|Corsair Hydro H70 Liquid CPU Cooler|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cooling|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Tuesday, 08 February 2011|
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Closer Look: Corsair CWCH70
The Corsair Hydro Series H70 comes in a rather large box. You know you're buying something impressive, even if exactly what it is isn't immediately obvious.
Inside the box are the neatly arranged components...
...which are the pump and radiator assembly, two 120x25mm fans, a manual, an installation instruction sheet, and mounting brackets and screws. The H70 comes with everything you'll need for Intel Socket 775, 1155/1156, 1366, and AMD sockets AM2/AM2+/AM3. Also included are a 3-pin "Y"-cable that allows you to run both fans off a single motherboard header, and two "step-down" resistor cables that drop the fan RPM from 2000 to 1600.
The H70 is different from its H50 predecessor in several ways: the radiator is twice as thick, there are two fans instead of one, and the pump unit is smaller. A lot smaller, really: compare the H70 pump (on the left) to the H50 pump (on the right). You might wonder if the newer, smaller pump has the same flow rate as the older, larger pump, but since neither Corsair nor OEM Asetek (who manufactures the H70 for Corsair) publish this information, there's no way to know.
The H70 retains the same mounting mechanism as the H50: a thin metal retaining ring with interior notches is secured to a back plate by four screws. The pump has notched edges; after mounting the bracket and installing the screws part-way, you insert the pump from the top and rotate it a few degrees so that the notches on the edge of the pump slide under the notches on the inside of the retaining ring. Tightening the screws will clamp the retaining ring against the pump and press it firmly against the processor. You'll actually have to assemble a bespoke bracket from the components included: four metal screw inserts must be positioned in the correct 4 (out of 12) possible places in the Intel back plate, and the retaining ring requires that 4 screws be inserted into the proper plastic offsets, which are then snapped into the retaining ring. All told, 14 different pieces comprise a complete mounting system, and paying attention and assembling the right parts correctly for your application will pay off.
The original Asetek water coolers used a much more robust mounting system. Compare the older mounting system on the left, which uses a 1/8" steel base plate and a thick plastic retaining ring secured by compression screws, with the current mounting system that uses a plastic base plate and thin sheet metal retaining ring, the "springiness" of which provides the clamping pressure. Clamping pressure is an important part of overall heat sink performance, and the best performing air coolers like the Polimatech Megahalems and Thermalright Venomous X have very substantial mounting systems.
I suspect the older mechanism provides higher clamping pressure that might improve performance, but the side-mounted swivel hose fittings on the H70 pump mean that a little Dremel work would be required to find out.