Swiftech H220: Adding to the Loop

Although this is not a normal review there are several things to consider when thinking about upgrading your H220.  Before beginning this endeavor make sure you know what you’re getting into.  Taking apart the loop and putting it back together means that it is your responsibility if something goes wrong and you ruin a component in your rig.  Water cooling while not nearly as dangerous as it’s made out to be, is still a risky activity.  You are after all putting water inside of a computer!

Risk aside how does the H220 stack up to other all in one cooling loops?  Well as of this writing, no other AIO allow and advertise the level of upgradability that makes this unit so unique.  Clear win for the H220 10/10!

So how then does it compare to say, a custom loop?  I would give it a score right around 6/10.  You might think that I am being too harsh here, but the point is that it is not a custom loop, not quite.  It is very very good for what it is, however it does not offer near the level of performance of a loop designed with your specific system needs in mind.  Most especially this is because of the pump/CPU block combo, where there are two parts which hold it back.  The first being that the pump although better than other AIO pumps is not even a shadow of more powerful stand alone pumps.  It just doesn’t provide the head (pushing pressure) needed for the restrictiveness of a full blown loop.  And really it shouldn’t, as many of those pumps cost nearly as much as this whole loop.  The second part is the setup defies the rules of watercooling.  Having the CPU block built into the pump ensures that it will be one of the highest points of the loop.  This pretty much guarantees air will become trapped inside it.

The H220 truly is a hybrid of sorts, and I believe it should be scored that way.  It will never be a full loop, but really, who cares?  It is fantastic at what it does for what it costs and is in my opinion the best way to get your feet wet in the world of liquid cooling!