The Corsair Hydro X Custom Water Cooling Review, on a Ryzen 9 3950Xby Gavin Bonshor on February 5, 2020 9:00 AM EST
Test Bed and Setup
To test the performance of Corsair Hydro X, we compared two setups which we replicated the best we could with the hardware available. The Corsair Hydro X series single 240 mm radiator loop was tested with our ASRock X570 Aqua motherboard, while we used the ID-Cooling Auraflow 240 mm AIO on the similar spec ASRock X570 Creator for comparison. We used the exact same hardware across both systems including the same OS build, and same firmware settings. As the ASRock X570 Aqua and ASRock X570 Creator are nearly identical.
The Corsair Hydro X installed on our Openbench Table for performance testing
For our stock settings, we ran with default settings with the XMP 2.0 on our Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro DDR4-3200 CL18 memory kit enabled. Our overclocking settings include XMP 2.0 enabled on our memory, with a CPU VCore of 1.35 V and an all-core frequency of 4.3 GHz.
|Corsair Hydro X System Test Setup|
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 3950X, 105W, $329
16 Cores, 32 Threads, 3.5 GHz (4.7 GHz Turbo)
|Motherboard||ASRock X570 Aqua (BIOS 1.40 - ABBA) - Corsair Hydro X
ASRock X570 Creator (BIOS 1.70 - ABBA) - ID-Cooling Auraflow
|Stock Settings||AMD Ryzen 3950X, Default Settings, PBO Enabled|
|Overclock Settings||AMD Ryzen 3950X, 4.3 GHz All-Core, 1.35 V CPU VCore|
|Cooling||Corsair Hydro X Series:
Corsair XD5 Pump/Reservoir
Corsair XR7 240 mm radiator
Corsair Softline 10/13 mm fittings
Corsair Softline 10/13 mm tubing
Corsair XL5 clear coolant
Corsair LL120 RGB 120 mm fans
Corsair Commander Pro RGB hub
ID-Cooling Auraflow 240mm AIO (as base comparison)
|Power Supply||Corsair HX 850 850 Watt Platinum|
|Memory||Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32 GB (4x8GB)
DDR4-3200 CL18-19-19-39 1T
|Video Card||ASRock RX 5700 XT Taichi X 8G OC+ (1810/2025 Boost)|
|Hard Drive||Crucial MX300 1TB|
|Case||Corsair Cyrstal Series 680X|
|Operating System||Windows 10 1909|
The AMD Ryzen 9 3950X is a 16-core 32-thread processor designed for the X570 desktop platform. With larger core counts typically comes more heat and as standard, the 3950X has a TDP of 105 W. While this is great, TDP doesn't play out as intended once motherboard vendors implement its tweaks to maximise performance. To keep the Ryzen 9 3950X cool, AMD recommends liquid cooling as standard from its marketing.
For the temperature testing, we took delta temperatures at idle and maximum load. For our load results, we ran the Prime95 to stress our AMD Ryzen 9 3950X processor and took the value after 30 minutes. Our ambient office temperature at idle was 21°C and at load, it was 22°C during testing.
At idle, the differences aren't that major at both default settings and overclocked at 4.3 GHz. The Corsair Hydro X has the benefit of running slightly cooler with 1.35 V applied on the CPU VCore.
Running an AMD Ryzen 3950X at full load with Prime95 for 30 minutes, and we start to see the gap open up between the Corsair Hydro X series custom loop and the ID-Cooling Auraflow 240 mm CLC. Although the gap at default settings between both solutions at stock is 3°C, and at load, just 5°C, the radiator size of both options is the same. Another variable to consider is that the Corsair Hydro X Series in our testing isn't just cooling the processor, but the power delivery and chipset of the ASRock X570 Aqua. This will naturally increase temperatures as more components are being cooled, but not by a drastic amount.
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Ninhalem - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - linkI am a custom water cooling builder and know how expensive the obsession can get, but I had to price check those fans. That's ridiculous to pay 130 USD for just 3 fans. You would be better off getting some nice static pressure fans like the EK Vardars and then slapping some Phantek's light rings on top of them than paying a little over 40 USD per fan.
YB1064 - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - linkThe cost is pretty high, but it looks and seems to perform well. Apart from the outrageously priced fans, perhaps one can find a cheaper pump+reservoir on EK's own website?
Hxx - Friday, February 7, 2020 - linkI’ve been building custom loops for years. Definitely check AliExpress / bykski/barrowch or if u don’t wanna wait then primochill ships from Utah . Fantastic high quality componentry without the premium bull from bitspower Corsair ek and the like
hanselltc - Monday, February 17, 2020 - linkKeep in mind you need aluminium parts though just to be cautious
LedHed - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - linkEspecially when you consider that you can buy Noctua NF-A14 iPPC 2000/3000 PWM fans for under $30 each!
Personally, I'm going to go with industrial rated fans with a 6 year warranty (with a static of 4.18 mm H2O for the 2000 RPM), over some Corsair ones with RGB with static pressure below 2.0 mm H2O (for the 140mm model).
Samus - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - linkI was just about to chime in this sentiment. I have 4 NF-A14’s in my silverstone FT03 and I’m pretty sure they were all under $100 shipped when I upgraded the fans from the crap Silverstone included. The A14 iPPC’s also ram massive amounts of air through radiators, negating the need for a push + pull configuration.
Somehow I can’t believe the corsairs could do better unless they are a copy.
jeremyshaw - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - linkWait, I have a FT03, too, it will barely fit three 120mm fans o.0
All Noctuas, of course. The stock Silverstone fans on basically every case I have ever purchased from them were noisy and didn't move much air.
Maybe it was the FT02 or FT05 (5 - 2 = 3 :P)?
FatBoyDiesel - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - linkEK-Furious Vardar has 5.81mm H20 static pressure with a 500-3000RPM range. It's selling for $25 USD on EKWB's website and $21.99 at MicroCenter. Bought two of them and had no regrets.
supdawgwtfd - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - linkBut... RGB!
Azune - Friday, February 7, 2020 - linkI bought one of those Noctua industrials fans some time ago as well. And while its true that they are very durable, they have one problem that makes them completely unusable for me.
They have to spin at around 1000 RPM to even start. Which makes them very audible even when your PC is idle. I since have switched to their new NF-A12x25, which have a minimum RPM of 450, which makes them completely inaudible when idle.