Expandable "AIO" - does Swiftech have a bad rep?

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Expandable "AIO" - does Swiftech have a bad rep?

Postposted on Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:00 pm

I know Swiftech had some patent issue with the H220 awhile back - they can't sell it in the U.S. now. That aside is there any reason to avoid Swiftech? I sure like the looks (and reviews) of the H220 and the H320. In my research I came across a complaint about Swiftech...can't remember exactly...something along the lines of "they're no good anymore."

I'm not set on Swiftech. I want an expandable system because I want to water-cool my GPU too (eventually). My priority is bringing down the temps on the CPU and establishing a healthy OC. Once that's accomplished I will include the 780 in the loop.

I need to do something soon about the rising temps on my 980X. For 3 years it rarely went above 70C (huge case / good airflow). Lately I'm seeing 83C on a few cores (max 87C). Granted it's summer. But even with the AC running I still hit 80C+ when rendering.

The most demanding load I throw at the CPU is when I'm rendering out of Cinema 4D. Also Premiere Pro if I have a project with lot of tracks/FX. I haven't run any of the CPU stress tests, just never bothered with them. If that would help you advise me I'd be happy to run Prime95 or whatever.

I should replace the TIM, though I don't expect that will bring down temps very much. Unless...I'm not an experienced system builder...could "old, used-up TIM" explain the temps I'm seeing?

Well if you have an ideas - and/or opinions on Swiftech - I'd love to hear what you think. It's time for me to OC this 980 so I need better cooling. I don't have the time and patience to setup a totally custom loop - not yet - so I want to get that H320 from Swiftech (or maybe the 220 - have to do some measuring first). Unless you guys know a reason not to ... I'll have to order it from NCIX I guess.


HAF X
core i7 980X - stock HSF (best one from Intel I've ever seen - the DBX-B) http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Intel-DBX-B-CPU-Cooler-Review/1000/1
EVGA GTX 780 6GB SC w/EVGA ACX Cooler (06G-P4-3787-KR)
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Corsair HX850

Thanks you guys, I really appreciate any thoughts you can share. BTW, from what I understand the H220 really benefits from a little fan-speed tweaking and that doing so via the voltage isn't recommended. But doesn't PWM require 4 pins? If so I'll need a fan controller - but that's a different thread I guess :) Thanks again!
canoli
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Re: Expandable "AIO" - does Swiftech have a bad rep?

Postposted on Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:42 pm

H220 was a good unit for me, for about three months.

Radiator is solid, tubing is good and included fans aren't horrible. You get a six-way PWM splitter, allowing you to run six four-pin fans off one motherboard header.

My pump failed after three months. Gradual build in grinding noises, then one day the bearing just ceased. There are other cases, but I can only speak for me. It looks like a DDC on the block, but it has nowhere near as much power. I was a bit trepidacious of adding another block/rad to its loop to be honest, so the failure was probably a sign from the heavens.

While I had it temps were good, mid 50s on a 3770 at load. I never got to expand it, but I bought it for that reason.

Speaking honestly though, I'd say you were better off looking at a custom loop kit now if you're planning the GPU route in the future. I returned the H220 for the XSPC kit linked below, which turned out to be a very good introduction into DIY loops. The 240 rad will be ample for your CPU, but I would definitely add another 120 or 240 when adding your GPU (base this decision off your GPU TDP).

I can't really say a bad word about the H220, even after returning it. It looks awesome and ran well, and if you win the factory lottery you're probably in for a comfortable few years. Swiftech's support was great for me, even in Australia. I just think an AIO will be a waste of money for you, and you're better off kitting yourself out with decent gear (thicker rads, D5 pump, proper fittings etc.) in preparation for your DIY work down the track.

I've done a few custom loops now. It can be a black hole for money if you don't make sound purchases to begin with. If you're planning to expand it, I'm not sure it's a sound purchase :) I'm still using the same pump I got with that kit, can't go wrong with a D5.

