Test Results And Conclusion
Comparison CPU Coolers
We retain the hardware configuration from previous big-cooler reviews to maintain result consistency. Here's how it compares dimensionally to other models in today's test.
The H240 X2 is much heavier than the Kraken X61, but it also has the extra parts needed to make it re-configurable. The Kraken X61 integrates its reservoir on the radiator end cap, while the H240 X2 integrates its pump under the radiator, so each has a uniquely large dimension. Placement of the H240 X2's pump and reservoir towards the radiator's outer edge keeps its thickness (and associated clearance) near the motherboard at 2.2".
The Frostflow 240L stands in as the top value in smaller (2x 120mm) radiators. For both the H240 X2 and Kraken X61, we hope that the extra cooling of a larger radiator outpaces its added cost.
The H240 X2 starts out slightly behind the Kraken X61 in cooling, and that's most likely due to its fans being mounted between the radiator and top panel. In the default "Intake" orientation, it's pushing against the pressure of the case's intake fans. In the alternative "Exhaust" configuration, it's pulling rather than pushing air through the radiator. Fans generally work a little better in the "push" orientation. The Kraken X61 is able to both push air through the radiator and operate as case exhaust by mounting its fans beneath the radiator, whereas the H240 X2's under-radiator pump and reservoir make this impossible.
Flipping the case's front fans to exhaust orientation would remove its dust filtration capability, and mounting the radiator on the front panel as an intake would require moving the stock fans to top-panel exhaust. Either of these would defeat the concept of a directly matched comparison, and front-mounting wouldn't even jive with the Swiftech's installation illustrations.
Swiftech's pump is slightly larger than NZXT's, so a lower rotational speed makes sense. An errant RPM reading is also possible, particularly since the tach outputs of some pumps pulse more than once per revolution.
Surprisingly, the Kraken X61 is a little noisier at full speed compared to the H240 X2. Maybe that's why it also had a slightly lower temperature? Still, fighting against the pressure of intake fans couldn't have improved its airflow.
The H240 X2 has better cooling performance per decibel than the Kraken X61, but doesn't quiet down as much at lower speeds. Settings below a 50 percent duty-cycle might have helped the H240 X2 low-speed noise-to-temperature ratio, but once again we're trying to keep our test methods consistent.
The extra $10 buyers pay to get Swiftech's high-end removable connectors, large pump and fancy lighting work against it in a price-to-performance comparison, but we understand why an enthusiast would scoff at this chart. So, we'll not add or subtract anything from that discussion.