The California-based Swiftech Company, one of the leaders among the manufacturers of preassembled liquid-cooling systems as well as individual components, continues to improve and enhance their products. However, the modifications do not include only the addition of the support for the new platforms to the actual water blocks, but touch all of the components more or less, which the users definitely appreciate. Moreover, we can even notice that the price of certain components has been reduced. For example, a highly efficient H2O-X20 Edge cooling system, which we reviewed last year, cost $319.95, while the new H2O-X20 Edge HD system, which has been improved in many aspects, is priced at $269.95, i.e. $50 less! How have these systems been modified and how efficient they are if compared against the best air-cooler, this is what we are going to discuss in our today’s review.
Packaging and Accessories
We received two systems with radiators of different size and a few other less significant differences, which we are going to cover later in our review. Both systems are shipped in identical cardboard boxes with a photo of a popular dragster vehicle on the front:
One of the longer sides of the packaging has images of 24 possible installation options (with the radiator installed into or onto the system case), which illustrates how versatile Swiftech’s cooling systems can be:
The short sides of the boxes list all the components included with the Swiftech H2O-X20 Edge HD liquid-cooling systems:
Inside the boxes we found AirCap bubble wrap used for additional protection. Unfortunately, one of the systems still suffered substantial transportation damage:
However, I have to say that despite these visually severe damages, the expansion tank integrity hasn’t suffered and the system remained fully operational.
Besides the major system components, MCR220 Drive and MCR320 Drive (third revision) radiators, the systems also include the following:
- Swiftech Apogee HD CPU water block;
- Two sets of fan cables;
- Rubber rings and brackets;
- A set of screws, steel triangles and plastic mounts;
- A CD disk with an electronic version of the user manual;
- HydrX PM coolant;
- Fittings and clamps;
- System assembly and installation instructions in multiple languages.
As previously, fan cables have two types of adapters. The first two (or three in case of MCR320 Drive) are intended to connect the fans to PATA PSU connectors simultaneously reducing the voltage from 12 V to 5 V. A second set of cables have three-pin connectors with soldered resistors that will drop the voltage to 7 V. I have to say once again that both these solutions aren’t the best in my opinion, because in the first case you will need two or even three free PATA connectors on the power supply unit, while in the second case you will need two or three fan connectors on the mainboard, which is a luxury not many users can afford.
Each system is bundled with 2 meters of flexible clear tubing with 20 mm external and 13 mm internal diameter:
The higher-end system with an MCR320 Drive radiator also comes with a second revision of Swiftech MCB-120 “Radbox” radiator retention kit:
The junior model with MCR220 Drive radiator doesn’t have this kit for some reason, although it is not too expensive.
Unlike previously reviewed Swiftech systems, which came with HydrX coolant concentrate, the new ones come with a pre-made HydrX PM anti-corrosion coolant liquid: one bottle for the junior system and two bottles for the high-end one:
It seems like a minor modification, but it adds a ton of convenience, because now you won’t need to buy distilled water and delude the concentrate. Just pour the pre-made HydrX PM coolant into the radiator. Moreover, while the previous coolant solution was to remain functional for up to three years, this time Swiftech promises up to 10 years of fault-free operation. Nevertheless, we would still recommend replacing the coolant in your system about once a year, especially since it can be purchased separately and costs only $3.95. It also glows in the UV light.
Swiftech H2O-X20 Edge HD systems are designed in the USA but manufactured in China. Low-cost labor allowed the company not only to avoid raising the prices of their new products, but even to lower them substantially. For example, the junior Swiftech H2O-X20 Edge HD with the MCR220 Drive radiator costs only $229.95, while the top model with the MCR320 Drive radiator is priced at $269.95. Both systems come with two-year warranty.
Let’s see what has been changed in the new systems.