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Swiftech H20-APEX "Extreme Duty" Swiftech H20-APEX "Extreme Duty" : Swiftech sends over their no excuses water cooling kit. Is it as "extreme" as they make it out to be?
Date: October 5, 2005
Written By:

Water cooling has come a long ways since it's early days of having to piece together random parts from automobiles and manufacturing your own waterblocks. Just about every company in the PC cooling business has some type of watercooling "kit" available these days. One of the main drawbacks of water cooling (other than going against everything you ever learned that water and electricity don't mix) is for the most part installing a water cooling system hasn't been very user friendly and often time required a lot more work than what the average PC user wanted to put forth. Add the fact that advances in Air cooling have closed the gap in the performance differences in watercooling and air cooling and some users just don't see the benefit of going with a watercooling solution.

I installed a WC kit on my PC about a year and a half ago, I consider myself to be an "advanced" PC user and know my way around the insides of a PC quite well and have no trouble with installing/uninstalling hardware, However at the time installing that WC kit was more painful than a trip to the dentist. When the pump died on that kit I switched back to air, that resulted in a slight increase in temps and a HUGE increase in noise, but I accepted that change due to ease of install and temp difference wasn't that much.

Now, fast forward to present and I'm yet again jumping into the watercooling arena, this time with a kit from Swiftech that is supposed to be very user friendly and hopefully offer fewer headaches.


Capturing the heat
Adjustable fan speed
  • The extreme performance STORM Universal waterblock is responsible for absorbing the heat generated by today's hottest CPU's with incredible efficiency.
  • The kit is delivered with 12V to 7V and 12V to 5V fan adapters, enabling users to to reduce the fan speed -and noise, to whisper quiet operations (~25 dBA).
Moving the Heat around
Adjustable Pump speed
  • The Extreme performance MCP655" 12 Volts DC industrial pump pushes the coolant throughout the circuit at high velocity.
  • Larger 7/16" ID (5/8" OD) tubing is used to maximize the coolant flow rate inside the system.
  • The pump speed can be adjusted to virtually silent operation.
Dissipating the heat into the atmosphere
Minimum toll on performance in "silent" mode
  • The new MCR-220 copper and brass radiator doubles the surface area available for heat convection into the air compared to a single 120mm radiator, and uses two 72 CFM 120mm fans, at a reasonable* sound noise level of 37 dBA.
  • The MCB120 "Radbox" optimizes cooling by using fresh air from outside the computer, without adding any thermal load to other components.
  • The MCR-220 radiator fin density has been optimized to reduce air noise and operate at high efficiency with low-flow fans
  • At the lowest fan speed settings, the H20-APEX kit still delivers superb performance while allowing substantial overclocks. For example, at 100 Watts, the CPU temperature is only 3°c higher than at the highest fan settings
Maximum overclock
Minimum Noise

I was kind of surprised at the packaging, for some reason I was expecting something much bigger, anyway the box art has a very "liquid" look to it as you would expect with a watercooling kit. It's hard to tell what you are actually getting in the kit just from looking at the box as it doesn't give you any info, All you will find on the box is that it is a complete liquid cooling kit and that it is from Swiftech. Along the outside edges of the box are listed the numerous sites that have reviewed, and recommended Swiftech in the past. Once you remove the "outer shell" it's a plain cardboard box with a parts list label stuck on the side.

Once you get the box opened up and pull all of the parts out you may ask yourself, how did all that fit in such a small box?

1 STORM water-block, including hold-down plate, various processors mounting systems, and (2) hose clamps
1 MCP655 pump, including mounting hardware and (2) hose clamps
1 MCRES-525, including mounting hardware, pre-installed ½” hose-barb fittings, and (2) hose clamps
1 MCR220 Radiator assembly, including (2) pre-installed 120mm fans with fan guards, mounting hardware, ½” black nylon hose barb fittings, (2) 12v to 7v adapters, (2) 12v to 5v 3-pin to 4-
Molex adapters, and (2) hose clamps And Pre-installed MCB-120 Radbox, with mounting hardware
6 Feet 7/16” industrial grade PCV tubing
1 Length (40”) Coolsleeves 625 clear
1 2 Oz. Bottle of HydrX concentrated coolant
1 Syringe of Arctic Céramique thermal compound


I'm not going to give a full run down of all of the parts included, but some of them do deserve a mention,

The Radiator
The MCR-220 radiator has been designed with the enthusiast in mind, it uses dual 120mm fans for optimal cooling and optimized for the best performance possible for low to medium flow fans. This means it should be whisper quiet and perform great.

The waterblock
The STORM waterblock has been called the best waterblock on the market. It is a jet impingement block meaning that it has mini jets in the upper part of the block where the intake is that spray coolant into matching "cups" in the waterblocks base. In essence the jets restrict the flow causing it to spray into the cups at a MUCH higher velocity which results in greater turbulence and more effective and efficient cooling.

The Rad box
The Rad box is what's used to mount the radiator to the back of the case, it's a pretty simple design and it's a wonder someone hadn't thought of it before. It uses the existing fan mount holes on the back of the case (either 80mm or 120mm) to attach the radiator. When attaching it using the fan holes for an 80mm fan it allows left and right or up and down adjustment depending on the orientation of the box, when attaching to 120mm fan holes it doesn't offer any adjustment without drilling new holes in the case. It also has spacers so that it can be mounted away from the case.

The Pump
The pump included is the MCP655, quite possibly the best pump on the market for watercooling purposes. There have also been a few improvements to it over the previous version.

Quieter operating
Improved midrange head and flow
Potention meter allows you to adjust flow rate.


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