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  1. #1

    [O/C]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... Return to Article
    Last edited by I.M.O.G.; 02-11-10 at 03:12 PM.

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    Nicely done, results are as expected.

    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.
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    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.

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    Very well done Hokie! That cinches it for me on this thing!

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    Unoriginal Macho Moderator nikhsub1's Avatar
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    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.
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    Thanks! FWIW, I completely agree, just didn't have one available and couldn't afford to buy one...primarily because of my loop.

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    Unoriginal Macho Moderator nikhsub1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hokiealumnus View Post
    Thanks! FWIW, I completely agree, just didn't have one available and couldn't afford to buy one...primarily because of my loop.
    If you can't afford something for a test (review) please ask me and I'll make it happen.
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    Why thank you kind sir. I'll be sure to do that in the future.

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    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 Corsair’s specifications.
    • Fan Manufacturer: Akasa

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    Glorious Leader I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
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    Great, thanks for the update - nice of them to get back to us on those details!
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    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 10°C 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 ...

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    Wow, I couldn't (and didn't) say it better myself. Thanks for your insight QuiteIce!

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    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.

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    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 ...

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    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.

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    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. -_-

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    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.

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    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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hokiealumnus View Post
    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.
    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.

  20. #20
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    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.
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