Corsair claims its new Nautilus kit is both affordable and easy to install, while providing exceptional cooling performance. And we’re happy to report that the kit meets most of Corsair’s claims.
The kit is housed in a plastic enclosure that sits atop your case. It features an integrated reservoir, a 12cm radiator/fan assembly with two speeds (high and low), and a pump. It includes a CPU water block and uses UV reactive 3/8-inch tubing, along with neon-green anti-algae mix to give your coolant an alien-slime look.
The Nautilus’ installation has some issues. You don’t need to remove the motherboard to install the kit (it supports every late model socket), but there’s a catch. Installation on a Socket 939 requires a back-breaking amount of force. We feared for our mobo’s life during the process. Installing on LGA775, however, is simple: You just push down four pins to secure the water block, but you have to remove the motherboard to remove the block, which is annoying.
In our tests, the Nautilus 500’s cooling performance was superb. We achieved a 194MHz overclock on our FX-55 processor, which is damn good. CPU temps were chilly, but not as impressive as the Apex Ultra’s scores. You can also toggle fan speed from high to low, and it’s reasonably quiet in either mode. In “quiet” mode its very silent, though there’s a barely audible whine from the pump.
Overall, the Nautilus delivers on its promises. We don’t like how much force is required for a Socket 939 install, and it’s not totally silent, but it’s easily the best entry-level water-cooling kit we’ve tested.
Month Reviewed: April 2006
+ NAUTILUS: Terrific cooling, and it installs in 10 minutes.
- NAUGHTY-LUS: Pump is somewhat audible, and S939 installation requires undue force.