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Corsair HydroX Custom Liquid Cooling Review (Page 2)

Shannon Robb | Apr 6, 2020 at 8:38 pm CDT - 7 mins, 29 secs time to read this page
Rating: 96%Manufacturer: CorsairModel: CX-9010001-WW

HydroX Configuration webpage

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When you navigate to the corsair webpage and select their custom liquid cooling section, it directs you here. This is where you can choose to watch their marketing video covering the HydroX lineup, or you swipe left to get to the thick of things, and you can start selecting parts. I do feel like Corsair's marketing team missed a chance to be cheeky with a swipe right insertion for the moving forward, whereas swiping left could take you back to the main Corsair page.

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Swiping left gets you to the selection to view the entire lineup of Corsair HydroX custom liquid cooling parts, or you can select to move to the configurator, which is what we will be doing. There are several selections across the bottom where you can see the marketing pages for the cooling, but we won't bother with that in this review, we are going to jump right into the parts selection.

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Once in the configurator, we find that the option for pc chassis was initially only Corsair based chassis. However, since then, they have started to expand, adding the PCO11 Dynamic XL, which is an excellent choice as the first non-corsair chassis to add, but I do hope that they add many more as time marches on. We chose the 680X, which we reviewed recently, and felt it was appropriate to use for our HydroX configuration and build.

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Next up is where you select your core components, starting with motherboards. The motherboard selection is plentiful, and it had every model I tossed through it that I could think of. Overall, this is not hard as it merely needs to know what socket (mainstream vs. HEDT) you may be using. This will impact which CPU block applies to you. The CPU selection is also here, which has not just the 990K but the 9900KF, and 9900KS.

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Next up is the GPU selection, which ensures you get the correct water block for your card or cards. As you can see, the selection allows you to select the quantity of my Founders Edition 2080 Ti. Even if NVLink only allows two GPUs in SLI, you can still select up to three.

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Now we reach the summary screen where you can verify all your parts are correct, and then you can see their recommended setup. Also, if there is a mistake, there is a link below the large yellow button, which allows you to go back and edit your selected components.

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Now we enter the individual component deep dive. Here we have the CPU block Corsair recommends, and they ask if you will be overclocking the CPU. I selected yes because, as you choose yes to these, it will compensate for more cooling via more radiator when available to cover the heat load overhead.

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Next up is the GPU, which we elected to use our trusty RTX 2080 Ti for this project. Here we see two options, and one is for a Rev B. The Rev B 2080 series block is designed to fit some of the newer 2080 SUPER model cards as well. Depending on the card you choose in the configurator, you will have either both or the Rev B if the original version will not fit your newer model. Once again, we do find the overclocking query, which tries to consider extra heat with an OC if selected.

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Moving to the next page, we find the "cooling stage" you want to select. With the 680X, we have stage one, which is a single front mount radiator, and with Stage two, there is an additional top mount radiator. Stage three is grayed out as it is not applicable for our setup; however, hang in there because I found a weird bug in the system, so to speak regarding this. We will discuss that in the latter part of this page.

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Moving to the fan section, Corsair rightfully identifies that the 680X comes with triple LL fans, and therefore reduces the amount from your total automatically. I do like that Corsair recognizes your preinstalled parts and adjusts things rather than just forcing more fans down your throat unnecessarily. We opted for two more LL120 fans up top and a 140mm at the rear to round out the fan performance and visual aesthetic needs.

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Next up is the Pump/Res section. Corsair employs both a D5 pump/res and a flatter smaller DDC version. For this review, we will be building with the D5 version, but we received both from corsair to show, which we will cover on the page looking at both reservoir units. The D5 is included in the overall quote, and the DDC unit is the same cost, which being it's a more compact unit, can be suitable for smaller form factor builds, or possibly mounted in a chassis which cannot usually accommodate a larger reservoir.

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The next page is where we decide whether we want to do soft tube or hard tube. We selected soft tube, but Corsair does offer PMMA hard tubing and appropriate fittings, along with soft tube compression fittings to match your cooling system appearance goals. Overall, this selection is not nearly as important for performance as they both move the liquid across the cooling loop; just one is flexible, whereas the other is rigid. Here we also get separate tabs for coolant color and fitting color. We chose black for our build, but the options are chrome (Default), black, gold, and white. The coolant colors are clear (default), red, blue, purple, and green. We chose default clear for our build as it allows the best compatibility with a varying array of RGB lighting colors.

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This next part has to do with iCUE components. I do like once again that if you have an applicable Corsair chassis, this configurator will know what it comes with and default to not providing something you do not need. The options you can add here are the RGB fan hub, along with a Corsair Commander Pro. Corsair sent us a Commander Pro so that we can keep our LL fan function, have the RGB cooling components and also have RGB strips in the chassis as well for a fuller ambiance.

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The final step in this configurator would be the add-ons section. This section is where you can add ancillary fittings, extra tube, and coolant. Also, under iCUE, they offer the ability to add additional Commander Pro, Lighting Node Pro, and even RGB fan hubs in case your build needs more. The tools tab has a coolant fill bottle, along with TM30 and XTM50 thermal paste tubes, which you can order along with your components. Do note that all blocks come with thermal paste pre-applied, however, if you would like to do your application, or remount, its good to have extras on hand.

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One of the last pages in this experience would be the overview where you have a parts breakdown along with their cost. Here, you can choose to go back to any of the other tabs and swap parts as you see necessary. Otherwise, you can download the configuration, which is a part listing you can save for later. Next to that on the bottom, we have the build guide download, which gives you a printout of the recommended configuration based on your parts and how the airflow should run. At the bottom right, we find the build guide reference, which is rfpat9 in case any of you following along at home want to look at our specific build-out.

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And here we have it, the Corsair build guide for the configuration I built, or sort of. The reason I say sort of is this is the bug I had mentioned previously where you could see there is a 140mm radiator on the bottom of the chassis. The 140mm radiator was never offered during the build and was never specified in the configuration, as you observed in the last image. Basically, for the build, we will mostly follow this guide but omitting the bottom radiator and going form the GPU into the radiator.

Also note that in this configuration, we will have the pump/reservoir hidden away as the build guide recommends placing it in the PSU chamber area. This is ok as it makes for a clean build, but keep that in mind as the 680X does not have much front to rear depth to fit a large cylinder in front of a GPU. One more thing we will be changing is I opted to source my riser cable and will be using the GPU vertically for a better showpiece build, and I will also be hiding the tubing a bit better than we see in the guide.

Ok, now that we have our parts selected, let's check them out!

Last updated: Apr 6, 2020 at 08:45 pm CDT

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Shannon Robb


Shannon started his PC journey around the age of six in 1989. Now till present day, he has established himself in the overclocking world, spending many years pushing the limits of hardware on LN2. Shannon has worked with design and R&D on various components, including PC systems and chassis, to optimize the layout and performance for enthusiasts.

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