Swiftech H220 Liquid Cooling System Review (Part 2)

5/11/2013 11:17:48 AM

Compatibility and Installation

The Swiftech H220 is compatible with all modern AMD platforms and Intel as well as LGA775. A detailed user manual is included in the kit. You can download its electronic version in PDF from company’s official website.

The installation is quite simple. First of all, you fasten the radiator with fans inside your computer system. Next, put the waterblock into your CPU. You just need to prepare for the waterblock by mounting into its plates spring-loaded screws corresponding to your CPU socket type.

Installation noted in detailed user manual.

Installation noted in detailed user manual.

A metal plate is used for LGA 775/1155/1156/1366 platforms, so if you’ve got such mainboards, you’ll have to take it out of your computer system. With Intel’s LGA2011 and all AMD processors, the waterblock is kept safe by using the socket’s default mounting holes, but you also need to use additional brackets for AMD CPUs.

Then you apply some thermal grease (Swiftech recommends that you should apply it in a rather thick line along the center of the CPU’s heat-spreader) and mount the waterblock.

As for the radiator, it requires that your computer case has two seats for 120mm fans.

You can see a number of computer cases compatible with H220 mentioned on the company’s official website.

But after our recent rests of nine liquid cooling systems, we didn’t want to install Swiftech H220 on the back panel of the case (although the Antec Twelve Hundred case is completely compatible). We want to put the radiator beside it on a piece of ribbon.

Swiftech H220 is put beside the case, on a piece of ribbon.

Swiftech H220 is put beside the case, on a piece of ribbon.

Every cooler in this review, including air cooler, was tested in the same conditions.

As for connecting fans and pump, Swiftech equips H220 an 8-ray PWM Splitter.

H220’s 8-ray PWM Splitter

H220’s 8-ray PWM Splitter

The system’s fans and pump are connected.

Pump and fans installation

Pump and fans installation

Configuration and Testbed

We tested inside a system case with the removed side panel. The testbed was configured as follows:

·         Mainboard: Intel Sliler DX79SI (Intel X79 Express, LGA 2011, BlOS 0537)

·         CPU: Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition, 3.3 GHz, 1.2 V, 6x256 KB L2, 15 MB L3 (Sandy Bridge-E, C1, 32 nm)

·         Thermal interface: default thermal paste layer on the base of the cooler and ARCTIC MX-4 (for Phanteks PH-TC14PE)

·         System memory: DDR3 4x4GB Mushkin Redline (Spec: 2133 MHz / 9-11-10-28 / 1.65 V)

·         Graphics card: AMD Radeon HD 7770 1 GB GDDR5 128 bit, 1000/4500 MHz with Deep Cool V4000 passive copper heatsink

·         System drive: Crucial m4 256 GB SSD (SATA-III, CT256M4SSD2, BIOS v0009);

·         Drive for programs and games: Western Digital VelociRaptor (300GB, SATA-II, 10000 RPM, 16MB cache, NCQ) inside Scythe Quiet Drive 3.5 HDD silencer and cooler

·         Backup drive: Samsung Ecoqreen F4 HD204UI (SATA-II, 2 TB, 5400 RPM, 32 MB, NCQ)

·         System case: Antec Twelve Hundred (front panel: three Noiseblocker NB-Multiframe S-Series MF12-S2 fans at 1020 RPM; back panel: two Noiseblocker NB-BlackSilent PRO PL-1 fans at 1020 RPM; top panel: standard 200 mm fan at 400 RPM)

·         Control and mornitoring panel: Zalman ZM-MFC3

·         Power supply: Seasonic SS-1000XP Active PFC F3 1000 W (with a default 120 mm fan)

Preparing for the test and summary diagrams, we overclocked our six-core processor with the clock generator frequency set at 125 MHz, the multiplier at 35x and “Load-Line Calibration” enable to 4.375 GHz. The nominal processor Vcore was increased to 1.385 V in the mainboard BIOS. After that, we tested the new cooling system at 7 higher frequency and voltage settings. Turbo Boost was disabled during this test session, and Hyper-Threading technology was enabled to increase the heat dissipation. The memory voltage was at 1.65 V and its frequency was 2000 MHz with 9-11-10-28 timings. All other parameters available in the mainboard BIOS and related to CPU or memory overclocking remained unchanged.

All tests were performed under Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1 operating system. We used the following software during our test session:

·         LinX AVX Edition version 0.6.4 – to load the processor (memory – 4500 MB, Problem Size – 24234, two 11-minute cycles)

·         Real Temp GT version 3.70 – to monitor the processor core temperatures

·         Intel Extreme Tuning Utility version – for monitoring and visual control of all system parameters during overclocking

So, the complete screenshot during the test looks as follows:

The complete greenshot

The complete greenshot

CPU was opened with two consecutive LinX AVX with the settings indicated above. The stabilization period for the CPU temperature between the two test was 8-10 minutes. We took the maximum temperature of the hottest CPU core for the result charts. Moreover, we also provide a table with the temperature readings for all cores including its average values.

The ambient temperature was checked through the case by an electronic thermometer with the precision of 0.1 0C, allowing hourly monitoring temperature changes over the past 6 hours. The room temperature during the test varied between 23.0-23.5oC.

The noise level of the cooler is from 1:00 to 3:00 AM in a closed room about 20 m2 big, using CENTER-321 electronic noise meter. The noise level of each cooler was checked outside the system’s case when the main noise source in the lab is its cooler and fans. The noise meter was installed on a tripod and was always at a 150 mm distance from the cooler fan rotor. The tested cooling systems were placed at the edge of the desk on a sheet of polyurethane foam. The lowest noise reading that our noise meter device can register is 29.8 dBA and the subjectively comfortable noise level in these testing conditions was around 36 dBA (do not mistake it with the low noise level). Rotor’s speed was adjusted in the entire supported range using our in-house controller by changing the voltage with 0.5 increment.

Nearly similar to other previously reviewed liquid cooling systems, Swiftech H220 will beat the best air cooler out there – Phanteks PH-TC14PE. However, instead of its two default fans that are quite noise, we put Corsair AF140 fans above the Phanteks heatsink:

Corsair AF140 fans are put above the Phanteks heatsink

Corsair AF140 fans are put above the Phanteks heatsink

As the preliminary test, this modification barely affected the cooling efficiency of the cooler, but it helped to dramatically improve its acoustic performance. However, the noise graph below will also have the curve for the Phanteks PH-TC14PE with the default fans for your reference.

Besides the super cooler, Swiftech H220 will be also completely against the best closed-loop liquid cooling system we have tested so far – Corsair H100i Extreme Performance:

Corsair H100i Extreme Performance

Corsair H100i Extreme Performance

Finally, I want to add that the speed of all fans is controlled by a special in-house controller device with ±10 RPM precision.

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