Let's start off with the basics, packaging. We appreciate the fact that Corsair takes care of the package protection and convenience inside the typical box. Also, the outside look remains similar to Corsair PSUs package which is attractive as well. Corsair is a high-profile manufacturer and provides you every single component available; not only for the latest but for the legacy sockets as well. Hydro H70 Series is undoubtedly a decent upgrade of H50 and offers you great performance.
Performance wise we see good numbers. I wont use the word excellent here, as for that you need to focus on more extravagant liquid coolers. Once we overclocked a Core i5 750 (2.67 GHz) processor towards to 4,2 GHz and fired off 1.5 VCore, things got hot yet remained manageable. All temps were bellow a bothersome temperature of 80C degrees. Its fair to say that only very few coolers take this test well. So theres definitely a decent amount of cooling capacity inside the Hydro H70 Series. Its a good cooler that places itself high in our charts.
One problem though can be noise. When your CPU is either idle or load you have always to worry about the noise levels. Even using the special cables with the integrated resistor part, that limit the speed of each fan to 1600 RPM results in roughly 44 dBA, so that's simply put on the noisy side of the scope. You are however working with a performance cooler, intended for a performance setup. So all that remains a little relative.
Now, for those who want to squeeze a little extra performance out of the unit, they will probably prefer to avoid the use of resistor cables provided as then each fan will function at 2000 RPM, which boils down to 48 DBa. A good alternative might be to just pick up some ultra silent fans if you want to life a more tranquil life.
Corsairs recommendation is that you point the radiator fans inward, then they blow cold air into the system. Typically this is an exhaust point, if you do that, please make sure you create an actual exhaust point. What would make the most sense here (heat tarvels upwards) 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. We really do find this a concern, we had that concern with the H50 and it remains our concern with this kit. So design an 'exit' strategy for warm ambient air inside that chassis of yours.
What about your biggest fear, dripping and oozing water into the system .. leaks. 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, really.
Lets wrap it up. The performance of Corsair H70 is surely good enough; you can position it along with top ranking and nice aesthetic coolers. Those who want best cooling performance and low noise levels, they must ask themselves what they prefer the most. If you want a performance setup, then this product is okay, just let the fans running at 2000 RPM and you will be the king of the hill. If you want silence, crank down the FAN RPM or just install low RPM fans.
Alright let's round things up. The h70 really a good product, Corsair added an extra fan for a tiny bit more performance, but that has a toll on noise levels. The greatness of H50 was the combination of decent performance and low noise levels, and as such that dynamic shifted. It is common knowledge that water-cooling is related to silent cooling, hence there is a very strong reason to persuade someone to make the next step into liquid cooling. On the other side of the scope, we also have to acknowledge that this product is pitted against heatpipe based coolers, and not LCS setups.
We believe that an upgrade of the copper base cold plate and its ring mount system would be a good place to find more performance. Corsair is amongst top quality manufacturer and we are sure that they wont rest until their upcoming (H90?) would be an all perfect and silent solution. So there you have it, the H70 is a great product, but can be rather noisy.
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