Corsair Hydro H50 CPU Water Cooler

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Before thermal testing, we took some basic physical measurements.

Approximate Physical Measurements
570 g
700 g with fan and bolts
Fin count N/A
Fin thickness
~0.14 mm
Fin spacing
~1.20 mm
Vertical Clearance
Horizontal Overhang (+/-)

The fin spacing is very tight but the fins themselves are thinner than found on any air heatsink, so the radiator's overall impedance to airflow does not seem high. This bodes well for good performance at low (read: quiet) fan speed.

Comparison: Approximate Fin Thickness & Spacing
Fin Thickness
Fin Spacing
Scythe Ninja 2
0.39 mm
3.68 mm
Thermalright HR-01 Plus
0.45 mm
3.15 mm
Noctua NH-U12P
0.44 mm
2.63 mm
Noctua NH-C12P
0.47 mm
2.54 mm
Thermolab Baram
0.44 mm
2.52 mm
Noctua NH-D14
0.43 mm
2.33 mm
Prolimatech Armageddon
0.51 mm
2.08 mm
Prolimatech Megahalems
0.50 mm
2.00 mm
Zalman CNPS10X Quiet
0.40 mm
2.00 mm
Xigmatek HDT-S1283
0.33 mm
1.96 mm
Scythe Kabuto & Zipang 2
0.34 mm
1.94 mm
Scythe Mugen-2
0.31 mm
1.89 mm
Coolermaster V8
0.30 mm
~1.85 mm
ZEROtherm Nirvana
0.43 mm
1.82 mm
ZEROtherm Zen
0.37 mm
1.80 mm
Corsair H50
0.36 mm
1.78 mm
Cogage TRUE Spirit 1366
0.40 mm
1.70 mm
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme
0.42 mm
1.50 mm
Thermalright Ultra-120
0.45 mm
1.42 mm

Testing was done on our new i7-1366 heatsink testing platform. A summary of the test system and procedure follows.

Key Components in Heatsink Test Platform:

  • Intel Core i7-965 Extreme Nehalem core, LGA1366, 3.2GHz, 45nm, 130W TDP.
  • Asus P6X58D Premium ATX motherboard. X58 chipset.
  • Asus EAH3450 Silent graphics card.
  • Intel X25-M 80GB 2.5" solid-state drive. Chosen for silence.
  • 3GB QiMonda DDR3 memory. 3 x 1GB DDR3-1066 in triple channel..
  • Seasonic X-650 SS-650KM 650W ATX power supply. This PSU is semi-passively cooled. At the power levels of our test platform, its fan does not spin.
  • Arctic Silver Lumière: Special fast-curing thermal interface material, designed specifically for test labs.
  • Nexus 120 fan (part of our standard testing methodology; used when possible with heatsinks that fit 120x25mm fans)

The system is silent under the test conditions, except for the CPU cooling fan(s).

Normally, our reference fan is used whenever possible, the measured details of which are shown below.

Reference Nexus 120mm fan
Anechoic chamber measurements
16 dBA
1100 RPM
13 dBA
890 RPM
12 dBA
720 RPM
11 dBA
530 RPM

Measurement and Analysis Tools

  • Extech 380803 AC power analyzer / data logger for measuring AC system power.
  • Custom-built, four-channel variable DC power supply, used to regulate the fan speed during the test.
  • PC-based spectrum analyzer: SpectraPlus with ACO Pacific mic and M-Audio digital audio interfaces.
  • Anechoic chamber with ambient level of 11 dBA or lower
  • Various other tools for testing fans, as documented in our standard fan testing methodology.
  • SpeedFan, used to monitor the on-chip thermal sensors. The sensors are not calibrated, so results are not universally applicable. The hottest core reading is used.
  • Prime95, used to stress the CPU heavily, generating more heat than most real applications. 8 instances are used to ensure that all 4 cores (with Hyper-threading) are stressed.
  • CPU-Z, used to monitor the CPU speed to determine when overheating occurs.
  • Thermometers to measure the air temperature around the test platform and near the intake of the heatsink fan.

Noise measurements are made with the fans powered from the lab's variable DC power supply while the rest of the system was off to ensure that system noise did not skew the measurements.

Load testing was accomplished using Prime95 to stress the processor, and the graph function in SpeedFan was used to ensure that the load temperature is stable for at least ten minutes. The temperature recorded is the highest single core reading. The stock fans were tested at various voltages to represent a good cross-section of airflow and noise performance.

The ambient conditions during testing were 10~11 dBA and 21~23°C.

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