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This review is from: CORSAIR Hydro Series H80 (CWCH80) High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
Pros: -Solid construction, not flimsy
-Lowered full load temps by ~10C and idle temps by ~5C
-Looks very cool in the case
-Price was awesome and even though this is listed as refurb, mine arrived looking brand new
Cons: -Not the easiest thing to install.
-Fans can be loud with the highest profile selected
Other Thoughts: First things first, this cooler was a great deal and while I don't normally buy refurbished, I decided to take a chance on this one and it worked out great.
With that out of the way, the performance of the cooler is very good. My 3570K is one of those chips that unfortunately wants high voltage (1.328v under load), and with the way Ivy Bridge drives temps up under higher voltages, water cooling for me was pretty much a must. I run my chip at 4.5Ghz, and this cooler has definitely helped to stabilize my overclock. My load temps under Prime95 are 72-75C and idle temps are around 30C. Again, these are great figures given the voltages I have to run at to maintain stability, so the cooler is certainly worth the money and it is performing as expected.
However, when it comes to the install, I would advise watching a Youtube vid on this process, as it clarified things considerably and made the install much faster. Even with the video, this won't be the easiest thing to put in. It will take a little time, and if you already have a pre-existing build, you will have to take your motherboard out of the case if you do not have side panel access to the back of it. However, that isn't a knock on this particular cooler. Most water blocks will install in a similar way so just make sure you know what you're getting into before you buy it.
Also, even though this isn't the most important thing, I must say this cooler looks beautiful in my case with the soft white lights glowing on the CPU block. If you have a case with a side window and LEDs, this Corsair will really compliment the overall look of things inside. All in all I recommend the H80 to anyone looking for a steal on a good water cooler.
Pros: -Solidly bolts to the motherboard
-Cooling is adequate with 1 fan and great with 2(push/pull)
-Pull fan is controllable on most motherboards in Windows
Cons: -You must take system apart to install it
-Can be noisy with two fans going under load
-Can be a tad confusing to install at first
Other Thoughts: I needed a capable cooler for overclocking my 3570K, and I'd had a similar Xigmatek in the past cooling my old e8400 and it did a great job, so I figured I'd give Xig another shot.
At first, I was a bit dismayed when I discovered I'd have to take my motherboard out of the case to install the cooler, but I got over it, and really, I should have just gotten the cooler from the start of the build instead of waiting until a few days afterward. This can also be looked at as a pro, because the cooler solidly bolts to the motherboard and you can be guaranteed it won't budge, ever.
Either way, I initially installed only the fan that came with it (as a push fan), and the cooling was decent, and way better than the stock fan. However, I wanted my 3570K clocked to 4.5Ghz, and to get there stable, my particular chip needs a constant flow of 1.328 volts under load. If you know anything about the Ivy Bridge Intel CPUs, then you know they put out some pretty harsh heat when you start driving the voltage up, so while the cooling with 1 fan was doable (42C idle, 76-78 load), I still wanted to bring that down.
I decided to use the fan from my old Xigmatek as a pull fan and bam, paydirt. Now I have 35C idle and mid to upper 60's under load, and that is *great* cooling performance on air at my voltage and clocks. Do yourself a favor and grab a second fan to utilize this cooler to its max potential. It will go from a decent cooler to a fantastic one.
All in all I am pretty impressed with this Xigmatek. That's twice now they've provided me with a great little cooler at a very reasonable price.
Pros: Sturdy, large quiet fan, 80+ gold, very stable voltages, high-quality internal components, classy-looking.
Cons: None thus far
Other Thoughts: I have to say, a PSU with this kind of build quality is an amazing deal for $79.99. 80+ Gold efficiency, high-quality Japanese capacitors, SLI/Crossfire ready, quiet fan, active protection, and very stable voltages. This PSU has all of it. If your budget for a PSU is $100 or under, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better one than this. Look at the JonnyGuru review of it, should you need any further convincing.
As an aside, this Capstone (which was originally going to be used in a possible Crossfire set-up down the road) pretty much saved my new build because my fairly new Antec 620-watt PSU was causing instability in the system. A couple days after I built it, I was getting blue screens pretty frequently. Since Antecs are pretty well-made themselves, I didn't initially suspect it was the cause of the problems, but I threw the Rosewill in for grins and voila, blue screens vanished.
So, not only did this power supply save me money anyway because of the low cost after promo, it also unexpectedly saved me a bunch of time not having to troubleshoot a billion other possible causes of the issue. I'd give this PSU 10 eggs if I could just for that.