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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.

Tom's Hardware Verdict

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

Pros

  • +

    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.

Cons

  • -

    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.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.