Four ATX Cases For High-Capacity Water Cooling, Reviewed

Introducing Swiftech’s H20-320 Edge HD

Wouldn’t it be nice if someone would design a true high-capacity cooler that installed as easily as a self-contained unit? Swiftech thought of that with its H20-X20 Edge HD cooling kits. We tested the extra-long -320 model.

Though it looks complicated, most of the parts in the H20-320’s installation kit are adapters. On the left, for example, is a 120 mm spacer box that allows the radiator to hang off the back of a case (when it won’t fit inside). Likewise, various socket support plates are seen on the right.

The included MCR-320 Drive Rev3 radiator adds a pair of secondary return holes to support parallel flow configurations for lower-flow devices, such as memory and hard drive water blocks. An integrated pump on one end extends 7/8” above the radiator’s top surface, forcing builders to use fans as spacers, while dramatically reducing overall complexity of the loop.

The MCR-320 Drive Rev3’s integrated reservoir also simplifies the system’s cooling loop, extending beyond the radiator’s upper surface in a manner that necessitates the use of fans as mounting spacers. The shape allows air to be trapped in either horizontal or vertical orientation, and Swiftech places fill ports for both orientations.

The heart of a CPU cooling system is its water block, and Swiftech makes a good one. The Apogee HD mates a solid copper base with tiny machined fins to a plastic cover, reducing galvanic corrosion. A pair of secondary outputs allows the same parallel flow arrangement as the kit’s radiator.

Also available in black, we chose the white version for its ability to show brightly in photographs.

Gold electroplate protects the surface of the polished thermal interface from tarnish. A second set of screws supports the larger threads of Intel’s LGA 2011 integrated cooler brace, and installing them is as easy as removing e-clips from the original screws.

After applying thermal paste, the Apogee HD screws onto the motherboard’s cooler support threads. Springs provide even contact pressure across the entire CPU surface.

Cutting, clamping, and filling make the H20-320 only slightly more time-consuming to assemble than a sealed liquid system. On the other hand, we look forward to not drilling holes in these cases to install a pump and reservoir, not draining the system between installations, and not checking four more fittings for leaks. Swiftech’s Edge kits are designed to provide most of the cooling and configurability of a full component system, but without the extra clutter.