Corsair Hydro H5 SF CPU Cooler Preview

Cooling/CPU Cooling by leeghoofd @ 2016-01-08

Last year Corsair introduced the Bulldog small form factor PC at Computex 2015. The CPU and GPU were cooled by their own in-house branded Hydro all in one closed circuit cooling units. The GPU cooling units were also separately available back then. Early this week our H5 SF CPU cooling unit arrived, exclusively aimed to be used with mITX sized motherboards inside a small form factor enclosure. Today we bring you only a preview as we encountered some minor installation woes with our test bed and the latest Hydro release.

  • next


This is what Corsair claims at the product page of the Hydro series H5 SF:

Quiet, powerful low-profile liquid CPU cooling for high-performance Mini-ITX PCs. The Hydro Series H5 SF is a low profile liquid CPU cooler that provides efficient cooling for small form factor Mini-ITX systems. Building a small form factor system shouldn't have to mean compromising on processor speed, and with the H5 SF you can provide reliable cooling for your system's high performance CPU.

Not really much to add as indeed when unboxing the unit has similar dimensions as our mITX motherboard. So at first glance a pretty beefy cooling unit for such a tiny setup.



Everything is carefully wrapped and packed in typical Corsair style. Below are the package contents: the H5 SF pump and radiator/ventilator unit, mounting brackets for Intel and AMD sockets are included. To ensure mITX motherboard compatibility the radiator unit will be mounted on the black L-shaped shroud. Last but not least the easy to read manual and instructions.



The pump unit looks very familiar to previous Hydro versions based on the Cool It design. The Asetek designs are recognizable on the round copper cold plate;  the Cool IT designs utilize a rectangular shaped design. The biggest difference versus the other Hydro's we have tested is the integrated fan shroud and radiator unit, resembling a the numerous blower type graphic card cooler designs, so no fans need to be manually added, this is a one piece ready to install design.

The blower fan has two functions: first to blow air through the radiator fins to ensure the cooling potential, secondly it also draws heat away from the hotter motherboard components as the VRMs. The heat, if the case is compatible, will be expelled out via the rear.



The low permeability tubing is still present and perfectly suited for tight space environment installs, though when comparing the latter versus the pictures on the Corsair site, these seems a tad longer. The pump unit as the 120mm Blower fan needs to be hooked up to the motherboard PWM fan connectors.

The copper based cold plate features a pre-applied thermal compound, so contact and good heat transfer should be warranted from the first install. Take extra care though to not touch the thermal compound when installing the unit on the processor.



  • next