Corsair Hydro Series H50 Review

Corsair has been known for a long time for their great RAM. When they entered the power supply market, they established themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Recently they entered the case market with their Obsidian 800D to equal accolades.

Today we’ll be looking at the Hydro Series H50, their attempt at breaking into the CPU cooling market. Thanks to Corsair for supplying this unit for review.

Specifications

Per Corsair’s site, the H50′s features:

  • Pre-filled, closed-loop system is easy to install
  • Copper CPU cooling plate for maximum cooling performance
  • Integrated pump and reservoir is sealed for zero maintenance and improved leakage protection
  • Large 120mm radiator for fast heat dispersion
  • High-efficiency, low-noise 120mm fan for drawing cool air across the radiator
  • Two-year warranty

With specifications:

  • Model CWCH50
  • Cold Plate Material Copper
  • Fan Specs 120mm, 1700 RPM
  • Radiator Material Aluminum
  • Tubing Low-permeability for near-zero evaporation

We also asked Corsair some additional information that isn’t available on their web site:

  • Fluid: Deionized water with propylene glycol to prevent corrosion.
  • Thermal Interface Material Manufacturer: Shin-Etsu
  • Original Equipment Manufacturer: Asetek makes the radiator/pump/block assembly to Corsair’s specifications.
  • Fan Manufacturer: Akasa

Packaging & First Impressions

The outer box is strikingly similar to Corsair’s power supply boxes. It’s a sound design, so why not? Inside is a well packaged unit, immobile and encased in thin plastic flexible enough to absorb some shocks along its journey to the user.  We see in the upper right on the back of the box that the OEM is asetek.

The Box

The Box

Box Rear

Box Rear

Packaging

Packaging

When removing the unit from the box, we were struck by how light it was. It seemed to weigh about as much as the Apogee XT we reviewed. Weight doesn’t determine performance, of course.

When perusing the box contents, we see the cooler includes hardware for installing on LGA 775, 1156, 1366 and AM2+ as well as a 120mm fan to pair with the radiator. Not every cooler can claim such wide compatibility out of the box, so nice job Corsair!

Installation Hardware

Installation Hardware

Included Fan

Included Fan

The fan is an unknown make. It felt similar to a Yate Loon, so we compared. If you look where the blades meet the center hub, there is a small bend on the Corsair that differentiates it from the Yate. So the make is a mystery. As far as the fan itself, the sleeving was very well done and will keep your installation looking clean.

[EDITORS NOTE: Corsair got back to us - The fan is manufactured by Akasa. -hokiealumnus]

Fans Compared

Fans Compared

Now we come to the main event, the pump/block/tubing/radiator assembly. It’s one piece and you cannot disassemble it. It feels solidly assembled and not fragile at all; you probably couldn’t get it apart without a good bit of effort. It’s good to see they paid as much attention to the sleeving for the pump power as they did with the fan sleeving. Overall, it’s a nice looking unit.

Cooler Assembly

Cooler Assembly

Pump/Block

Pump/Block

Radiator

Radiator

The radiator appears to have a rather high 20FPI (fins per inch), which would put it on par with a HWLabs GTX radiator. Such high FPI radiators are generally associated with needing rather strong fans to get the most out of them. That’s not quite as much of a problem with this particular radiator because it’s not very thick.

FPI Measurement

FPI Measurement

The included thermal interface material comes pre-installed. The application looks a little thick but performance didn’t seem to suffer and when the cooler was removed, the contact pattern looked just fine.

Thermal Interface Material

Thermal Interface Material

Enough looking around though, let’s get it in and see how it performs!

Installation

The installation procedure for the H50 is painless and very well thought out. For this review, it was installed on an LGA1156 platform. The LGA backplate is one-size-fits-all, with three holes in each corner to accommodate all three of Intel’s recent CPU mounting hole configurations.

There are approximately 1/4″ thick “nuts”, for lack of a better descriptor, which you insert into the back plate. There is double-sided tape to keep it the back plate secured to the board for ease of mounting. You do not need to use the tape, but it may make things easier. Indeed, you may not want to use it if you plan on using this cooler in multiple systems.

The pump assembly hold down plate also has inserts that place the bolts in the proper position for your socket.

Back Plate

Back Plate

Hold Down Bracket

Hold Down Bracket

The beauty of this installation is that you install the back plate and hold down bracket before you install the cooler, which makes that step rather effortless. You partially tighten down the hold down bracket, push the pump/block assembly in and twist slightly, then tighten down the bracket the rest of the way.

