So then, Corsair's Hydro Series H50 left a good impression. The overall cooling performance is good. I won't use excellent here as for that you need to focus on more extravagant liquid coolers. But this CPU cooler definitely does as advertised. The kit looks good from an aesthetic point of view, it cools well and it's fairly silent, and that is a golden combo. As such the kit could be a success when priced right. At this time pricing looks to be roughly 65 EUR (75 USD) and that's still cheaper than say the top of the line Zalman heatpipe coolers. Performance is good, in fact with the unit properly installed you'll certainly be able to overclock your processor as well. That means there's enough reserve in the liquid cooling solution for some extras, and that's always nice to know and have.
Dislikes, well sure I have a few. For optimal performance the radiator fan needs to be pointed inwards, meaning it needs to blow cold air into the system. Typically this is an exhaust point. Now remember this, if you have a somewhat limited chassis where you cannot flip around another fan so it'll blow air outside (exhaust) the PC. That would be an issue. Warm air would be blown inwards to your PC components everywhere, heating up the system. And that's just not okay.
In all fairness, the more modern chassis' have plenty of ventilation and the people who would buy a product like this definitely would understand the concept of airflow. But you do need to make a bypass. What would make the most sense here is that if you have a PC with say a top fan or side panel fan, then make sure you flip around that fan so that you have an exit point for accumulated warm air. This remains my concern with this kit. Something you need to keep in mind and be aware of. You need to design an 'exit' strategy for warm ambient air inside the chassis.
Secondly, the mounting design for the radiator and fan. Not all cases are the same, sometimes the supplied screws to secure the fan/radiator can't be used. If you use some screws of your own and they are too long, you actually could easily damage the radiator as you'd jam the screws straight into the radiator fins. I really would have liked to see these rubber push through pins we see everywhere these days. Completely safe, secure and also sound dampening. Not bad for a piece of rubber worth a couple of cents.
Okay, so for most of us these are not at all big issues, but you do need to be aware of them. Other than that there's fairly little negative to report about the kit. With the Hydro Series H50 liquid cooler, Corsair and Asetek bring an easy to use and install cooling solution to the market. It is among the cheaper liquid cooling kits currently available, and that certainly is a good thing. Fact does remain that a CPU heatpipe based cooler like the OCZ Vendetta for example is only a few degrees in temperature away from the product tested today. And that Vendetta 2 you can pick up for 35~40 USD.
Your biggest fear then, leakage. Technology has improved a lot, don't be afraid of leakage please. Times have changed. Now we're not saying leakage can't happen, no Sir... but the reality is that chances are just so extremely slim. Here in my office I like silence and good performance, all and I do mean this seriously, all PCs here are water-cooled. We like liquid cooling alright, that's a sure fact.
So at 65 EUR we think Corsair brought an interesting alternative to heatpipe based cooling to the market. It looks nice and cools pretty darn well for a reasonable price. Make sure you have a chassis that can create some decent airflow and has a 120mm fan placement available in the chassis. If that's the case and you like the aesthetics, well then I can only end this article with my two thumbs up. It's a very nice little product.
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