As I stated earlier, my past experiences with water cooling kits has been somewhat less than pleasing. After testing out the Swiftech H20-8600, however, I am much more enthused about the concept of water cooling. I knew it was feasible, but for those like myself with limited knowledge about this method of cooling, it was good to see somebody put out an all-inclusive kit that handles the job well. You don't have to worry about making sure you remembered to order all the components because they're all right here.
Another good thing about this kit is that the components are all just that... components. If you want to use a different waterblock, go for it. Need a pump with even more flow rate? No problem, just change it out and you're set. While the basic kit comes with everything necessary to do the job, it can be changed around or added to for all your needs. Swiftech also has chipset coolers and waterblocks for the different graphics boards too so you'll find everything you need.
Installation was very straightforward, but don't expect to have it done in an hour because it ain't gonna happen. This isn't some little box you magically insert into your case and you're through, it is a real water cooling setup. Also, the manual is the best I've seen so far for any sort of component installation. It is detailed and has photos of the tasks depicting how things need to be done. It really is that good.
There wasn't much bad to say about the kit except maybe those little plastic "quick connect" adapters. To be honest, they're a royal pain and anything but quick and easy to use. I chucked them out and opted for the metal collar clamps throughout the installation process.
For those concerned about pricing, the basic kit goes in at $215 US and the extra radiator adds $59.95 US to the price tag. This brings the total cost as tested to about $275, so not too bad for a complete water cooling setup. Also, considering the performance of the kit and the very low noise levels, I'll have no qualms at all saying it is worth every penny for those who are just plain tired of the noise caused by their own performance system. For the first week of testing this unit, I had to do double takes when I went into the testing room to make sure my system was even still running. Now that I'm used to the lower noise levels, it would be a hard thing to go back to air cooling and the loud fan noises that go with it.
Bottom line... For those who have been thinking about the idea of water but have been afraid to try it out, let me say that I was in the same boat for a long time. Experimenting with kits led to disappointment but the Swiftech water cooling kit has changed that. It includes everything you need to have a full-fledged water cooling system and does an admirable job when it comes right down to the numbers. While not low-bid, the cost is still in the lower echelon of price ranges for complete water cooling systems. All in all a very good value for very good cooling.
Very good cooling
All components can be upgraded or changed
Can add components to customize needs
Kit includes everything needed
"Quick-Connect" couplers aren't
Certain case designs will still require slight modding
Rating - 9.5 out of 10 and TweakTown's "MUST HAVE" Editors Choice Award!
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