Bracket Installed

Bracket Installed

Our only complaint about the mounting hardware is that the back plate is plastic. The modular design pretty much requires that, unfortunately it just feels less than solid when tightening. If you crank down it too hard, you could cause the nuts to strip out the part of the back plate that keeps them secure. It would take some effort though, so it likely won’t happen under normal circumstances. Just make sure you don’t over-tighten. We’d feel better about a metal solution.

Aside from that minor qualm though, we can’t say enough good things about this mounting. From the wide compatibility to the brilliantly modular installation assembly, it’s a very well thought out piece of hardware. Here’s what it looks like after the push, twist and tighten maneuver.

Installed

Installed

Installed

Installed


Testing Methodology and Results

The CPU being cooled for this review is an Intel i7 860, a furnace of a CPU. If you really want to test a cooler, an i7 is the way to do it. Tests were run at stock speed, overclocked to a moderate overclock of 3.6GHz and 3.8GHz, the 24/7 overclock of this system.

The H50 was compared for reference at stock speed against the stock Intel cooler. At stock and overclocked the main competition is a custom water loop, consisting of:

  • Swiftech MCP-355 pump with XSPC reservoir top.
  • Swiftech MCR-320 radiator, mounted externally with three Ultra High Speed Panaflo fans running at 7V (+/-.1V) for all tests.
  • Swiftech Apogee XT water block.
  • All linked with Primchill Pro LRT 7/16″ inner diameter tubing.

Unfortunately there are no good air coolers here to add into the mix. Bear in mind when viewing the results that the water loop the H50 is up against is way (way) more expensive, coming in at $270, and that’s not including tubing and barbs.

Testing consisted of no less than an hour and a half of Prime95 Small FFTs (except for the stock cooler, which only lasted about five minutes…we didn’t figure the CPU was a glutton for punishment). Most tests were run significantly longer than that (up to about 7 hours). CPU temperatures were measured using Coretemp’s logging function and ambient was measured with a common room thermometer to the nearest 0.5ºC.

The first hour of the temperature results were thrown out (to give the loops plenty of time to warm up) and the remainder were averaged for each core. Presented in the graphs are the average of all four cores at idle, the average loaded temperature of all four cores and the average maximum temperature of all four cores. Rather than present you with a deluge of data and screenshots, we’ve made some graphs to make it easier to digest. All temperature results were normalized to 22ºC ambient (per the esteemed Vapor, “…ambient and core temps scale perfectly fine (1:1) with i7.”)

Not to disappoint anyone that likes to pour through screenshots and excel spreadsheets, the test data can be downloaded in its entirety from Overclockers Tech here (it’s just under 4MB).

First off, we have the idle temperatures.

Stock Temperatures

Stock Temperatures

So, just in case you didn’t know, the stock Intel cooler is horrid. The good news is that the H50 did a good job at coping with this little heating element at stock.

Moving on, let’s see how it copes with a moderately overclocked i7. You’ll notice in this next graph that there are a few H50 results. It was tested in three configurations.

  • With the included fan.
  • Push-pull with the Corsair fan and a high speed Yate Loon placed in push-pull (and extremely under volted…more on that in a minute).
  • Finally, with the high speed Yate Loon by itself cranked to the max and a shroud in place of the Corsair fan.
3.6GHz Temperatures

3.6GHz Temperatures

Here we see the custom loop starting to come into its own, increasing its lead to about 13ºC. The H50 doesn’t do too bad for itself though. One thing is for sure, if you plan on putting this cooler on an overclocked i7, a fan upgrade is in order.

Regarding the push-pull results, we had to run the High Speed Yate Loon at 3.3V (which was amazing in itself that the thing still ran) or the Corsair fan put forth a rather loud, extremely annoying sounding protest. This stands to reason, as the Yate was pulling the Corsair faster than it was designed to go. What you should take away from this is that if you’re going to run this cooler in push-pull, get two stronger fans to do so. The Corsair fan just isn’t strong enough to cope well enough with an overclocked i7.

On the plus side, even changing it out for one improved fan is a nice boon to the H50′s performance, gaining almost three degrees over the stock fan.

So let’s see what happens when you give it a little more voltage and squeeze out an extra 200MHz. For this test, we did not run the Corsair stock fan or the push-pull orientation. When the CPU starts going too far north of 70ºC we start getting squeamish. Since the high speed fan was knocking on that door already, we decided to skip those other two configurations.

