The NEW Corsair H60 and H55 CPU Liquid Coolers Review

Most computer hardware enthusiasts are no stranger to Corsair's closed loop system CPU water coolers. It has now redesigned the venerable H60 that many of us use and introduced a new model H55 unit in its Hydro Series. The H55 is billed as being it top "quiet" cooler while the H60 ranks as its entry to the "high performance."

Introduction

The Hydro Series from Corsair has been around as far back as 2010 and in that time we have seen a wide variety of variations and design changes. Some of you may even remember the Hydrocool 200 from almost a decade ago. Corsair has truly invested in the success of its Hydro Series of sealed system water coolers. It has made sure to offer products at various price points starting with the high end H100 and working its way down to a mid-range level with the H50. While we never reviewed the H50 here at [H]ardOCP, we did review many others in the line over the last few years. Much more often than not, we have come away pleased with the Corsair Hydro Series coolers and we have used more than a few of the coolers in our personal systems as well as on our review test benches. Today Corsair continues its investment by paying closer attention to the mid and low range requirements of enthusiasts as Corsair is introducing the new Hydro Seriesآ™ H55 Quiet CPU Cooler (an updated version of the previous H50) and Hydro Series H60 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler 2013 edition. These are more evolutionary than revolutionary but the changes are substantial featuring the latest cold plate, manifold, and fan technology to further increase performance and reduce noise levels.

Article Image

Test Methods

CPU

The biggest change you will notice is the removal of hardware testing. In recent years, Intel has shifted its methods of testing to software based and so we find it acceptable to do the same.

Article Image Article Image

GPU

For the first time, we have an integrated GPU in our processor which alleviates the need for a discrete one. With the removal of a discrete GPU comes the advantage of not having an additional variable to account for.

The iGPU will not create any anomalies in our testing as long as we practice consistent testing methods.

Case

Corsair was kind enough to provide us with its Carbide series chassis. It provides excellent airflow and interior space and is a good reflection on current case design.

Thermal Paste

Noctua's NT-H1 thermal paste was selected as the paste of choice for a few key reasons. The thermal paste has been shown to provide excellent thermal conductivity allowing the heat sinks to better do its job. There is no observed curing time. That is, performance does not get any better over time. Any curing time could have introduced variables into the equation causing at best dubious results and at worst unreliable ones.

Temperatures

Ambient temperature will be kept at 25C for the duration of the tests and measured with a MicroTemp EXP non-contact infrared thermometer and cross referenced with the Sperry Digital 4 Point thermometer. Any variance greater then 0.2C will halt the testing until temperatures return within spec for fifteen minutes.

If we are dealing with water cooling we will allow extra time for each test to give the water in the loop enough time to reach equilibrium.

Idle

Idle temperatures will be recorded after a twenty-five minute period of inactivity. Any fluctuation during the last sixty seconds will reset the timer for an additional five minutes.

Load

Load temperatures will be recorded after a twenty-five minute period of 100% load. To obtain this load we will be using Prime95 v27.7 set to in-place large FFTs mode. In this way we can place a 100% load on CPU. Any fluctuation during the last sixty seconds will reset the timer for an additional five minutes.

Sound

Sound levels will be measured with a Reliability Direct AR824 sound meter from a distance of four feet. With everything turned off and the room completely silent the meter registered a sound level of 38dB(A). This is a very quiet room where a simple pin drop could be heard. All sound measurements are recorded in the very late evening to further reduce any ambient noise.