Swiftech H220 AIO Water Cooling Kit Review

Posted: January 27, 2013 in Kits, Radiators
Tags: , , , , ,

Welcome to my first kit “living” review, the new Swiftech H220 kit planned for release in late February. This is a rather unique product to water cooling as it is squarely aimed at combining the benefits of prefilled plug and play sealed kits and the expandable custom or DIY water cooling kits. While Swiftech has been in the DIY or custom kit business for some time via several innovative integrated options such as the H2O-X20 Edge, Elite, and separate component Ultima HD series, these kits are premium priced and require users to assemble and fill them prior to use which can be intimidating for new users. With the watercooling market filling with new users every day, many have been opting for the sealed systems such as the Corsair H100 or Thermaltake Water series due to their low price point and easy filled at the factory plug and play use. Unfortunately those systems are sealed not intended for expansion beyond the basic CPU cooler.

That’s where the Swiftech H220 comes in and as far as I know, the only system under $150 that comes already filled and plug and play in addition to being something intended for expansion.

This review will be the “Living” format in that I plan to release data and adjust my review and testing based on feedback I get through the comments. Please comment if you have any wishes of the review and test format.


The all new Swiftech produced pump motor integrated to the Apogee Drive 2 copper base

A special thanks to Gabe from Swiftech for providing the review sample:

Press Release


Swiftech® to unveil new H220 all-in-one CPU cooler during CES 2013

Long Beach, CA January 3rd, 2013 13:53 PST – Rouchon Industries Inc., dba Swiftech® is proud to announce the imminent release of the H220 CPU cooling kit, a new all-in-one liquid cooling system compatible with all current Intel® and AMD® desktop processors that will ship to consumers already pre-filled for plug-and-play operations. Setting itself apart from similar offerings, the product will also feature full expansion capabilities to include additional cooling devices for graphics and or chipset. The H220 will be unveiled during the Consumer Electronics Show held from January 8th to 11th in Las Vegas, NV and Swiftech® will demonstrate several systems featuring the new cooler capabilities at the Mandalay Bay Hotel Penthouse suites.

In a related announcement, the company disclosed that they had successfully developed and begun high-volume manufacturing of a new generation of Swiftech-made mini-pumps, specifically designed for the liquid cooling market. The pump combines a compact design, high-reliability (60,000 hours MTBF) and the high head-pressure performance characteristics necessary to drive multiple devices in the same cooling loop. Being PWM controlled, the device can be driven by any motherboard like a regular CPU fan. Thanks to this new pump and to substantial economies of scale, the company claims that their new H220 CPU cooler will offer thermal performance with a low to inaudible acoustic signature rivaling that of the best custom kits, all at the price of an entry-level product. In the words of Gabe Rouchon, the company’s Chairman and CTA, “This thing is ridiculously quiet; if the chassis light wasn’t on, I couldn’t even tell the system was running”.

Mr Rouchon also stated: “User convenience and the vast movement of novice builders towards liquid cooling was a critical consideration in the H220 design. It dictated that the kit would be pre-filled and completely plug-and-play. As a result, tuning and operations are as simple as using a regular CPU cooler. But with a 15 year heritage serving the enthusiast community, we also wanted to eliminate some of the limitations of the existing low-cost systems which are unable to accommodate add-on components because (a) they are sealed-up and offer no means to refill the system without voiding the warranty, and (b) the type of pump they use is not adequate to drive sufficient flow to cool more than a CPU. The Swiftech® H220 kit addresses both issues by featuring a reservoir with fill-port built into the radiator so that the system can be easily emptied or refilled by the user at will, and by our new high-pressure pump. It all seems that 15 years of innovation and know-how, together with some of the most extensive R&D we ever conducted have led us to this moment, and we are truly proud to present a solution that finally bridges the gap between full custom and sealed-up liquid cooling kits”.

The H220 CPU liquid cooling kit is maintenance free for the duration of its 3 year warranty period, and will be offered at a Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price of $139.95
For further information, review samples, or visiting our suite at the Mandalay Bay from January 8th to 11th , please contact:

Source: Rouchon Industries, Inc., dba Swiftech®


Manufacturer Prerelease Specifications:


Technical Specifications
Material Brass Tubes, Copper Fins
Body Dimensions 269mm x 127mm x 29mm
Fill-Port thread G1/4
Dimensions 120mm x 120mm x 25mm
Speed PWM adjustable 800 ~ 1800 RPM
Airflow 24 ~ 55 CFM
Static Pressure 0.53 ~ 2.29 mmH20
Noise Level <;;;;;;16 ~ <;;;;;;33 dB/A
Connector 4-Pin
Speed PWM adjustable 1200 ~ 3000 RPM
Voltage 12v
Power 6W
Connector 4-Pin
MTBF 60,000 Hours
Material PVC
Dimensions 5/8” x 3/8” (16/10 mm)
Radiator Dimensions