3.8GHz Temperatures

3.8GHz Temperatures

The custom loop actually gave back a little bit in this test, with its lead dropping to around 10ºC. The H50 certainly isn’t going to win any best water cooling awards but it does well for itself. These temperatures are about on par with the best air coolers but with the added benefit of being at a reduced noise level.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

$77.89. That’s what you’ll pay for the Corsair H50 at Newegg. Overall, not a bad price for what you get. Right at what you could get a Prolimatech Megahalems with two good fans in push-pull ($60 for the Megahalems and $33.90 for two Panaflo fans at Jab-Tech) will get you the H50, an upgraded fan and some additional silence to help your long term hearing prospects. It will likely net you a few degrees better cooling to boot.

Is this water cooling? Technically, yes. But no, it will obviously not compete with a good custom water loop. It also doesn’t cost near as much. What it will do is replace your air cooler and give you some more peace and quiet. That’s where we see the market sweet spot for this unit.

Pros

  • Superb installation system.
  • Wide range of compatibility.
  • Quieter than air cooling with equal or slightly better temperatures.

Cons

  • Sorely in need of a better fan.
  • Unit cannot be refilled.
  • Plastic back plate.

With these things in mind, we award the Corsair Hydro Series H50 an 8/10!

Jeremy Vaughan (hokiealumnus)

Tags: , , ,

65 Comments:

Conumdrum's Avatar
Yep, you summed it up. With fan improvements it's a good top notch cooler, possibly a bit better than the top air cooled heatsink. But not near as good as a full blown watercooling loop. The price difference sets the users choice.

Ohh one thing you didn't mention, how quiet the custom loop was vs the H50 on HS fans.

Thanks, looks like all of the questions are answered now.
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Well, even at 7v UHS Panaflo fans aren't the quietest fans around. I'd say one HS yate at full bore but contained in the case is roughly equivalent to the same noise level as three under-volted UHS fans. If those were internal instead of externally mounted, the nod for quiet would probably go to them. Likewise, if I didn't have those beasts on there it would definitely have been quieter.
EarthDog's Avatar
Very well done Hokie! That cinches it for me on this thing!
nikhsub1's Avatar
Nice review It would have been beneficial IMO to include a top aircooler in the tests as the Corsair really can't compete with a proper hand picked water cooling system.
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Thanks! FWIW, I completely agree, just didn't have one available and couldn't afford to buy one...primarily because of my loop.
nikhsub1's Avatar
If you can't afford something for a test (review) please ask me and I'll make it happen.
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Why thank you kind sir. I'll be sure to do that in the future.
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Corsair responded to our inquiries. For anyone that already read it, the additional questions answered in the article are:
  • Fluid: Deionized water with propylene glycol to prevent corrosion.
  • Thermal Interface Material Manufacturer: Shin-Etsu
  • Original Equipment Manufacturer: Asetek makes the radiator/pump/block assembly to Corsairs specifications.
  • Fan Manufacturer: Akasa
I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
Great, thanks for the update - nice of them to get back to us on those details!
QuietIce's Avatar
Nice work hokiealumnus!


For AMDs I'm sure this would match a high-end air solution but, bottom line, it's still only one fan, which can only remove so much heat. That was plainly shown when you juiced the i7 a little and got a 10C jump - pushing the limits of the H50 for an i7 OC.


The difference between high-end air and any water solution is very apparent for the average user who doesn't push his rig all the time. Few games will run a CPU at load for more than a few seconds at a time, which is enough to overload a heatpipe but not nearly enough to drastically effect the thermal capacity of a water loop. As such, the loop may show a very minor increase in temps while the air cooler will jump several degrees in this short time. So what we have with the H50 is the best of both worlds - low cost of high-end air combined with the heat capacity of water cooling to flatten out those temperature fluctuations ...
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Wow, I couldn't (and didn't) say it better myself. Thanks for your insight QuiteIce!
EarthDog's Avatar
I would bet this would hold an i7 overclcoked with a dual rad/fans notabley better...for say $99................Then it would expand a bit more into our 'demographic' of enthusiast overclockers.
QuietIce's Avatar
But with a 120x2 rad you've got a mounting problem with a sealed loop. Where could you get by mounting it without cutting up the case in some way? I don't have a problem taking tin snips to the rear fan guard but I doubt that would make for a good retail solution ...
EarthDog's Avatar
Sealed heh, forgot about that somehow. But there are several cases with mounting available for dual 120 rads without *snip snip*, but that would cut down the size of the market available making it not as good (at least) of a retail solution.
pjladyfox's Avatar
I'm curious but would it be possible to also look at this using a pair of Noctua NF-P12's in a push/pull setup? I'm looking to get one of these to replace my Zalman 9700NT for when I upgrade to a Phenom II 955 installed. I've heard a few success stories going with this setup for both cooling and noise so it would be nice to see that verified in a review.

