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Product Application:

Water Cooling Kit
Product Provided by: Swiftech

Available at:

Swiftech

Estimated Online Price:

$199.99

Availability:

Now

Review by:

Joe

Edited by:

Darren

Review date:

1/15/2008

Crucial System Scanner
 

 

Testing and Performance:

     Now, the true measure of any cooling system is not how easy it is to install, or how pretty it looks, but how well it actually performs  So we have to put some heat on this beast.   To test the kit, I will be using the following setup:

CPU: Q6600
Motherboard: DFI Lan Party P35-T2R
GPU: OCZ 8800GTX, 648MHz-1674MHz-1050MHz
RAM: 4x1GB Crucial Ballistix, DDR2-1066, 2.2V
Case: Danger Den Water Box Plus
Sound: X-Fi XtremeMusic
Hard Drives: 1x500GB Seagate Barracuda
2x150GB Raptor X
PSU: Corsair 620HX

     Performance will be judged against my current favorite air cooler, the Cooler Master GeminII, with two Antec TriCool fans, as well as the stock cooler.  The test consists of 5 minutes of idle time on the Windows Vista desktop, and then 15 minutes of stress testing using Prime 95 version 25.4.  Prime95 loads all cores simultaneously, using the Large FFTs setting.  SpeedFan is used to log temperatures in 3 second increments, logging the temp for Core 0, my hottest core.  All fan speeds are set to 100%.  After we compare with the other coolers, we will see just how far we can push this Q6600 before it either overheats or reaches a wall. 

     First up, here is the stock Intel cooler, at 2.4GHz and 1.225V:

     It is actually painful for me to bench this beautiful processor with the stock cooler.  Here, Core 0 idles at 46C, and loads 72C.  Yuck.

     On the other hand, the H2O-220 idles at 28C, and loads at 38C.  Now that is delicious, considering ambient room temperature was around 23C throughout testing. 

     Next up, we ran it head to head with the GeminII:

     At this speed, the GeminII idles at 39C and loads at 65C.  I was able to squeeze out 3.6GHz at the same voltage, but it just got too dang hot to run that 24/7. 

     Now, the H2O-220 at the same speed and voltage.  Here, it idles at 33C, and loads at 50C.  That is an improvement of 15C.  Consider my socks blown off. 

     So rather than "settle" for 3.15, or even 3.6GHz, I decided to go for all the marbles.  Since I was already running an FSB of 450, just with tuned down multipliers, I figured I would just bump it back to 9x and shoot for 4050MHz.  Perhaps it was a little too ambitious, however I was determined.  Unfortunately, for the life of me, I could not stably reach that speed, even at 1.55V.  I thought I was going to have to settle for 3.9GHz at 1.4V, however I kept pushing anyway.  I finally reached a speed of 4005MHz, at 1.5V even!  At these speeds, I had to put some supplemental air cooling on the RAM, Northbridge and MOSFETs in order to keep things happy.

     For anyone out there running a DFI P35-T2R motherboard, I have saved my settings for you:

Enough of that, you say?  Results, is that what you want?  Well here they are:

     So, at 4GHz, the H2O-220 has nearly identical performance as the GeminII at 3.15.  At this point, we stand back, and applaud ourselves for a job well done, Swiftech has slayed the quad-core beast! 

Conclusion:

     It is without a doubt, Swiftech has taken a solid product and vastly improved it for higher powered quad core systems.  We have definitely broached ground that is untouchable by air.  And to make the deal even sweeter, the H2O-220 Compact is only marginally more expensive than the 120, running about $40 more.  If you are looking for an easy way to introduce yourself to the world of water cooling, this is hands down the best way to do it. 

     So, with that being said, what can Swiftech do to make it even better?  I would like to see some options for the MCR220 that would allow for horizontal installation, as well as the standard location for the barbs to make it easier to install in cases pre-fitted for these types of radiators (like my Danger Dens).  The only other thing I can even think to add is perhaps something to improve the aesthetics. 

Pros:

  • Even better performance than the H2O-120

  • Still good value

  • Easy to install

Cons:

  • Plain Aesthetics

  • A little harder to install than the H20-120 Compact

Note: Club Overclocker is now using a new rating system based on a score of 1 to 5.
Please go to our rating system page for more information.

Performance: 5 out of 5

Innovation:

5 out of 5

Quality:

5 out of 5

Stability:

5 out of 5
Aesthetics: 3 out of 5

Software/Drivers Pack:

N/A

Overclocking:

N/A
Value: 4.5 out of 5

 

Project Skill Level
(5 being most difficult)

3 out of 5

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