Posts Tagged ‘H220’

Welcome to my round 11 fan testing.  This is a fairly small round of fans from the kits I previously tested.  Rather than do my normal written form, I’m trying to do this more video based.

Before I do that, I would first like to thank my parts sponsors, without their support this test wouldn’t have happened:

Logo-FrozenCPU

Swiftech_logo_white_backgrounds

Kit Fans Intro

This video does some physical comparisons of the fans and gives you a good close up look of the fan, sleeving, build quality, etc compared with my previous best performing fan the Gentle Typhoon.

Fan Test Rig Description

This video is just a quick overview of the flow bench and meters used in the fan testing to follow.

Individual Fan Tests

The following videos are of the actual test run on each fan recorded with audio and stepping through 50FPM air flow results.  You can now easily adjust two or more fan videos to like air flow numbers and pause them both, then switch back and fort for a direct apples to apples air flow comparison.

Larkooler Kit Fan

Corsair H100i SP120 Kit Fan

Swiftech H220 Kit Fan

XSPC 750 Kit Fan

Servo Nidec Gentle Typhoon AP-15

Extracted Results

These were pulled from the video, by isolating a looped region where air flow was close to the 50FPM increment.  This provides the resulting detail read on the meters and a calculated RPM.  On the right are some subjective noise quality comments I added as I reviewed and extracted the results.

R11-FanTesting-Detail

Summary Radiator Noise Level vs Radiator Air Flow

This is the “Meat & Potatoes” result.  While I wish I could measure noise quality in a good quantitative way, that’s really not possible.  The next best thing is to compare noise levels when mounted to a radiator at like air flows through that radiator.  It takes into account the fans pressure capabilities and puts it in a more real world condition.  It’s not perfect, but the best thing I’ve been able to come up with to simplify radiator noise performance.  Fans that extend further right are capable of higher air flow maximum results at 12V.  Fans with lines lower on the Y axis are producing more air flow per noise level.

R11-FanTesting-Summaryl

No real surprise, but the kit fans all tested relatively the same (most within 3dbA or less differences which fall within the “barely perceptible” level).  The Helix fan did for some reason have a bit higher than expected harmonics on the radiator bench which didn’t seem to be as noticeable when actually testing in a case, but it is something I heard a little when trying push only.  In push+pull I noticed most of that helix harmonic disappeared.

I would consider the kit results to be relatively similar, they are like most fans and all perform roughly the same.  The Gentle Typhoon however does seem to retain that unique ability on a radiator and tested upwards to 8-9dBA lower in noise level at 12V than other fans producing the same flow.  The H100i fans and their 2700RPM capability did produce the highest maximum air flow, but it comes at the prices of having a fairly gritty noise quality.  Noise quality isn’t captured well in the graph and really only something you can listen for in the videos.

The other aspect I’m now noticing that is missing from this single fan test bench is harmonics between the two same fans.  In the thermal testing using the kits and earlier noise testing, I had significant RPM harmonics issues with the H100i fans, but a single fans test scenario completely misses that.  This is something I seriously want to consider in fan flow bench future upgrades.  I think it is important to capture the “paired fan” harmonics effects as it can be fairly significant.  The helix H220 fans did really well paired together in the kit testing, but you just can’t see that in a single fan test.

Also as noted some of the pressure harmonics issues can also be mitigated for by going push + pull.  The helix fans don’t show real well in this single push test, but I found when testing four fans in push/pull on a radiator the fans worked very well together.  They are not up to Gentle Typhoon silence or build quality standards, but in use I would say they fair better than what the above chart or single fan test result demonstrates.

I also think the Larkooler fan subjectively sounds quieter than the produced dBA.  I’m not sure how to describe it, but the sound type is more lower in frequency and seem to contain less motor noise and gritty noise that is more prevalent in the other fans.  It has a noise quality that reminds me of the noise blocker series which I’ve always liked.  Noise level doesn’t measure anything special, but I think this fan does have pretty good noise quality particularly at slower speeds.  This is another one where my own ear and the meters don’t really agree all that well..:)

This at least gives you one more perspective on the sound.  I would suggest listening to the fans at like air flow levels and make a decision not based on noise level, but what you perceive as being less irritating.  That is likely a combination of frequency, noise quality, and noise level.  Don’t put too much weight on the noise level, it is important, but it’s not the entire picture and each person and each setup will be slightly different.

So there is another round and the Gentle Typhoon retains it’s low noise/rad air flow ratio crown.  Nothing comes close…

When I stop to think about watercooling for a bit, I see two basic performance reasons why I like it .  One reason is the performance of it, I can overclock higher than with air.  The second and probably more critical to me is the performance per noise level.  Perhaps I’m getting more noise critical in my old age, but listening to a vacuum cleaner in the background is not at all acceptable or what water cooling is really about.

