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Swiftech H20-120 REV. 3 Liquid Kit Swiftech H20-120 REV. 3 Liquid Kit: When it comes to quality and performance, you can always count on Swiftech. We look at their latest kit and give you the 411.
Date: January 28, 2004
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    The liquids included in the package are Arctic Silver Céramique™, and HydrX™.  Its nice to see a high quality thermal compound included in the package unlike the generic compound many include.  The HydrX™ is supposed to prohibit oxydation, formation of algea, and improve heat transfer, at least according to , and it produces a nice green look to the water, which can help show you if the water is flowing.

    The installation booklet(s) that are provided are more of a generic guide.  They were designed to be put with each piece separately, as you can always buy everything piece by piece.  I would have preferred a better manual that was designed slightly more specifically for this kit, as not much would have to be changed.


    Now we get to the hardest part for a newbie to water cooling such as myself, the installation of this water cooler.  Unlike your standard air based cooler which doesn't require a massive amount of planning to install, you need to plan how you are going to install the kit.

    The instruction booklets provide you with the basic building blocks of the process, telling you where the output on the reservoir is, and where the input and outputs are on the water block and pump.  Once you get this down you can also see the 'recommended' installation directions from Swiftech. 

    What I did was a little different from the recommended installation, as instead of going straight from the pump to the water block, I went to the radiator and then the water block, why?  Simply because I could not remove the tubing that was already attached to the water block.  This however leads to good news as most computers will not need to use the extra tubing supplied by Swiftech.

    Installing the radiator was a two part job.  The first part was physically installing the radiator onto the back of the case.  Depending on your case Swiftech has provided spacers to allow you to install it whether the case has the standard convex grill or if you have modded that area and have nothing covering the back fan grill.  After installing the radiator to the case, and making sure that you don't block the ATX back plate, you can move to the second part of the radiator's install.  This part is the install of the PCI pass-through plate.  Just pick a unused PCI slot and, following the manual, use the worm drive clamps to hold the tubing on each end of the pass-through adaptors.  Don't forget to run the 3-pin fan adaptor through the area first as you can't install it through that slot any other way.  This is where I had a little problem with the included 3-pin to 4-pin adaptor, as I would have liked to have the 3-pin portion of this adaptor outside the case for easier plugging in of the fan, but the included one will not fit through the PCI slot cover.  One note however, the PCI slot pass-through is best lower down in the case as if it is too close to the radiator you have to snake the tubing in a very small area, if you don't cut the cable.

    As for installing the water block it started off as a fairly easy task, as you have to remove the motherboard to put the screws in from the bottom of the motherboard through the four socket holes provided by the Intel guidelines.  Otherwise it is just a matter of putting the small pieces on in order.  The only problem I had was regarding the direction of the water block on the actual CPU socket.  Instead of making sure that the water block was flush with the CPU/socket, I just put it in and screwed it down.  After turning the computer on, I was a bit surprised to be getting 70°C temperatures in the BIOS.  After a bit I finally looked at the water block closest to the power supply and noticed that it wasn't making contact with the CPU at all (thank you thermal throttling).  After rotating the water block so it was flush everything started working fine.

    The installation of the reservoir was pretty easy as I simply slid it into a open 5 1/4" bay, filled it with distilled water and HydrX™, and then screwed it into the standard mounts.

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