Hey all! I’ve been researching for the last month which Corsair CLC system to buy and have found a lot of conflicting information. I wanted to put this out there on the overclock.net, corsair, and ROG forums to see what the users, moderators, and (maybe if I’m lucky to get a response from Yellowbeard or Ramguy) the manufacturer have to say.
Here’s my specs:
Intel Core i5 3570k
ASUS Maximus Gene V
eVGA 660 Signature2 OC edition
2x8gb G.Skill Ares 1600 RAM
Apevia QPack2 case
Ambient temps are around 21 degrees Celcius
I’m currently using the stock Intel fan and get temps of about 88 degrees Celsius when running Prime95. I have the processor overclocked to 4.2ghz with -0.01 offset voltage, which raises the temperature to about 91. Obviously that’s way too high. For now, however, I’m ok to keep it overclocked at 4.2 as the processor doesn’t usually go above 65 degrees when gaming. I would like to get it to 4.5ghz, but want to get a better cooler first.
I would like to get a CLC as my case can only fit a CPU fan up to 76 mm in height. I’ll need to mod the case to fit the rad, which will be mounted on the outside of the case. I can’t imagine that I’ll be able to do anything other than an exhaust setup. There is a similar build below:
You can kind of see in picture 16 the holes that will need to be cut. I also plan to cut out the plate covering the fan for extra airflow. I have an 80 mm fan in the front of the chassis pulling air into the case.
I’d prefer NOT to use corsair link for two reasons: 1.) I’d like to keep the number of cables in my case to a minimum, and 2.) it doesn’t seem that stable yet.
But which fan to buy? Here are a couple examples of the conflicting information:
Anandtech shows the H55 beating the H60 by about 3 degrees. They attribute this to a better waterblock:
“Unfortunately, part of the reason the H55 looks so good is because the H60 performs so poorly. The H60 runs $10 more than the H55 for an arguably better PWM-controlled fan and a somewhat lesser quality waterblock. In this corner of the market, there's really no legitimate reason to spend up on the H60 when the H55 performs as well or better for less.”
Hard OCP shows the H60 beating the H55 by about 2-4 degrees when overclocked. They also attribute this to a better waterblock:
“It is able to best the original by about two degrees which is impressive considering it uses the same radiator and pump, so surely this points to a more efficient coldplate design.”
Hard to decide which one! For the sake of argument, let’s ignore cost. They are all pretty close to each other in price and $50 one way or another is not going to persuade me. I do care about noise level. I have come up with some questions that will help me decide:
1. Does the H55 or H60 have the better waterblock?
2. With a mild overclock (4.2-4.5), is a H55 or H60 enough to keep the temps below 50 degrees over ambient when running Prime95?
3. From the pics and reviews, the waterblock on the H60 seems much easier to install. Is that correct?
4. Are the H50 and H55 consistently ranked higher than any of the other coolers just because they are cheaper?
5. Is a 27mm radiator too thin to benefit from a push/pull configuration?
6. If a 27mm radiator does benefit from the push/pull, would it be enough to keep the temps below 50 degrees over ambient?
7. Can you run a H80i without CorsairLink?
8. Would a H90 with a 140>120mm adapter work (essentially acting as a shroud)?
9. Do the preliminary tests for the H90 show it works better than the H80i?
Side-issue – I have a 3-pin 120 mm case fan. I’ve noticed my RPM’s are not consistent. Does that mean my motherboard is modulating the voltage? If so, is there really any advantage to PWM fans? Based on Anandtech’s radiator fan review and the fact that they match my system, I’ll most likely swap out any stock fans for the Enermax Magma fans – the ones on FrozenCPU are red and black.
I really appreciate the information these forums contain. Hopefully this post will help others asking the same questions.