I can test performance and log RPMs, but that’s really not apples to apples either.  Some fans have stronger PQ curves at like RPM levels and there is also a large variety of noise quality differences.  How a fan interacts with neighboring fans can be both good and bad and box specs simply do a poor job at measuring noise levels in an actual case/radiator condition. IMHO, a review of performance without a measurement of noise is no different than testing one radiator with 1800RPM and the other with 2700RPM and calling it a review.  You can compare like RPM levels as a quick and dirty test, but that too is generally a poor measure since fan performance can vary by as much as 400RPM producing the same air flow.  To do a review and comparison correctly, you really need to measure and compare noise vs dT or noise vs Core temp or some sort of constant. That’s what I’m attempting to do with this first noise testing phase.  I am also retesting in a top case mount condition so all kits get a equal and fair condition.

I started this kit testing using the bottom mounting location on my Switch 810 however I encountered a problem when trying to install the H100i….the hoses are about 2″ too short.  I’ve done enough testing to know you can NOT change the condition, no matter how small between tests.  A simple thing like placing the case on carpet vs a hard surface is enough to throw results out by 2C, same goes for noise measurements.

So in an attempt to get a true apples to apples noise vs DeltaT, I first need to compare noise vs RPM and then in Delta T testing I can convert the logged RPM average to noise level.

Unfortunately, Corsair Link is not compatible with Windows 8, so my only means to control the unit at all was to use the PWM fans and control speed via speed fan. Corsair Link simply does not monitor or control anything H100i related if you are running windows 8 as of this testing which was a bit of a surprise to me.  I believe Win8 has been out since last October so a good 5 months later, still no Win8 support.  Oh well, it really didn’t bother me since the new kit fans do have 4pin PWM control. At least I could control fan speeds using the motherboard and speed fan, I just needed to use a PWM splitter.

Corsair H100i VIDEO

Swiftech H220 VIDEO

That is what I have so far, I will let your ears do the talking… As a place holder you may start and stop both videos to match up RPMs if you would like and simply play one, stop, then play the other back to back.

Corsair H100i Chart

CorsairH100i-NoiseVsRPM

Swiftech H220 Chart

SwiftechH220NoiseVsRPM

RPM Comprarison

CorsairH100ivsSwiftechH220N

dBA Chart

For reference use this to compare to similar daily noise types:

Sound sources (noise)
Examples with distance

 
   Sound pressure
Level 
Lp dB SPL
 
 Jet aircraft, 50 m away 140
 Threshold of pain 130
 Threshold of discomfort 120
 Chainsaw, 1 m distance 110
 Disco, 1 m from speaker 100
 Diesel truck, 10 m away 90
 Kerbside of busy road, 5 m 80
 Vacuum cleaner, distance 1 m  70
 Conversational speech, 1 m 60
 Average home 50
 Quiet library 40
 Quiet bedroom at night 30
 Background in TV studio 20
 Rustling leaves in the distance 10
 Hearing threshold  0

Using the following chart for perceived noise level differences:

Perceptions of Increases in Decibel Level
Imperceptible Change 1dB
 Barely Perceptible Change 3dB
Clearly Noticeable Change 5dB
About Twice as Loud 10dB
About Four Times as Loud 20dB

 

Top Mount Noise vs Core Comparison

While I only have the H100i for comparison at this point, this is how that combination of noise testing and thermal testing lays out.  This is the meat and potatoes results as it pulls out all the variables such as fan performance vs RPM differences and compares a direct apples to apples noise vs performance.

Swiftech-H220-TH-27

And that plots out like this:

Swiftech-H220-TH-29

I’ve conducted a few different fan polls in the past before moving forward with radiator testing and typically the majority of watercooling users out there were using fans at about 1350RPM with a distribution that predominantly covers the 1000-1800RPM range.  There are a few people that run higher speeds, but the vast majority are more in the 1000-1800RPM range.  That makes sense as those speeds are only producing noise levels in the lower 40s dBA which is acceptable by most.

With that “Silence” preference in mind, the Swiftech H220 did outperform the Corsair H100i by roughly 2dBA at the 1350RPM mark, and about 3-4dBA better at the 1800RPM mark.  The H100i does have higher speed capabilities, but at 60dBA you are approaching vacuum cleaner noise levels (70dBA).  There are some users that don’t care about noise though, so I’ll leave it to you on what’s important.

For me personally, minimum noise level, dynamically throttling the noise and performance, and a smooth noise is priority.  I find the H100i fans (like most high speed fans) to produce quite a bit of motor noise and there was quite a bit of harmonics between the two fan RPMs that generally produces a poor noise quality.  The H220 helix fans are for the most part fairly smooth and the sound quality blended in well with my other fans.  That’s not to say you couldn’t replace the kit fans with something better, but in spirit of testing kit vs kit, the H220 is king of silence (minimum noise level) and better at like performance levels by 1-4 dBA over the H100i.