H220 dimensions

What stands out to me as the critical spec above is the 60,000 hour MTBF of the pump, this means the pump (The one wearing part) is designed to operate 24/7 for 6.8 years. If you have been around in the forums, many of the lower cost kits do see problems from time to time and it’s usually the pump that becomes the problem. 60K is even higher than most of the premium DIY/Custom pumps out there (Typically 50K), so my hat is off to Swiftech for being able to specify a pump MTBF rating that high and that’s important to keep in mind when buying the economical kits. If a pump out there doesn’t come with a MTBF rating, you just don’t know what to expect. It could last a few years or it could last only a few months before failing. While I have generally had good luck with pumps lasting, most of the pumps I have used long-term were rated at 50,000 MTBF hours. Only time will tell for sure, but I really like the specification.

The other parts in the kit I know fairly well from the DIY/Custom side of things. The radiator core is an MCR220 QP and the fans are the Helix PWM. Also the copper base in integrated pump/block comes from the Apogee Drive II design.

All in all, a very nice specification package and clever idea to make the kit already filled and plug and play.

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  1. Dalmeme says:

    hi martin, i have an h220 expanded with:

    ek cylindrical 200mm res
    rx360rad mounted on top of a swith 810
    and 2x 6970 waterblocks
    4x 45 degree and 1 90 degree angled fits on gpu block and pump to res

    i have bleeded the loop outside the case for an hour, and for me its so tiring
    im a former raystorm user (rx360 + rx240 + raystorm block and 5870 gpu blocks *2pcs)

    i wonder if this h220 is capable of handling JUST fine my loop whereareas in CES, they showed alot of res where they only used swiftech rads (i dunno about their flow restrictions)

    the meaning of fine will be ( it can handle simple OC operations such as my OC’ed 2600k to 4.5 ghz and 2x 6970 on stock) on 5-7hrs usage on a daily basis)

    and also im worried about the flow rate, restrictions + volume of the water made the flow less than that of 0.6gpm the highest that ive seen from the gpu is 48 degrees C where my ambient is 27 degrees C. Is the pump really sufficient at all

    im kinda worried, by the way thanks 🙂

    • Martinm210 says:

      in the end as long as your temps are good and there is no air noise, I’d say yes. Extra flow generally has little effect. If you bought a second pump and added it to the loop, I would expect maybe a 2 degree improvement.

      The bigger issue is the inconvenience of getting the air out. A high flow system can be bled out without much effort at all.

  2. Dalmeme says:

    also to add in additional info about the loob, 240 mcp rad was placed in front of the switch ( due to space restricions on the tubing valves when mounted below)

    and the gpu blocks are xspc razor 6970

    5-7 hrs will be a combination of gaming + small amounts of video editing + render

    cpu peak was at 62 degrees on 1 core with ambient of 27-29 degrees in Philippines

  3. Dalmeme says:

    oh you mean that i can use an ek dcp 4.0 pump alongside with the stock h220 pump?

    the flow rate will be different between the two (difference is quite big though)

    will the h220 be restricting the additional flow given by the new pump? i mean bottlenecking it when the water pass through the cpu (flow will slow down eventually?)

    my loop will be like this


    thanks, now i know im still quite noobish though :))

    • Martinm210 says:

      Yes, you can run two different pumps together no problem. They don’t produce different flow rates, rather they add pressure differential. I have run different pumps together in series many times and under a normal loop it does not matter that they are different. Typically you will see around a 30% or so increase in flow rate is all.

  4. Gil says:

    Hi Martin,
    I’d like your recommendation / suggestion where and how to begin with what I’d like to do.
    So here is a short background:
    I have H100i but my 3770K gets to 99deg with load. It wasn’t like this, it started to be like this from some odd reason. The H100i is a 7th RMA because the pump used to fail all the time and now the LED’s are burnt out.

    What I wish to do:
    1. Replace the cheap Intel’s thermal paste with Liquid Pro
    2. Replace to Swiftech H220

    What I would like to know and can’t tell where to begin:
    1. What is bleed?
    2. How can I expend the H220 to cool a GPU or GPU’s?
    3. If I’d like to add extra 120x120mm rad for better cooling performance, how do I go about it?
    4. How can I tell which liquid I should use for refill?
    5. If I use the supplied PWM connector of Swiftech, how can I controll the speed of fan or pump with my motherbaord desktop utility? This tool monitors the motherboard PWM’s not Swiftech’s.
    6. If I want to use pipes with colour for effects, how do I do it?

