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weazel6265
04-29-2008, 10:22 PM
Swiftech Storm rev2 Universal Waterblock

The final piece in my water-cooling setup has arrived. (insert evil laughter here). Around noon on Friday I finally made up my mind to make the order from www.xoxide.com. I would soon become the proud owner of the Swiftech Storm CPU water block. I got my package at noon on Tuesday, but unfortunately had to put my goodies aside because I had to work. Howís that for fast shipping? Now I am getting a chance to tear apart the packaging for my new toy. Itís better than Christmas.

Why choose the Swiftech Storm?
I am relatively new to the water-cooling scene, and I know that there are going to be upgrades in the near future. The storm was one of the few water-blocks that I saw that supports basically everything. As the title describes it, it is quite literally a universal waterblock. I currently have a socket 478, but I know that I will likely be changing that to a socket 775. Why buy two blocks, when one will suffice?

Will it fit? (http://www.xoxide.com/swiftech-apogee-gt-waterblock.html)


The unboxing:

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii188/weazezl6265/IMG_1333.jpg


Whatís in the box?
Hardware, hardware, and more hardware. Each type of socket requires different mounting techniques, which means each socket needs different hardware. Lucky for me everything is in clearly labeled individual baggies, so I donít start mounting it to an Intel 478 socket with AMD hardware.

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii188/weazezl6265/IMG_1341.jpg
Notice the nice labels.

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii188/weazezl6265/IMG_1351.jpg
Everything laid out (No, I swear I'm not OCD).

In addition to the mounting equipment there are also some extra goodies to make creating your watercooling setup easier. Planned on 3/8 in tubing? Go for it. Planned on 1/2 in tubing? Go for it. Not only does this block include the necessary barbs for either size, it also includes clamps to hold the hoses onto the barbs. No extra shipping required. I have heard some naysayers complain about these plastic clamps, mentioning leaks or even breaking the clamps trying to install them. Well, coming from a beginner, I had absolutely no problems with them, no leaks, no breaks.




Up and running:
After several hours of leak testing to ensure that everything was properly assembled, I felt good enough to plug the motherboard in. I must say it is an interesting experience to turn on a computer, and not hear a loud fan starting up. Almost made me pull the plug to make go back and check everything. I resisted the urge and waited it out. I still find it hard to believe how quite the new system is, but that was the main purpose of watercooling.



How does it fit in with a modded case?
While I am not a big fan of a bright or gaudy case, I had to try this waterblock out with a few spare LEDís that I had around. In a dark room the waterblock reflects the light in interesting ways, giving nice highlights around the CPU area. Mix in a bit of UV reactant cooling in the tubes and this will look great at any LAN.



Stress tests:
Using super-pi to burn the CPU prior to the waterblock installation I had an average temperature under load of 59 Celsius. Running the same tests with the waterblock I had an average temperature under load of 55 Celsius. Running idle before the waterblock: 43 Celsius, after waterblock: 42 Celsius. Basically the system reduces temperatures under load, but doesnít help much with base temperatures. This will obviously still help to extend the life of the CPU, as higher temperatures kill electronics.



Future work:
As this system is quite new I havenít had to worry about any maintenance yet. But I know there will come a time when the waterblock clogs, or a leak starts or any number of things. Fear not, this waterblock comes with all the tools needed for a quick disassembly. It also includes diagrams to make sure everything gets put back together correctly, for those of us that donít want to actually read the instructions.



Well, what does it look like?

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii188/weazezl6265/IMG_1364.jpg

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii188/weazezl6265/IMG_1369.jpg
A nice clean sharp mounting surface, no chance for improvement there.



By the numbers:
Looks: 10/10
Temperature: 9/10 (Good drop in load temps, but only minor drop in idle temp)
Ease of installation: 9/10 (need a wrench to tighten barbs, lots of parts that are easy to lose)
Durability: TBD with use
Compatibility: 10/10



Cons:
Fingerprints!!! The thing is so shiny any time I touch it I leave fingerprints. Not really a major problem, just a minor annoyance to clean it off after touching it.


http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii188/weazezl6265/IMG_1366.jpg
Note the smudges especially around the edges, before I cleaned it off



I want one!!
I believe I order the last one from www.xoxide.com, but lucky for you they are now offering the next generation, the Swiftech Apogee GT Waterblock (http://www.xoxide.com/swiftech-apogee-gt-waterblock.html). This version is the new and improved, specially designed for multi-core CPUís. It still has the same features with similar compatibility. The new version also includes barbs for 1/4 in tubing and additional mounting options to match the new design. Externally the Storm looks identical to the Apogee, with the main difference being the redesigning to improve cooling capability. If you are interesting in other waterblocks, try looking around here (http://www.xoxide.com/wacobl.html), or look at one of the kits here (http://www.xoxide.com/watcoolkit.html), especially if you are just getting started.



Conclusion:
This waterblock was the missing part of my system. Not to get sued for copyright infringement, but it was so easy a caveman could install it. That is if a caveman had a computer, and said caveman also wanted to watercool said computer. But that is a hypothetical situation that I donít really want to consider. Back to the point, I would recommend this waterblock, or the next generation Apogee, to anyone interested in starting a watercooled computer. I chose it for my own reasons listed here, but it would be idea for any system, whether for overclockers or for those in pursuit of an ultra-quiet computer. With the shiny surface it will only add to your windowed case, especially if you use some type of colored or reactive dye in the liquid.

Zephik
05-14-2008, 12:50 AM
+rep!

That was a great review, definitely enjoyable to read. Although I might be biased in that because I love all things water cooled, so really, a monkey could of written the review and I would of still loved it. lol

I wish they would of kept the look of that block with the Apogee GT. I love the way it looks, even if it is only a slight difference between the two. Meh, oh well. I would still probably buy that block over the Apogee GT, the cooling difference isn't THAT much of an improvement that I'm aware of, at least not drastic or anything.

Other than that, I just wish they shipped with Arctic Silver for the thermal cooling solution! I'm sure what they offer is just as good, but I just like the brand name really. "Arctic Silver" So cool! haha :)

jdbnsn
05-14-2008, 02:23 PM
Did you ever hear back from them regarding the rebate?