When I first was contacted to check out the new HydroX components, I was not sure what to expect. Corsair is a very new player in the custom DIY liquid cooling game. However, Corsair made some decisions that likely sped things along, which is picking up some former EK employees to help support the development and integration capabilities of these cooling components. Corsair is still very new, and I think there will be some teething issues as they discover some of the pitfalls along the way. Every manufacturer that earns its spot as a recommended manufacturer of DIY liquid cooling goes through this learning and constant evolution.
In testing, all I can say is that the HydroX parts performed as I would expect with the 9900K, which is notoriously a hot chip running at full FPU loading up to 66C average with minor peaks in the 71C range. This is quite good and pulled 4C off the Thermaltake Floe Riing 360mm AIO for comparison. The GPU is where a lot of the magic will happen for gamers, and we observed our 2080 Ti hitting a peak of 53C with an average of 51C.
This means full boost all the time, even with the CPU and GPU running 100% for hours as the liquid reached a thermal steady state. This is a great result and right up there with what I have experienced with top-name competitors with the same parts.
What we like
We like the configurator Corsair offers. The configurator takes the potential stress of making sure you have the right parts for your build and recommends stages of configurations to meet your systems loading. As the configurator becomes updated with more chassis and components, this will only add more value to the solution. The ARGB solution and its ability to synchronize across all of their compatible devices are excellent. This capability makes for a great aesthetic without some of the mishmash of colors you may see with solutions that cannot be tuned precisely to be lit in the same mode or capacity.
The reservoir options are great, and I am quite happy to see the XD3 compact reservoir, which I am sure will find its way into small form factor builds. The GPU blocks, including a flow indicator, is a nice touch and adds to the flair of the overall solution, especially when you can see it with the GPU vertically mounted.
What do we think could be better?
There is not a lot that I do not like about the new HydroX series. A lot of the features are all welcome and the designs while, in some cases bucking tradition all feel fresh and well-appointed once put together as a complete loop. If I were to knit pick, I would have to say that the lack of detail on things like the Rev B block difference could confuse some users, especially since you see two block models for a 2080 Ti. There is no descriptor in the configurator to understand the difference.
The other thing would be the fact that if you kill the iCUE process, it will default back to the profile of a rainbow. There is a way around this by creating a new profile for the lighting effects, but for some new users that may be confusing, and this means anytime the iCUE software is terminated, it will revert to rainbow mode. I know that's a stretch, but that's the only knits I can pick here.
When looking at this from a price perspective, the HydroX lineup is competitive with offerings on the market. The radiators sit right next to the black ice counterparts, which it mirrors. The CPU blocks seem relatively cheaper, depending on your comparison. The GPU blocks are right in the middle of the thick of things as far as pricing is concerned. The reservoir is much cheaper than the EK quantum models while being a bit higher than the Xres 250, so once again, right in the thick of things.
The performance, price, scalability, and synchronization will undoubtedly see many users adopting new HydroX solutions. Corsair went all out on this one, and now it just leaves us asking. Where can they go from here? What will they do next to make the HydroX lineup even better?
Shannon's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus XI Extreme Z390 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i9 9900K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair HydroX Series Liquid cooling (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB CMW32GX4M4C3000C15 (buy from Amazon)
- Video Card: NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition
- Storage: SanDisk M.2 256GB
- Power Supply: SilverStone Strider Platinum 1000W (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
Last updated: Apr 6, 2020 at 08:45 pm CDT
The Bottom Line
Corsair has entered the DIY liquid cooling market with its signature RGB flair. We are excited to report that the HydroX components perform as well as they look, pulling off some truly great aesthetic and performance results.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [HydroX Configuration webpage]
- Page 3 [Corsair XC7 RGB CPU Water Block]
- Page 4 [XG7 RGB GPU Water Block]
- Page 5 [XD5 RGB Cylinder Reservoir with D5 Pump]
- Page 6 [XD3 RGB Pump/Reservoir with DDC Pump]
- Page 7 [XR5 240mm & 360mm Radiators]
- Page 8 [XF Softline Fittings, Tubing, Commander Pro, and LL Fans]
- Page 9 [HydroX Build & Finished Product]
- Page 10 [Final Thoughts]