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Product Application:

Water Cooling Kit

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Crucial System Scanner


     For a long time, water cooling has been the fine line that separates PC “enthusiasts” from the PC “nutjobs”.  I mean, who would pay that kind of premium, not to mention risk damaging your hardware, just to squeeze out another 50MHz or so?  Well, the days of extreme cooling being only for the insanely rich or the clinically insane are over.  Advances in processors and graphics cards may have made hardware exceedingly fast, however, little has been done to address the growing heat problem, or the difficulty standard air coolers are having keeping up.  The result is we are starting to see some interesting trends with performance cooling.   The first trend is the advent of ridiculously large air coolers, such as the CoolerMaster GeminII and the Thermalright Ultra 120.  The second is the proliferation of “hybrid” coolers.  These coolers often mix elements of traditional air cooling with water cooling and Peltiers into a self-contained package. The CoolIT FreeZone,  and the Ultra ChillTEC are prime examples of this.   Lastly, we are seeing water cooling kits being redesigned to be cheaper and more user-friendly, while still trying to maintain water cooling's performance prowess. 

     The Swiftech H20-120 Compact fits in this last category.  Swiftech is well known for their water cooling components, and it appears they still have a couple tricks up their sleeve to offer the performance cooling market.  With their marketing materials, Swiftech is not shy about how they position the Compact kit, they openly say "Watercooling has never been this easy!"

     We will look very close at just how "easy" this kit is to install, as well as how well it performs.  So let's get on with it!

Out of Box Experience:

     As I said before, Swiftech is not shy about the Compact splashing their mighty bold claims in big letters across the front.  Along the bottom is the socket compatibility information, which supports pretty much every major socket on the market today.  It also tells us that this kit has been preconfigured for socket 775.

The top of the package is actually a flap that lifts up, giving us a sneak preview of the radiator and the block. 

     On the flap itself is a nice informative guide that gives the newbies a primer on how water cooling works.   On the right side is a graph that tells us what mix of performance and noise we can expect with the different hardware configurations available.   We will go into more detail on this later.

     The front of the box offers us a quick run down on what is included, which we will do ourselves in a minute.   The sides of the box shows close-ups of the different hardware inside, while the back shows what kind of accessories you can buy to augment your purchase. 

Once we pull out the Styrofoam insert, we see everything is well packed. 

     Hereyou can see all of the contents laid out neatly.  From bottom left, going clockwise, we have the MCR120-Res Heat Exchanger, the RDM1225S Fan, a 12V to 7V converter, the various hardware and fasteners, the AMD bracket, a 2 oz. bottle of Hydrx coolant, the Apogee Drive 350 Self-Powered Waterblock, and a tube of Arctic Silver Ceramique thermal compound. 

     Here is our tubing, two 10" lengths of neoprene wrapped in anti-kinking Smartcoils.  Also included is a funnel.  Next, we will take a moment and go through each component, step-by-step, and examine the specifications, and show exactly what makes the H20-120 Compact unique.


     What really makes this kit interesting, is Swiftech has taken a typical four component loop (reservoir, radiator, pump and block), and reduced it down to just two components.  This has been accomplished by combining the pump and block into a single unit; the Apogee Drive 350 Self-Powered Waterblock.  The Apogee Drive is essentially a CPU waterblock with the MCP350 pump mounted straight to the top. 

Apogee Drive 350 Self-Powered Waterblock
Electronically commutated, brushless DC, spherical motor.
Nominal Voltage:
12 VDC
Nominal current:
MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures
50,000 Hours
Nominal Head:
10 ft.
Nominal Discharge:
300 LPH
Thermal Design:
Diamond Pin Matrix copper base plate.
Fittings Style:
Built-in 3/8” barbs fittings.
Processor Compatibility:
Factory configured for Intel® socket 775 compatible processors (all CPU models).
AMD® hardware included for sockets 754, 939, 940, F, and AM2 (requires assembly).
Weight: 10.1 oz

     The other half of the H20-120 Compact kit is the combined radiator and reservoir.  The barbs will typically face the bottom, so that the reservoir will face the top.  On the top of the reservoir is the fill-port.  The MCR120 Res Heat Exchanger is built with copper fins, brass tubes and body, and should work with any 120mm fan.  Full dimensions of the Heat Exchanger can be found on Swiftech's website.

MCR120-Res Heat Exchanger
Description/Primary features:
120mm Class Radiator including built-in reservoir containing sufficient coolant for up to 5 years without refills (properly sealed system).
Louvered copper fins, brass tubes & body.
Optimized for high performance at low fan speed for low noise operations.
Fittings style:
Built-in 3/8” barbs fittings.

     To push heat off of the Heat Exchanger, a good fan is needed.  Swiftech has included the RDM1225S 120mm fan.  At 36dBA, its probably a little on the loud side, however 81CFM should do the job nicely. 

RDM1225S Fan
Description/Primary features:
120mm class fan, with RPM sensor.
Low noise sleeve bearing.
2,000 RPM
Static Pressure:
2.7 mmH20
81.3 CFM
Audible Noise
36 dB/A @ 12 VDC, 26 dB/A @ 7 VDC

Other Specifications:

System Performance vs. Noise Data
Radiator/Fan configuration
Thermal Resistance °C/W
Fan Noise, dBA
Single die Processors
Dual die Processors
at 12V (81 CFM)
at 7v (~47 CFM)


  • Tubing
Description/Primary features:
Laboratory grade 3/8” Norprene® tubing wrapped with anti-kink Smartcoils™.
Description/Primary features:
2 oz bottle of Hydrx™ concentrated anti-fungal, anti-corrosion coolant, requires mixing with 1/2 liter of distilled water (water not provided).


High Cooling Power and Quiet Operations
  • High flow system: high power pump, reduced flow path, low pressure drop, 81 CFM fan (@12 volts).
  • Quiet pump, 12 to 7 volt fan adapter for low noise (26 dBA) operations.
  • Optimized radiator for high heat dissipation @ low noise.
Incredibly simple to install
  • Only two components (8 screws) to install
High Reliability and Low Maintenance
  • 50,000 hours MTBF pump.
  • Low porosity laboratory grade Norprene® tubing.
  • Sleeved tubing with anti-kinking Smartcoils.
  • Up to 5 years without refills.
  • Capable of handling the latest desktop processors from Intel® & AMD® .
  • Ample capacity for additional cooling of graphics cards and chipset.
  • Installs inside of most cases featuring a rear 120mm fan. Please check the radiator dimensions to ensure full compatibility with your particular case.
  • The Optional Universal Radiator Housing MCB-120 "Radbox" expands the kit compatibility for external radiator installation to almost any chassis and can also significantly improve CPU temperature.
Superior Value
  • The reduced number of components translates into superior value compared to anything currently available on the market: the bottom line is that you get more cooling power for less money!




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