The External H20 Solution T
is well packaged in a box size belying its 500W cooling capacity. Opening the box revealed a neatly packed system with an in-depth manual.
Unpacking the box, Corsair has provided just about everything you need with the exception of distilled water. I prefer Poland Spring Steam Distilled H20 however the choice is yours. Corsair COOL liquid additive for H20-cooling systems is provided and while I've been an advocate of pre-mixed "cooling fluids" for their "non-conductive" properties, at water-cooling temps between 18C to 45C distilled water with propylene glycol type formulas provides the lowest temps. I was impressed Corsair had thoroughly researched their choice of additive, the formula is essentially Propylene Glycol which acts as a surfactant / lubricant helping to prevent dissimilar metal corrosion an reduce laminar surface flow. Unlike Water Wetter which I stopped using over two years ago due to residue build up, what Corsair has left out of their formula are ingredients recently discovered in Water Wetter which have cast a new light on that product.
Perhaps foremost on the mind of the PC-Enthusiast would be; What CPU Water block is Corsair using?
The unit is most likely manufactured by or related to the Swiftech MCW6000
series. Although dropped from Swiftech's product line, purportedly these blocks were and still are manufactured specifically for use in Corsair COOL
water-cooling kits and now the Nautilus 500. Nonetheless the base of this copper block sports one of the best finishes in the market as can be seen in the photo below in which I purposely left the protective plastic in place.
With the protective cover removed the block's finish is extraordinary, a benefit of Corsair's high standards which of course have made their memory one of, if not the best DRAM on the market.
Standing on its own the primary heat exchanger including pump, radiator and reservoir is an attractive design. Certainly a space saver it should easily fit on top of any case, or on a desktop, although I would recommend leaving the unit is mounted higher then the CPU itself. The fan is located on the top drawing air from beneath the unit which is raised a few cm to insure the radiator isn't obstructed. The design is so simple as to be a potential award winner.
Viewing the unit from the rear we see the High/Low fan speed switch and Quick Disconnect
nozzles. These nozzles made installation, and especially bleeding so easy it's no wonder the entire industry doesn?t employ them more often? Given the Retail price for the Nautilus one tends to doubt cost is a limiting factor since only two quick releases would be needed if placed strategically. The DC power connector is also located on the rear of the unit attaching to a power cable of ample length. This cable then feeds to a PCI-mount which has inlets to accommodate both tubes and the power-cable. At the end of the cable feeding into the case are male/female molex plugs.
With a top-mounted fan air will be drawn from the bottom, as was evident above four cushioned legs raise the unit up allowing air to flow freely up into the radiator. Turning the unit over we get an idea of the radiator size as well as its aluminum fin pattern.
A look inside Corsair's Nautilus 500 ->