Corsair Hydro Series H50 CPU Water-Cooling Kit Review

Cooling/Water Cooling by leeghoofd @ 2009-08-02

*Updated with AMD Phenom Temp Results* Corsair gets their feet wet again, after close to 3 years they have introduced another water cooling product, the previous one being the Nautilus 500 back in 2006. This time around they’ve also opted for an all-in-one kit, but build inside the case, fitted onto the exhaust fan, a case with 120mm exhaust is a requirement, a large wallet is not! The Corsair H50 will be introduced at price of ~€/$70 which is pretty much on par with high end air cooled heatsinks out there! So can an all-in-one kit impress us? Let´s find out!

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Conclusive thoughts

Conclusive Thoughts

Even though my sample didn't reach Corsairs claims of beating the almighty TRUE with 10°C, I still remain quite enthusiastic about this little nifty unit. It's easy to install, looks good, very easy to maintain (read zero maintenance) and it cools as good as the current high end air cooler. What more could you want for that money? Maybe high end water-cooling capability? But I must stress: just take a look at its retail price. It's in the price region of most high end air coolers, meaning the H50 retails not even at half the price of a simple single radiator H2O kit. Corsair didn't design the H50 for top notch overclocking.... it's more for users that want a quiet system with some headroom for daily 24/7 overclock of the CPU. Bang for the buck there's no discussion possible... This is it! The results clearly show that it can handle the nuclear i7 CPU's with modest OC's quite well.

I must admit I've been very skeptical with all-in-one preassembled units. Almost all of them had very crappy cooling performance and were overpriced. This all till now; the H50 is what all these other, so called water-cooling solutions, should have been from the start. Dead easy install ; no tubing cutting, pump placement, case modding,... 8 screws is all it takes. Delivering out of the box on par performance with the best air coolers out there. Before I start to sound too repetitive, one more time: It's dead cheap for the performance it gives ya :)

For those who want to use the H50 for higher performance, here's how I run my unit, 2 fans for a push pull configuration (just for piece of mind) controlling heat output of the Core i7 950 at 4ghz. I'm using the 2 Corsair fans here as they are a bit more silent than the Antec fans I used for the testing.

Madshrimps (c)

This unit does what it was designed for; results will vary from chassis to chassis. I have tested in 2 highly ventilated cases. For the socket 775 and AMD tests it was the Antec P160 with a modded top for 2 extra ventilators. I7 was build into a massive Lian Li case with more than normal airflow. The H50 was designed to pull in fresh air from the back, a normal air cooler will use the air inside the case. This means that if the case is not so well ventilated and hot air is trapped inside, that the Corsair unit will get the upper hand far easier.

Corsair H50 Recommended for:

+ Very complete package, AM2/3 brackets were included in 2nd sample.
+ Easy install, takes 5 minutes and most important : zero maintenance.
+ Performs at least as good as the most expensive high end air cooled heatsinks.
+ Excellent price/performance ratio (~$€70)

- tubing is pretty stiff
- unit might disappoint some enthusiasts looking for extreme performance (maybe a dual rad version in the near future?)

I wish to thank sir Gareth Ogden from Corsair for allowing us to test their latest product.

Another thank you Milan from ASUS for the Gene II sample on which I could perform the I7 tests.
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Comment from Jaco @ 2009/07/28
What type of cooling fluid is used ?
I know the waterblock is copper , but the radiator is aluminium.
Comment from leeghoofd @ 2009/07/28
I think the fluid mixture itself is top secret... I tried to refill the unit and it didn't even take 70cc to fill her up, it's pretty impossible to get it done properly, unit still mixed loads of air and is in fact wasted... will let her run ( without no cpu to see what happens with the fluid )
Comment from 2Cb @ 2010/04/24
Hey Leeghoofd,

Which is the best push pull setup for this cooler in your experience? Having the push fan blowing air into the case or out of the case (assuming the case airflow is adapted correctly)?

Comment from jmke @ 2010/04/24
Having the push fan blowing air into the case or out of the case
if your case is located in a "hot" area at the rear, closed environment or inside a PC furniture, you might get better results by placing a good in-take fan at the front and having the push/pull setup blow air outside the case.
if however you can get fresh air at the rear of the case, having the fans pull in cool air will give you the advantage
Comment from leeghoofd @ 2010/04/25
Indeed much depends on the way the rig is setup, case ventilation etc...

I never got the acclaimed 10 °C difference with the TRUE, I even tried theunit outside of the case, temps stayed +/- the same.

For max performance : sucking air in via the rear hole as advised by Corsair, but for max ventilation it would require to add a top fan to get rid of the trapped hot air in the case

There's a cool thread on, there are zillions of mods that make the unit even better :

Official Corsair H50 hydro series owners