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Swiftech H20-120 Rev2 Athlon 64 Water Cooling Kit Review

By: Mike Wright | CPU Liquid Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Nov 10, 2004 5:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.5%Manufacturer: Swiftech


This item is one that I am very happy to see added to the Swiftech line. The MCRES-525 is a reservoir that allows a greater volume of water to be used throughout the system. It adds 12.8 ounces (.378 liters) of fluid to your cooling setup. It also keeps air bubbles to a minimum with its dual chamber design. With strong pumps, the turbulence created by the incoming fluid can cause air bubbles to be formed, but you won't have that issue here. After several days of testing, I was unable to detect any air bubbles at all in the lines after the initial bleeding had been accomplished.


To fill the reservoir, just remove the top cap and add the liquid. The cap includes a rubber O-ring that effectively seals the system when it is fully tightened, but make sure to tighten it well. You'll need to go a little tighter than just snug to have the watertight seal you want.


As far as installation goes, the reservoir fits easily into an empty optical drive bay. The brass inserts you see on the side allow you to install it just like a CD drive. If you're like me and are using a case with a rail system in place, you're still in luck since the holes are set to be lines up with a standard rail. Once it is installed, just pull the reservoir out a bit through the front of the enclosure and you'll have access to the fill port. Overall a very good and workable system.



Next up is the CPU water block. This is where the metal meets the silicon, so to speak. The H20-120 kit uses the MCW6000-64 water block. It is made completely of copper and the solid base is brazed to the housing assembly. Inside the housing are 281 copper pins to help in heat dissipation.


Also of note are the 1/2" ID tubes that come attached to the water block. They are more than long enough to reach anywhere even a large server case and have factory crimped clamps to guarantee a watertight seal. Simply cut the tubing to your needed length and attach to the next component in line and you're set.



You say you are worried about the finish of the base of the water block? You need not worry too much in that regard since the MCW6000 follows the long standing tradition of Swiftech and is nearly flawless. The surface is incredibly smooth and factory lapped to a maximum tolerance of 0.0005". After testing several coolers from Swiftech, both air and water, I can say this is a standard feature of every one of their cooling solutions.



When it comes to mounting the water block, you'll get a kit that conforms to the type processor you have. The water block can be used on several types of processor, but the mounting kit is individualized to your particular needs.


That said, installation was very straightforward and there were no unexpected problems at all.



Also included in the kit you'll find some extra tubing, an extra length of CoolSleeves, and some zip ties for attaching the tubing to the barbs. We've talked about CoolSleeves in the past so I won't delve too deeply on this item, but in a nutshell it wraps around the tubing to keep it from kinking up on you.


Though I haven't mentioned it before, you'll be happy to note that all tubing used is of the 1/2" OD variety with the exception of the tube going from the pump to the reservoir, which is a 1/2" ID type. This is great news for those concerned about the flow rates of the liquid between components. It would be a shame to have such a good potential setup and then ruin it by using small tubing, but that isn't the case here at all.



Remember when I said that this kit comes with everything you'll need to properly set up your water cooling solution? Rest assured that this is exactly what I meant. With the possibility of galvanic corrosion occurring in this type of cooler, you'll want to make sure you have some sort of additive to use that keeps this threat to a minimum, so Swiftech has included a small bottle of HydrX, an additive you put into distilled water to be used in your system.


And make sure you use distilled water or you'll be asking for problems. This holds especially true for those who live in areas where hard water is produced from the tap. The added minerals in this type water can cause havoc inside your water system and can also wreck a pump in no time flat. So make sure you get distilled water for use in your system.



Our final stop on this tour is something many folks don't pay much attention to, the installation manual. Swiftech provides one of the best manuals that I have yet to see. It comes complete with color pictures and drawings and takes you step by step through the process of installing your water cooling solution. It covers a general installation of the system and also includes specific guides for each individual component. If you follow these instructions, you will have no problems installing the kit in your own system.


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