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Corsair H50 Liquid Cooling Experience

Last response: in Overclocking
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January 11, 2011 2:48:19 AM

I wanted to share my experience with those interested in the H50/H70. I acquired my H50 back in April of 2010, and found with the single fan configuration, it was not much better than a good air sink. When I added the second fan for the push-pull setup, temps dropped by 10%. I had been running this setup since then OC'd to 3.7 MGz with IntelBurnTest maxing temps to 71c. Going past that drove the temps up well into the 70's.

After reading an article on this site about the H50, I replaced the 120mm 1500 rpm push pulls with 2 Scythe 3000 rpm (32mm) fans, mounting one on the back of the case. (the screws are 6-32--I used 2" from Home Depot). Results were better than expected--I dropped another 10-12%, and am running 3.9 MGz with max temps of 64C (62c average) using IntelBurnTest (Max).

The faster fans are rated at 47db, so its louder than some may like, but only a little louder than the stock fans at 30db. I use headphones.

I recommend the H50, and H70 (if it fits), as a great alternative to pricey liguid cooling rigs (but the H50/70 are certainly not better). The H-series coolers are definitely better than any air sink out there when used with the push/pull configuration.



Intel Q9550, EVGA 780i SLI FTW, ATI H5850, 6gb Corsair Dominator, Corsair 950w PSU,
OC: 3.914 MGz, Vcore 1.275, 64c tested with IBT (linpack).

I hope this helps.
a b K Overclocking
January 11, 2011 8:26:21 AM

everyone agrees that they are good coolers... only that some air coolers offer the same level of performance if not better for a little less $$$ and more importantly less sound levels...

tests showing the above can be found at the below reviews of H70...

http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/corsair_h70/4.h...

http://www.guru3d.com/article/corsair-h70-review/10

http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/cases_cooling/corsai...

http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=25823&page=5

http://www.overclockers.com/corsair-hydro-series-h70-re...
January 11, 2011 8:27:34 AM

Whats an MGz and how do I get some in my computer? LOL
Just kidding.

For the Price I'd rather get a Noctua NH-D14
I have room for it in my case.
It's funny a lot of people are doing push/pull even though the engineers at Corsair said it made no difference.
64c is still kinda hot...
Related resources
a c 324 K Overclocking
January 11, 2011 12:25:37 PM

^For the cost of the H70, you can pay a few bucks more and actually get a real entry-level watercooling kit with the XSPC Rasa that will perform far better than the H70.

Yeah, I guess if you want to pay for an H50/H70, they are modestly OK, but why would someone willingly pay that much money for something that doesn't do any better than a $45 air cooler?
January 11, 2011 4:19:51 PM

I'm just sharing my experience with the H50. As a novice OCer, I found it better than the big Zahlman (et al) heatsinks I've used in the past. I read many benchmarks on the H50, and my experiences with the H50 and many other components have typically differed from the tests. The Noctua NH-D14 would not fit under the hood of my Tahoe. Its a different animal anyway.

Liquid cooling is the way to go. My next rig will be planned for a complete liquid cooling system. The problem is price. You really can't cut corners on quality either. You have to have a case to fit pumps, blocks, reservoirs, radiators, etc., or get an external unit $$$. A decent cpu block (just the block) is $40-$50. Ideally, I'd want to have the motherboard cooled, so that adds up a lot more $$$. Stock liquid cooling cases start at around $450.

The H50 with upgraded fans is a viable alternative to more expensive water cooling rigs. Those behemoth air sinks are dinosaurs.

The H50 with upgraded fans is an $80 investment. The H70 is the H50 with 2 fans and a thicker radiator.
a c 324 K Overclocking
January 11, 2011 5:23:07 PM

Quote:
Liquid cooling is the way to go. My next rig will be planned for a complete liquid cooling system. The problem is price. You really can't cut corners on quality either. You have to have a case to fit pumps, blocks, reservoirs, radiators, etc., or get an external unit $$$. A decent cpu block (just the block) is $40-$50. Ideally, I'd want to have the motherboard cooled, so that adds up a lot more $$$. Stock liquid cooling cases start at around $450.


