional installation:
• The compact design in itself saves space and time of installation;
In addition to the comprehensive installation guide, a CD is included with no less than twenty-four 3D models showing fully detailed configurations that can be viewed with a free 3D viewer. Here are a few snapshots of some of the configurations presented in the CD (click on picture to enlarge):
Reflecting their true extreme-performance heritage, the kits are delivered with 1/2″ ID (3/4″ OD) tubing and fittings, but they can also optionally be used with 3/8″ ID tubing and fittings (not included).
• All Intel® Core™ Desktop processor family (Core™2, Quad, Duo, Extreme, i5, i7) in socket 775, 1156 and 1366 form factor.
Case compatibility for internal installation
We scouted the web and various forums to identify cases that are compatible for preferably “bolt-on” internal installation, or with very minor modifications; we also contacted various case manufacturers and enquired which of their models would be compatible. Here is a compilation of what we found at the time of this publication; please note that the (*) next to the listed models indicates that they were either validated by us, or listed as compatible by their respective manufacturers. We do not guarantee the accuracy of the provided information for models that we have not validated in house.
Prior to releasing these kits, we published comprehensive test data in two related articles entitled “Actual Influence of Flow Rate on system Temperatures” and “Dual Loop versus Single, the Facts“. These articles contain comprehensive information with respect to the thermal performance that can be expected from both kits in various configurations, including cooling of graphics card(s) in the loop. While the fans used in these tests (52 CFM Gentle Typhoons) were different than those shipped with the kits, users can expect that the performance levels will be equivalent to that of the included fans running at mid-speed (using the 12 to 7v adapters included in the kits), corresponding to mid to low audible noise levels.
Here is a summarized table of results; these tests were performed with Ci7 920 overclocked to 4.1Ghz and running at 1.39v; please also refer to the articles linked above for full configuration details, results and explanations.
ΔT CPU Air °C: the difference in Degrees Celsius, between the temperature of the CPU and that of the ambient air. This presentation of the data identifies the CPU temperature independently of ambient air temperature which varies greatly depending on local conditions, thus reflecting the true performance of the cooling system.
• Apogee XTL water-block: see complete specifications HERE
The PWM response curve exhibits the following characteristics:
• From 0 to 12%, the pump will run at ~1300 rpm (+/- 100)
• Fan specifications
Bearing type: sleeve bearing (for low noise)
Overall I was very impressed with the temps only about 1.3-1.6 degree over ambient. The water cooling ability of the Swiftech system is more than just a little impressive. And it looks pretty awesome! I have been through a lot of coolers over the years but there is just something about huge pipes and a triple rad that scream power more so than an sized tower cooler. Also Switech is a very precise builder and all of the part are a snug beautiful fit and nothing feels cheap by any means.
Would I recommend this product? Well for your moms DELL? No, but if you are at all into serious overclocking or system building and you do not have custom water, its about time to take the plunge….pardon the pun. The Swiftech H20-320 Edge Water Cooling Kit is gorgeous and anyone would be happy sporting one of these on their performance rigs.
- Not as Loud as you Would Expect
- Instant Bragging Rights
- Set up can Be Daunting for Some
- Leaks Scare