I figure that if this works as well as I'm hoping with mine I can look at trying to tame my hubby's system with an H50 in a similar setup that is a bit noiser than I like even with Noctua NF-P13's on the intakes. -_-
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Unfortunately not, but I can point you to a review of the NF-P12 on a TRUE. I think it would do well with two of those in push-pull. IMHO though, there are fans not equally as good or quite as quiet that will do the job very well (possibly even better) for a whole lot less money. But then again, I'm admittedly cheap and you're looking for quiet. For that, Noctua is bettered by very few, if any.

The push/pull setup in this review was running ~1,500 RPM. That said, those fans aren't Noctuas either and the comparison wouldn't be accurate.

Oh, and to OCF! If I knew my wife signed up here to get advice on something for my computer, I think I'd faint.
Bobnova's Avatar
I've read that push/pull on the h50 makes for truly impressive gains. If i were them i would put a thicker core in and a beefier fan, though that'd raise the price above the air coolers it's competing with.
pjladyfox's Avatar
Bummer since it looks like you guys covered a bit more about the H50 than I've seen from other sites, I mean all the ones I saw before this one used just the stock fan, and it would have been interesting to get your pro opinion on it being overclockers and all. ^_^ Very interesting review link you mention and it looks like the NF-P12's may fit the bill since I really would like to avoid using the stock one due to the noise levels some others have reported with using it.

I've been interested in water-cooling for quite some time but this is probably the first time it's gotten down to a point where I can dip my toes into the pool so to speak without risking my hard-earned gear. Believe you me all the troubles some of you have passing hardware costs along to your spouse I deal with as well so I really have to make each bargain session count.

BTW, I did wish to note that I am open to suggestions as far as fan selection especially if it nets me a fan that is quite and performs close or equal to the Noctua's. So if you've got some ideas I'd be glad to hear them. ^_^

And thank you for the welcome to your forums I really only just stumbled across this place but from what little peeking around I've done this may be a second home next to TPU for me! In either case I'm really hoping this provides greater cooling for lower noise than the Zalman 9700NT I'm using.

If I do manage to get this gear approved by the "budget committee" and get things going I'll try and report back here along with some pics as to how things went.
Bobnova's Avatar
It certainly should cool better, the 9700 is ok, but not really that great. Most of Zalman's stuff (all the orbs) is more for show then for cooling power. The H50 is on par with high end air coolers. It should still beat the 9700 with a nice quiet fan.
onefstsnake's Avatar
Nice review.

I have an H50 keeping my i7 ~70*c. This is while under 100% load 24/7 @ 3.8ghz
QuietIce's Avatar
I'm a Scythe S-Flex man myself. They use fluid-dynamic bearings (instead of sleeve bearings) and seem to last forever while keeping very close to the airflow/noise ratio of Noctua. I've had some of my S-Flex running in a smoker's environment going on almost 4 years now with no added noise or loss of performance (though I do have to clean the blades every so often). Here's a list of available models with noise and airflow specs. The price is almost as bad as Noctua but it's worth it to me since I've never seen one fail ...

http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/scsf75cfms12.html
hokiealumnus's Avatar
If you want to consider a move to the custom dark side, we're happy to help you out. Check out the Water Cooling Guide for Beginners for starters. If not, I understand...but it never hurts to try and draw more converts!
IMHO, yate loon fans are pretty darn quiet. The high speed models not so much, but the medium speed versions aren't loud at all. You can get them for as little as $4 from Jab-Tech (sorry, can't link from here), or sleeved for $7 from Performance-PCs. Put them on a fan controller for when your CPU isn't loaded and you're talking completely silent.

I'm not a silent fan person unfortunately (I have six of these on my radiator), so on a budget advice is the best I can do.
tons-of-fun's Avatar
thank you very much for this review! I have been on the fence about the h50 for a while now as I am just starting my first ever computer build and I am definitely gonna use this in my new amd athlon II x3 RANA build i think it will be a good edition, but I think I will replace the stock fan with something a little better. I don't really care about noise too much but for the price this seems to be my best bet.
dark bishop's Avatar
Perhaps they could offer a few configurations:

*Longer tubing to make it easier to mount in the front of the case
*A dual 120mm rad for cases that can support it or people who don't mind a bit of cutting
*Two 120mm rad's to mount in separate locations
pjladyfox's Avatar
Scythe huh? I've heard a couple of others recommend those as well but I go and read reviews and they're very mixed; some saying they fail within a few months while others swear they're better than Noctua's. It's the mixed reviews that have kept me away from them espcially considering for a little more you get the Noctua's which are pretty solid across all reviews only getting dinged for their high cost and difficulty in finding them locally.

