Posts Tagged ‘Review’

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

Welcome to my review of the revision 4,  XSPC X2O 750.  While I did test a similar submerged acrylic version of this pump many years ago here, this pump and reservoir has been revised several times since then including a brand new impeller, ceramic shaft, ceramic sleeve, a more stable magnetic field, and improved electronic components.  It is also a pump that is very popular due to XSPC’s amazing 750 kit price, so I was interested in checking out the latest revision and see how it does with all the upgrades and revisions.  So off to the test bench to evaluate full hydraulics and some video recording to share some noise recordings with you.

A special thanks to Paul from XSPC for providing the review sample:

XSPC-X2O-750-01

Manufacturer Specifications:

http://www.xs-pc.com/products/pumps/x2o-750-dual-bayrespump-black-v4/

After nearly a year of development we are proud to release the latest version of our X2O 750 pump, the V4.

The acrylic reservoir has been replaced by a tough nylon reservoir with four brass M3 threads on each side. On the front of the reservoir the viewing window now sits flush with the beautifully finished, brushed aluminium faceplate, and the screws are now black to match the faceplate.

On the back of the reservoir we have added a spare G1/4″ port which can be used for a temperature sensor, or draining the system. We have also added a better the LED holder and improved the fill cap seal with a high quality thick o-ring.

The improvements are not just on the outside. We have fully overhauled the 750 pump with a new impeller, ceramic shaft, ceramic sleeve, a more stable magnetic field, and improved electronic components. These changes improve performance, improve reliability, reduce noise, and increase the lifespan of the pump.

Our most popular water pump just got even better!

– Pump Performance: 750 lph
– Head Delivery: 1.8m
– Low Noise, Low Vibration (42dB Max)
– Voltage: 12V (4pin molex)
– Tough Nylon Reservoir
– Dimensions: 149 x 86.5 x 103 mm
– Brushed Aluminium Faceplate
– Brass Screw Threads
– G1/4″ Threads
– Individually Pressure Tested
– 1x 5mm LED Hole
– Capacity 625ml

Maximum water temperature: 50C

Supplied with black faceplate, 8x M3,4mm screws, G1/4″ Plug, and blue LED.

XSPC-X2O-750-02

So besides the all new tough nylon housing, the pump has really been overhauled with a new impeller, bearing, and electronics…very good!

Welcome to my review of a brand new single bay reservoir pump, the XSPC X2O 500.

While I have had the opportunity to test many 20 watt+ bay reservoir pumps such as the XSPC D5 Bayres I tested here.  I know from experiments such as this flow sensitivity test on the Raystorm, that CPU blocks are very resilient to operating well at very low flow rates and in custom loops we generally have much more pump than really needed.  That is fine when space and cost are not high priorities, but there is a bit of a gap in pump options that are more value oriented and still have expansion and power capabilities beyond that of a CPU only loop pump. Most of the all in one kit pumps designed for CPU cooling only have pumps in the 1-2 watt range of power, but they are really maxed out and often can’t push flow much beyond about 0.5GPM. That’s where the X2O 500 fits into the picture, targeted for those that don’t have a budget or want to spend over $100 or more on pumping power, but they want something that is still expandable and capable of powering through multiple block and radiator systems as they upgrade.

A special thanks to Paul from XSPC for providing the review sample:

XSPC-X2O-500-01

Specifications:

Since it is not yet listed on their website, I’ll just note some specifications that I can come up with on my own.

  • G1/4″ Threads
  • Brushed Aluminium Faceplate
  • Acrylic Reservoir
  • 1x 5mm LED hole
  • Blue Sleeved LED provided
  • Dimensions: 149 x 99 x 42mm
  • 5 screws

While I have been a barb and clamp fan for some time now, water cooling has evolved into building artwork just as much as it is for high performance cooling.  Several variations of compression fittings have hit the market over the last few years and I’ve tinkered with many of them.  One complaint I have personally had with many of the compression fittings out there is the “Tool-less” concept.  Many of the fittings out there are intended to be hand or finger tightened, but unfortunately this does often result in partial loss of your valuable fragging fingertips.  One way to mitigate for the lack of tool compatibility is to use a cloth or other protective wrap and use something like vise grips or channel locks as a last resort attempt at converting the “tool-less” knurled compression ring into something you can wrench on.  My other complaint with some compression fittings I’ve used is their lack of internal barb which has led me down the path of leaks as the tubing warmed up and began to slip out of the fitting.  Regardless of the troubles I have personally had, there is no denying that compression fittings look more clean and finished that a regular barb and clamp.  BoxGods being a professional PC mod enthusiast and builder set out to break new ground in the area of compression fittings that would not only improve many of the user problems with existing fittings, but also to jazz up the mundane knurled look via the “Free Center” compression fitting which I’m looking at here.

A special thanks to BoxGods (Gene) for sending me these samples.  First he sent me a set of black chrome I spent extensive time using, and then these limited edition copper flavor to compliment my future copper build.

monsoonbanner

FrozenCPU MonsoonPPCS Monsoon

SPECS

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/14932/ex-tub-1105/Monsoon_Free_Center_Compression_Fitting_-_12ID_x_34OD_-_Modders_6_Pack_Black_Chrome_FCC-1234-6P-BC.html

Tired of big ugly wrench flats on your compression fittings or tearing up your finger tips on knurling? Then Monsoon’s sexy new Free Center Compression Fittings are just what you’re looking for. The new patent pending Free Center Wrench design used to tighten the barb and the compression ring is perfect for tight spaces because it puts the wrench above the fitting plane giving you more room to maneuver than a conventional wrench. The small wrench notches on the compression ring are also a lot less noticeable than big ugly wrench flats or knurling on the side of a fitting which is normally the most visible portion when installed.

The patent pending windows on the compression ring reduce weight and add some BLING to your rig by allowing the tube to show through and, in a pinch, provide extra grip if you need to use your fingers. The barb base also features a knurled surface to help the barb grip when installed.


Measurements:
Outer Diameter (A): 3/4″
Wall Thickness (B): 1/8″
Inner Diameter (C): 1/2″

  • Barb and compression ring machined entirely from brass.
  • The Free Center Wrench works on the barb and the compression ring for hassle free installation without tearing up your fingers. Don’t be a tool!

  • Although we highly recommend using the Free Center Wrench, the barb can also be tightened with any coin 1.6mm thick and approximately 25mm in diameter—about the size of a US Quarter, and the machined windows on the compression ring can also be used to provide grip for finger tightening.
  • Smaller visually and physically to make mounting in tight locations like CPU blocks easier. Outside diameter is just 24.4mm (.96 inches) and total height is just 16mm (.63 inches).

  • Knurled base on the barb to increase its grab when installed.

  • Available in 8 colors and finishes.
  • Includes a black O ring AND a color matched UV O ring—your choice. (Chrome, Matte Black, and Black Chrome get a second black O ring.
  • Available in singles or in money saving SIX PACKS that also include a free Free Center Wrench!
Tubing Size: 1/2″ Inner diameter
3/4″ Outer Diameter
Included: Six Barbs with radial cut notch for use with a Free Center Wrench or a coin.
Six Compression rings with Patent Pending Side Windows and Free Center Wrench Notches.
Six black 2.4mm thick high quality silicone G1/4 BSPP O rings.
Six color matched UV 2.4mm thick high quality G1/4 BSPP O rings. (Additional O rings or different colors can be purchased separately in 10 packs).
One Free Center Compression Fitting Wrench.