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Nathan Edwards Nov 12, 2012

Corsair Hydro Series H60

At A Glance

ARABICA

New design; Corsair Link port; improves on H50.

ROBUSTO

More expensive than competition; no use for Corsair Link yet.

Earthquakes. Volcanoes. The dead rising from the grave. Human sacrifice. CoolIT and Corsair working together. You get the point. If you had asked us last year whether the two would ever bury the hatchet, we’d have laughed. And we’d have been wrong. At CES this year, Corsair announced a partnership with CoolIT, and the Corsair H60 is the first fruit to come out of that collaboration. Whether Corsair’s embrace of CoolIT drove Asetek into the loving arms of Antec, or the other way around, is a matter for speculation.

The business end of the Hydro H60 doesn’t look much like Corsair’s H50 or H70, but it doesn’t look like CoolIT’s Eco or Vantage A.L.C. coolers either. The pump and heat-exchanger unit is square, not round, and it’s only around an inch thick, unlike CoolIt’s previous efforts. It also lacks an LCD screen, though it does include a 2-pin connector that will allow the H60 to be controlled by Corsair’s upcoming Link system-control software (built from the bones of CoolIT’s Maestro). Both the fan and pump unit of the H60 plug into the motherboard—the fan into the CPU_FAN header and the pump into any other header. We swear previous coolers had it the other way around.

You might not realize that the H60 was designed by CoolIT, because it doesn’t have a superfluous LCD screen.

The barb-and-ledge mounting system used by the Corsair H50 and H70 (and Antec’s Kühler 620) is replaced in the H60 by a simpler mechanism for Intel CPUs—four double-ended thumbscrews screw through the mounting holes into a universal backplate, and the H60’s mounting holes fit over the top. Four more thumbscrews tighten the H60 against the CPU.

In our cooling test, the H60 outperformed its predecessor, the H50, by a little more than 1 C at full burn, but was slightly hotter than the H50 when the CPU idled. On the other hand, the H60’s idle temperatures were slightly lower than those of Antec’s H2O 620.

The H60’s performance puts it squarely between the H50 and Antec’s 620 at both burn and idle temperatures. The H60 really isn’t about performance, though—Corsair’s H70 is still the best liquid-cooling loop for that. Instead, the H60 represents a first step for Corsair and its partnership with CoolIT. It prepares the way for more CoolIT-built Corsair coolers (we’re guessing the H80 will have a double-thick radiator and two fans), as well as Corsair’s upcoming Link software. Whether the Corsair H60 is worth the $10 premium over the Antec H2O 620 will largely depend on whether you plan on buying into the Link platform when it becomes available.

$80, www.corsair.com

Benchmarks

Antec H20 620
Corsair Hydro H60
Corsair Hydro H50
Promilatech Armageddon Air Cooler (2 fans)
Idle (C)
38.5
37.536.25
35
100% Burn (C)
65.75
66.756862.5

Idle temperatures were measured after an hour of inactivity; load temperatures were measured after an hour running Intel’s internal Lynnfield thermal testing utility at 100 percent load. Test system consists of Intel Core i5-750 overclocked to 3.2GHz on an Asus P7P55D Premium board in a Corsair 800D case with stock fans. Temperatures taken with HWMonitor.

THE VERDICT

Corsair Hydro Series H60

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