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.

Swiftech-H220-04

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

http://www.swiftech.com/pr-1-3-13-h220.aspx

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:
PR@swiftech.com

Source: Rouchon Industries, Inc., dba Swiftech®

H220 CPU COOLER

Manufacturer Prerelease Specifications:

http://www.swiftech.com/H220.aspx

English
Technical Specifications
Radiator
Material Brass Tubes, Copper Fins
Body Dimensions 269mm x 127mm x 29mm
Fill-Port thread G1/4
Fan
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
Pump
Speed PWM adjustable 1200 ~ 3000 RPM
Voltage 12v
Power 6W
Connector 4-Pin
MTBF 60,000 Hours
Tubing
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.

As water cooling has evolved over the past few years the quality and performance of kits has seen a similar progression and development.  Today you can spend anywhere from $80-$500 on a water cooling kit.  Up to this point my reviews have all been individual parts based.  I have never before attempted doing any sort of kit review and wanted to try.  I very much appreciate a good value and wanted to review beyond your typical unboxing or screenshot level of testing and understand the finer details of how kits compare at a more scientific level.  My first round of kits is focused on “Under $150″ and ” 2 x 120mm (240) radiator” as I feel to really see worthwhile silent water cooling benefits a  240 radiator is needed and I also wanted to keep in tune with the value concept and 100-150 seems like a good price point to start with.

Kit reviews shall begin!!

Before going too far, I would like to thank my Sponsors:

frozencpu_logo

I would like to thank Mark from FrozenCPU.com for sponsoring the XSPC and Larkooler kits.

Swiftech_logo_white_backgrounds

I would also like to thank Gabe from Swiftech for sponsoring the H220 kit.

150DollarKitTesting

I am also looking to expand and include some sealed kits such as the Corsair H100i, Thermaltake Water 2.0, and other sealed AIO systems, but I haven’t found sponsors for those yet.  The H220 does come filled and more plug and play, but all three kits are all easy enough to take apart and expand from a removable parts perspective.

COST COMPARISON

Larkooler BA2-241 – $129.95

Swiftech H220 – $139.95

XSPC Raystorm,750,RS240 – $144.95

So these kits are all under the $150 criteria and have 240mm radiators so they should be similar in terms of case compatibility being able to fit a 240mm sized radiator.  So, here we go…an adventure in kit testing for those looking to spend under $150.

GENERAL TESTING STRATEGY

I’m looking for feedback on testing requests before I am done.  So far I have developed the following general strategy:

  • Phase 1 Kit Core vs Noise level (Core vs dbA) – Basic Kit testing with the kit fans focusing on what you get from the box and attempting to measure noise levels in both a qualitative and quantitative means.
  • Phase 2 Kit + Fan Mod (Core vs RPM) – Testing each kit with the same fans.
  • Phase 3 Expansion (Remaining Pump Power PSI vs GPM) – Breaking down each kit to test the remaining pump power including the kit.  This will be done via pressure manometer and flow meter to understand exactly how much pumping power remains to push through additional components
  • Phase 4 Expansion CPU + GPU test (GPU Core vs RPM) – While I don’t yet have a  sponsor or a block for my (currently air-cooled) 570GTX, I may do a test with CPU & GPU put in the same loop as a thermal expansion test. I could see a lot of people wanting to add a GPU block to the system and I want to see how well they can handle that and do some GPU testing as part of the kit review.  I will keep trying and see if I can find some support for this latter test.
  • Phase 5 Mods – Possibly look at what happens if you expand the radiator or better understanding what parts should be upgraded for future expansion.

If you have any testing wishes or suggestions, please let me know.  I am just getting started on these and plan to spend some quality time.  The H220 showed up first at my door, so it’s going to be first in line.  I will be focusing on Phase 1 in the near term.

THE CASE (XSPC H2 Tower)

I have two platforms, my Danger Den Torture Rack open test bench and my XSPC H2 Tower case I reviewed here.  While I could test the kits on the open torture rack, I wanted to simulate an actual enclosed case test condition including some grill restriction to simulate the air flow restriction and to also help evaluate the installation in a case condition.  I also wanted to the the kit radiators in a top mounted setup which is probably how most of these will test out.  Finally, I wanted something large enough that could be expanded for larger kit testing down the road or modified testing where you add a second radiator to the existing kit.  The H2 is massive in size and arguably overkill, but the grill in the top and 15mm fan spacing screw holes should make mounting the kit radiators very simple and easy to install.  There will be no case modding needed to fit any watercooling kit so it makes for a good 240/360/480 kit test case as well.

This case was sponsored by XSPC some time ago, a special thanks to Paul from XSPC for the sample.

XSPClogo

XSPC-H2-28

More to come…

Cheers!Smilieparty0012
Martin