I really may have to give them a try on a build for a friend of mine and see how they compare against the Cooler Master S12's and the Noctua's I run. I really would like to try their KAMA Bay but I hear it has fit problems with the Antec 300. Which reminds me I really should try and look into some other ways to fit another 120mm intake in the 5 1/4 bays similar to how the Kama Bay works w/o the downsides of the poor filter and poor fit.

I looked over the guide you linked to and it's one of the better ones I've seen outside of the one MaximumPC did awhile ago. Just to be clear, I've wanted to go custom water for awhile now but there are three big problems involved:

a. Cost
b. Time-consuming to maintain
c. Reliability

Now I know you do get a MAJOR benefit in regards to cooling but between work and my other hobbies adding a current custom water system just isn't feasible. It's one of the reasons why the H50 is so attractive since it's a pre-packaged unit, fairly easy to work with and maintain, and low cost. If someone could figure out a way to create a similar system, using some kind of modular setup to allow for different configurations and/or uses, they would make a mint. Thermaltake tried it but their implementation left a lot to be desired. -_-

Speaking of Yate Loon I actually use those for my 120mm and 140mm exhaust with the Noctua's in front for a positive pressure system that works quite well. The only downside with them is the noise to CFM ratio they have is unable to match the Noctua's. -_-


This would be absolutely AWESOME if Corsair implemented the longer tubing and dual 120mm rad. Not sure how they could get a dual single 120mm rad system going 'tho while retaining the maintenance-free design. I mean, would'nt it be better just to go with a dual 120mm rad instead?

But, along that same idea I'd even go one further by adding the following:

a. An H50-style single rad cooler, using long hoses to allow for mounting anywhere inside the case, for use with ATI dual GPU video cards

b. An H50-style single rad cooler, using long hoses to allow for mounting anywhere inside the case, for use with NVIDIA dual GPU video cards

Really, any of the single GPU cards have a wide variety of options and I can't see how a single 120mm rad system would even be able to compete in that market. However, when it comes to dual GPU cards that's an entirely different story. Considering the amount of heat those generate if they could make a cost-effective system they'd sell AND make dual GPU cards more attractive. ^_^
QuietIce's Avatar
It may be the different products that seem to make the reviews mixed. Scythe makes much, much more than just the S-Flex fan but that's the only product of theirs I recommend now. I don't think any of their other fans use Fluid Dynamic Bearings like the S-Flex does - and that's what makes them not only quiet but tough.

Corvette and Lincoln are made by the same companies who brought you the Vega and the Pinto ...
pjladyfox's Avatar
*laughs and wipes tears from her eyes...* OMG! That is signature material there!

I did some recent digging based upon what you said and, as it turns out, their QA problems look to have been licked:

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article695-page6.html

http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums...ic.php?t=39810

Hmmm, well the store around the corner stocks the SFF21E's I'm just a bit worried about the disparity of 49 CFM for the Scythe versus 54 for the Noctua. And, much to my fustration, Scythe does not list their static pressure numbers either.

I may just wind up getting a pair and seeing what happens but I'm not sure yet especially since I'd have to pass the additional stuff via the accounting office (read: hubby).
Conumdrum's Avatar
a. I can only agree and look at my rig. I got way more cooling than I need and it's expensive. Thankfully it's a hobby. I know all of my stuff will last forever, looks great, and I'll just have to upgrade blocks down the road.

b. Dunno about that. Building a new rig and watercooling does add time. I'd say at least 2-3 days for your first time. Then over the next 2-3 days you check for 10-15 min for leaks. Might top off the water.

You peek at it now and then over the next 6 months. At 6 months you drain all the water out you can get out and refill, bleed etc, maybe a Saturday, check for leaks and top off on Sunday.

A 6 months more you take it all apart, and clean. It's actually a joy to me, just tinkering over a weekend.

So I don't get it. it's a lot of fun and part of the hobby.

c. My stuff as is 99% of our watercoolers is as reliable as any air cooled rig.

The biggest issue is cost. If the maintenance issue isn't something you want to deal with, then a quality air solution is viable and will do the trick.

It's a hobby to me, I have been playing with PCs for 20 years, this is a new fun thing I discovered a few years ago. Spending a weekend tinkering rebuilding a complicated WC loops is fun, your milage may vary.
dark bishop's Avatar
I completely forgot to mention that I'd want a gpu kit to go along with it, and yes i can see how there would be problems with a dual single 120mm rad kit but it would make mounting in cases with limited space easier. Think one rad on an intake and one on an exhaust.
Conumdrum's Avatar
They won't do any more than what they sell now.

They got a good market segment now. It works for basic usages.

