If there's anything resourceful and plenty to be found of in the market, it has to be the sheer number of CPU coolers. Over the years CPU coolers have evolved in many ways and series. One of the more popular product developments that set a new trend were of course heatpipe based coolers. The market is completely saturated with the most exquisite models. Heatpipe coolers are good and silent, as such these are two of the most important features a cooler should have... good performance versus silence. The third factor is the same as always, pricing needs to be acceptable.
So you have your regular coolers, then heatpipe based coolers... and then the next step often is liquid cooling. Liquid cooling often is a really silent method of keeping that CPU temperature under control. Unfortunately, especially with the more enthusiast kits, the pricing is fairly high, and as such out of reach for the most of you guys. To address that market, over the past few years we have seen the introduction of easy to install small liquid cooling kits. Often with a small radiator, noisy fan and way too thin cooling. Thermaltake has been at the start of this stuff since the beginning. I remember being at a mate's house where he'd just installed such a low-cost liquid cooling kit and (this was in the Pentium 4 era) he asked me why his PC kept shutting down. When I felt the tubing it was clear to me instantly... these kits often did not have enough cooling performance; the CPU starts to overheat and the system to shuts down. If that wasn't enough, it was louder than a regular fan as well.
So these have been the issues that a lot of manufacturers have tried to address. We have seen some really good kits out there though, a while ago for example we tested the Coolit Domino ALC, a simple all-in one liquid cooling kit properly implemented. Okay cooling, slick looking and innovative. Cooling wise it could have been better though.
I think it was roughly at that point (release) that Corsair decided to team up with a name you guys probably still remember, Asetek. Do you guys remember our VapoChill reviews where we took processors towards -50 Degrees C? Yep, them. Together they designed the following liquid cooling kit:
The collaboration of these two companies resulted in a product that is called the Hydro Series H50 liquid cooler. A simple to install all-in-one kit that has good looks, decent performance, is not noisy... and remains affordable. This kit is 100% enclosed, doing away with the need for refilling or messy coolants being a danger to your computer's internal parts.
The kit as tested today will cost you roughly 65 EUR. And though the kit obviously is not targeted at the enthusiast end-user, it does try to compete with the more notorious heatpipe-based coolers out there. Definitely interesting enough for a closer look we say.
Next page please, where we'll have a closer look at the H50.
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