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Corsair Hydro H70

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Posted September 16, 2010 by Jake in Cooling

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by Jake
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Summary

So is the Hydro H70 another winner from Corsair? Well, it depends on your perspective. From thermal performance, features, and quality viewpoints, the H70 is indeed a clear winner. From a value viewpoint, it’s a modest improvement though. In terms of performance, the Corsair’s H70 is definitely an improvement over the H50 version in just about every facet. The H70 has a slimmer pump, swivel barbs, better radiator, and improved thermal performance. Corsair has simply taken a good product and made it better here, no question. We saw the temperature improvements of approximately 4°C when highly overclocked, so that’s a big step in the right direction.

We also saw that the H70 has some good value, but it has a price of approximately $25 more than the H50. That’s not a big cost overall, but it is in terms of cost per degree of thermal improvement. So how much that matters to you depends on your preferences and priorities; put into perspective, is the performance boost worth the price of a couple of pizzas? We think so, given the other improvements beyond temperatures that come with the H70.

Interestingly, we were a bit perplexed by the H70’s thermal results when compared to the other kits, particularly the Vantage A.L.C kit. We were surprised to see that the beefier radiator/dual fan setup on the H70 didn’t outperform the slimmer radiator/single fan Vantage A.L.C. So we did some digging and found out the Corsair H70’s pump has a lower flow rate compared to the Vantage. This is due to the pumps, where the Vantage is cycling at 2200RPM, while the H70 is churning around 1400RPM. As another byproduct of this, the H70 is pretty loud when running at its maximum speed. So essentially the H70 is working harder and louder to achieve the same thermal results as the Vantage. That leads us to then conclude the H70’s setup (and more specifically, the pump) isn’t quite as efficient overall in achieving those temperatures.

One drawback here is the H70 is pretty loud when two fans are running at its max speed. However, Corsair makes a wise move by including the inline resistors to allow the fans to run at 1600RPM without compromising the performance. As we saw during testing, there is virtually no real difference between the maximum speed and the moderate speeds, so we recommend lowering the RPMs to achieve a better balance of performance versus noise levels. Unfortunately there are no dynamic software profiles to adjust the fan speeds so you are a bit limited here if you want to change your setup on the fly, say, to run more silently at nighttime, for example.

That being said, the Corsair H70 is a distinct improvement upon the H50, featuring a better design and thermal performance for a modest cost increase. There are a few minor drawbacks or shortcomings, but consumers looking for a solid self-contained water cooling kit would do well to consider the Corsair H70 as a strong option.

Pros

  • Performance
  • AMD & Intel retention hardware
  • Low profile pump
  • Inline fan resistors
  • Bigger radiator

Cons

  • Noisy at max speed
  • May not be compatible with all cases (mid-tower) and wire-formed fan guards
  • Stiff tubing
  • Plastic backplate

Corsair Hydro Series H70

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