    In all, I read your review but the terms and units are not something I know. Could you please help / guide me through this process?

    Thank you!!

    • Martinm210 says:

      I would check the mounting. Switching to H220 isn’t going to make more than a couple of degrees difference if both are mounted correctly and both have good fan air flow with cool ambient air running through the radiator. Also make sure the fans are running full speed and you are getting cool air into the raditor. You don’t want a hot PSU or graphics card exhausting hot air into the radiator etc.

      Liquid pro or a better compound might also help a couple of degrees but 99 sound like a bad mount or fans not running right or something else.

      Bleed just means getting the air out of the system. Expanding isn’t something I can describe quickly and not something I tried on the h220 either but it takes a lot of work on these kits because the flow rate is very low.

      • gil80 says:

        Hi Martin,

        The mounting is ok since when I first installed it, the CPU never went above 75 deg on load.
        I use 2 noctua NF-14F fans on the H100i Rad. I only want to replace it since I didn’t get my money’s worth for the 7th time (LEDs died, pump died in the past, buzzing sound in the past).
        I use Asus AI Suite 2 with fan control so when the CPU is on load the fans spins up. My case’s fans are mounted to create positive air pressure in the case. The rad fans are in pull config.

        As for expending, do you have a guide or a link you can direct me to?


  5. Hello Martin, has been a while, hope you are doing well and everything is going fine 🙂

    Just read about a new AIO from Cooler Master partnered up with Swiftech on a unit called the Glacer 240L here:

    Was wondering what your thoughts about it are and if you may be doing a review sometime later on it.


    • Martinm210 says:

      Yeah, been busy with my new job is all. Lots of projects at the moment so working late evenings and weekends is pretty common and will continue for the next few months. It’s all good though, finally have a job I enjoy so the overtime feels more like a hobby than work and one I actually get paid for…:)

      No near term plans with the site or testing, but maybe later this winter or spring when things slow down a bit.

      • Great to hear you have found a good job that you enjoy, that makes life worth living, your a luck guy 🙂

        No big deal on that AIO, just wondering if you had heard of it and how closely it matches the H220, found no info at all on Swiftech and very little on CM, too new I guess for anyone to have taken it apart yet. If I read any good stuff on it I’ll drop a note here.

        Take care

        • it’s basically the same as the H220 except the pump max out at 3500rpm instead of 3000rpm like the H220 and it comes with 2400rpm blademaster fans. swiftech teamed up with CM so they cool sell it in the US again.

  6. Welsh Jester says:

    I have the original 320 Drive with pump built into the rad, needless to say it is fairly noisy. I have 3 Scythe GT 1150rpm fans on it, with a Swiftech XT waterblock, which by the way was very easy to install, i don’t think it’s that great at cooling though i could be wrong (have it on an original i7 920)

    It appears the pump is noisy because it’s stuck to the rad, but after watching and listening to some youtube video’s it seems the pump in this h220 kit is also somewhat noisy, not a constant noise and sounds a bit like an engine revving.. Is this typical because again the pump is not separate but built into the block this time?

    Noises irritate me, it makes me want to just get a NHD14 or something like that for my next build because i know there will only be a quiet fan on it with no possibility of annoying noises.

    • Martinm210 says:

      No personal experience with the h2o series where the pump is radiator integrated, but I know they use the higher speed 35x motors in those. Very tue that any time you hard mount a pump the noise levels go up since vibration transfer created noise is possible. Decoupling the pump from the case will always be your best bet if you are after ultimate silence. With that said both options offer PWM speed controllable pumps that allow auto speed regulation. Most users have found reducing speeds to the minimum settings to provide the silence they are after. A HSF may eliminate pump noise, but it does not provide enough heat exchange to run silent fan speeds. If ultimate silence is your goal, a larger radiator along with an independent and properly decoupled pump is going to provide the best silence. D5 series pumps like the MCP655PWM are also a bit better than DDC types for noise. The H220 depends a bit on the sample you get and your motherboard/case. The samples I had were pretty good on noise and not really audible at normal fan speeds and plenty quite when dialed down to the minimum via PWM. I personally can’t stand the HSF noise levels under the overclocks I like to run, just not enough heat exchange surface area and I don’t like running fans much higher than 1000 RPM.