You start specializing, development costs and splitting the sale units to specialized uses destroys profits, and Corsair wants profits, we are not talking a small company. Look at the big picture.

Wish and poop into the same hand, you ruined your wish. You want more than the H50, go custom. You relly want Corsair and other cheapo setups to take over all the top dog custom WC companies where the real innovation happens? Remember that it all started with the teeny ONE guy who came up with a new block.

Big companies like Corsair DO NOT innovate. HECK, the H50 is a rebadged Asetek setup, but rebadged by a TOP overclocking company. It's still a basic cooling rig, under a different name with I bet millions spent in marketing.

Get over making it better, why would Corsair spend more money to split their market.

Grrr. I sometimes wonder if the dream and cheap dreaming is a world issue.
pjladyfox's Avatar
Hmmm, that does make sense but the problem is that while I could think of a possible way to do it you're talking about a pretty fair distance from each rad. This would, at least based upon what little I know, kill any advantage the water setup would have over air. But, I could be wrong on this and there may be a way to overcome the distance issue.

I really do not mean to single you out on this, nor am I trying to make light of your opinion, but this entire paragraph is the core reason why most stay far away from watercooling and the reason why the H50 is like a breath of fresh air. Some of us do not have the spare money or time to invest in something that complicated or involved. Consider, why do you think so many prefer to play a game on a console than on a PC?

I'm married, have a social life, and work at a job that keeps me busy sometimes working 12-hour days. And this is not even taking into account chores around the house like doing laundry, grocery shopping, or other typical household maintenance tasks. After I get home the only thing I want to think about is spending time with my husband and relaxing.

Then if time and everything else permits I enjoy some of the fruits of my labors like booting up a game, tinkering with some tuning of my system to allow it to run better, read a book, or enjoy some of my other hobbies. What you described sounds more like changing the oil in the car, possibly risking hundreds of dollars of equipment should something go wrong, and not something I would even remotely consider a joy to do much less be able to dedicate an entire weekend to on a regular basis.

Yet, here you sit spouting the age old "if it's too complicated for you then we don't want your kind here" mindset that I've seen before. I saw it when I first started working on PC's, got it at Gamestop with the entire "shopping for someone" spiel, and walking into an auto parts store thinking just because I had boobs meant I didn't know what a carburetor repair kit was. If you want to keep this hobby to a "boys club" where while you guys can enjoy things like this while the rest of us work so that you can have time to do so then maybe I was mistaken about commenting here.

I thought watercooling, or for that matter overclocking or building PC's, was something that was meant to be enjoyed by all. And not that it was meant only those wealthy enough to buy the equipment and who, for one reason or another, have the luxury of free time on their hands to spend days on something without having to worry about work, chores, or other matters.

If that is not what you intended to mean then you may want to dial back your entire "Wish and poop into the same hand, you ruined your wish" mentality. Not everyone takes kindly to that kind of treatment from someone especially when they are just trying to enjoy the same hobby you do.
Conumdrum's Avatar
Hmm, okay. Don't see that in my statement but no worries. The ONLY reason the H50 is cheap is the mass manufacturing. Split the manufacturing lines and increase marketing with more products will reduce profit. Corsair ain't gonna do that.
QuietIce's Avatar
Tubing length is a small part of the total loop resistance but added components and their required fittings are often a concern. I'd guess the pump used in the H50 isn't the most powerful out there - nor does it need to be for it's intended use - but adding another rad would double the resistance of the single rad unit and I'm not sure the pump is built to deliver that kind of performance. Doubling the radiator size might be within the pump's performance range, since that does not double resistance because there are fewer fittings and less tubing, but then we're back to the mounting issue while keeping the unit factory sealed. There are many cases built to handle an internal double-sized rad so we might see a double-rad unit from Corsair if demand is high enough - or maybe a partnership between Corsair and some case manufacturers? If I were already selling cases built for internal double rads I would be very tempted to give Corsair a call ...
pjladyfox's Avatar
That's what I thought since I remember reading somewhere about flow resistance and pump pressure were one of the same. And, just like you point out, the person I remember setting up a dual rad configuration used a pretty hefty pump to overcome the issue.

It's interesting that you point out a possible dual rad configuration because while nosing around for other H50 mods I came across this:

http://www.ncixus.com/products/35702...012200/Asetek/
http://tinypic.com/usermedia.php?uo=...heNoh4l5k2TGxc

After doing a LOT of digging and nosing around I could'nt find one single review for it. Of the few that mention they own one they pointed out possible problems with the pump but did not clarify but they also said that they were not setup in a push/pull configuration either. I think that if Corsair got their hands on it that, I would think, they would be able to work with Asetek to overcome the issues with the factory model so that it worked better but that is just a guess since there is so little information about the 240mm version. -_-
pjladyfox's Avatar
I kind of figured that might be the case but I try not to make assumptions regardless. I just wished to point out that, while you may have thought you were being helpful, the overall tone and wording gave the opposite impression.

