Swiftech was pretty much the only water cooling company to actually introduce a product at CES, and they introduced more than one. First off – apologies for the pictures, it was dark by the time I got to the suite, and like all Vegas suites the mood lighting was designed to make people look more attractive and not show detail on water cooling components.

The biggest news is the revamped H220 cooler now called the H220X. After Asetek sued anyone who ever made a liquid cooler Swiftech decided to not sell the H220 in the US anymore until they had resolved the patent issues. The Asetek “patent” revolved around mating a cpu block with an integrated pump. So of course the new design puts the pump somewhere else. Trying to keep the system simple for the water cooling noob meant that it then had to mount to the radiator like the old MCRDrive rads. Swiftech also wanted to add a reservoir so that levels could be monitored in case a stubborn air bubble was still in the system. It also aids with refilling when expanding the system – of course the system is prefilled for the first time user.

So here’s a look at the entire H220X system:

You’ll notice there is a new CPU block called the Apogee XL – the center lights up currently with an white LED (but soon all swiftech LEDs will be configurable RGB ones!). Performance is supposed to be improved and we look forward to testing this on our new 4770K based testbench:

Another change is the move to removable G 1/4 fittings. Previous fittings were not removable. This makes it much easier for people to expand and grow their system as they know better what they like.

Yet another change is that the radiators are now no bigger than a fan. Typically radiators have large end tanks that protude out partly to shuffle the liquid around at one end and to mount the G 1/4 fittings on the other end. Swiftech bring the ports down instead and have tiny end caps such that the radiator has maximum compatibility. Any case with a fan mount will be able to fit the correct size cooler now. Radiators will come in 120, 240 and 280 sizes and sometime maybe Q4 with a 360.

The reservoir is small as can be seen when it’s detached:

Swiftech showed me that despite this it still doesn’t generate bubbles when the flow is turned up:

The pump is also new. It’s a detuned version of the upcoming MCP50X. The MCP50x is similar to a ddc in style and size but has a good bit more torque. The H220 version is detuned for noise so that it’s always quieter than the fans. The top keeps the impeller in place a bit more which means that the top end flow is not quite as good:

But we really don’t care about high end flow so much as torque and flow rate for “most loops”. The regular MCP50x itself looks like the MCP35x:

It still has PWM control but now power is handled by a sata connector instead of molexes. I like this as I hate molex connectors with a passion. The MCP50x should also retail for less than the MCP35x but an official price has not been given as yet.

In this demo Swiftech compared the MCP35x (top) with a MCP50x (bottom) and showed that pressure gain (4.6 PSI vs 4.17PSI) of the pump was higher when flow rates were set equally:

Then the shut off pressure was measured (5.07PSI on the MCP50x vs 4.39PSI of the MCP35x):

Noise was of similar magnitude though the MCP50x is less whiney than the MCP35x.  At full I would consider both to be a bit noisey for anyone who is concerned about noise, however the PWM functionality means it can be turned down to healthier levels.

However the changes aren’t just limited to the H220 and the MCP50x. There is a new maelstrom reservoir with a larger coolant capacity:

It loses the temperature sensor but will be cheaper to make up for it. And it sounds like there is a new temperature sensor coming anyway.

And we also saw the prototypes of the new R9-290 blocks:

And the plexi version of the existing Titan/780 blocks:

Remember everything will eventually get RGB LEDs too. Release dates vary but are mainly Q1-Q2.

All in all a good amount of new and exciting products for us water coolers and we are eager to see how they perform!