Ease of Installation

Just like in the last review, Corsair's Asetek-based products (the H90 and H110) both install in the same fashion, and in fact if you even have a mounting kit from a previous Asetek-based cooler you'll be able to basically just reuse it (which made my life a lot easier).

As a refresher, the Asetek-based coolers use a single metal ring that's attached through the mounting holes on the motherboard to a backplate. From there, you essentially insert the waterblock through the notches and twist it so the notches line up, then screw down the ring, locking the waterblock into place. It's a pretty simple affair and I still ultimately prefer it to the CoolIT method of cooler mounting. It just feels more precise and more secure.

Swiftech, on the other hand, employs the CoolIT backplate for mounting the H220, but remember that the product is their own. In fact, when you open the box, the H220 is almost entirely assembled already, with the fans attached and the backplate lightly secured to the waterblock. Swiftech tried to make installation easier by including four small adhesive pads on the backplate: just peel off the protective tape and then stick the pads to the back of your motherboard (after lining up the screw holes) and you should be off and running. Please, do yourself a favor and take the pads off. Trying to do this without the benefit of adhesive is nightmarish, since the mounting screws are already attached to the waterblock.

Ultimately, these coolers are both pretty easy to install and I have to be honest, I vastly prefer installing a waterblock instead of a large air cooler. Waterblocks and radiators are just easier to install because only the radiator is heavier than a good air cooler, and the sharp fins are basically kept away from your hands. Swiftech smartly employs adhesive on their backplate which does help, but unfortunately also runs the risk of wearing out over time.

Introducing the Second Wave of Closed Loop Coolers Testing Methodology
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  • landerf - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Does the H110 come with a Y connector for the fans? Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Nnnnnnope. Reply
  • landerf - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    So for most the cost is actually +5 after a quick trip to ebay. Not that I mind. My last Corsair Y connector disintegrated. Reply
  • krutou - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    In a future review, I'd like to see entry level (similarly priced) custom loops included.

    Primarily, I'd like to see the XSPC Raystorm 750 RS240 (~$150) reviewed. XSPC is known for their excellent performance and I'd like to see it compared to an upgradable AIO like the Swiftech H220.
    Reply
  • aguilpa1 - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    I have been looking intently at the Kraken 60 because of it's performance, and ability to hold 4 fans in push/pull as well as what appears to be longer tubing than a standard closed loop. I have a full tower Lian Li the P80 I believe and it has an old school design of the power supply above the motherboard tray. I am not sure I could work those really short tube lengths that are the norm for these systems, assuming everyone has clear space right above the motherboard.

    I wish reviewers would test these units in a case and not just the glossy brochure model. I have seen them even worse set up on a test bench where installation is not even considered just raw performance numbers with no real world basis for installation and use.
    Reply
  • Kepe - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Dustin tested these inside a case? Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Saturday, February 02, 2013 - link

    Uh...I tested these inside a case, yes. All of this information is readily available on the conspicuously named page "Testing Methodology." Reply
  • yohanus - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Swiftech has been a great company. I have built multiple water cooling setups using their products and have been nothing but pleased when dealing with them on the internet or, more importantly, on the phone.

    I must admit that these closed loop systems look really nice compared to taking a Buick A/C condenser and heater core, a pump, some cpu coolers and building a single cooling system that runs two computers. The benefit of a closed loop system is that it just works while a homebrew system allows you the satisfaction of tinkering.
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Saturday, February 02, 2013 - link

    Yah the Swiftech system here looks like it might be the choice for someone looking to get into watercooling of more than just the CPU at a relatively low cost. (that being said - GPU waterblocks are expensive, heh).

    I'm wondering though if starting off with a better pump, fans, and radiator might be worth the extra cost, especially if you plan on cooling 3 GTX 680s or the like.
    Reply
  • ggathagan - Saturday, February 02, 2013 - link

    It comes down to whether or not it's more expensive to buy the H220 and modify the loop with additional water blocks and radiators, or to build from scratch.

    From what all I've read on this particular system, the pump is easily the match to Swiftech's premier pump, the MCP35X.
    That is the basis for their other waterblock/pump combo, the Apogee II.

    If you already know that you want to cool a triple GPU system, the H220's components aside from the waterblock/pump might be wasted if you have a full tower case that can accommodate larger radiators and fans.

    Further, starting from scratch gives you the flexibility to pick-and-choose each individual component.
    In that scenario, you might find that there are other brands that provide you with a better waterblock, fan or radiator than the ones offered by Swiftech.
    Reply

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