Swiftech Apogee XT
Swiftech, one of the biggest and best watercooling component manufacturer have released the successor to the highly popular Apogee GTZ that has served many enthusiasts well for over 12 months. It remains very similar on the outside, it looks very much the same as the GTZ, and the mounting system is almost identical, but it's inside where the differences are.
It still utilises the awesome looking 225 µm (0.009") micro pin matrix but it now covers the enitre baseplate rather than using a cross shape, like the GTZ. This was the result of hundreds of hours of testing on new core i5 and i7 processors, although Swiftech say it will benefit older Intel and also AMD CPUs too.
Also new is the detachable inlet plate, allowing you to rotate it 180°, moving the inlet port to the opposite side of the block, meaning compression fittings will fit without any problems. Testing has shown it outperforms the Watercool Heatkiller 3.0 LT by almost 2 celcius, edging out the GTZ by almost 3 celcius too. It's less restrictive than the GTZ too, although when the inlet plate is rotated, it is slightly more restrictive than the GTZ, temperatures also rise by 0.1c when this configuration is adopted. Although, the benefit out being able to use larger fittings outweighs the slight disadvantages that come with the configuration.
On the compatibility front, it uses G1/4" ports, meaning almost every single barb or fitting out there will fit the block fine. It supports socket 1336 out of the box, and Swiftech say that socket 775 and 1156 kits will be available to users who purchase the block now, free of charge. They also added that AMD mounting kits were to come soon.
The usual backplate, instinction manual, 1/2" barbs and clamps and Arctic Céramique thermal paste are included with the block, for $79.95. UK pricing isn't yet announced, we'll have to wait a week or two for that, although I'd expect it to cost around £60 when it does arrive in the UK.