Corsair H50, an eVGA E758 board, and my observations.

C7J0yc3

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 27, 2009
Messages
1,353
As we all know the Corsair H50 is kind of the go to for people looking for excellent cooling on a budget that doesn't allow for a full WC loop, quiet operation and gives them the ability to overclock to the stars. Then the H70 came out and it got even better. Pushpull out of the box, bigger rad, better pump, better hoses and fixtures, the list goes on. Personally I coveted an H50 or 70 because I liked what they offered, but after a really bad expirence with watercooling back in my early days of building PCs I had been a bit turned off. Recently a friend was upgrading his desktop from a H50 to a custom WC loop and gave me a really great price on it, so I figured why not.

My specs:
Antec 900
eVGA E758-TR 3 way SLI x58 board
Intel i7 920 @ stock w/ turbo mode on (x21 multiplier)
12GB OCZ Obsidian DDR3-1600
eVGA GTX 470
Corsair HX-1000 PSU

Old Cooling: Zalman CNPS-9900ALED
New Cooling: Corsair H50 w/ stock corsair fan blowing out of case

Thermalpaste: Arctic Silver Ceramique (because it is non-conductive)

To start off the upgrade I figured I would blow all the dust out of the heatsink, the motherboard, and apply a new layer of thermalpaste (completely cleaning the processor and heatsink before doing so). I used prime95 to do a burn in test and with the Zalman on its high setting the i7 was reaching an average of 49*C. Now in my book, for a stock clock, on air, that is a good test. Once I let the processor cool down for about 25 minutes it had settled around 38*C. Again in my book that is a very comfortable temperature for my processor to be at. I then turned off the PC, gave everything a through dusting again (just in case) and installed the cooler.

The install went well. The instructions were clear and the whole setup was logical. Once I put the board back in the case, I did notice an issue. I wouldn't be able to setup my H50 as a push/pull, and I only have about 1/4th an inch of clearance to the mosfet cooler, so I would have to be very careful as to what aftermarket fan I would use when I want a higher CFM fan for this cooler. Technically this problem could be solved if I were to attach the cooler to the front 120mm fan (the cooler does fit, and the hoses are long enough) however I didn't like the look of that.

Once the covers were back on and the PC fired up I took a look at the CPU temp in the BIOS, 27*C. To me that was awesome, an off the shelf "affordable" liquid setup that had dropped my temps 11*C! I fired up Prime95 again and watched as the temp rose. This time the average temp under load was 45*C. After giving it the same 25 minutes of cooldown time as I did the air cooler it had settled at 28*C.

My conclusions are that though there are other Air coolers that can produce these kinds of results for the retail price of the H50, I would rather have the H50 as is it quieter, easier to clean, and IMHO looks better then a air cooler. The only warning I have is if you have a board with a large Mosfet/voltage regulator cooler to the left of your CPU you will be able to fit this cooler, however probably not in a push/pull configuration unless you place the cooler somewhere else in the case. For me my next case will be a Corsair 800D so I will be attaching it to the roof of the case, but for those without that option just keep the limitations in mind.
 

scaarbelly

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
4,462
As you state, at stock, there is almost no difference in the coolers. I don't even know why you would spend the money if you were going to stay at stock. You will really notice the difference when you try to get the processor above 3.8Ghz.
 

C7J0yc3

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 27, 2009
Messages
1,353
The idea was to get a baseline for the difference. I will be working on getting my nice stable 3.6Ghz clock back soon enough.
 
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