Overall and Final Verdict
As someone with experience building custom water cooling kits in multiple builds it hurts a little when I settle and just go with an air cooler or an all in one water cooling kit. When I built our D-Frame Mini build a little over a year ago initially built it with a stock cooler with the plan to build something custom. After a little time, I settled with an off the shelf 240mm all in one kit and that was a big improvement over the stock cooler. Using that kit was enough to keep things cooler and quieter than the stock cooler but it just didn’t fit with the build. With such an open design it is just begging for something a little flashier. So again I started thinking about building a custom loop but it wasn’t until that AIO kit started to make a little noise with air in its lines that I was motivated enough to do anything about It. I had just seen Swiftech’s new H220 X2 at CES and it looked like a perfect solution, custom enough to have the look but still a kit where I didn’t have to dedicate too much time getting everything picked out.
Well I can say that so far the decision has been good. I did run into a problem with a crack starting to develop around the pump and Swiftech was quick to RMA it. I will also say that in the end I’m not a big fan of the NoiseBlacker fans. They performed well but both the original it and its replacement had a bit of a wobble and this led to the fans touching the D-Frame’s fan casing a few times before I figured it out. I also look forward to Swiftech continuing to perfect the design as the lighting that I initially loved started to turn me off a little with the diffuser on the front of the radiator not diffusing the LEDs enough, leading to light dots across the front.
Even with those issues I have been extremely happy with the kit. Why is that? Well for starters the performance numbers in both cooling and noise were very impressive. I also like that even if you are buying the base H220 X2 it is completely customizable. You have your choice in lighting colors both on the radiator and waterblock and like past H220’s you can also change the loop without having to start all over. In my case I dyed the coolant red to match my build with the included dyes, set the lighting to red, and I shortened the lines to better fit the ITX build that I used it in. I also know that in the future I can add a block for the Titan X in the build with very little work (seriously considering doing this and going with a pastel coolant). That customization is really what sets the H220 X2 apart. Swiftech makes that even more obvious by having the Prestige option that I tested with that adds the NoiseBlocker fans and compression fittings. The compression fittings alone would cost about $32 to get and the black chrome looks amazing.
So what about the price? Well if you are only concerned about the price you are going to end up with a basic All in One kit like what I tested against the H220 X2. Custom water cooling isn’t cheap and that translates over to the H220 X2 a little. But with that said the base H220 X2 is about $30 more than some of the AIO kits and that is going to get you a big jump in performance. The Prestige kit is a great value on top of that if you plan on using the NoiseBlocker fans, the fans alone account for the price difference in the Prestige. I would love to see an option with the compression fittings and no fans at all for even more customization, but I think that is asking a lot.
All in all, I know the H220 X2 will be staying in the D-Frame Mini for as long as we are using that build and I have already been recommending the kit to people looking to add a little flash in their build. It’s not perfect but it is a great way to get custom loop looks and performance in an all in one kit.
Live Pricing: HERE
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