Air cooling has an inevitable price advantage over liquid, but it just so happens that the NH-D15 is also large enough to provide similar temperatures to most mid-sized liquid cooling systems. NZXT’s Kraken X61 had noticeably lower temperatures at full fan speed but also had far greater noise levels, climbing to second place in the performance-to-value score only at reduced fan speed. Today’s test subject, the H220-X is significantly quieter and fits far more cases than the Kraken X61, but is still slightly noisier than the air cooler. Supposing your case is capable of supporting any of these three coolers, the H220-X achieves third place in value.
That’s not to say we recommend big air to everyone who has room for it. We’ve wrecked a couple complete systems just moving them around with heavy CPU coolers, we’ve received damaged machines from boutique builders for the same reason even after those builders filled the inside of their systems with removable foam bracing. We’ve also been forced to disassemble our own System Builder Marathon machines before shipping them to SBM giveaway winners after seeing damage from mid-sized air coolers breaking free.
That means we see a couple options here for those who must move their systems around, the re-configurable H220-X and the fixed-configuration Kraken X61. Had they provided similar performance, expandability would have given Swiftech the easy win. Had they been the same size, the Kraken X61 would instead get a broader recommendation. We’re instead left questioning whether the H220-X has enough capacity to add something as power-hungry as a high-end graphics card, or whether it might need more-powerful fans to get there.
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I think I remember the H220 beating the NH-D15 temperature wise in other reviews, not by a big margin but outside of the 1-2°C error margin.
"It’s very close to being flat, but we can still see ripples in its reflection."
Could it be the case that your CPU sample (lid) and H220 base arnt "compatible"? Did you try reseating, turning the cooler base 90/180° in either direction?
Or is the lid of your CPU totally bend and a prime candidate for lapping?
Also please give use dimensions/weights in the metrical system. I thought this was a tech site and not some farmers supply shop *sigh
The pump in the H220-X is based on the Laing DDC used by Swiftech as the MCP350/355/35x line of pumps rather than an unknown pump used by all the other closed loop coolers on the market. It also doesn't use an aluminum radiator like the cheaper, closed loop coolers - the H220-X is brass tubes/tanks and copper. This means that if you expand the loop, you don't have to worry about galvanic corrosion by introducing mixed metals into the loop together.
something strange happening in your test system. probably air in the lines or a malfunctioning pump.
The H240x seems to perform just slightly better than the H220x even with a larger radiator, but would be the thing to have if adding a GPU block. I would think anyone who planned on adding a graphics card would have the common scene to add more radiator area also. It's about the pump, one strong enough to handle a couple blocks and radiators is what this unit is about. Most AIO have just enough pump to take care of the CPU block, unless one wants to spend significantly more on a open loop kit.
With that said, I feel anyone planning on adding their graphics card to the CPU would be hard pressed to find a better value in performance/dollar.
You're right, we really need to put this up against a 2x120mm unit, other than the Zalman which is an alternative design. I'll get right on that.
Maybe I should have prefaced by first saying that the review was informative and did include the relevant comparisons, as you point out. I guess my intended point was that the 280mm seemed like the high schooler playing football against pop warner kids - not necessarily better, just bigger.
That aside, though, the Zalman's unique pipe design seems to be playing smarter, not harder, given that it keeps up with the x61.
I thought tech enthusiast knows how to convert imperial to metric units... or maybe you're a farmer? :P