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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  • AngelOfTheAbyss - Monday, February 4, 2013 - link

    Either you like closed loops or you don't.

    Personally, I like them because you can move the heat from the cpu to the outside of the chassi without having to disperse the heat inside the chassi before wenting it.

    One of my machines is a 3930K@4.3 in a Antec P190 chassi with a H100 using 2x120 (push) + 2x140mm (pull) fans on the rad which make it really quiet.

    Unless you suffer from pump grinding (see WLW WL on overclock), the pump should barely be audible (i have had to patch my two H100's but not the H80).

    Note also that most comparable air-coolers weigh alot and don't employ top-down fans.

    In my htpc (Antec ISK 310-150 EC + A10 5800K), I put a big shuriken due to space constraints, couldn't figure out how to mount a closed loop (bummer).
  • rms8 - Monday, February 4, 2013 - link

    I love the articles here!

    Regarding the reviews of the current market of self contained H2O coolers....I have a custom H20 setup with an XSPC CPU block & RX360 rad, Swiftech pump and Intel i7-2600K.

    I have BIOS setup to run the CPU at 1.6Ghz when idle, but will ramp up to 5.2Ghz depending on needs. At idle the temps are in the 26-28 degree range with no fans running. When running Prime95, it will run at upper 60-'s/lower 70's with fans maxed out.

    I really don't know how good this is compared to some off the shelf self contained setup.
  • jasonelmore - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    It's a shame the Swiftech H220 got taken off the market due to patent infringements. It was the only Closed Loop cooler that i'm interested in.

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