March 21, 2010
Corsair H50 Water Cooling Review
So nothing is more exciting then getting new hardware for your PC… well at least for me there isn’t. This Saturday I picked up some new hardware which you can see in the pic above. The three items I picked up yesterday don’t really affect system performance per say but they still add to your gaming experience. The one that really stood out amoung the parts was the Corsair H50 water cooler. Now to give you guys a little background I have had terrible luck with with water cooling. The last two times I have picked a water cooling system of some sort it has either exploded all over my desk or just randomly run out of liquid over night and then crashed my system so as you might guess I was quite skeptical about buying a new one. When my last one finally died it spilled liquid all over my motherboard. I was able to salvage the board but at that point I was just ready to give it up and move on. I bought a new mobo and processor shortly after that to wash myself of the pain which was that experience. I am glad to say however that I am far more impressed with the Corsair H50 then I was with my previous unit. As I have done my best to blot out the previous experiences I do not remember the name of the previous system but after looking around Newegg, Google Images and Amazon.com I can honestly say I don’t think you can get it anymore.
So lets start with my setup. I am running a Asus M3a78-T motherboard with 4gb of Geil DDr2 1066 with 5-5-5-15 timings, AMD Phenom 9950, Soundblaster Xfi Fatal1ty, Lite-on DVD IE, and finally a rocketfish 700 watt power supply.I do apologize I didn’t take any before and after pictures of this upgrade. Next time I do this I will try to sit down and document the entire process. So lets start with how it looks. The unit looks clean and simple. It’s not overly cool or fancy. I feel sometimes companies spend way to much time making their units look cool but forget to actually take time making them work. This was part of my problem I had with my previous unit. It looked cool with the blue coolant flowing through the lines but the damn thing barely worked and it caused me way more damage and headache then that was worth and quite honestly the construction looked like crap. I’m happy to say that the H50 looks solid and it feels solid… the tubing is stiff… but not so stiff you think you are going to break it. The tubing is fastened securely in place and doesn’t look like it’s going to bust off if you wiggle it the wrong way.
On my previous setup before the H50 I was idling at around 50 – 54 Celsius and if I started playing games it would easily go up to sixty. Just for kicks last night before I installed it I tried overclocking my CPU to 3.1GHZ up from the stock 2.6 GHZ that it comes in at. My system very quickly jumped temps to 64C and started slowly going up from there. At this point I figured it was no good so I just shut it off and started the install.
Several things you need to consider before you buy any component is how easy is it to install? Will I need to disassemble my computer? Will need to modify my case? Is my case big enough for this component? In my case I did the research at the store. If you are buying this unit you need to make sure that the back end of your case has a 120mm fan slot. You will need this to mount the radiator onto it. The unit comes with brackets that will allow it to fit onto Intel LGA 775, LGA1366, LGA1156 and AMD AM2 and AM3 socket types. In some cases you can use your motherboards mounting bracket to fasten the CPU cooler onto your CPU. This wasn’t so in my case, I had to remove the entire motherboard and use the mounting bracket that came with the H50. Not a big issue but it’s always a hassle to unassemble your PC. The unit is not overly sized or crazy small so it fits quite well into my particular setup. I didn’t find myself struggling to close my case or having to push excess tubing out of the way.
Finally your probably wondering how it performs on stock cooling and for over clocking. I am happy to say the unit works quite well.. especially with my setup. I dropped down from a 50 – 54 Celsius idle to a 31 – 34 Celsius idle. Where the product really started to shine was when I added the overclock. When I overclocked the machine to 3.1ghz again the temperature rose up to 41C but then held steady. So not only did i drop my overall temps 20+ Celsius but I also manged to maintain a much cooler overclock. For those of you curious to what I did to achieve this overclock I did this. I set the CPU core multiplier to 15.5 and the CPU core voltage to 1.44v. So far I am happy with this unit. I haven’t seen any issues of it leaking, exploding or likewise malfunctioning. So if you are looking into a beginners water cooling system that is easy to install this should work for you quite nicely. I dropped 79.99 on this puppy and so far it seems to be working quite nicely. I am quite happy with it.