For years, Swiftech has been the primary importer and distributor of Laing pumps, so much so that we know the Swiftech model name better than we do the official Laing model. Without Swiftech, our lust for Laing pumps would not have been satisfied and Hydor’s might still be the popular pump. However, that is not reality and thanks to Swiftech the Laing pumps are the standard for water cooling.
Building on the popularity of the Laing DDC3.2/MCP355 comes the Swiftech MCP35X (Laing DDC3.25). However, the MCP35X is not just a branded Laing DDC3.25; there are some major differences this time around. For one, the standard Laing 3/8″ ID (9.5mm) top has been replaced with a Swiftech engineered top with standard G1/4 barb pots, letting you choose your barbs and tube size without requiring purchase of an aftermarket top. The big difference is the PWM capability that the MCP35X brings to the table. The green and blue leads you see in the photos below are the PWM wires. You power the pump normally via Molex and the PWM header plugs into your motherboard or PWM fan controller. We will talk a bit more on PWM later, for now let us continue the closer looks and photo show. The MCP35X does share the same impeller as the DDC3.25, so we should see a nice PQ increase over the DDC3.2/MCP355. The last photo in the first set is the standard pump volute shot, which does appear to follow the best practice of a spiral volute out to the discharge port.
Moving beyond the initial features, we set our focus on the top mount screws and casing. The Swiftech top is held on by 15mm M4 screws with somewhat odd sized allen head, I was able to use T25 or 9/64 allen bits to turn the screws. T25 is just a little big and 9/64 is just a tad small, but both do the job without stripping the screw head. Yes, I did try metric allen keys of size 3 and 4, so maybe the rare 3.5 is the proper size but I could not find one at the present time to verify with certainty.
You have probably noticed by now the mount arms on the casing are gone, which I am actually glad to see. Yes, the little mount arms/extensions did make mounting easy, but it also meant a larger footprint. I included a pic of the casing showing the mount holes in the opposing corners, and for verification, two shots of the MCP35X mounted up to an (UN)Designs bracket. Therefore, if you are looking to swap out a previous series DDC your bracket is still compatible.
Rounding out the closer looks here is separate reservoir Swiftech released along with the MCP35X, and to be clear the reservoir is a separate purchase and is not included with the MCP35X. With that clearly stated, the Swiftech reservoir is actually pretty slick, and quite compact. The first version shown in the photos did not support 1/2″x3/4″ compressions, so Swiftech modified the design and quickly refreshed the product with the front barb ports separated to support the burly compressions. The tube portion of the res secures to the top using an internal fitting, and the little peg you see in the second photo is there to prevent the res from turning as you secure it to the top. The reservoir has several different spots for the peg to fit into, so you can have the inlet facing any direction if needed. Swiftech also includes a sponge and screen to quell any vortex issues that have been known to happen in cylindrical/tube reservoirs. We did not test the reservoir for this review, but it will be included in later PQ and flow testing.
That concludes our closer look, time we loop up the MCP35X and get to the performance side of the coin.