by Matthew Harris on May 4, 2006 in Cooling
In computing we have many cooling options. Air, water and phase change being the most common in the enthusiast arena. Today we will be looking at a top grade kit from Swiftech and comparing it to a similarly configured kit from the competition and see if there is a clear winner or loser.
All in all I’m very impressed with the Swiftech Apex Ultra H2O-220. The performance is on par with one of the heavy hitters that is commonly pimped by the hardcore overclocking crowd and the quality of the product is exceptional. The added extras do come at a bit of a premium but they’re very useful and are commonly something that would be bought out of necessity anyways. The MCW60 GPU blocks are pretty nice by their own right and aside from the problems I encountered while mounting them pre-plumbed I have to say that the mounting system is the best I’ve seen.
There’s no guesswork at all. You tighten the springs down until the screws hit the limiters and you’re done. There’s nothing sticking up on the back of the card to get in the way of the slots above the card so you don’t end up blocking 2 slots (One above the card and one below) by deciding to go with water cooling on the GPUs. Trust me here, on certain motherboards such as the one I tested on and the MSI X16 board the Maze4 GPU blocks can be a nightmare.
- Easy to set up
- Comes with everything you need
- Biggest instruction booklet I’ve encountered
- Looks great!!
- Competive in price and performance
- Some instructions are confusing (Such as listing 3/8" barbs where none are)
- GPU blocks could be easier to mount to a plumbed loop
Oh, by the way, here’s a pic of the SmartCoils in action:
As you can see they constrict the tubing causing it to keep it’s circular dimension when it’s under compression. Without them the tubing in this picture would have kinked causing a loss in flow.
And now without further delay, the score. I’m awarding the Swiftech Apex Ultra with MCW60’s a 9/10 and the Editor’s choice award for being such an outstanding kit. Swiftech doesn’t leave you out in the cold, if you run into any problems you have phone tech support along with a very good manual to fall back on. I wish that their competition could take a page from Swiftech’s playbook and include such complete documentation.
You’ve read the review now go discuss it here.