Although the Corsair Nautilus500 is Corsair’s most recent external water cooler it is not their first. The original HydroCool 200 was designed back in 2002 and launched on March 20, 2003. That means the HydroCool 200 was built for use on the now dated Intel P4 and AMD K7 series of processors. The original HydroCool was designed to provide up to 200 Watts of cooling for these processors, which is still enough to cool today’s fastest processors, but not an entire system. The Nautilus 500 is rated at 500W, which is more than double the previous model and more than enough to water cool an entire computer system including the processor, chipset, and video card/s if one buys the extra water blocks.
Take a look at the 2002 design versus the 2005 design of Corsair’s external water cooling solution.
The original HydroCool featured more bells and whistles than the current generation, but cost well over $220 when it first came out. The Nautilus500 was built with the goal of being under $159, so on the outside you get the plain jane box. No chrome handles, flow meters, and large LED displays are found on the Nautilus 500.
Let’s take a look at the back as that is where the magic happens.
On the back we find nothing new again. The fan switch is no longer on the front of the case and has been moved to the rear, but still offers high/low settings. The power connector is still present and feeds off one 4-pin molex connector just like before. The water hoses use a newer style of CPC quick connect fittings that do not interchange between the versions as we tired. Let’s take a look inside.
Inside the two systems we see the usual suspects. If the radiator looks similiar to you then you have a good eye as it is unchanged from the previous model. The water reservoir is now plastic instead of being metal and the pump is now a high flow model.