Ease of Installation

Just like in the last review, Corsair's Asetek-based products (the H90 and H110) both install in the same fashion, and in fact if you even have a mounting kit from a previous Asetek-based cooler you'll be able to basically just reuse it (which made my life a lot easier).

As a refresher, the Asetek-based coolers use a single metal ring that's attached through the mounting holes on the motherboard to a backplate. From there, you essentially insert the waterblock through the notches and twist it so the notches line up, then screw down the ring, locking the waterblock into place. It's a pretty simple affair and I still ultimately prefer it to the CoolIT method of cooler mounting. It just feels more precise and more secure.

Swiftech, on the other hand, employs the CoolIT backplate for mounting the H220, but remember that the product is their own. In fact, when you open the box, the H220 is almost entirely assembled already, with the fans attached and the backplate lightly secured to the waterblock. Swiftech tried to make installation easier by including four small adhesive pads on the backplate: just peel off the protective tape and then stick the pads to the back of your motherboard (after lining up the screw holes) and you should be off and running. Please, do yourself a favor and take the pads off. Trying to do this without the benefit of adhesive is nightmarish, since the mounting screws are already attached to the waterblock.

Ultimately, these coolers are both pretty easy to install and I have to be honest, I vastly prefer installing a waterblock instead of a large air cooler. Waterblocks and radiators are just easier to install because only the radiator is heavier than a good air cooler, and the sharp fins are basically kept away from your hands. Swiftech smartly employs adhesive on their backplate which does help, but unfortunately also runs the risk of wearing out over time.

Introducing the Second Wave of Closed Loop Coolers Testing Methodology
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  • Beenthere - Saturday, February 2, 2013 - link

    How many times can reviewers be duped by CLC hype and PR? Either the reviewers are technically challenged or ethically challenged... Being here to stay does not equate to be a rational choice.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Saturday, February 2, 2013 - link

    It's not hype. It's the fact that these products are growing both in number and popularity. More and more vendors are entering the race, so saying they're here to stay is technically correct, at least for the next couple of years. They're popular.

    I'm not sure what your beef with them is, either. Boutiques tend to prefer them over heavy air coolers and if the reliability was a serious issue, those boutiques would be less likely to run them.
  • iamezza - Saturday, February 2, 2013 - link

    Beenthere is just a forum troll with no life.
    Every single comment he makes is deliberately inflammatory.
  • Treckin - Saturday, February 2, 2013 - link

    Why aren't the Antec closed loop coolers ever mentioned/tested on Anandtech?
  • HisDivineOrder - Saturday, February 2, 2013 - link

    The check didn't clear?
  • Dustin Sklavos - Saturday, February 2, 2013 - link

    Cute! Honestly, they haven't been volunteered and Antec is in a weird transitional period. If you guys want to see the Antec stuff tested I'd be happy to, but it does look like more of the same Asetek kit.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Saturday, February 2, 2013 - link

    Well, check that. The H2O 920 has a fatter radiator than any of the other units I've tested. I may just have to get a couple of these monsters in for review after all.
  • Treckin - Sunday, February 3, 2013 - link

    It is, however they ship different fans, and use a different waterblock. Additionally, they featured the software controlled fans and pump monitoring as well as an onboard decibel meter (who knows how accurate...).

    Also, the tubing is different between the other asetec units.

    I would certainly like to see those numbers if you could :)
  • resiroth - Sunday, February 3, 2013 - link

    I have a mini itx computer so the thermals should if anything be worse, and I idle at 25C and load at 55C. Room temp is somewhere around 22C I guess. So basically the deltas are 3C idle 33C load. It's an i5 750 overclocked to 3.8ghz.

    No risk of a pump leaking (however small that might be)
    ~ Equal performance
    Much quieter in db
    Much nicer noise signature (a fan has a hum, more pleasant then a pump)
    Top down cpu coolers may have auxillary cooling effect on motherboard components

    Harder to install?

    Still interested in seeing these get better and better, but for now it seems like a worse air cooler which has no real benefits. I guess if you're upping the voltage loads just to get an extra 10% (and risk an early death of your chip at such extreme voltage increases) it could be useful, but why not take a 10% performance hit for fairly significant improvements in noise, stability, durability, price?
  • Death666Angel - Sunday, February 3, 2013 - link

    Maybe I missed it (I have been known to be blind at times), but you didn't mention what you are cooling with, did you?
    Also, you cannot compared your temps to any mentioned in this article, as you seem to do. :)

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