Pros: Wow. Let me begin by saying that this is an amazing product. I've used many Corsair products before - power supplies, RAM, etc. and I figured this would be just as high-quality. Well it is. First off, the packaging had the classic minimalist Corsair look and it was and it did indeed come with all of the parts necessary to install this on any Core i3/5/7 or AMD AM2, AM3, and FM1 chipset. And in case you don't have a case fan to install the radiator on, this product comes with an extra 120mm fan.
Installation was surprisingly easy compared to many other CPU coolers I've installed. The instructions were clear and concise, but just make sure you get the right size screws for your mounting bracket - there are Intel and AMD sized screws depending on your CPU. As was advertised, the product is very compact and easy to install, and the rubber hoses are quit flexible. Don't bend them too much, however, because you don't want a leak. Try to install the cooler in such a way that the hoses are not stretched too far or bent out of shape.
Now, in my case, I was working with a computer that I built about a year ago so it already had an air cooler on the CPU. I had to remove that and clean up the previous thermal paste using an emulsifier. I also removed the pre-applied thermal paste from the Corsair product because I wanted to use my own Arctic Cooler paste. In any case, all of that took only 20 minutes or so.
Luckily my computer case had a CPU cutout so installing the mounting brackets was a breeze. If you don't have a cutout behind the CPU in your case, then you'll have to remove your entire motherboard which will add time to the installation procedure.
After getting the mounting bracket in place it was quite, quite easy to screw in the radiator and lock the actual cooling cap in place on top of the CPU. Just be sure that when you install the mounting bracket that you do it methodically. It involves a back-plate, a front-plate, 4 screws, and 4 little metal things that the screws go into. Positioning the back-plate correctly was difficult at first until I noticed the (rather hard to read) lettering next to each hole. Each hole is designated either 1156, 1366, or 2011. Know this and you'll save yourself a lot of frustration.
Continue to "Other Thoughts" for some numbers.
Cons: None whatsoever! Just a little note: installation should be done methodically. Don't rush it because this is a delicate device with many little parts involved. Many of the problems I encountered during installation were due to my own lack of attention. Read the instructions and carefully inspect all parts so that you know exactly how to install it before you even open your computer case.
Overall Review: I tested this cooler on a Core i3 540.
Using Speed Fan, I measured my CPU temperatures before and after installation. My air cooler, which consisted of a 90mm fan, heatsink, and copper pipes, gave me 22 and 27 degrees Celsius on each core at idle. Playing a video game like Skyrim or Unreal Tournament 3, I got 42 and 44 degrees C. This was with air cooling.
With the new Corsair liquid cooler, I got 18 and 23 C idle (4 degrees lower), and 30 and 35 degrees C under load. That's a 9 to 12 degree drop from before! Basically, with this liquid cooler my i3 540 runs nearly as cool under load as it used to merely idling with the air cooling.
This is a marvelous liquid cooler, and in fact my first liquid cooling device of any kind. I love the closed loop design and it's extremely quiet. You won't even hear it unless you put your ear right up to your computer.
I highly recommend this product for any computer. It would be especially useful for a gaming computer, and for someone who wants to make a gaming computer with superior cooling on a budget. Even family computers would benefit from this because it will definitely prolong the life of your CPU.
Just be sure you know what you're doing. Liquid cooling always has the risk of leaking, but 99% of the time it's due to poor installation - bending or stretching the hoses in some way they shouldn't be, not screwing things in properly, etc.
Pros: Packaging and the condition of the items were great. Size of the unit is decent, not to large, not too small. Make sure you have space in your case for a 120MM fan for mounting.
Installed on an AMD 975BE proc, with a Gigabyte AM3+ motherboard, 8GB ram.
I added my 120MM case fan I was already using to the unit and setup as a push pull. I was previously using an aftermarket Air Cooler (Titan) with heat pipes and fins which was not bad, but it could not beat this H55 watercooler! The H55 is definitely quiet; I don’t really hear much from it. (my video card fan makes more noise than it does). Tubes were flexible and overall seems and looks really nice.
