Swiftech H240-X CPU Liquid Cooling Kit

Cooling
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MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS

These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

These recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the product sounds in actual use — one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware that very quiet subjects may not be audible — if we couldn't hear it from one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!

The recording starts with 5 second segments of room ambiance, then the fan at various levels. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume setting again.

FINAL THOUGHTS

As a CPU cooler, the Swiftech H240-X is definitely a top tier product, though the low noise performance it provides is not commensurate with its US$150 price-tag. On our open-air LGA 1366 test platform, the H240-X is not quite as effective as the more affordable NZXT X61 AIO cooler and the short tube length restricts it to ceiling mounting only. It's possible that with a hotter overclocked CPU, or perhaps inside a hot PC case, the Swiftec's higher volume of liquid and larger pump would provide superior performance. Once the install is completed, it's not as user friendly as the X61, as NZXT provides software pump/fan control, monitoring capabilities, and LED color manipulation. There are also a few air-cooled heatsinks that are slightly more proficient and much cheaper for low noise cooling.

Like many liquid coolers, the noise of the pump is somewhat of an issue, though the fans have a pleasant acoustic profile, and at lower PWM speeds, they can drown out the pump's negative qualities. However, the way the system relies on PWM restricts how quiet it can get if you lack more than one PWM-capable header, something that applies to many motherboards. For most, a noise level of 20 [email protected] or below isn't possible without taking the fans off PWM control but this makes the provided 8-way PWM splitter redundant.

This as more than just a humble CPU cooler though, as it's really a hybrid product that bridges the gap between closed and open loop water cooling systems. The unit is completely pre-assembled and pre-filled like an AIO model and has a simple mounting system so even an inexperienced DIYer can use it without much trepidation. However, the real audience for this product is the more sophisticated enthusiast who may feel uneasy about taking the plunge directly into assembling a full custom loop watercooling. The H240-X's standard fittings and tubing make it a good jumping-off point to a more complex water cooling system that can take care of additional components like a graphics card. It could be a clever attempt to up-sell you on more Swiftech gear later on while also capturing some of the current revenue going to competing AIO cooling manufacturers. Only time will tell whether this is an effective strategy.

Our thanks to Swiftech for the H240-X CPU liquid cooling kit sample.

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SPCR Articles of Related Interest:

Arctic Accelero Hybrid II-120 Liquid GPU Cooler
Cryorig R1 Ultimate & Universal CPU Coolers
NZXT Kraken G10 Graphics Adapter
NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler
Enermax Liqtech 120X AIO Liquid CPU Cooler
LEPA LV12 Direct-Touch Heatsink
Recommended Heatsinks

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