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?mai ... s_id=27264 (price Australian)
3770, 16GB, QUO AOS, GTX 690, 512GB 840 Pro, Xonar DSX - Watercooled DS Cube
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Re: Expandable "AIO" - does Swiftech have a bad rep?

Postposted on Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:32 pm

juzz86 wrote:H220 was a good unit for me, for about three months.

Radiator is solid, tubing is good and included fans aren't horrible. You get a six-way PWM splitter, allowing you to run six four-pin fans off one motherboard header.


I forgot they include a splitter. So running more than 1 fan per header is okay? I always heard that wasn't such a good idea. Obviously I'm missing something if Swiftech includes a splitter.

juzz86 wrote:It looks like a DDC on the block, but it has nowhere near as much power.


what's a DDC?

juzz86 wrote:I'd say you were better off looking at a custom loop kit now if you're planning the GPU route in the future.


I'm looking forward to trying it someday but right now I need something that doesn't require too much thought. I just don't want to devote the time/energy to figuring out a custom loop right now. The GPU will just have to live on air for another few months.

juzz86 wrote:I'm still using the same pump I got with that kit, can't go wrong with a D5.


Yes it certainly looks nice and XSPC gets good reviews. Thanks for the link - they'll be on my list when I'm ready. Sorry to hear your H220 failed so quickly.

Thanks for your post J I appreciate it!
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Re: Expandable "AIO" - does Swiftech have a bad rep?

Postposted on Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:22 am

I had no problems running three fans off one header on a Maximus V Formula. In the end I switched them to three-pin control anyway, I'm not a fan of having my fans ramp up and down, I just find the comfortable level and leave them there. It all depends on the draw of your fans. I wouldn't go drawing 30W from an onboard channel, but 6W or so you're okay :)

A Laing DDC is a water pump. The common ones are Laing DDC (square looking box, also known as Swiftech MCP3xx) and Laing D5 (cylindrical, also known as Swiftech MCP655). Most companies (Alphacool, Swiftech, XSPC etc.) rebrand these OEM variants. There's several variants of DDC with the older ones being 'DDC 1.x' and the newer ones 'DDC 3.x'. The D5 has three variants, normal, Strong and Vario. The Vario has an in-built speed controller, the normal runs at about speed level '4' on a Vario and the strong runs just above speed level '5'.

Roger. If I was going the AIO route again I'd probably still consider the H220 at the top. The fill port in the radiator alone is a good selling point.

Sorry if I came off pushy in the first post. When the time comes, you'll have a lot of fun with your first custom loop :D
3770, 16GB, QUO AOS, GTX 690, 512GB 840 Pro, Xonar DSX - Watercooled DS Cube
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Re: Expandable "AIO" - does Swiftech have a bad rep?

Postposted on Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:48 am

no need to apologize - great info and I appreciate you taking the time, thanks!
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Re: Expandable "AIO" - does Swiftech have a bad rep?

Postposted on Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:04 am

I'd second the suggestion to go full DIY watercooling. Based on what I've seen AIO kits tend to need refilling (which isn't always possible) or see the pumps wear out by the three year mark if not sooner.

I've been using various Swiftech blocks since 2007 and have no real complaints to mention about them. I also have a Swiftech MCP655 vario pump that's a full seven years old and despite 24/7 use in a CPU+GPU loop is still going strong without any bearing noise. I'd love to hear about any AIO's that lasted even 5!

You already have an awesome case for watercooling, the HAF-X can house anything and has mount points for a dual / triple 120 radiator in the top with plenty of clearance. I use the same case in my personal rig and all I had to do was drill the mount points to fit a triple 140mm radiator without obstruction in the top. Out of every case I've owned (so far) I've been the happiest with the HAF-X
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Re: Expandable "AIO" - does Swiftech have a bad rep?

Postposted on Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:02 am

If your worried about the Switftec pump. Maybe you should check out Coolermasters Expandable AIO unit with a fill port, I recall it has a pretty powerful pump. I forget the name Glacier 240 maybe.

But it does not beat a real water cooling system not by a long shot. But the cost is much higher.
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Re: Expandable "AIO" - does Swiftech have a bad rep?

