Corsair Hydro H60 & H55 Review
In 2009 Corsair helped change the very landscape of aftermarket CPU cooling by introducing their Hydro series of all in one water cooling solutions. While the original Asetek designed and built H50 was not ground breaking in any way, the combination of fairly easy installation, good cooling performance, reasonable price and – above all else –excellent customer service helped redefine the marketplace. To put it simply, the H50 helped put the aftermarket All In One water cooling device on the map and made Corsair the industry’s dominant player.
After the H50’s launch, Corsair branched out with a full range of solutions from highly capable enthusiast level devices to entry level options that tended to undercut certain high end air coolers. While Asetek continued being an integral part of Corsair’s manufacturer base, several of the newer units were OEM’d by CoolIT (such as the H60). This varied and adaptable approach helped further entrench the Hydro series in its growing marketplace.
By playing the pioneer and delivering consistently high quality products for the sealed system water cooling niche, the Hyrdo series became and in many ways remains the dominant player. However, even after the venerable CoolIT fell under the auspices of Corsair, the competitive landscape has changed with Antec, Thermaltake, Cooler Master and even Intel and AMD entering the game. The original H60 and H50 have remained the go-to options for many enthusiasts but after years of using the same designs, they were growing a bit long in the tooth. In the last few years, fan, pump and radiator designs have been gradually refined so it was high time for Corsair to bring their entry level water coolers up to today’s technological standards.
In order to refresh the H60 and H50 while maintaining roughly the same price, Corsair couldn’t drastically depart from their initial designs. Instead, minor changes –many of which can’t be seen by the naked eye- were made that directly impacted liquid speed, radiator efficiency, pump longevity and the fan’s static pressure envelope. The end result of their hard work is the all new H55 and second generation H60. On paper the differences between the original and new models may not seem all that significant but looks can be very deceiving. If these new designs are indeed able to outperform their predecessors - while making less noise - their MSRP of $69 and $79 respectively should help Corsair gain back market share lost to the hungry competition.
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