Cooling Efficiency Tests
The table and diagram below show the results of our cooling efficiency tests:
First let’s check out Swiftech H2O-X20 Edge performance in different operational modes. As we see, fans and namely their rotation speed contribute the most to the overall result. The pump performance also affects the temperature readings, but not as significantly as the fans. For example, when we tested the system with its default water block and all three fans working at their maximum speed of 2140 RPM and the pump rotor at 2150 RPM, the maximum CPU temperature is 2°C lower than at 1450 RPM fan and 4500 RPM pump speeds. And when the fans are at their maximum, the pump performance hardly affects anything at all giving the only 2-degree advantage in the loudest mode. This way we can conclude that just like with most other liquid-cooling systems, the cooling efficiency of Swiftech H2O-X20 Edge primarily depends on the radiator cooling efficiency and the pump performance becomes almost negligible. At least, it is true for the configuration with only one Apogee XTL processor water block.
As for the more expensive Apogee XT Rev.2, it proved only 1-2°C more efficient than its less expensive brother. In other words, it doesn’t make much sense to upgrade the water block in your Swiftech H2O-X20 Edge kit, unless you are an extreme liquid-cooling fan and each degree counts for you. Moreover, Apogee XT Rev.2 looks more stylish than the XTL model :)
If we compare our today’s hero, Swiftech H2O-X20 Edge, against the today’s best air cooler, we have to keep in mind the acoustic performance of both these systems and we are going to get to it in the next chapter of our article. However, even now it already becomes obvious that in its quietest mode with all fans at 950 RPM and the pump at 2150 RPM Swiftech H2O-X20 Edge is only 2°C better than Thermalright Archon with its default fan TY-140 at 1260 RPM. And I have to say that this is very small of an advantage to justify three times higher price of the Swiftech system and make up for all the concerns about the lack of cooling for the around-the-socket mainboard components. Nevertheless, in absolute numbers the new Swiftech system at its maximum speeds demonstrated 13°C advantage over Thermalright Archon in its default configuration with one TY-140 fan and an 8°C advantage over the same cooler equipped with two powerful Scythe SlipStream 140 fans at 1710 RPM. I have to say that noise aside, this performance difference looks much more convincing.