We reviewed the new Premium version of the H20-120, which is Swiftech’s standard high-performance water-cooling kit. Since we last reviewed the kit, Swiftech made several changes in order to simplify installation, improve performance, and promote silent operation. All in all, Swiftech has fixed almost every issue the previous kit had, with one exception—the instructions are still horrible.
The biggest change is the all-new Apogee water block, which blasts water onto the area above the CPU core, causing a lot of turbulence and enhancing heat exchange. The pump, which uses 3/8-inch internal-diameter tubing, is now integrated directly into the reservoir to reduce the amount of tubing inside your case. Swiftech includes smart coils, which wrap around the tubes to help prevent kinks in the lines, but we didn’t need them in our test case. Props to Swiftech for finally making the fan speed adjustable. You can run it at 12V, 7V, or 5V, using different power connectors.
Installation is rather straightforward, but the instructions are as user-unfriendly as any we’ve ever seen. All the info is there, but it’s so dense that the average consumer will likely be put off. Once installed, however, Swiftech’s kit runs quiet and performs exceptionally. We didn’t experience any leaks or hassles, and the temperatures were on par with the best kits we’ve tested. Using the 12V connector, our load temp was 40 C. Using the silent 5V fan speed, the temps rose only 3 C. And with its single 12cm radiator, the H20-120 offered the exact same performance as the Thermaltake’s Bigwater 745, which has three 12cm radiators.
Month Reviewed: May 2006
+ SWIFT TECH'D: Awesome performance, quiet, and dependable.
- SWIFT BOAT'D: Installation instructions are way too dense.