So, for those that haven’t been following the situation for the last eighteen or so months….closed loop cooling manufacturer Asetek applied for and was granted a US patent for the out of the box CLC system as they developed it. That would be closed loop, with the pump and CPU block in one unit. Both of those facts are key; the closed loop and the location of the pump. Asetek then went the Apple route of threatening lawsuits against competing manufacturers. Apparently, they settled their differences with CoolIt/Corsair, as CoolIt made units remain in production and available, while Corsair branded Asetek units hit the shelves in the same time frame. Antec simply moved their pumps off the block to avoid issues, and I am not sure what legalese allowed Zalman, Cooler Master and Silverstone to go on.
Frankly, I doubt the smaller players were on Asetek’s radar as a target, and I would assume they were just looking to hitch a ride on Corsair’s PR sailboat in exchange for taking the heat off CoolIt. However, there was one product that Asetek couldn’t wait to get off the shelves, and it came from relatively small AiO newcomer (but WaCo vet) Swiftech. Make no mistake, there was a good reason for CLC manufacturers to want the Swiftech H220 gone. While the rest of the CLCs really posed no performance threat to the Asetek made units, the H220 was markedly better. The H220 also happened to be far quieter. Oh, and did I mention that the H220 was open loop with a pump strong enough to easily add a couple of more components to the loop and featured a copper and brass rad? Obviously, if you are a CLC manufacturer, you don’t want the H220 around besting you in every possible way, especially at a price point only $20 higher. So, off the shelves the H220 went, and something very telling happened next. Swiftech’s reaction was along the lines of “that’s OK, we need to focus on the next revision, anyway”. That was probably not what Asetek wanted to hear, and a sign that they had woken a sleeping giant.
With the pump on the block design out of the question for the H220X, Swiftech took to their own pump and reservoir mounted on the radiator design they had used so successfully in the past. With more room to work with, Swiftech armed the H220X pre-assembled open loop with an in-house designed high flow and pressure MCP30 pump for increased expandability. With the CPU block now freed up, Swiftech made the decision to use their new flagship CPU block, the Apogee XL recently reviewed here, complete with color changing LED lenses. For compatibility, G1/4” fittings were used throughout (adapter required for pump outlet), with 3/8” rotary barbs pre-installed. Tubing is easily removed and replaced on the factory barbs to make upgrading a snap. The H220X uses a dual 120mm copper and brass rad for much higher heat dissipation than in aluminum rads found in CLC solutions. Keeping things cool are two 1800rpm high pressure/low noise Helix fans. Both the fans and pump are speed controlled through PWM, with an 8-channel PWM splitter included in the package to make wiring quick and simple. The pump and fans both have an MTBF of 60,000 hours, and Swiftech backs the H220X with a 3-year warranty.