Postposted on Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:58 am

i would also like to say full custom water cooling is the way to go - much more reliable (if you do it correctly) quieter and more performance (run cooler)

the D5 pump (mentioned before) is hands down the best pump you can get, its the most reliable (which is what you want) and is the quietest - the DDC pumps do have slightly higher performance but with low restriction radiators and blocks there is virtually zero difference performance wise between them and DDC pumps dont have the reliability and low noise of the D5

i also recommend the XSPC kits with an RX radiator, raystorm block and D5 if possible - they are absolutely awesome kits with top quality/performing parts at a nice low price

if you were going to buy and expand the H220 then you pretty much have to deal with the same things you would with a custom loop (refilling / bleeding etc)
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Re: Expandable "AIO" - does Swiftech have a bad rep?

Postposted on Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:35 am

Thanks you guys - I am leaning toward a custom loop at this point, though I have to admit part of me wants to go to Best Buy today and get the H100i for $104.99. (!)

I'm still not sure if I want to make the time to configure, leak-test then rebuild this system.

If it was your first custom loop, but you were confident and good with tools, would you install and test it with the mobo/psu/etc. still in the case? I don't mind pulling the video card, the RAM, a few SATA cables to the HDDs, but the system runs so well right now (other than the creeping-higher CPU temps) I hate to have to rebuild it basically from scratch.

I don't know....have to read/research it all more.
Last edited by canoli on Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Expandable "AIO" - does Swiftech have a bad rep?

Postposted on Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:10 pm

After trying to make a Swiftech Caldera actually safe to use and subsequently getting told off by the CEO...the only thing I ever buy from them are radiators. They're reasonably solid for the price.
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Re: Expandable "AIO" - does Swiftech have a bad rep?

Postposted on Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:04 am

thanks W - It seems both Swiftech and XSPC had some trouble in the past with their pumps but the reviews lately, from the past year are nearly all positive. I get the feeling I won't go wrong buying either company's products.

The Swiftech H2O-x20 Elite is my #1 contender and #2 is the XSPC Raystorm D5 RX240.

both nice kits, I only wish XSPC included their newer, all-metal CPU block with the AX240 because it's a real honey. Unfortunately it only comes with the Twin version of the AX240 (and it's sold separately).
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Re: Expandable "AIO" - Water Cooling Misc questions

Postposted on Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:34 am

just curious if this one poster I came across is correct re: rad sizes. He says "the general rule" is 120mm per component, another 120mm for OCing and another 120mm for quiet fans and for headroom. He's advocating a 360mm rad for a CPU, though of course he got plenty of pushback from other posters. Anyway -what is the "general rule of thumb?"

I've read tomshardware primer on water cooling - also a few other good tutorials, and watched plenty of videos - still more to do research-wise but I'm getting there. :)

I don't mind going overkill - I usually prefer it - but a 360 can be more than 15 inches (400mm). I suppose even my HAF X will need some modding to fit a 360 rad up top. I don't mind doing a little work to make it fit but the question is - do I really need a 360mm rad to OC a 980X while running the fans at ~1400 (occasionally faster is fine but for web surfing, etc. I'd like to keep them quiet).

Is 1400rpm a good target? I'll be running a pair of (or 3) NF-F12 from Noctua - ugly color scheme but from everything I read they're excellent fans for a rad.

Thanks!
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Re: Expandable "AIO" - does Swiftech have a bad rep?

Postposted on Sun Jul 13, 2014 5:59 am

As I said before, your case already has the mount points to attach a triple 120mm radiator in the top! It can also handle very thick radiators without clearance issues. If it can handle the length of a triple 140mm radiator then it won't have a problem with a triple 120 either. :wink:

A single 990X should be fine with a dual 120mm and low-noise fans, but if you ever think you might add a GPU to the loop definitely consider investing a bit more in a triple 120mm radiator then. There's already plenty of room for it in the case anyway, and a radiator will probably outlast anything else inside the case as long as it isn't damaged.
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Re: Expandable "AIO" - does Swiftech have a bad rep?

