Water cooling is typically seen for an enthusiast, requiring pumps, reservoirs, tubing, know-how, and a cautious mind not to spill water all over your precious components.  The benefits of water cooling are obvious to many – having your system run cooler, better stability at higher overclocks, and aesthetics.  Lower down the order of water cooling, manufacturers like CoolerMaster, Corsair and Coolit have over the years come to the market with all-in-one solutions, requiring little knowledge to reap water cooling benefits.  These early models were readily slated in reviews, for being more expensive than high-end air cooling, yet performing worse.  It wasn’t until the Corsair H50 and H50-1 models came along that these all-in-one water coolers were taken seriously, because here was a product that performed as good as a high end air cooler, in certain situations quieter, could easily fit in many cases, and only for a small premium.  So now Corsair is due to release the next model in their line – the Corsair H70.


The new cooler itself has been redesigned to almost half height, yet the principle is still the same – get excess heat away from the processor.  The radiator is now double the thickness (to 50mm) compared to the H50, and bundled with two dual-speed 120mm fans (1600 to 2000RPM, 31.5 dBA) for a push-pull configuration.  The coolant channels are now redesigned in the cooling block, allowing for quicker heat transfer from the CPU.

If the H70 performs better than the H50, as Corsair claims, the unit could be well placed between the high-end air coolers and full blown water cooling setups.  However, two major platforms stand in the way of this product.  The double thickness radiator will reduce the compatibility of the H70 in smaller cases – the H50 radiator is already quite thick, so double that and add a couple of fans, and it will hopefully fit in most ATX cases.  Next, is the price: pre-orders currently range in the $110-$115 (or £75-£85 in the UK), representing a $30 premium over the older H50-1.  This makes the H70 rather expensive for a CPU cooler, so in order to match this price, it should perform better than any air cooler available.

The Corsair H70 will feature brackets for Sockets 1366, 1156, 775, AM2 and AM3, and is expected to start shipping next week.
 

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  • AstroGuardian - Saturday, August 07, 2010 - link

    Yea, but you just WOULD. I already compared it to other water cooing. Same performance. I would say that it's more important what thermal compound you will use than what heat sink and block you would use. Reply
  • LtGoonRush - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    The part you're missing (that's pretty commonly overlooked) is that water coolers don't cool with water, they simply use water to move heat into a larger radiator that is still cooled with air, using the same kinds of fans you'd find on a heatsink. The water is serving the same purpose as the heat pipes in a traditional high-end air cooler. Heat pipes can move heat into a large tower radiator as efficiently as a pumped water system, and you don't have to deal with the noise and potential for failure of a pump. There's also no risk of leaks, since heat pipes are sealed and use a fluid that would vaporize on contact with air if the pipe were to be broken. Heat pipes really changed the game in performance cooling from the old days when we used aluminum coolers with copper baseplates and 60-80mm fans.

    The reality today is that high-end air coolers are typically cheaper, perform better, and operate more quietly than consumer water cooling kids like this one. If space is very restricted around the CPU socket in your case but you have room to mount a radiator somewhere, water cooling may make sense, but for most overclockers a Noctua NH-D14 is simply a better choice.
    Reply
  • dia - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    Just because people are using the terms water cooling and air cooler - don't assume they are unaware what is used to cool the radiator. Reply
  • ggathagan - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    No, we're not missing that.
    It's just that a flowing liquid will be much more efficient in transferring the heat away from the CPU.
    Heat pipes are an improvement over non-heat pipe air-cooling solutions, but even a small circuit involving a liquid medium and a radiator is an significant improvement over a heat pipe cooler when it comes to the ability to move the heat away from the CPU.

    The sticking point in how well a liquid-based *sheds* that heat, however, is wrapped up in the size and design of the radiator.
    Reply
  • ggathagan - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    No, we're not missing that.
    It's just that a flowing liquid will be much more efficient in transferring the heat away from the CPU.
    Heat pipes are an improvement over non-heat pipe air-cooling solutions, but even a small circuit involving a liquid medium and a radiator is an significant improvement over a heat pipe cooler when it comes to the ability to move the heat away from the CPU.

    The sticking point in how well a liquid-based *sheds* that heat, however, is wrapped up in the size and design of the radiator.
    Reply
  • boochi - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    You sir are an idiot. Heat pipes can never move heat away from a cpu faster than water can. Reply
  • pjconoso - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    Heatpipes in my opinion, can actually move heat faster than water because it has a much higher thermal conductivity and the coolant used has low boiling point. The advantage of watercooling is heat capacitance, it can absorb more temperature compared to metal but conductivity, not that much which is why a good water block is needed for an efficient heat transfer from CPU to water. Reply
  • JohnMD1022 - Thursday, August 05, 2010 - link

    Ad hominem attacks add nothing to the discussion. Reply
  • AstroGuardian - Thursday, August 05, 2010 - link

    Oh sir... i mean idiot. Yes they can! Actually heatpipes move heat MUCH faster than water. The move heat almost instantly unlike water which needs to be pumped out using relatively lots of energy, noise and vibration Reply
  • wildbill10 - Thursday, August 05, 2010 - link

    I have the Asetek water cooling system. First it is quieter than most other hi-end air coolers, the only thing I hear are my case intake and exhaust fans (and it sits 24 inches from my head). There is no vibration, and the pump which could cause any vibration is within 1 inch of the CPU placing very little stress on the motherboard and the exhaust fan is attached to my case. Unlike these huge air coolers that are coming close to weighing a Kilo and sticking out 5 to seven inches from the mother board. Any vibration caused by the fan or dirt build up on the fan is amplified which results in adding a lot of stress on the motherboard and you better not drop your system unit more than an inch or you could definitely damage your motherboard.

    The only drawback to these units is the fact that the hoses are very stiff and can cause some installation problems.
    Reply

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