Operation: Water Cool - A Look at the Swiftech H2O-120 Compact
Since I received this product there have been several improvements made to the design of the water-block itself.
I had the misfortune of having my fan bus die on me causing all fans to stop [I didn’t have auto shutdown enabled]. At the time I was running SETI on all four cores causing tremendous amounts of heat. It was close to a half hour before I realized what had happened and shut the system down. It was too late. The water blocks injection molded base had warped from the heat and caused a very slight leak.
I brought this up to Gabe at Swiftech who told me that Swiftech had just redesigned the block to prevent exactly that from happening. The new molded base of the block [which looks almost identical to the old base except the new one has seven small ridges at the intake value] uses a new type of material which can withstand an extra ten degrees of heat I’m told. While it looks almost identical outside, once the blocks are opened up they do not.
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|Original water block leak after fan failure. The heat caused the coils to open up as well.||Original block left, new block right|
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|New block opened right up on left, old block on right note the design changes|
There are extra ribbed supports throughout along with an extra screw that helps keep the shape and seal much better then before.
As well Gabe has informed me that the copper base which makes contact to the CPU has also been changed, it is slightly bowed now. While it is almost impossible to see this bow, once you take the base plate off the two water blocks you can tell as the redesigned one kind of pops up when the screws are removed while the original one does not.
This slight bow to the copper plate helps the block to make better contact with the CPU core and results in an extra 3-4 c better cooling the original design
The big question is how well Swiftech's latest offerings work: do they truly measure up to much more costly solutions? Is it worth while to water cool other heat source’s such as chipsets and video cards. To answer these questions let’s ask the patient.
Case: Thermaltake Mozart [a small pantry for your computer]
Motherboard: EVGA 680i SLI
Video card: 2 x EVGA GeForce 8800 GTS 320 meg
Ram: Patriot pc2 8500 enhanced latency 2x 1gig
Hard drives: 2 x 75 gig western digital raptors stripped
CPU: Intel q6600 2.4 GHZ @ 3 GHz 1333 FSB or higher
- To reduce fan noise significantly as there are 11 120 case fans ,a 120 power supply fan, 2 video card fans ,a 120 CPU fan and a chipset fan installed on this computer. [The airflow through this case air-cooled is believe it or not, is quite inadequate and several grill cut outs have been made to improve airflow]
- Reduce all temperatures significantly, case, CPU, chipset and video vs. Stock and aftermarket air-cooled solutions
- Achieve highest possible over-clock at complete stability while running bionic for 24 hrs with out crashing.
- To run two separate water cooling systems one dedicated solely to the CPU while the other takes care of the two chipsets and the two video cards
Replace the stock heat pipe off the two chipsets with water cooling blocks
Replace stock video card heat sinks with water cooling
Replace Scythe ninja CPU heat sink with water cooling
The New Organs:
For the CPU : Swiftechs new h2o-120 compact water-cooling system
For the chipset: Swiftech MCW-30 chipset water blocks x2
For the video : Swiftech Stealth VGA water blocks x2
The pump for 2nd loop is the MCP-350 from Swiftech
The radiator for the 2nd loop is the MCR-120 QP from Swiftech
The reservoir for the 2nd loop is the MCRES micro reservoir also from Swiftech