External unit = no

Motherboard cooled = no

Buying a 'liquid cooled case' = expensive and can be done better/cheaper DIY


The rest, you are somewhat ballpark on.

Let us know when you want to go watercooling, I have a lot of links and info to pass along and can hopefully answer any questions you have.

January 11, 2011 10:55:16 PM

Thanks, I will. The I7-950 is down to $229, So I may take you up on that sooner than later.
January 12, 2011 12:07:12 PM

Air cooling done right can be just as effective as any of these water cooling kits on the market.
I can see the H50/H70 kits hitting their value in an as-needed environment when you simply cannot control room temps to make air cooling viable.

As for water cooling I shun the idea because decent water blocks are costly. Failing to maintain your water-cooled system is costly.
Alge build up is a pain. Water pump failure is a pain. Leaks destroy your hardware.
If your really willing to put up with this kind of work then by all means you are the true over clocking enthusiast. It's why they call water-cooling the " extreme " solution.
The cost to performance ratio is just too much for me to consider value in water-cooling.
By all means, some people really need it. I've heard in some area's of the world like Australia use ceramic de-humidifiers in extra PCI slots.

Also the problem with the H50/H70 setups is that now you have reduced the airflow over your voltage regulators and MOSFETs.
There is also a reason some Mainboard manufacturers keep the CPU socket close to the RAM slots and a growing trend of RAM makers put heat sinks on their ram. It's to share all that air from the CPU fan.(In some cases lol)

Anyways, bottom line of my rant is that, unless you REALLY need it and your willing to put in the work -Use it! Otherwise save all that money for a good HSF setup. Throw some ram sinks on your MOSFET. Replace your fans with Higher CFM fans if you dont mind the noise, because I bet dollar per dollar the Air system will cool just was well if not better.
a c 324 K Overclocking
January 12, 2011 1:05:33 PM

Quote:
As for water cooling I shun the idea because decent water blocks are costly. Failing to maintain your water-cooled system is costly.
Alge build up is a pain. Water pump failure is a pain. Leaks destroy your hardware.
If your really willing to put up with this kind of work then by all means you are the true over clocking enthusiast. It's why they call water-cooling the " extreme " solution.


Most of the time, CPU blocks can be reused again and again with new CPUs...just swap out the mounting bracket. Radiators, pumps and reservoirs are obviously multi-use components.

Maintaining watercooling isn't costly. A gallon of distilled water costs less than $3. PT Nuke costs less than $6 and lasts through many, many water changes. Kill coils cost ~$6 and last indefinitely.

Algae build up doesn't occur if you add PT Nuke/Killcoil and use distilled. I've watercooled for 8 years and at some points even used plain tap water for months...nothing grew in my loop.

I've used the same pump for over 6 years and the only reason I replaced my original, was because I wanted a beefier pump.

Leaks only happen if you are lazy and don't setup your system right, use quality components and do a thorough job during the install. 'Operator error' applies here in the vast majority of incidents.


Please use a little more discretion before posting misleading information such as this.
January 12, 2011 2:12:34 PM

Just to chip in, a properly done watercooling loop can be suprisingly durable. Even to the point where mine has frozen during transport. Yes, frozen and defrosted like nothing happened; no leaks, cracked blocks or shattering pipe. That's just with the barbs and plastic clamps you can find on the shelf at any Microcenter.
a c 324 K Overclocking
January 12, 2011 2:24:24 PM

^I've only ever had 1 leak and it was because I didn't get a piece of tubing all the way on a barb during leak testing. Minor...let it dry out using a fan, 24hrs later, running like a champ.

The vast majority of of leaks in a WC system are due to someone rushing a job or cutting corners.
January 12, 2011 3:22:26 PM

Am I correct in assuming that was on your MCW-60? I found there to be very little clearance on those suckers and I generally have trouble telling whether or not the tubing + clamp is seated on the barb properly. Especially when using 1/2" ID tubing.
a c 324 K Overclocking
January 12, 2011 3:29:17 PM

^Yep. Exactly what happened.

