Swiftech Q-Power Barebones
Renowned for their heatsinks and water blocks, Swiftech tackles the "ready to go" H20 crowd. Is it just a matter of throwing some popular water blocks in a case and giving it a spiffy name? I guess we'll find out.
Swiftech has been a leader in the performance cooling market since day one. Some of the biggest and baddest heat sinks on the market have come from this small little company in Southern California. A few years back, Swiftech took the same high quality “in-house” craftsmanship that they put into their heat sinks and dove headlong into the world of water cooling.
Swiftech is responsible for a number of “firsts” in the water cooling world. They can be credited with designing some of the very first water blocks to use an open chamber design. Their early blocks were the first retail blocks to incorporate a large copper base plate with a center feed water inlet. Swiftech was also one of the very first, if not the first, companies to use the now popular “quick connect” or “speed” fittings on the retail blocks. Actually, many of the things we see as standard in water cooling now, were in fact started by the gang at Swiftech.
Today we are looking at Swiftech’s Quiet-Power Barebones Liquid Cooled Server Case. Everything a person needs to water cool a high end PC is pre-installed into a massive ATX case. The Q-Power is completely assembled and tested. Simply install your existing system into the Q-Power case, attach the CPU and GPU water blocks, and you're off and running. Before we get started, let’s see what Swiftech says about the Q-Power Barebones system:
From Swiftech:This line of products is designed to support extreme thermal loads, while operating at very low noise levels. It features pre-installed, plug-and-play liquid cooling systems using our H202 series liquid cooling kits. The system ships with the cooling fluid already filled, either in single or dual processor configuration (see MSRP for various configurations). Optional graphics card cooling is also available, and can be factory installed using the MCW40 graphics cooler.
In addition to the liquid cooling design emphasizing heat removal from the processor (s), the case configuration itself provides exceptional ventilation to the components by use of four 120mm fans strategically located throughout the case. Total noise level is approximately 34 dBA, whereas flow through the case is 110 CFM intake, and 110 CFM
The first thing you will notice about the Q-Power Barebones system is the size. The case Swiftech uses for the Q-Power system is the massive Liteon FS020. This case stands 21" x 18" x 9" (H x L x W) and tips the scales at over 40 pounds. Contrary to popular belief, having that much room comes in handy, especially for people who like to add lights, reservoirs, fans, or just outright experiment with the newfound real estate. (Interestingly enough, this is the "same" case we chose for the first [H]ard|Box back in 2000.) Speaking of adding hard drives, the Q-Power can support the following:
4 x 5.25" Front accessible drive bays
2 x 3.5" Front accessible drive bays
4 x 3.5" Internal drive bays
1 x 120mm Front fan
2 x 120mm Rear fans
1 x 120mm Side fan
An extensive amount of work goes into each case after they arrive at Swiftech. Not counting the regular assembly involved with putting together a water cooled system, there is also a handful of mods that need to be made in order to house the components for the Quiet Power system.
One of the first modifications involves installing a pump relay switch so that your A/C pump will turn on and off when the system is turned on via the main 12v power switch. In the past, the A/C pumps had to be either unplugged by hand each time you shut down or powered up your system, or you had to install a switch yourself that had to be turned on independently of the system.
Another labor intensive task is cutting the four 120mm fan holes into the frame of this monster case. One of the disadvantages of having such a heavy duty case is having to hack 120mm holes in it. Thankfully, Swiftech does this for you. Normally there are two large vents in the rear of this case, but Swiftech took the liberty to remove these before, placing the radiator onto the back panel of the case.
The same treatment was given to the front of the case, removing anything that could impede airflow. Removing the material over the fans also reduces noise, something most people do not give much thought to when installing case fans.