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So I've been looking at getting the Swiftech H220 as my first water cooler, I figure that will allow me to expand if I catch the bug without needing to spend $300+ initially. I currently have a Haf XM, which isn't really optimal for water cooling. I'm looking at the Fractal Define XL R2, and the CM Storm Trooper/Stryker. The only reason there's any concern is that I want the radiator to pull in outside air, and I really dislike the idea of working against thermal dynamics and having intake on the top of the case, I just can't see having a single 140/120mm fan as the only exhaust.

I've seen Johnny Utah's HAF XM 360 Rad thread on these forums, and that's what leads me to believe I'd have issues mounting the H220 without some case modding. The H220 (without fans) is over the 45mm's clearance available to mount it on top with the fill hole facing up, and the case frame would prevent it from being mounted downward. Image below shows the tight fit of a standard 240mm radiator, now consider the extra length due to the reservoir...and it looks like a losing battle.



When flipped around the other direction, you can see the issues with the framing.



What I'd like to do with the Fractal is mount the H220 in the front of the case and just use some AP-15's or the Helix fans in place of the stock intake fan, my concern is the way the fans mount. You can see a gap between the fan and the mounting surface in the image below, I'm just not sure if a tight seal is required on a low FPI radiator like the H220. An there's also the question of clearence, as the H220 is a bit longer than a normal 240mm Radiator, due to the reservoir.




The Storm trooper looks to be free of any issue like this, as I could simply mount the radiator on the bottom, and remove the drive trays from the lower cage. I just don't like the styling as much, so if I can make the Fractal work, that would be optimal.