Originally Posted by Ceadderman
The Antec doesn't out perform the H50. I have the latest issue of MaximumPC and they compare the H60 to it. Gave the Kuhler a 9 and the H60 an 8.
The Kuhler is nothing more than an H70 pump mated to an H50 Rad. So no, it doesn't beat the earlier models. The Kuhler is also manufactured by the company who makes the earlier Hydro Series systems.
I was curious so I went looking. According to this pretty well-done test, the thin rad Kuhler 620 beats the Corsair H50, and the thick rad Kuhler 920 beats the Corsair H70. It's a fairly comprehensive test he performed. Without all the units here to test, it's hard to argue with his data.
"all of these benchmark reviews generally use stock fans and stock configurations. How many people on this forum debating temps between these products are going to leave their setups as stock?"
I really don't think that's the point at all. Look at the H70. Lots of people use the stock fans and the resister cable that comes with it. Just look back through all the messages in this thread. True, lots of people use their own fans as well (I also went the PWM path with a PWM splitter cable). However, you see lots of messages from people using the stock fans, especially on the H70 since it comes with two fans. Look at the reviews done by consumers on the sites that sell the coolers. Lots of people not even setting up the H50 with two fans because they don't know any better.
Stock coolers are easy to compare because they all have a set price. You get what they come with, and you pay what they cost. Most people just install and are done with it. These people need to know, which cooler to purchase for their budget, not which cooler to modify.
In this case, the Huhler 920 and the Corsair H70 compare great because they are so similar. You're comparing the entire cooler package, not just the rad and the pump. That includes the fans they come with. However, in the testing done above the author actually installed one single Delta High Speed fan on both coolers, and the Kuhler still out-performed the H70. That test puts both units on even ground (but them again, I still think the stock units are a fair comparison).
If you want to compare these types of coolers, you only have two choices: Stock and Modified.
We see the stock comparison above, but if we're going to talk modified you have to modify both coolers the same. You have to lap both coolers and use the same fans and shrouds or the comparison is no good.
IMHO, the test done at the link above levels the playing field fairly well by using the Delta fan test, and also shows a Stock comparison, and in both cases the Corsair is left behind. The only thing I would have done differently if I were in his position is that I would have tried the Corsair fans on the Kuhler and the Kuhler fans on the H70 (the tester says the Kuhler fans are way noisier and have a higher cfm rating) just to see what the effect on temps would have been. After all, the temperature difference diminished a bit when both units were using the Delta fan.
I love my H70, but I cannot argue with the test results without performing them myself.
Note the author seems to think the tubing is higher flow rate and the pump may be different. I don't know about the pump, but the tubing looks different.