I’m not a huge fan of water cooling, and I suppose that’s because my first venture resulted in disappointment. I gather that happens with most people during their first water cooling ventures. Why is that? Well, building a custom water cooling loop is a bit complex, much more so than air cooling a computer. With water cooling, custom water cooling, there are so many things to consider and plan for. So many steps to take, and precautions to be aware of. My first attempt with water cooling ended with disappointment that stung even more because I thought I had done my homework, I thought I was prepared. Everything went very well for the first month or so, then I noticed something growing in my loop. After a bit of research, I learned that my Asus motherboard had a factory water block that was painted to look like copper, but it was in fact aluminum, and the rest of the components in my build were copper… Well without additives, this type of mixed metal loop will spell rapid disaster. If you’re interested in finding out about my first attempt, you can read more about the build here, and about the problems I ran into here.
Sure, there have been companies selling closed loop, maintenance free water cooling solutions for a few years. But prices have been high, and performance has not been up to par with the best air coolers on the market. Custom water cooling loops are difficult to build for less than about $300 US dollars, and the price jump from the $70-$80 dollar TRUE made water cooling a very poor proposition economically. There have been a few companies attempting to fill that gap, CoolIT, Thermaltake and Koolance come to mind….but none of them have hit the mark with a product that effectively bridged the gap between the price and performance of the top air coolers and the custom water cooling options. So, the market remained primed for a system to fill that gap.
Last year, Corsair made a huge splash in the enthusiast community with the introduction of the H50 all in one water cooling solution. Dozens of review around the web confirmed it had the performance to challenge the top air cooling systems on the market, and the price was also competitive. But many enthusiasts (myself included) turned our noses up at the H50. What’s the point of a water cooling solution that doesn’t undercut the price or outperform the air coolers on the market? The problem as I saw it was that Corsair was targeting a market saturated with excellent alternatives. Was it good, yes…it just wasn’t the best.
Luckily for me and many other enthusiasts, Corsair was listening to the criticism, and they also seem to have identified what I mentioned earlier, the price gap. Why not make something that does top all of the air cooling solutions, for a small price premium? Hence, the Corsair H70 was born! This was built to dominate all air coolers on the market without becoming excessively expensive. Did they succeed in their apparent goals? Based on most of the reviews filtering into review sites around the web, I’d say they did. But I wanted to find out for myself, and Corsair obliged me with a sample to test for your reading pleasure.
Continue to page two for the product overview…