      • Welsh Jester says:

        Hi Martin, thanks for the reply. The pump in my 320 Drive (rev 1) is not speed adjustable in any way. Plus i have read that modding it, or altering it’s voltages is not really recommended. So i am stuck with it at full speed, which seems to be around 3800rpm. It is a bit loud for my liking, especially over the 1150RPM GT’s. If i could run it half speed i’m guessing it’d be almost inaudible. Of course, it’s also mounted on the back of my case.. so it is going to be a bit noisier since it’s not inside. It does sound like the RPM’s fluctuate a bit on the pump, as in it doesn’t sound like a constant noise for some reason.

        It is a bit annoying that it seems not all pumps are made equally then, since noise seems to differ between multiple ones of the same model. But i have not heard for myself what they sound like at lower RPM to see if they are acceptable in a realistic environment, would it be possible with any one of those pumps to get the sound level below a 1000rpm fan’s noise, with RPM adjustments? Or even lower? I listened to your video testing the H220’s pump, only 2 decibels over ambient? Very quiet, though it doesn’t sound like a smooth noise (a bit like low ticking?) but i would assume this would be difficult to hear outside of the case? Or even be inaudible?

        I asked Bryan at Swiftech myself and he also said that the Apogee Drive II pump/block combo would likely be quieter over the rads with built in pumps. What do you think noise quality is like on the H220/Apogee Drive II pump vs a decoupled pump, or vs a D5 at setting 1-2?

        I know it would be simple to say to just build a custom loop. But i really much prefer a 2 part loop over a 3 part with a reservoir, less clutter in the case and looks much cleaner, and easier to put together. Only issue is this limits me to Swiftech stuff, since they are the only ones who make rads with built in reservoir’s, and pumps built into the water block. It would mean i’d have to ditch all my current cooler, since the apogee XT water block would be useless.

        So options would be, pay less for a H320 (though i don’t know how good sound quality would be) or build a loop around a Apogee Drive II block/pump combo, both present issues with upgradability though as the water block can’t be changed, and i’d have to stick with Swiftech rads for the built in reservoirs. It seems like i’m looking for something that’s not possible to have.

        Just a couple more questions though, how do you think a H320 would compare to a full custom loop with good low speed fans on each? Would there literally be little point in going custom over it?

        And adding a graphics card to a loop, would the pump also be able to run at the lowest speed and only have minimal impact on temps, say 1-2c like a cpu only loop?.

        Sorry for such a long post here, hopefully you can answer my questions. Thanks.

        • Martinm210 says:

          If I understand the drive system you have, it is probably a normal DDC 3.25 or non PWM DDC pump. These can be speed controlled by lowering voltage. A Koolance CTR SPD-10 is perfect for that. As a test you could try a normal good fan controller that is capable of handling 30W to see if you like the noise level. You just have to be careful about a normal fan controller because you can go too low a voltage for it to start. They typically need around 8V minimum and you want no more than 12v max.

          The Koolance pump controllers are designed to do just that and also use a transformer instead of resistance so you can maintain a full 12v. Try that first, I bet you can get noise down to a level you would like with what you have via voltage reduction.

          • Welsh Jester says:

            I only managed to find the SPD-10 in a netherland store, there is a Koolance pump controller in a UK store but it’s not that model. Though they’re almost the same price.

            Regarding your H220 review, did that pump vibration noise go away when mounted inside your case? It seemed just about inaudible when you had your hand on it.

            You should try and get review samples of the Drive kits, and the Elite kit from Swiftech, i’d like to see your comparisons of noise. I wonder if it’s possible for them to get pump noise down to as good as being decoupled on those kits? I wonder which one would offer the best upgrade path, with the pump being stuck in the rad it would mean the waterblock would be upgradeable.. but it has that issue with noise, maybe you can get them to make a new revision that would get pump noise as low as being decoupled? Worth a thought.. You could even suggest how they do it. Surely it wouldn’t be that hard?

            Needs to be attached to the radiator, but somehow isolated and padded to stop noise? Is that possible? or will the best results always be from the pump on the water block?

          • Martinm210 says:

            I don’t think you can even match fully decoupled unless you change the pump. Coupled noise inherited by the impeller lack of balance and quality and unfortunately there is quite a variance in impeller balance with DDC and D5 pumps which are manufactured by a different company. The H220 is their first pump they manufactured in-house and it is balanced via small holes filled with material, but even with that it has some vibration noise. PWM is really the cheapest way to control noise; that or go with separated components. I was hoping they would sell the h220 pumps as a separate component by now. If you made a nice 35x style top for it, dialed speeds up a bit, and could sell it for $50, they would be a VERY interesting DIY part that you could fully decouple.

