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Part 2: Little Water, Big Air--Corsair H50 Versus Rosewill FORT120

Corsair H50 Details

The H50 isn’t Corsair’s first foray into liquid CPU cooling, but it is the company's first internal unit. While the H50 differs from the older Nautilus 500 in its sealed-system design, it's not all that much newer. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel and court a new crop of design problems, Corsair relied on the experience of the product’s designer to deliver a time-proven combination of performance, longevity, and durability.

Coolers that support both LGA 1366 and Socket AM3 aren’t very common yet, but the H50’s retention mechanism assures that only a bracket change is required to swap between platforms. Sockets AM2, AM2+, and LGA 775 are also included in the compatibility list, and the bracket design even allows rotating water block orientation in 30° increments.

A copper base includes thermal interface material with the consistency of modeling clay, which is a slightly more viscous version of familiar thermal pastes. Heat softens the material to make it flow like traditional thermal paste, and mounting hardware pressure squeezes out any excess. The copper surface finish is smooth and polished.

Enough workspace remains around the integrated pump/water block that servicing remaining components shouldn’t be difficult when installed in a case large enough to support the cooler’s 120 mm radiator. We found the easiest installation method was to attach the mounting bracket loosely, insert the water block, rotate it into position, and then tighten the screws.

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.