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Swiftech H20-8600 Water Cooling Kit Review

By: Mike Wright | CPU Liquid Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Jun 27, 2004 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.5%Manufacturer: Swiftech

In The Box



When it comes to workable water cooling solutions, there are several things to consider. One of the most important is the pump's capability of maintaining a decent water flow rate. The larger the flow rate, the better off you'll be since the water needs to be able to dissipate the heat produced by the processor.


Another consideration is the total water quantity in the cooling system. This becomes important because if you don't have enough liquid moving through the setup, the liquid will not have the chance to cool down before it is being recirculated through the system. You need cool water to dissipate heat effectively, so you can see the importance of this idea.


Finally, you'll want to look at things like the size tubing used in the cooling solution. This works hand in hand with the pump since a larger diameter tubing allows greater amounts of water to be circulated. We'll take a look at how this kit addresses all of these concepts in a bit.


The basic kit comes with everything shown above. Included you will have a radiator, a CPU waterblock designed for your particular breed of processor, a 12v pump, enough 1/2" OD tubing to handle even the largest of enclosures, all clips and clamps necessary to install the cooling system, a fully functional filling and bleeding assembly, a fully illustrated installation manual and a bottle containing an additive for the system. Swiftech has even included a bit of their Cool Sleeves flexible wrap for use on the tubing at sharp angles.



Beginning with the pump we see something that isn't exactly commonplace in water kits; a full-blown water pump that looks like it didn't come straight out of your living room aquarium. I have found many kits using small submersible pumps sunk into a little reservoir. These smallish components usually manage to push liquid at a rate of about 120-200 liters/hour (about 31-52 gal/hr) and have proven themselves to be very ineffective when it comes to dissipating heat.



The Swiftech kit uses the MCP600 12v pump, which gives you the ability to move 700 liters/hour (about 185 gal/hr). It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the math here, the Swiftech pump will give you a HUGE advantage when it comes to cooling.


Another advantage of the pump used in this kit is the fact that it is a 12v DC model. This allows you to simply attach the Molex coupler to any free power Molex within the case for all the juice needed to run it as it was intended to be run. This means you do not have to figure out how to run an electrical cord out of the case to hook it into a regular plug. It also means there is no difference between running it on a 120v system from the US or a 220v system from the UK. It is truly an international component!



A final note regarding the pump is the foam matting on the base. That white covering is a removable protective covering to an adhesive pad hiding underneath. To keep with the no modding aspect of the kit, you can simply remove the backing and stick the pump in the desired location within the case. This method works fine, but I decided to go ahead and drill the two holes needed to make the installation more permanent.



The radiator included with the kit is one of the MCR80-F1 models. It comes with the radiator, mounting screws and quick-install couplers for the inlet and outlet ports. It is a bit deeper than most radiators to allow for a greater amount of fluid capacity. Though the basic kit comes with a single radiator, I would recommend getting a second radiator for better cooling efficiency. Our testing will be conducted with a pair of these radiators run in parallel.


The fan used for the radiator is pretty standard. It is an 80mm type that has a rated airflow of just over 31CFM and emits only 28 dBA of noise output. The power requirements of the fan are pretty low so you will have no problems using the 3-pin connection on a motherboard fan header. If you're that hardcore about low noise, you can get a converter plug and then attach it to a rheostat but cooling will suffer a bit for this.


Installation of the radiator is pretty simple. The included screws are used to attach it to a standard 80mm fan port within the case. One note (and one that applied to me during testing) is for those using Antec/Chieftec/Chenming/UNEEC type cases. Since the rear fans are normally installed using a plastic snap-in type mounting system, you will have to remove this setup and drill some holes for the radiator installation. This wasn't a difficult task, but I wanted to make mention of it for those who have this type of enclosure. Our test box used was one of the newer Chenming 602 series cases and required the drilling of holes to accommodate the radiators. There was no problem at all, however, with fitting both radiators on the back portion of the case where the two original 80mm fan mounts were once residing.


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