The A50, for such a thin cooler with a mid range fan pushing the air through it, I found it to be an admirable performer against a lot more expensive coolers in the top half of that list. It saves the buyer a bit of money by Corsair choosing to only paint the top fin, as that is all most of what you'll ever see if the cooler is the top anyways. The clip-on fan shroud assembly really simplifies installation and will make maintenance later on easier as well. Taking the time to isolate the shroud and the fan both from each other and the fins is also a nice touch. While there were no audible rattles, the use of such measures is lost with the 64 DB of fully operating noise levels.
I used both the AMD mounting and the Intel setup and found both to be secure when either latched or bolted into place. If you are unsure how to move the studs on the back plate, the well written instructions will get you right through any issues. Another thing I like is that with the fan in place, the cooler is only 82mm thick and didn't cause me any memory issues on the boards I tried mounting it to. This being Corsair's first attempt at air cooling, I think they came out on top with this one. The A50 is very capable of doing the job at hand.
With the Air Series A50 Performance CPU cooler being a relatively new release to the market, it can't be found everywhere, but with the ten or so places you can find one, the coverage is still pretty good. For right around $35 you can walk into Best Buy and get one tomorrow on your way home from work if you wish. For those of us who have come to depend on the Ups and Fed Ex delivery drivers, the A50 can be found at Newegg.com for $39.99, plus shipping. Performing better than average for a cooler that can be had for $35-40 is something we don't see here every day, and I have to say Corsair has taken a rather well placed foothold in the air cooling segment of CPU cooling. Now I eagerly await the testing results of the big brother, the A70 which we will get a look at very soon.
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