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My Noob Experience with a Swiftech 220 Compact

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Simple kit...seems to have all the brick and brack needed to install it. Really only two negative comments would be the use of black neoprene hose with the Swiftech spiral wrap, where a noob can't see air bubbles. And that the pump had 3/8" nozzles molded on, so large hose can't be used.

I assembled it for a test on the kitchen counter. Screwed the nipples into the radiator. Screwed the fans on the radiator in push mode. The bottom with a grill, the top one with the radbox. Correct screws provided in a bag marked 'radiator screws'. Instructions had a warning to only use those screws. Connected the hoses; pulling back the spirals for an inch, sliding on the clamp, pushing it on, fastening the clamps. Only 4 connections.

Start to finish in less than 30 minutes.

Filled the radiator with distilled water, lifting it t hear the water drain into the pump. Connected everything into an old PSU, jumped the green wire with a black, and plugged it in.

A pump noise...no water...stopped it. Lifted the rad. Started it again...a quick gurgle. then a hum. Never saw a bubble in the reservoir fill (at the top of the radiator). Can't see any water movement. Just the slight hum of the pump and occasional gurgle.

Since it is running for 20 minutes now, i assume it is flowing water. Going to let it run overnight, rad and pump in their own pots to catch a leak (the backing plate, a nice touch, is protecting the copper surface.

If all is well, I will install it tomorrow. I need to change motherboards, providing an excellent opportunity. It looks like the radbox will take maybe 5-10 minutes. the rest, if anything, will be simpler than installing an air-cooled HSF.

Tomorrow...the install in the chassis.

Questions, does the copper on the water block need to be lapped? And should the seams on the pump be covered with a silicon sealant to protect against leaks?
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post #2 of 5
Usually the factory finish on the blocks is pretty good...You have o-rings in your pump so it really shouldn't leak, but they have been known to, I probably would put a little silicone on the seams to, it cant hurt.....In this thread he tore down his so you can see whats in it, he has some pretty good observations on it, I'd scroll down and read it all..Swiftech H20 120: Tiny wonder or silent killer?...

You can always add a larger rad to it later on if you want to, any rad, just add a t-line or a res to the loop...Hope it works well for you...
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
He seems to say it is ok. Read about a couple of people having leaks...need to check if they where Intel or AMD.

This is not the end...just the beginning. Not sure if a new radiator, or mounting an XSPC restop on the pump and a nozzled Fuzion should be the next step. That would allow a more restrictive radiator. The flow of the Apogee drive is pretty much on the low end...close to 1 gal/min according to Martin's spreadsheets.

Ira, are you saying that changing the radiator to a HW BIX360 or Thermochill PA120.3 would be a better first upgrade rather than going from an Apogee Drive pump/block to a nozzled D-Tek Fuzion and XSPC ResTop (reusing the Apogee Drive pump)? From the published data, the Thermochill would offer 2/3 more cooling capacity at the same flow (flow would actually increase a couple of percent according to Martin's spreadsheet) vs. changing the pump and water block (which would produce a 75% increase in flow rate)?

Thanks,

David

P.S.
Maybe I should lap the IHS first?
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post #4 of 5
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I'll have some pictures and temps under load later in the week. However, this is an update.

I had a foaming problem with the stock hoses. They are black neoprene and I never saw the amount of air in the system.

At the hardware store, I bought 10ft of 3/8" ID, 9/16" OD PVC tubing for $.69/ft and 4 stainless hose clamps for $.99 each. Using the clear hoses I immediately saw the water and simply totated the pump and system until they left the hoses. Maybe 5-10 minutes.

Now there there was less foam, but the hoses seemed to have a milky color after the system started. An hour or so later they were crystal clear.

$11 well spend on hoses and clamps!

I also bought some 2" and 3" 6-32 screws, some 6 washers, 2 one foot lengths of 1/8" ID aluminum tubing and some 1/8"ID PVC tubing. Using the tubing I did two things: Moved the radiator further from the case and created a shroud for the fans. Here is how.

I cut the aluminum tubing into 4 75mm lengths and 4 25mm lengths using the cutoff wheel on a Dremel. I ran the 3" screws thought the case fan, running a nut and washer down the outside to hold it firmly. Then slid the 75mm lengths of aluminum tubing over the screws, a washer, the backplate of the Radbox, another washer and nut.

Deciding the mount the fans in pull instead of push, I used the 25mm lengths of aluminum tubing between the Radbox an the radiator. Assembled on the backplate, the radiator is 4" from the case. The top is 2" from the backplate of the Radbox.

On the other side I cut the PVC tubing into 20mm lengths with a scissor. Using the 2" screws through the grills and 25mm fans, I then slid the 20mm lengths of tubing over the screws and fastened the fans to the radiator with the screws. Once both radiators were installed, I sealed the gap around them with black tape. I could have used duct tape, but used grip tape (gaffer tape?) instead because it looked better.

The backing plate sticks easily to the back of the motherboard and the whole thing easily screws together. The hoses fit the card slot cover provided, however I just used the water tube holes provided in the Cooler Master case. I used the grommet and card slot cover to run the tubing it.

Couldn't be simpler. No drilling. Could have just used the stock kit, although the clear tubing makes it MUCH easier.

Some 38mm fans I ordered arrived Friday and I will install them next week. For under $160 and no real fabrication, water cooling!

If I choose to upgrade the water block and pump, I can reuse the pump in the Apogee drive with an aftermarket top, saving the cost of a new pump. Similarly, a new radiator could use the existing line, although a T-line or reservoir would be needed.

And it looks good.

After running temperature tests under load, a final judgement can be made. So far, high marks!

I cut
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post #5 of 5
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Initial testing was showing temps 6-8C cooler than 2 fans on a Xigamatek HDT-1283. Then I had a problem...and couldn't get Vista to finish loading.

After 90 minutes of frustration I swapped CPUs...but no longer have comparable temps.

Then I got carried away and changed fans to the Panaflo 38mm M1s (2100rpm, 35dba). Now there are idle temps mostly in the 20s, one CPU (#2) in the low 30s. OCCT load hits high 40s after 20-30 minutes or so. On a Q6700 at 3.5Ghz, 1.34v after vdroop.

The shroud is just over an inch. It seems to really muffle the Panaflo's sound. I wonder what an H1 (2500rpm, 41dba)or U1 (2900rpm, 45dba) would should like. I wonder what a bigger radiator would be like. Maybe a triple...or a quad. A GTX 480 with 4 Panaflo U1s!
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