After installation, my average temps during idle / typical usage were not significantly improved, and I found that the other temps in my case went up a little as I think it is moving a little less air out of the system than before. (I have an older style Antec tower)
However my temps when really utilizing the processor (games, video editing etc.. ) this is where it really made a difference. I’ve included a chart below to show some examples. I ran these tests on different days at different times and ambient temps. (I used the same video editing software and file for each test.)
Temps are in Fahrenheit
Cooler| scenario | Outside Tmp | Ambient Tmp | CPU Tmp
Air Cooler | Normal use | 64-67 | 74 | 97-98
Air Cooler | Video Editing | 64-67 | 74 | 128-129
Air Cooler | Video Editing 2 | 64-67 | 74 | 129-130
Air Cooler | Normal use | 65 | 75 | 97-98
H55 | Normal use | 79 | 75 | 90
H55 | Video Editing | 79 | 75 | 110
H55 | Normal use | 38 | 68 | 87
H55 | Video Editing | 78 | 74 | 110
Cons: Instructions were not the greatest, there was a round plastic band that came with it which I did not use, and was not included anywhere in the instructions. (Guessing it was for a particular intel board).
Would have been nice if it came with extra screws for mounting an additional fan. I managed to add my additional fan with other screws I had around.
Overall Review: This was a great improvement on my CPU temps, not a major difference at idle, but definitely a noticeable difference when the system is under heavy load. I have been quite happy with the stock 3.6Ghz of my proc and did overclock it to 4.0 at one point on the air cooler, but the temps were pushing it a little more than I wanted, and to be honest I’m still quite happy with the performance at stock speed, but.. that being said.. I may consider an overclock again sometime in the future with this new cooler!
Pros: Nice improvement over the H50, which is now 2-3 years old. The H55 has more flexible tubing, a better block, and is easier to install. Compared to the H50, the H55 keeps my mildly overclocked i7-3770K 2-3 degrees cooler under load. Idle temps are the same. (These temps are keeping all other components and settings equal.)
The biggest improvements IMHO are the much more flexible hoses which make management much easier and the easier to install block. Though I don't swap out CPU coolers often, these are nice touches.
Cons: Dubious value compared to midrange air coolers. In my experience neither the H50 nor H55 provide much benefit compared to the more popular air coolers that are typically less than $40 - in terms of cooling efficacy. However, I use these in SFF systems where the larger tower coolers simply won't fit, so they let me squeeze a bit more performance out of a cramped computer at a small price.
Overall Review: I don't recommend the H50 to novice builders because it's a bit of a PITA to install. I would, however, recommend the H55 to a less experienced system assembler because of its vastly improved block mounting procedure.
One thing to note is that it's best to use the rad's fan as a system intake so you're pulling cooler external air over the radiator rather than pushing warmer internal air over the radiator. This might result in reversing the air flow found in most systems (that go from front to back, whereas with this, you'll probably want to go from back to front).
Pros: Quality and easy install. Works well. About the same cooling power as a CM 212EVO but quieter and cleaner looking
Overall Review: Use this for a HTPC with a i3 intel. Almost silent. The PSU is louder
Pros: This is an enclosed water cooling system and very quiet. It is fairly easy to install. If you are upgrading from another cooler, you may have to remove you motherboard to place this cooler's back mounting bracket. The tubing is more flex able than the H50. The heat sink/pump has a lower profile than the H50. Because the heat sink/ pump has a compact design, you don't have to worry about it overlapping any of you system components like you would with most sir coolers. As you can tell, it come s with a 120mm fan. The cooler comes with all the necessary hardware needed for mounting on motherboards with Intel sockets LGA 1155, 1156, 1366, and AMD Socket AM2, AM3, FM1, FM2. The cooler can go into pretty much any size case.
Cons: The first con that comes to mind is pricing. It is a little costly compared to air coolers. Given the fact that this cooler doesn't drop the cpu temp any lower than a well known air cooler, the price is kind of high but then you have to deal with the size of the air cooler which is a negative for an air cooler. There isn't any hardware support for Intel LGA 775 (the H50 does or I should say did. At least the one I bought did. Seems they may have changed the structure of the H50 now). Only comes with one fan (see other thoughts).