Postposted on Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:06 am

thanks K - duh I forgot to re-read the thread before I asked the question.

I just have 2 questions concerning a 360mm rad in the HAF X:

I assume I should take out that top 200mm fan that's included with the case? I know it's obvious but I'm pretty sure I saw a video where somebody used it to pull air and mounted his rad underneath it.

and - doesn't a 360mm get blocked by the drive bays up top? The distance between the bays and the back is 342mm - so the fan on the right side is partially blocked right? Is that a concern at all?

Thanks for posting Kougar I really appreciate talking to someone with the same case.
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Re: Expandable "AIO" - does Swiftech have a bad rep?

Postposted on Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:07 pm

No problem, it happens to everyone ;)

Regarding the 200mm fan, it needs to be moved or removed. It isn't ideal for pulling air out of the radiator but ya could use it that way if you wanted. Just mount the fans on the outside underneath the top grill and the radiator inside the case. I've seen people even mount a second set of fans to the radiator (there's enough clearance to easily do so) but it isn't needed. I'd still recommend 3 120mm fans over attempting to use the 200mm + 120mm fan combo though!

My triple 140mm rad does block the top two drive bays... A 360mm rad should still block the top two bays, but given how many there are to use it shouldn't be a problem. Even if you route the plumbing through the drive cage area (for a grand total of 3 to 4 drive bays for a thick radiator) there's still a total of six bays to work with. I stuck the MCP655 pump directly below the radiator so I was fine with that, but ya can swap the radiator so the ports are against the rear of the case instead to free up more drive bays. And as long as you stick the 120's on the top side then nothing in the drive bay will hinder airflow through the radiator itself.
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Re: Expandable "AIO" - does Swiftech have a bad rep?

Postposted on Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:58 pm

that was a big help K thank you indeed - less hesitation, more psyched about doing this now.

I don't quite follow "Just mount the fans on the outside underneath the top grill ..." "outside underneath" is not a phrase I'm familiar with lol. You don't mean your fans are on the outside of your case - or do you?

the haf x drive bays filled up quick for me. I'd rather not use the top 2 if I don't need to. What exactly is the advantage of a larger radiator? Slower fans = less noise but there's 3 of them instead of 2. And for expansion purposes wouldn't you want a 2nd rad anyway if all you had was a 360mm? (just sharing what I'm thinking not throwing down a gauntlet :)

well I'll have to decide. The price difference isn't much, the cost in space is a consideration though. I may never expand the system; I'm waiting on UPS for a 780 from EVGA and if it's as cool and quiet as their 770 i won't need to.

I don't intend using the 200mm stock fan at all.

Thanks again Kougar you really helped me.
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Re: Expandable "AIO" - does Swiftech have a bad rep?

Postposted on Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:39 am

Wasn't sure how to phrase it and I didn't remember offhand where the top 200mm fan was mounted from the factory. :wink: By outside the case I meant outside the box frame, but underneath the top bezel / fan grills. That way you can mount the radiator flush to the case... although there's plenty of room to mount the fans underneath the radiator instead if you prefer. Three 120mm fans will fit perfectly underneath the top case panel / bezel without obstruction, it's an amazingly flexible design as even three 140mm fans can fit perfectly up there and yet remain completely hidden.

If you need the top two drive bays then go ahead and stick to a dual rad as you should be fine. (what do you use all those drive bays for?!) I simply recommended a triple rad because there's plenty of room, as you said it's a minor cost increase over a dual, and it's future proof. But it isn't needed unless you start lowering the stock speeds on those Noctua fans. Off the cuff, I'd say anything below 900rpm on those Noctua's means you'd probably want to consider that extra thermal dissipation from the additional surface area & fan.
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Re: Expandable "AIO" - does Swiftech have a bad rep?

Postposted on Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:24 pm

yeah I thought that's what you meant re: fan placement.

I don't have a problem running the rad fans at 1400rpm - hopefully that won't be too loud and will give me good temps.

thanks again for your help Kougar.
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