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Home > Hardware Reviews > PC Parts

Monday, January 07, 2008
Swiftech Apex Ultra H20-220

1. Introduction

Cooling has always been a rather hot subject, since most currently sold processors and GPU cores produce a lot of heat, especially when overclocked. Air and water cooling have been the favorite solutions for many different manufacturers, with a variety of products ranging in cost and corresponding performance. Today, we will examine an advanced water cooling product from a well known and established manufacturer. The SwifTech Apex Ultra H20-220, has all the components to make your system run as cool as the air that flows around the room. With a price tag of US$250, we have high expectations, so let's get started by taking a look at the product features.

- SwifTech Apex Ultra H20-220

The SwifTech Apex Ultra model, consists of several, different components that offer maximum performance with a minimum of noise, all in the same package. The Apex "Ultra" model is an upgrade from the Apex initial release, differentiating itself through the use of the new Apogee GT water-block. According to SwifTech, the new Apogee GT water-block, lowers by up to 4° C the overall heat produced by the processor, compared with the previous water block. More-over, the combination of the MCR220-QP dual 120mm radiator and the MCP655 pump, promises to satisfy both extremes of the enthusiast market spectrum: overclockers in search of the lowest CPU temperatures and silent computing users in search of the lowest possible operating noise.

The MCR220 dual 120mm radiator, will not fit in most PC's without extensive modifications, as SwifTech suggests and were confirmed from our efforts. However, due to the mounting mechanism, you can avoid a lot of the hassle, with no modifications other than a couple of holes.

In the retail box is included the MCB120 "Radbox" Revision2, with fan guards to protect the radiator's delicate fins.

There is another, more complete product with VGA and chipset water block, the "H20-220-Apex Ultra+". The two blocks increase the overall retail price up to US$380.

- Features

EXTREME PERFORMANCE
Features
SILENT COMPUTING
Features
Capturing the heat
  • The extreme performance Apogee GT Universal water-block is responsible for absorbing the heat generated by today's hottest CPU's with incredible efficiency.
  • Adjustable fan speed: the kit is delivered with 12V to 7V and 12V to 5V fan adapters, enabling users to reduce the fan speed -and noise, to whisper quiet operations (~25 dBA).
Moving the Heat around
  • The Extreme performance MCP655™ 12 Volts DC industrial pump pushes the coolant throughout the circuit at high velocity.
  • Larger 7/16" ID (5/8" OD) tubing is used to maximize the coolant flow rate inside the system.
  • Adjustable Pump speed: the pump speed can be adjusted to virtually silent operation.
Dissipating the heat into the atmosphere
Minimum toll on performance in "silent" mode
  • The new MCR-220 copper and brass radiator doubles the surface area available for heat convection into the air compared to a single 120mm radiator, and uses two 72 CFM 120mm fans, at a reasonable* sound noise level of 37 dBA.
  • The MCB120 "Radbox" Revision 2 optimizes cooling by using fresh air from outside the computer, without adding any thermal load to other components.
  • The MCR-220 radiator fin density has been optimized to reduce air noise and operate at high efficiency with low-flow fans
  • At the lowest fan speed settings, the H20-APEX kit still delivers superb performance while allowing substantial overclocking. For example, at 100 Watts, the CPU temperature is only 3c higher than at the highest fan settings
Convenience and reliability features
  • Kit noise/performance ratio can be fine-tuned at the user leisure.
  • 12 Volt DC MCP655 pump plugs directly into computer power supply.
  • High-reliability, no-maintenance industrial pump is rated at 50,000 hour MTBF(Mean Time Between Failure) equivalent to 5 year lifetime.
  • MCRES-Micro reservoir fits in any small space available in the system without sacrificing a CD-drive bay
  • MCRES-Micro reservoir provides approximately 18 month of continuous operations without refills.
  • Universal Apogee GT water-block is compatible with all current desktop processors, and ships with all the different mounting systems.
  • The Patent pending MCR-220 radiator is completely self-bleeding in upright position, or when installed on it's side.
  • SmartCoils 625 are included with the kit, to completely eliminate tube kinking for a safe and reliable installation.
  • The 7/16" ID tubing features the same or better flexibility than 3/8" ID tubing, no distinguishable difference in terms of system flow rate compared to 1/2" ID tubing, but significantly reduces the bulk associated with 1/2" ID thick wall tubing.
  • The MCB-120 "Radbox" Revision 2 provides a bolt-on mechanism to "hang" the radiator at the back of the case with minimum case modifications.




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