Overall Review: When placing the heat sink as you need to place paste on both the processor and heat sink, leave the screws on the bracket a little loose so you can lock the heat sink and slightly lower it to get a paste impression from the processor. This will give you an imprint to place the paste. Don't over tighten the mounting. Snug is more than enough.
Another recommendation is to get a second 120mm fan and set the two fans up in a push/pull manner where one fan pushes air through the radiator while the second pulls air through. This provides more cooling. If adding a second fan makes it too bulky in the case, place one fan outside the case. This may mean you may have to get longer screws and maybe a fan cover as the blades will be exposed. Set the air flow where the fan/s are pulling air from the outside to inside the case. If it's reversed you may be pulling hot air within the case through the radiator.
I really wouldn't recommend getting this cooler if you plan on doing any serious overclocking. I would look at the H80 and up for that and that may be a stretch. But, you can do a little OC and everything should be safe. As this is my second H series cooler, I currently have the H50 cooling a Core2Duo processor at stock speed with a constant temp of 27c and this system is on 24/7 as it's my NAS box. On a i5 2500k processor once again at stock speeds, the temps stayed around 28-30c. I did try OCing on the i5 and was able to go from 3.7Ghz to 4.7Ghz (OC) and with 100% load the temps ran up to 78-79c before I stopped the test. You do not want temps at 80c or more. So, you can OC a little but understand temps will be up. These really aren't made for OCing.
Pros: This cooler was sent to me as a free item for review. Months of warranty problems with a video card that caused repeated crashes whenever the computer was under a load, delayed this build & review.
I was impressed when I looked at the temps in my computer. All in all, its benefits outweigh the detractions. The MB sensor showed the CPU at way below room temp so I couldn’t use it. I used an IR thermometer to check temps of the CPU & other parts of the computer. I overclocked an AMD FX4100 3.6GHz Black Edition CPU to 4.5GHz for 24 hours in a 74°F room. The radiator showed 93°F, the hottest reading I could get from the side of the CPU was 97°F. The 8 hard drives ran between 83-87°F & the 970 chipset heat sink was 109°F. They include adapters for a wide variety of socket types.
It does an excellent job of keeping the CPU cool. This design cools the CPU using the cooler outside air before anything else warms it up & avoids running the normally pre-warmed recycled air that accumulates in the case. The heat, like a regular CPU cooler goes into the case, but the absence of a bulky cooling assembly in the middle of the case allows for much better airflow, so everything else stays cooler because the airflow is better.
Cons: I had to give it 4 eggs because of the PCI-e slot blocked by the radiator. You may be able to mount a very short card there by temporarily removing the video card.
Like a conventional CPU cooler, the radiator & hoses are still obstructions where they are located. When installed inside the case you need to make allowances for what the radiator may interfere with. It’s not designed to allow for the radiator to be mounted outside the case.
Their website lists the screw specifications to get for a push/pull setup if you want to do that.
In my case it prevented use of the PCIe expansion slot closest to the CPU so now I have an unusable PCIe card & I had to buy a less capable, more expensive, PCI SATA card that only supports 3Gb/s vs. 6Gb/s available with PCIe. All my HD’s are 6Gb/s rated.
They are clearly relying on a picture/drawing being worth a 1000 words. The written instructions are extremely brief.
The radiator may block or impede access to top mounted case fan and the 4-8 pin ATX power connection on the MB.
The written instructions are extremely brief. They are clearly relying on a picture being worth a 1000 words, but these are drawings.
Overall Review: For most MB’s you will have to have it out to attach Corsair‘s back plate to match screw threads. For me it seemed easier & reduced the risk of damaging the radiator and/or MB if I completely attached my H50 to the MB while it was outside the case. I lined up the pump with the holding bracket in the locked position with the CPU and mounting holes then tightened the screws. I left the radiator hanging outside the case till I got MB mounted in the case with the 4-8 pin ATX power cable attached & the top case fan installed in the area the radiatior+fan would be mounted.
Once everything is installed, the center area of the MB has lots of unobstructed space for air movement. It also gives you more room to work on connections to the drives or other parts inside the case.