          • Welsh Jester says:

            Martin, get on to Swiftech and have them make a new Drive revision with a different pump, and have it noise dampened from the radiator. 😀

            I’m honestly not sure which one presents the best upgrade path, pump in rad or pump in block? Hmm.. I’ve been checking my 320 Drive, and it is only mountable standing up straight.. so even if the pump controller brings noise down a lot, it will limit me to having it mounted outside the case still.

            Vibration or other noises would annoy me most, and that comes with either product :/.

            Do you think you’d be able to hear a Drive pump (in a rad) or the pump on the block at low rpm’s, over 1150rpm GT’s? Would either pumps at low speed still produce vibration or amplified noises or whine? One option could be to buy the new Drive revision 3 with rpm control and just swap that out so i can keep my XT waterblock, only problem is i can’t find that anywhere in europe. Stores only have the H220/320.. I wish i knew the difference in noise levels between the pumps of the Drive and H220/320 though.

            There must be a way to combine stuff while making it easily upgradeable & very quiet, only the Drive’s really have that option since there wouldn’t be a need for me to change the rad or pump.. but has more noise. ugh.

          • Martinm210 says:

            lol, Not sure..what you end with really depends too much on the individual sample variance. I have generally been pretty happy with most DDC or D5 pumps when dialed down but I have also seen my share of complaints from folks with unusually unbalanced impellers. I also had two D5 strong pumps that varied so much that one vibrated bad when installed in a pump top while the other worked fine.

  7. Welsh Jester says:

    Martin, i looked up the spd10 pump controller, someone on the Xtreme Systems forum says that he also had the MCP350 pump in his 320 Drive and it was loud and the spd10 made it silent. But looking on youtube there’s a user complaining of noise with the MCP35x in his 320 Edge with PWM set to 50% or so.. and it does sound fairly loud. But that basically means these 2 are contradicting eachother. At 8v with the spd10 the MCP350 is almost the same RPM as the 35x @ 50% speed.

    I was about to buy the pump controller, now i’m not so sure with conflicting reports.. don’t want to waste money if its not really going to make a big difference.

    Only option i can think of is swapping out the mcp350 in the radiator for the mcp35x and setting it to the lowest possible speed, but apparently the 35x is slightly different from the 350? So would only work in rev 2-3 of the Drive and not in my rev 1.

    Annoying trying to get a compact system with easy maintenance & low noise, would be so much easier to get an XSPC kit with a D5 shove it on setting one and done, except it goes from a simple compact loop to a full more complex loop which i didn’t really want to do.

    • Welsh Jester says:

      Martin, any opinion on the above? I’m not sure the pump controller putting the MCP350 to 8v would be enough to get noise below that of 3 Scythe GT’s running @ 1150rpm being hard mounted to the rad, i’ve heard an MCP35x @ 40% or so and it is still fairly audible, but i don’t know if an MCP350 being undervolted to 8v would be quieter than an MCP35x @ 40%.. since they’re different pumps.

      Other than that i could try getting an MCP35X (if it fits) or just scrap the whole idea. If the pump controller would actually silence it, i’ll order one, but i’m skeptical. if the MCP35x and 350 are similar, in your charts there’s only a couple of db difference between what would be max speed of the MCP350 and being undervolted to 8v.

      • Martinm210 says:

        Not sure, but some trial and error testing with any bigger fan controller should give you the idea. Fan placement and pump placement/decoupling has such a huge effect on muffling that it’s pretty hard to guess. All I can say is most people with a blue impeller mcp350 are pretty happy with noise. An 18w 355 can be a bit whiny Nd some complain about D5s at full speed. Generally most are pretty happy with a D5 setting 3 or and mcp350 (blue impeller). The only complaint I hear at that pumping speed is the older black impeller DDC1s which have a buzzy motor controller compared to the newer Blue or blue/orange DDC3s.

        Try undervolting and see is all I can suggest.

        • Welsh Jester says:

          Martin, thanks for all the helpful advice, i messaged Swiftech and they said an MCP35x would work in a Drive (rev1) radiator. It only costs a little more than the Koolance pump controller, so i may as well buy the MCP35x instead.

          Some guy shows noise levels here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WZ_G9_IAew on his Edge kit, from what i can hear it seems inaudible at 20% speeds, but audible with high pitch at higher speeds. Maybe i’ll just order that then, i guess that’s pretty much as silent as it’s going to get.. hopefully quieter than my fans. I’ll likely be ordering it soon.