Corsair Hydro Series H60 Liquid CPU Cooler Review

Corsair's H60 liquid CPU cooler comes to us with different technology than we saw with its H50 and H70 as Corsair has switched up supply sources. Corsair is touting a micro-channel cold plates and a split-flow designed manifolds. But, will it blend?

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Results: Temperatures

For our stock testing our i7 920 will be kept at 2.66 GHz with a minimal 1.25v. For overclocked CPU testing we will be running our i7 920 at 3.6GHz with 1.45v. Idle temperatures will be recorded after a fifteen minute period of inactivity. Any fluctuation during the last sixty seconds will reset the timer for an additional five minutes. Load temperatures will be recorded after a fifteen minute period of 100% load. To obtain this load we will be using Prime95 v25.3. Any fluctuation during the last sixty seconds will reset the timer for an additional five minutes.

Please note the following scores are normalized to the ambient temperature. This will show you visually the rise above ambient temperature as well as the overall temperature. Since we are dealing with water cooling it is physically impossible for the temps to be less than ambient. This is why we start our charts at 25C.

The ambient temperature was kept at the same level as in previous tests but the temperature inside the case was measured to be between 27C and 29C during our testing.

Stock Settings

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CoreTemp Idle: 37-35-37-36

CoreTemp Load: 60-57-58-56

The Corsair H60 performs, for all intents and purposes, identically to the H50 at stock. It is a decent performance increase over the stock cooler and within five degrees of the top spot. I would have liked to have seen a bigger difference between the H50 and H60 at this point. So far all the H60 has going for it is that it's easier to install than the H50. Let's see if we can't separate the two by adding more heat.

Overclock Settings

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CoreTemp Idle: 43-40-43-40

CoreTemp Load: 84-82-83-80

With a lot more heat applied we should be able to spread out the field a bit. Again, we see very similar performance between the H60 and the H50. This time though the H60 beats out its older sibling even if just barely. Though the performance of the two units is neck and neck at this point we will show you one area where they are definitively different.

Apples to Apples

The apples to apples portion was not done since we are dealing with a water cooling unit.

Sound

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Here we see a HUGE drop in sound moving from the H50 to the H60. At nine decibels less the H60 is easily the winner between the two. More importantly, the H60 is easily forgotten even in a quiet room. As I write this and listen to the H60 deliberately, the noise is a very gentle flow of air. No noise from the fan motor is noticeable and none of it is annoying or hard to ignore.

This is impressive given that the H60 performs every bit as good as the H50 but with much less noise. Another way to look at it is that if we were to generate the same amount of noise, either by using a more powerful fan or water pump, then we would have greater performance with the H60.