I didn't quite get the tubing on to the second MCW60 block from the bend over the top of the cards...full cover blocks would be much less issue with the straight pass-thru fittings most employ. I'm going to do some testing on my next loop fill with pre-bending tubing into boiling water, then ice water to get a memory bend. Just have to find something to keep the inside from collapsing in the process.
January 12, 2011 4:45:10 PM

I've got the same problem. Solved it with 2 90° rotary fittings, 2 compression fittings and a spacer ring to make a tight U-bend around the cards.
a c 324 K Overclocking
January 12, 2011 4:50:00 PM

I'm thinking the 90's are what I am going to need...at least 45's.
a b K Overclocking
January 12, 2011 7:03:49 PM

rubix_1011 said:

The vast majority of of leaks in a WC system are due to someone rushing a job or cutting corners.

+1
January 19, 2011 10:09:29 PM

What is air cooling "done right"?
My original point was that the H50/70 offer effective economical alternatives to a mid-range water cooling system. I still use air (80mm fan) to cool NB, SB, MOFSET.
I till use air on the ram. Air cools radiators too.

I priced some parts at Microcenter the other night:
Pump- $50-80
Reservoir - $25-50
CPU Block - $48
Radiator - $40 - 120
Hose: $1 -2/ft
Clamps/barbs, connectors $7/pair +
GPU block: $85-125
NB, SB, MOFSET block: Online $125 and up
+fans 2-4 in most moderate systems @ $16-20

If I had the money, I'd be water cooling an I7 Extreme Edition, but I don't, I'm Oc'ing a Q9550. I think corsair is going to make a bundle with their H-line of coolers and other manufacturers are already following suit.

I backed down my OC to 3.825 Linked/Sync'd peaking 61c on 20 runs of IBT (max).
I could not come near that on air alone.
a c 324 K Overclocking
January 19, 2011 11:24:25 PM

Quote:
I priced some parts at Microcenter the other night


I'd avoid Microcenter for watercooling if it's at all possible. They typically only carry DangerDen stuff (which not all is bad, some is great...but very small selection). You can find better deals online, with better selection...but in a pinch, you can sometimes find what you need. It's far better to plan ahead for better prices on better components.

Quote:
My original point was that the H50/70 offer effective economical alternatives to a mid-range water cooling system


The H50 is poor reliability performance; the H70 is better, but still pricey for the actual performance. Good air coolers perform as well or better in some cases and usually for 1/2 to 1/3 the cost of the H50/H70.

The XSPC Rasa kits start just above the H70 in the $130+ range for CPU only watercooling in a 'kit' that is actually considered true watercooling in an intro kit.
January 19, 2011 11:47:27 PM

Wow, I must have gotten the good Microcenter when visiting my family. Nothing but piles of Swiftech gear priced to really move.

Also, when I used a Xigmatek HDT-S1283 on my Q9550 with similar settings getting past 62C was a challenge, yet it only cost me $35 and didn't require new fans to become effective.
a c 324 K Overclocking
January 20, 2011 12:01:29 AM

Quote:
Wow, I must have gotten the good Microcenter when visiting my family. Nothing but piles of Swiftech gear priced to really move.


Interesting...the one that is on my way home (Kansas City) doesn't usually stock much WC gear. They have progressively carried more stuff, but still not the selection I'd like to see at a local retailer. Online is the best choice for me.

62C seems a little warm, but its an older Core2 model (mine is a Q6600, even older) so not out of the realm of normal. Have you tried pulling the side of your case and blowing a fan inside? If you get better temps that way, you have a case airflow issue.
January 20, 2011 1:57:21 AM

*Checks Microcenter online in-store stock page*

Looks Like I got lucky, most of the in-store Swiftech has been phased out. They had a decent pile at the Mayfield Heights (Cleveland area) store back during Labor Day '10.

That old Temp statistic isn't relevant to current day operation anymore as I've switched to liquid cooling it. It's always been on the warm side though cooling and case swaps. It hums along in the mid-40's under load these days. It creeps lower every time I rebuild something out of boredom :) .
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