As far as splitting lines goes neither of us can really speak for Corsair on this matter. While you or I may or may not see logic in it if that's one thing I've learned working in the gaming industry is that if there is money to be made sense never really factors into the equasion.
Airbornederekc's Avatar
"Unfortunately there are no good air coolers here to add into the mix. Bear in mind when viewing the results that the water loop the H50 is up against is way (way) more expensive, coming in at $270, and that’s not including tubing and barbs."

I hate to say it but all this work is for nothing if we dont have a comparison against a TRUE or something else. this product has never been positioned to compete against a custom water cooling kit, therefore why was it and the well known crap stock intel cooler.

this cooler is designed to compete in performance/price to the top end air. lets compare it to some top end air then. i am a supporter of this cooler right now but we all need to see how this compares to its competition.
Conumdrum's Avatar
It's been proven in many tests, some head to head, same tester, same ambients. It's been hashed a billion times. Guess you haven't followed it on many different forums for the last few months. Answers are there.

The results show the H50 is decent. With stock settings with pulling case air in and the stock fans it's close to a top air cooler. Add push pull with good fans it's a bit better.

It won't beat a real WC rig, but it's not bad.

That said, instead of demanding the reviews you are welcome to do them yourself. All you need is to spend money and time. Make sure you post pics.
hokiealumnus's Avatar
I don't think it was for nothing. I was pretty clear the water loop results were there solely as a reference, that the H50 was not expected to do anywhere near as well as something that costs three times as much and that it certainly shouldn't be.

My conclusion was that it would perform roughly equal to a high end air cooler, or maybe even slightly better (with a better fan and more than one of them). A quick search will prove my point. You don't even need to be broad with search terms. Specific to the CPU I have (i7 860), we have H50 vs Megahalems. Or you could just compare my temp results with these Megahalems results (though that chip seems to be a better clocker).

Yes, I agree, it would have been better if I had a quality air heat sink to compare it to. We go into testing with the equipment we have, not the equipment we wish we had.

That said, if niksub1 wants to follow through on his proposal and let me borrow a strong air cooler, I'd happily test it and update the review with those results.
dfonda's Avatar
Going for the L-88 Hood Scoop look! H50 on my old Wavemaster.
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Simple yet effective. I like it!
cadman420's Avatar
looks cute compared to the custom system we are use to seeing on here. LOL
scotchguy's Avatar
I had to bite on this.. I had a Coolermaster V8 and couldn't get my OCZ reaper ram under it.

The H50 gave my PhII X4 940 (not oc'd) 20C idle and 28-32 under most loads but never more than 38.. ever. With my cpu OC'd to 3.8ghz, I idle anywhere from 26-28C and under load 34-42C

*But keep in mind, i have the push pull method with a VERY loud yate loon highspeed and the corsair factory fan

Oh, if you use this, make sure the SMART cpu fan control in the BIOS is turned off!
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Take the corsair fan out of there. It's not doing you any good with the Yate. If your Corsaif ran is anything like the one I had when I put a HS yate on there, the loudness is likely the Corsair fan making a racket and not the yate. They're not exactly loud fans, especially compared to my Panaflos.

Great point on disabling fan control. To anyone that doesn't understand - The pump is connected to a MB header. If your MB throttles that header automagically, it would not be very good for your temps or your pump.
Airbornederekc's Avatar
I leave my CPU fan speed enabled but can disable my sys fan (whicht he pump is connected to) and have it run 100%. allows my motherboard to ramp the fan up incase i need more cooling on the rad.
zaskarkid's Avatar
Corsair guy on video only recm'd that the pump see 100% voltage. There was no mention about the cpu fan modulation. So I assume it's ok to leave the cpu fan control enabled.

I'd like to try one of these in my new build. It's going in a micro atx, so I'm going to see if radiator will make it to the top 120mm intake fan at the front of the case.
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Yes, it's fine to let the fan ramp up & down via the CPU fan header. That's normal behavior and it won't cause any problems. As long as the pump runs 100%, all is well.

