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Swiftech H220-X CPU Liquid Cooler Review Edit

by WilliamGayde
Pros Cons
  • Expandable, High quality components, Quiet, Great performance, Included PWM splitter
  • Installation difficulty in some cases
Swiftech's H220X 240mm all-in-one liquid cooler is their response to the less than stellar H220. The H220 was plagued with legal issues and faulty pumps. The H220X looks to put those worries to rest.

We will start with an unboxing. The front of the box lists the key features that make the product stand out. The back lists more features as well as a temperature comparison.

The side lists some info about Swiftech as a company as well as package contents.

The bottom lists dimensions as well as some tech specs.

Now let's look in the box. We get the cooler itself with 2 included 120mm PWM fans, various mounting options, 3 extra color plates, a PWM splitter, thermal paste, and an instruction manual.

Here is a closeup of the 8 port PWM splitter. Power comes from a SATA power cable and the PWM signal comes from a standard 4-pin fan cable. The computer will report RPM statistics from the fan in port 1.

Next up are the 3 additional color plates. A blue one is already installed. To change colors first remove the 4 plastic pins from the block. Then replace the color plate with your desired one. Place the cover on and push the 4 pins and you are good to go.

Now let's take a look at the actual unit itself. Starting from the left we have Swiftech's flagship Apogee XL waterblock. Attached with high quality G1/4 fittings is 3/8"OD tubing. The tubing goes into the high quality MCP30 pump which is directly attached to the radiator and reservoir. The radiator is brass and copper compared to the standard aluminum of other AiO units. This increases heat transfer. Attached to the radiator are 2 of Swiftech's Helix 120mm PWM fans.

Now we will take a closer look at the waterblock. It is Swiftech's top of the line Apogee XL. I was surprised to see this on an all in one unit as it retails for nearly $70. There is no pump on it like most coolers feature. The only cable coming out of it is for powering the LEDs. The bottom is solid copper and is very shiny. Intel 115x mounting hardware comes pre-installed.

Here is the inside of the block. It looks very restrictive but it isn't. Lots of work was done to keep it as high performing as possible, but with the least restriction to the rest of the system. I would not recommend taking it off as I did. The unit is filled using a vacuum filling process which leaves no air. I made a mess despite taking many precautions.

Now we will move up to the pump/res combo. The pump is Swiftech's high end MCP30. There were many complaints about underpowered and faulty pumps with the H220. The MCP30 seems to solve them so far. As we are early in the release, we won't know about many problems for a few months. The pump is powerful enough for additional radiators or blocks. The pump is very quiet. It only becomes noticeable above 60%.

The unit is powered by a bunch of cables. The plug on the left plugs into the pump. Next the 2 pin connector powers the reservoir's internal white LED. Finally there is a 4 pin PWM connector and a SATA power cable.

Here is the radiator. Like I mentioned previously, it is copper and brass. Most traditional closed loop coolers feature aluminum fins. This brought down the price but also hurt performance. The radiator is standard thickness and features a fill/drain port.

Finally we have the fans. They are high pressure Helix PWM fans. Swiftech hasn't gone cheap on these either. They retail for $12 each. This is great compared to the $4 fans most radiators come with.

Here is the cooler installed in my test rig. The unit says it can be installed in any orientation except down. However, the tubing is a bit too short for anything other than top mounting. Depending on the clearance of your case, you might have to fight it to get it to fit due to the thick tubing and the arrangement of the fittings. The lighting effects are pretty cool. They are bright enough to be seen through a tinted case window, but they aren't overpowering.

I have mentioned lots of high end hardware. That was the focus of the H220-X. Bridging the gap between consumer closed loop coolers and high end enthusiast custom loops. All the parts are flagship class and available individually. If you were to buy all the components separately, it would cost you over $220. This is a testament to the quality and Swiftech's manufacturing processes that they were able to get it down to $140. This may seem expensive compared to $90 coolers on the market, but once you understand the quality of what you are getting, it is a great deal.

Now the moment you have all been waiting for. The performance numbers. The H220-X performs great. It isn't game changing, but it performs better than traditional coolers. It is somewhere in between a traditional closed loop cooler and a custom loop. For my testing I used the stock Intel cooler, a very high end dual tower air cooler, and a traditional air cooler. The results were just as expected. Better than previous generation liquid coolers, and similar to a dual tower air cooler. These tests were done at 100% fan speed on a 3570K, MSI Mpower Z77, and a GTX 660.

To finish up this review, I will summarize. Swiftech's H220-X is the first CPU cooler that made me say "Wow". It features enthusiast class components in an all in one form factor. It is bridging the gap between consumer and enthusiast cooling. Its expandability and build quality are revolutionary. This is a great first time water cooling kit. Just add a GPU block and a second radiator and for under $250 you have a full loop. I hope other manufacturers are watching because Swiftech hit this one out of the park.
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BrushyBill 08-28-2014, 05:10 PM

Thanks for the speedy answer! My curiosity is now sated. I just ordered the H220-X and a Corsair 730t chassis, which I think should fit it fine. My first Swiftech product!!! YeeHaw!!!

WilliamGayde 08-28-2014, 11:26 AM

It is in the Rosewill Blackhawk. I wouldn't recommend it as fitting a 240mm rad is extremely tight.

BrushyBill 08-28-2014, 07:56 AM

What case is that in?

WilliamGayde 08-12-2014, 09:45 PM

@Luciferxy I used Prime95. Using IBT @ 4GHz I got 53C is a warm room.

Luciferxy 08-12-2014, 08:12 AM

nice, what applications did you use to test the performance ?
can you try it with IBT @ 4GHz ?