Liquid cooling your personal computer is a very niche market. In years past, the amount of time, money and knowledge needed to setup and install a water cooling solution for your CPU only was way over the average users means. Fast forward to 2013 and the market is now flooded with all-in-one liquid cooling products from multiple vendors. You have companies like Corsair, Thermaltake, NZXT, ASUS and Zalman that produce maintenance free liquid cooling solutions. The catch with these companies is that the products they put out are all the same,literally. Let’s break it down for you.
So, basically there are two OEM manufacturers of all the maintenance free liquid cooling solutions available on the market today. Asetek and CoolIT. Corsair goes even further by putting out multiple parts from both OEM companies. Corsair, Thermaltake, NZXT and the others mentioned differentiate themselves a bit on presentation of the products or by adding their own fans. But the bottom line is that they are all the same.
If that’s the case, then where does Swiftech fit into the list above? The answer is: nowhere. The H220 just launched at CES is custom made. Everything on it is made in house, down to the pump that sits on the CPU heat extractor. Prior to the H220, Swiftech used, and still uses, Laing OEM pumps. But in order to compete in the all-in-one market, they needed to bring down costs. The pump was pushing prices of their custom setups above reproach when compared to similar systems from other manufacturers. After trying to negotiate with Laing on producing a lower cost pump, Swiftech decided to make their own.
The decision to build everything in house brought overall costs down enough to where the H220 could be competitive, not only on the cooling front, but in price as well. The new unit retails for $139.95 at www.swiftech.com. Now that we have a new (and we mean new and not rehashed CoolIT or Asetek) product that is priced right, how does it perform?