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[O/C]Corsair Hydro Series H50 Review

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Old 02-04-10, 09:14 PM   #21
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Nice review.

I have an H50 keeping my i7 ~70*c. This is while under 100% load 24/7 @ 3.8ghz

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Old 02-05-10, 04:50 AM   #22
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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. ^_^
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
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Old 02-05-10, 08:13 AM   #23
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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.
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!
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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. ^_^
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.

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Old 02-05-10, 08:27 AM   #24
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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.

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Old 02-05-10, 02:58 PM   #25
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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

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Old 02-05-10, 04:59 PM   #26
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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 ...
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.

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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[/URL]. 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.
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. -_-


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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
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. ^_^
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Old 02-05-10, 06:03 PM   #27
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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.
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 ...
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Old 02-05-10, 08:03 PM   #28
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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 ...
*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).
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Old 02-05-10, 09:35 PM   #29
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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
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.

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Old 02-05-10, 09:43 PM   #30
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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. ^_^
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.

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Old 02-05-10, 10:35 PM   #31
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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.

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Old 02-06-10, 02:34 AM   #32
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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.
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.

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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.
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.
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Old 02-06-10, 06:40 AM   #33
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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.

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Old 02-06-10, 08:04 AM   #34
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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.
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 ...
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Old 02-06-10, 10:46 AM   #35
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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 ...
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. -_-
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Old 02-06-10, 10:51 AM   #36
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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.
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.
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Old 02-06-10, 10:44 PM   #37
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"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.

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Old 02-06-10, 10:58 PM   #38
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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.

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Old 02-06-10, 11:15 PM   #39
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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.

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