H50 Cools Core i7 Extreme Edition Silently

March 18, 2011
Corsair's Hydro Series H50 sealed, liquid cooling system is ideal for quiet or overclocked workstations.

Corsair's Hydro Series H50 liquid cooling system

Corsair's Graphite Series 600T mid tower case

Corsair sells a range of products from high performance DDR3 memory (see DDR3 Memory Targets Gamers And Workstations) to sealed liguid cooling systems like the Hydro Series H50 (Fig. 1). Liquid cooling has been used by gamers that like to overclock their processors as well as military applications where cooling challenges abound.

The H50 is a the low end of Corsair's collection of cooling systems. It uses a 120mm fan. A second 120mm fan can be added to increase airflow in a push/pull configuration. It supports a range of socketed processors including AMD AM2, AMD AM3, Intel LGA 1155, Intel LGA 1156, Intel LGA 1366, and Intel LGA 775. The H60 uses a newer micro-channel cold plate with a split-flow design while the high end H70 employs a dual push/pull fan configuration.

I tested the H50 out on an Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition plugged into Super Micro's X8SAX motherboard (see Supermicro X8SAX Motherboard For Extreme Workstations). I was looking for a quiet system versus overclocking. The results were as expected. The system is almost silent and the other fans in the system were able to run significantly slower providing an almost silent system with lots of horsepower.

Installation was remarkably easy but I did have to switch from my initial case to Corsair's Graphite Series 600T mid tower case (Fig. 2). The reason is the availability and placement of the 120mm cooling fan and radiator. The H50 has a pair of tubes that connect the radiator to the cooling pump. This limits where the processor is versus the radiator. The 600T has just such a fan already installed on the back panel of the case. The inclusion of the fan on the case means the addition of the H50 can be done in a push/pull configuration if desired. It is not necessary for silent operation but might be useful in an overclocking scenario.

The H50 kit comes with all necessary hardware including adapters for different sockets. There is a ring that mounts around the processor and the cooling pump is mounted on top of the processor. The radiator mounts with four screws through the cooling fan. There is a cable to power and control the cooling pump that plugs into the motherboard.

The H50 does two things for you. First, it is a clean installation that keeps the area around the processor relatively open. Second it provides a more efficient cooling system since the cool outside air is brought immediately in contact with the radiator.

Overall I am very pleased with the H50. The Core i7 Extreme Edition runs at full bore and the BIOS shows a very cool chip. The quiet is nice because the system is outside the lab where the noise would otherwise be noticed. I can now forego the use of fanless but less powerful systems.

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