Articles: Cooling

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Compatibility and Installation Tips

This cooling system is compatible with all contemporary platforms except LGA1156. It uses same type retention kits with backplates for all of them. The backplates need to be stuck to the back of the mainboard PCB, while the actual retention frames are installed from the front:

Note that they are screwed on slightly, not tightened up.

To install the radiator with the fan inside the system case, there should be a spot for a 120 mm fan on the back of the case. This is where the fan of Corsair H50 and radiator go into. They are attached with four screws with washers beneath them from the outside of the back of the system case:

On the photo above the fan is installed for air exhaust. However, it is just one of the options we checked out. According to Corsair’s instructions and overall heat transfer principles, the fan should be installed so that the air flow is directed towards the radiator and not away from it. True, our preliminary tests showed that with the fan installed the wrong way (with the air flow directed away from the radiator), the liquid-cooling system cools the CPU 4-5 °C worse than in case the air flow is directed towards the radiator. However, in the latter case the air flow structure inside the system case will be completely disturbed, because the fans on the back of the system case are mostly working for air exhaust. So what shall we do?

To solve this problem Corsair suggests that we should change the airflow structure inside the system case ousting hot air either through the top of the case (if there is a corresponding fan there), or through side, bottom or front (also if there are appropriate fans). In any case, we believe it is not a very smart solution at least because the warm air from the liquid-cooling system will have to go through the entire case heating up all other components on the way. Moreover, no one can guarantee that Corsair H50 users will have a flexible system case that allows changing the airflow structure so freely.

Why couldn’t they simply include eight short screws with the bundled accessories, so that the radiator could be installed into the spot for the 120 mm fan and then the fan attached on top of it? The radiator may fit just fine into this spot, because in most cases there is more free room along the back of the case than just for a 120 mm fan. It would be even better if they included two fans for the radiator: one for air intake and one for air exhaust… but we are going to talk more about it during our test session. For our tests we decided not to change the in-case airflow dramatically but simply removed the side panel of our Antec Twelve Hundred system case.

The last thing during the fairly simple installation procedure for Corsair H50 is the installation of water block and pump unit. The water block must be inserted into the retention frame slots and turned slightly (this is where the smeared thermal compound imprint comes from). After that you can tighten the screws to the end:


That’s all. You could also add another fan and replace the default one with a more efficient fan as well:

Corsair H50 is priced at $80. It comes with a two-year warranty.

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