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Antec Kühler Vs. Corsair Hydro: Sealed Liquid CPU Coolers Compared

Corsair Hydro H80

January 2011 was a busy time for cooling companies. Corsair announced its switch to supplier CoolIT Systems at the same time as CoolIT released its improved cold plate design. Were that not enough to make our heads spin, Antec took Corsair’s place with Asetek. Phew!

The Hydro H80’s 1.5” radiator fits between its competitor’s single-thick and double-thick designs. And, it has a pair of fans similar to those of the competing double-thick solution. Selling for a Web price of $75, it also fits between the two competing models in price.

The H80’s Intel support plate uses slotted holes to fit a full range of LGA 775 to LGA 1366 coolers (with 1156 and 1155 in the middle). The first set of studs in the photo below holds the plate loosely in place behind the CPU socket.

A second set of studs holds the pump/water block atop LGA 2011-based CPUs, using the motherboard’s integrated support plate.

The H80 pump body ships with a matching set of Intel brackets installed. Included AMD brackets use wire hooks to engage AMD’s cooler clips. The pump body also includes a flow speed selector button and two four-pin PWM fan headers.

Thumb screws tighten the pump assembly’s cold plate against the CPU, pulling the socket support plate firmly against the back of the motherboard in this LGA 1155 installation. A small amount of space between the wider part of the stud and the motherboard prevents contact with any nearby circuit traces, which explains why the support plate was held so loosely in place.

  • compton
    You would have a hard time convincing me that my Noctua NH-U12P SE2 was anything but quiet and effective, but I know that many prefer sealed water solutions. My opinion is that for 1155 SB processors, even overclocked ones, you're better off with a high end air cooler.
    Reply
  • soccerdocks
    comptonYou would have a hard time convincing me that my Noctua NH-U12P SE2 was anything but quiet and effective, but I know that many prefer sealed water solutions. My opinion is that for 1155 SB processors, even overclocked ones, you're better off with a high end air cooler.
    I completely agree. Pretty much the only reason to go with these sealed water coolers is to say that you water cooled your PC.
    Reply
  • gmcizzle
    Yes for SB processors, air is fine because they don't really get that hot. Now SBE, on the other hand, gets extremely hot and you need the best cooling you can get.
    Reply
  • cmcghee358
    soccerdocksI completely agree. Pretty much the only reason to go with these sealed water coolers is to say that you water cooled your PC.
    I agree 100%. And I do, in fact have an H70. And when I'm at work describing the epic beast of computers I build, and I show off some pics of mine; I always point to the H70 and go "Theres the radiator for the water cooler" /gasp!
    Reply
  • joytech22
    I still have my H50 so reading this bummed me out a little. Haha.
    Reply
  • drumsrule786
    High end air is probably better than most sealed liquid coolers except for the H100. My H50 is alright but not nearly as good as I thought it was going to be when I first got it. Next build im definitely gonna go full custom water cooling though :D
    Reply
  • aznshinobi
    These coolers are terrible cooling/value, it's sad that consumers see "Water-cooling" (IMO this is "fake" water cooling in that it's all in a closed loop) and they think it'll cool the best. However the temps speak for itself, a $50 air cooler can practically, if not beat, a $80 closed-loop WC solution with the dBA being similar. Sad.
    Reply
  • Lutfij
    did anyone else notice that the author as well as manufacturer's of these pseudo WC loops rerfer to the cpu contact plate as a cold plate...last time i checked a cold plate is what is used in a Peltier unit...:/
    Reply
  • compton
    cmcghee358I agree 100%. And I do, in fact have an H70. And when I'm at work describing the epic beast of computers I build, and I show off some pics of mine; I always point to the H70 and go "Theres the radiator for the water cooler" /gasp!
    I think that's a perfectly good reason to buy any product. I like that I have a choice. But Noctua's tower coolers look pretty sexy too.
    Reply
  • Darkerson
    Was thinking about getting the 620 for a future SB/IB build, but now Im not so sure. Anyway, thanks for the reviews!
    Reply