Since it is recommended that you have the radiator fan blow air into the case, you may want to change one of the normal intake fans into an exhaust fan; otherwise you will lose efficiency of air moving through the case.
Their website lists the screw specifications to get for a push/pull setup if you want to do that.
Easy to install
Pump provides tach feedback to monitor speeds/detect failure
Cons: Insufficient for high overclocks (or some 6C/12T & 8C/16T chips)
No PWM control for fan or pump — (to be expected at this price)
Included fan is "okay" (not great)
Overall Review: INTRODUCTION:
Although most heavy-duty cooling geeks will tell you that this isn't going to compete with a high-end open-loop system, any diehard liquid cooling enthusiast wouldn't be considering an AIO cooler of this nature anyway. Rather, this is (I believe) intended for the more-than-casual-user-but-less-than-hardcore-overclocker who's never tried liquid cooling and wants to get his or her feet wet — (not literally!)
It's a fairly simple install (provided you have access to the back of the motherboard) and uses a pretty reliable (though not top-notch performance) Asetek Gen4 pump, which is integrated right into the CPU water block.
The fan is attached (via four bolts) through the computer's case (and its own mounting holes) to the radiator and comes with a standard 3-pin header connector. Note: If you have some short 6-32 machine screws, you could use them to attach the fan's "inner" ears to the radiator, then attach its "outer" ears to the computer case (using self-tapping fan screws, as you would normally mount a fan by itself).
The coldplate comes with pre-applied thermal paste for ease of installation, and the pump/block assembly slots into a metal hold-down ring (over which you insert a plastic "locking ring"), then fastens down onto four threaded posts with thumbscrews, making the whole mounting procedure fairly straightforward and fool-proof — (just don't forget to plug the pump into a "CPU" or "CPU OPT" fan header on the motherboard!)
Performance is about what you'd expect from a 120mm AIO – about as good as (or a little better than) a high-end air cooling solution – but the H55 will take up less space overall, will allow you to eject the CPU heat from the case interior, and will probably be about 10-20dB quieter. (Note: While this may not be the quietest pump in the world, it could hardly be described as "loud" either; most likely you won't hear it over your case fans).
It's best to mount the radiator vertically, with both of the (intake and outlet) tubes on the bottom, if possible — (don't worry about it if you can't though; it'll still work just fine).
When securing the pump retention ring down, try tightening the thumbscrews at two opposite corners simultaneously, then tightening the other two (as opposed to "going around in a circle"). This allows the thermal paste on the coldplate to be more evenly distributed.
If you have the room to do so, I would suggest buying an extra (120mm) fan – (if you don't have an extra fan header available on the MoBo, get one that comes with a Y adapter ) – and picking up four 1" long 6-32 machine screws. This will allow you to mount a fan on each side of the radiator in a "push-pull" configuration (oriented to push air out of the case), which will not only improve the cooler's performance, but will remove the CPU-heated air coming off the radiator from inside the case, allowing other components (such as your GPU, RAM and the VRMs on the motherboard) to remain cooler.
Overall, this cooler emphasizes value over performance, but a good value it is.
Also, unlike open-loop systems (which require regular "pump-outs" and cleaning), it's relatively maintenance-free — just set the "Fan fail warning" in your BIOS for whichever header you've attached the pump to, and forget about it.
When the pump finally starts getting worn enough to become clearly audible – (typically 2-3 years) – just replace (or upgrade) the whole system.
Pros: Looks great, works great, DOES WORK for 1151 and 1150 chipset.
Cons: Nobody seems to know how to fit these properly for 1151/1150, not even Corsair. The manual leaves you clueless, and unaware that the clips (Where the screws are inserted) can rotate on a horizontal axis to fit correctly. The back plates do fit, you may struggle (There is a reddit post with images on how to do this).
When I contacted Corsair, they themselves didn't know the clips at the end of the bracing's legs could rotate around to screw into the back panel. THIS DOES WORK.
Overall Review: Manual is trash, PLEASE make sure you're fitting the right screws into the clips because they are an absolute pain to remove, disassembly can be destructive to the clips, I pried mine away with no damage but be warned.