Corsair Hydro Series H70 CPU Water Cooling Kit ReviewMon, Aug 23, 2010 - 12:00 AM
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
The improvements Corsair has made for the Hydro Series with the H70 over the H50 were noticeable in its performance. The bigger radiator and dual fans have made a world of difference. The new size could very well be an issue for most with small cases.
One thing I noticed in the time I have spent so far with the Hydro Series H70: air flow is key. The case I used for the test bench only has a single 120mm fan in the front of the case — no side or top exhaust. This wasn’t very noticeable until I had the system really overclocked and H70 set up as intake fans. The side panel of the case was physically warm, so all the heat released from the radiator was filling the case and affecting the rest of the system. Yes, I was bringing the cool air into the cooler, but I was dumping the heat into a case that couldn’t get it out as fast as it going in. So if you run with the intake configuration you will need a fan setup that can get the air out. The same goes for running the exhaust configuration. To get the intake performance you need a case that can feed the cool air needed for the Hydro Series H70 to perform well. Another factor in the performance is the fans themselves.
The high fin count on the radiator means the Hydro Series H70, like the H50, will love air flow. The more CFM you can throw at it the better. We plan on testing the Hydro Series H70 with other fans like we did with the H50, but for now since the H70 comes with two fans and speed reducers we went with the “as purchased” arrangement to see how it did. The H70 did very well, but I believe it has some more to give.
Of the kit coolers I have tested over the years in our test system case the Hydro Series H70 is by far the best performing of the bunch and does it without having to buy extra to get the job done. Now the stock fans are not the quietest fans on the market, but are by no means the loudest and in low speed mode are not too bad.
Looking at the extreme end of the testing with the system at 3.8GHz, the Hydro Series H70 was a fair bit warmer than our custom water loop, but to get that extra performance the cost was almost 2.5-3 times that of the H70. The Hydro Series H70 costs around $110; just the Swiftech Apogee XT water block we have in our custom loop cost $75 then you have the tubing, fittings, pump, radiator, reservoir and fans. So spending $250 or more is not too hard. This also doesn’t include the work involved with a custom loop, either. The H70 installed in less than 15 minutes with no hose cutting, loop bleeding or leak checking, all of which are things that take way longer than 15 minutes to do. There is also no maintenance with the H70, either, like you would have with the custom loop.
This time Corsair shortened the hoses and the fan power wires. I didn’t encounter any issues with this, and actually I think it made installing it easier. Where the shorter lines may cause issues is in cases where the end user wants to put the radiator in the top of a tall case. If there is a lot of space between the CPU and the case top it may not reach. The fan wires looked to be way too short to be useful until I started adding in the reducers and the Y adapter. That puts a fair amount of length back onto the fan cables. Reaching a fan header should not be an issue.
When it comes to the testing I have the Hydro Series H70 CWCH70 as the king of the kit coolers. Coming in at $103 shipped for the H70 it’s a good $20 more than its predecessor the Hydro Series H50 and the CooliT ECO A.L.C., but the H70 outperformed them by a fair amount as well.
The Corsair Hydro Series H70 CPU water cooler is a very nice self-contained water cooling kit that is easy to install and requires no maintenance. The Corsair H70 (Part number CWCH70) was also able to perform significantly better than the Corsair H50 for just a slightly higher price tag. By the time you figure in the better cooling performance, improved appearance and the two year limited warranty, you have a water cooler that is hard to pass up. The Corsair Hydro Series H70 is the real deal and something you don’t need to think twice about before purchasing.
Legit Bottom Line: Corsair Hydro Series has come a long way and the Hydro Series H70 CWCH70 is the new king of the kit water coolers; and at $103 it’s a little more than high-end air, but nowhere near as bad as a full-on custom water cooling loop.