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Swiftech H220-X Liquid CPU Cooler Review

Swiftech’s H220-X combines the easy installation of closed loop with the expandability of open-loop, but how does it compete in performance and value?

Our Verdict

Designed with room to expand, the capacity to cool additional devices appears to be limited by the H220-X’s stock fans.

For

  • Swiftech’s H220-X combines the installation ease and leak-free operation of a closed-loop cooler, plus the expandability of an open loop, without requiring an open-loop system's reservoir. A shorter-than-average length also eases installation in tight cases.

Against

  • As-delivered cooling capacity is a little lower than our largest "Big Air" CPU cooler.

Opening Up Closed Loop Cooling

While ease-of-installation tops the list of why closed loop builders out-sell open loops, reduced maintenance is also a big factor for most buyers. Only the most die hard liquid cooling enthusiast could enjoy constantly checking coolant levels, topping them up, and flushing out algae growth when their coolant isn’t “toxic enough”. Regular users, including part-time enthusiasts, are better off with a system that doesn’t have evaporation holes or air exposure.

On the other hand, there’s not much a person can actually do with a closed loop cooler other than attach it to a single component. OK, we’ve seen a few closed loop GPU/CPU combo coolers, but those were all factory-connected to a graphics card. If you wanted the option of configuring your own CPU and GPU cooling combo, you formerly needed to build an open loop system. Swiftech hopes to change all that with a closed-loop cooler that builders can open.

  • xFolterknechtx
    A little bit strange these temperature results.

    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
    Reply
  • rubix_1011
    With this system, you wouldn't want to simply just add a graphics card into the mix without also adding another radiator into the loop. Given that the TDP of most mid-to-high end graphics cards today hover in the 150-250watts TDP in addition to the 85-120watts of a CPU, you're looking at a 240mm radiator that cannot dissipate that much potential heat at full load on its own.

    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.
    Reply
  • Eximo
    Direct comparison between the Swiftech H240-X and the X61 would be a little more revealing.
    Reply
  • Eggz
    Hasn't this thing been out for a while now? And isn't the x61 a 280mm? That's like comparing the H100 to the h110. It seems like a misplaced comparison for deciding "better" or "worse," which presumes you can fit either a 240mm or 280mm in your case. Comparing those seems more appropriate for informing a case purchasing decision - i.e. "Should I get a case that first a 280mm or just a 240mm?"
    Reply
  • ingtar33
    this is the first review of the swiftech h220x i've seen where it didn't slaughter everything else against it.

    something strange happening in your test system. probably air in the lines or a malfunctioning pump.
    Reply
  • endeavour37a
    I have read pretty much every review of the H220x and something seems a bit off with performance results with this one. They were also testing against the same hardware as you did here, oh well.
    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.
    Reply
  • rubix_1011
    ^ This is one of the exact reasons why this is a much better option.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    15994866 said:
    Also please give use dimensions/weights in the metrical system. I thought this was a tech site and not some farmers supply shop *sigh
    That kind of thinking gets us motherboards that don't line up with case standoffs. ATX was based on inches. Also it's easier in the US to measure clearance in inches because that's how our tape measures are scaled.
    15995448 said:
    Hasn't this thing been out for a while now? And isn't the x61 a 280mm? That's like comparing the H100 to the h110. It seems like a misplaced comparison for deciding "better" or "worse," which presumes you can fit either a 240mm or 280mm in your case. Comparing those seems more appropriate for informing a case purchasing decision - i.e. "Should I get a case that first a 280mm or just a 240mm?"
    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.

    Reply
  • Eggz
    15997498 said:
    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.
    Reply
  • PEJUman
    Also please give use dimensions/weights in the metrical system. I thought this was a tech site and not some farmers supply shop *sigh

    I thought tech enthusiast knows how to convert imperial to metric units... or maybe you're a farmer? :P
    Reply