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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  • matheusber - Thursday, August 05, 2010 - link

    I don't know where you live, but here ambient temps are quite 40°C when in summer. Air is hot for itself, so when inside the case and add to that all those IC warming up the environment, not to have VGA and mostly CPU to melt everything is great. the air cooling should be enough to cool the other stuff in there. Reply
  • adonn78 - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    There are asetek set ups with dual 120MM radiate/fan set ups. Such as the 570LX. In fact the a Corsair H50 is licensed and made by Asetek and is comparable to the Asetek 550LC. The only difference is that Asetek only sells directly to PC builders and not consumers. So how does it compare? We nee benchmarks! Reply
  • hmcarlin - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    Doesn't anyone realize that "water cooling" is really AIR COOLING? How does heat leave the system? By AIR being blown across the radiator! The only advantage these "water" systems have is in separating the radiator from the heatsink itself, thus allowing a larger surface area & higher AIR flow in the radiator. Reply
  • ggathagan - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    Yes, we all realize that.
    It's just easier to say "Water cooling" than "Two stage heat transfer solution involving both liquid and air cooling components".

    Depending on the radiator design, your "only" advantage can be a huge one.
    Even the largest heat-pipe cooler can only radiate the heat from the point-of-contact of the surface area of the heat pipes themselves.

    The liquid in a radiator, on the other hand spreads that point-of-contact throughout all of the individual cores of that radiator.

    Consider how much cooling you could get out of an H50 or an H70 if their radiators were as large as the finned portion of a large heat-pipe cooler.
    Reply
  • GullLars - Friday, August 06, 2010 - link

    Actually, you CAN make a pure water cooling sollution. If you have the option of drawing the water pipes to an unused sink, you can put a fishbowl in it as a reservoir and have the water going out of the system go directly in the sink.
    Some places this is not an option due to water availibility, but where i live, i could do this if i wanted to. It would get me water around 10C (+- 5C) all year round.
    Reply
  • rvl - Thursday, August 05, 2010 - link

    If you use an air cooler, your cases interior will be hotter than using an H50/70 and exhausting 130w of heat directly out of your case. That way your video cards and other components stay cooler. Duh.

    p.s. take a look at the [H] article for inital results with an H70 versus a H50.
    Reply
  • Spivonious - Thursday, August 05, 2010 - link

    I'm using all OEM cooling devices and two case fans (intake at the front, exhaust at the back) and my case temp is always just 5 or 10 degrees above ambient. Air cooling and, more importantly, case design has really improved in the last ten years.

    Oh, and even overclocked today's CPUs aren't going to be generating that much heat.
    Reply
  • AstroGuardian - Saturday, August 07, 2010 - link

    That's why you have exhaust fans so the hot air gets out instantly. Reply
  • boden - Thursday, August 05, 2010 - link

    I've been using a dehumidifier with the cool dry air that comes out of the vent piped via. 4inch dryer duct into the back of my tower. That with an heatpipe cpu air cooler works very well to keep the whole kit cool and dry. Reply
  • eanazag - Thursday, August 05, 2010 - link

    I have an H50 and am very happy with it. I picked it up for $59 and at that price it makes no sense to get an air cooler. It has lowered my temps by about 10 degrees C on an Phenom 9600 BE (95W). From low 40s to 30s (C) over the stock cooler. I just need to replace the processor now. I wouldn't go for an H70 unless it was under $90, preferably $70-80. It is possible to squeeze another 3-4 degrees of cooling by replacing the fan with two identical fans for a push-pull on the H50, which is partially what they did with the H70. Socket compatibility and the install simplicity are really attractive for the Corsair solution with performance being a no brainer. Reply

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