This solution would be great for an HTPC as long as there is enough height clearance and a little extra space around the fan hole to accommodate where the radiator extends. HTPCs should be silent and this is an excellent way to accomplish that.
zaskarkid's Avatar
The current model is the CWCH50-1. So any changes from the original one CWCH50?
hokiealumnus's Avatar
That's a very good question. Unfortunately it's one that I have no answer for. I'm forwarding a link to your post to our Corsair rep.
Yellowbeard XMS's Avatar
No changes at all to the cooler. The -1 added the 1156 back plate.
I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
Fast response, thanks Corsair.
Sostand's Avatar
This thing Rock i went for 50 C to 36C and idle and stress 16hrs prime95 50c max Phenom II 955 OC 3.8Ghz even went to 3.9 and 4.0Ghz but i fine that 3.8 or 37 is the spot but i stay with 3.8 just to do more test i will buy again .. i fine that Dir connection to PSU with Connectors work better that connect to motherboard
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Thanks for your input!
GeekIcon's Avatar
Hello!

Didn't want to start a new thread about this, so I'll just ask here if it's okay. I'm looking to buy a new cooler for my i7 920 (I keep it stock for now at 2.66), and I'm currently running the Coolermaster v8.
The problem with the v8 is that it's huge and I had to remove the side panel fan thingy from my CM-830. With the weather getting warmer, I'm looking to keep my temperatures in check. I was seriously considering a proper water-cooling kit, until I realized that they're way too expensive for me right now, especially when I'm also looking to upgrade other parts of my PC.

Considering I'm looking for something that will be relatively quiet and easy to setup, would the H50 be a good recommendation and an upgrade from the v8? I do plan on doing a little bit of overclocking once I'm more comfortable with it, but I probably don't plan on doing anything major or extreme, and I already have a few Delta fans I can probably use instead of the stock fans as well.
Also, what would be the expected life-span of this cooler? Would I have to maintain it as much as I probably would a proper water-cooling setup?

Thank you in advance.
QuietIce's Avatar
There is no more maintenance with this unit than any other air cooler. Custom WC loops require attention every 6 months or so but this unit is factory sealed. Except for cleaning the rad and fans, just like you would an air cooler, there is no maintenance.

I doubt if this would be an upgrade to the V8 as far as cooling the CPU goes (it might be if you use bigger/higher CFM fans, though) but if you can get a fan on your case side by using the H50 then it is an upgrade to the case cooling (NB/chipset/RAM) ...
wiseman55's Avatar
Hi I am the newbie here just a note! If you don't care for the light material used for the back plate and attachments you can get a metal set from Corsair for just $5.00 for shipping and handling. Just contact customer support and they will fix you up!! I also have this rig but use a push pull with 2 matching fans! Excellent set up!!
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Thanks for the heads-up, that's good info to know!
Vengance_01's Avatar
For you guys who have the H50, how is the AM2 mounting bracket.
dfonda's Avatar
I didn't use it, being on an I7, but it looks like it will work exactly the same. Which should be good.
hardzip's Avatar
Just a quick newb question. The thermal paste that the H50 comes with, is everyone using that or do most people apply their own. Just a thought before I install mine.
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Sorry, I didn't use it either. I think it's very similar to the regular mount, the difference just lies in how the hold-down bracket is held down.
The paste on it is Shin Etsu, which has very good stuff and mediocre bulk stuff. This is likely the latter (though Corsair did not supply the model #). I have a feeling you'd see at least slightly better temperatures replacing it with quality TIM.
hardzip's Avatar
Ty for the quick reply, I have one more question about the push pull thing. which way do u think is the best direction to push pull. Would it be best to push air from outside against rad and pull from rad into case?
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Yes, that's the best orientation, pull cool outside air into the case through the rad. You sacrifice a couple degrees of internal case temperature but as long as you have decent airflow even that is minuscule. The gain you'd get on CPU temps is well worth it.
hardzip's Avatar
So i got the H50 installed, I used some AS5 instead of the pre applied tim.
Just looking to see if my temps seem high. I have a I7 930 clocked to 4.0g with a vcore of 1.35 (so it says in the bios but cpuz says its a tad lower). I have 2 Siverstone FM121 (800-2400 rpm) fans in push pull. I am using real temp 3.40 to monitor temps, been running Prime for 3 hrs now with no errors but temps are staying around 76-78c with both fans maxed out. I know temp should drop some in a few days after TIM cures. Do these temps seem high though?
hokiealumnus's Avatar
Nope, that's about on target. You may see it drop a degree or so as the AS:5 cures, but not much. The H50 is basically just better than a high-end air cooler, but quieter (you'd likely need stronger fans than what you have to achieve around their on air).
Yellowbeard XMS's Avatar
Good point for sure, HTPC and SFF are good locations for an H50. I have one in my living room now in fact:

http://www.corsair.com/systembuild/r...ort_id=1157274
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