So how did the Corsair H50 fare when it came to the all-important temperature test? Our test system was a Core i7-965 processor on a Gigabyte X58 motherboard with a Radeon HD 4850 graphics card installed. We then ran the system through SPECviewperf 10 (four threads) and Prime95 (eight concurrent threads) for around 30 minutes each to find out the maximum temperature reached. Temperatures were recorded using Core Temp 0.99. For your info, our lab testing environment temperature was hovering about 22 degrees Celsius.
Since we did not have any other high-end CPU coolers (air-cooled or otherwise) in the lab, we relied on the performance of the stock Intel Core i7 cooler (the full height ones) and the dual-fan Evercool Transformer 4 CPU cooler, which we had previously tested here, as comparisons instead. As seen from our results, the Corsair H50 was clearly the coolest of the three, beating the air-cooled Evercool by almost 20 degrees Celsius when it came to the more intensive Prime95 section. The margin of improvement was even larger when it came to the stock cooler from Intel. Best of all, there was hardly any noise from the Corsair H50 besides the cooling fan, which caps out at a quiet 1700RPM.
It has taken a while but Asetek's LCLC kit has finally made it to retail in the form of the Corsair H50 high-performance CPU cooler. Convenient for users due to its smaller footprint, the sealed H50 means there's no refill option though Corsair guarantees that the coolant will last at least two years - going by its warranty - without significant loss.
There were some issues that we encountered during installation that could hamper some users but they should not deter them from getting a very good CPU cooler. Temperatures were found to be much lower than the typical or stock cooler and the noise level was admirably low. The fact that one has to switch the usual exhaust fan in the chassis to intake to suit the Corsair H50 does make us hesitate slightly at giving it our full recommendation, since changing the airflow is not the wisest option for everyone. Plus, the 120mm cooling fan and radiator size meant that your casing has to be able accommodate this at the rear before even considering this Corsair cooling kit. This means older casings that normally have only 80mm cooling fan ventilation holes are out of luck unless you are determined to mod your casing to suit it.
Compared to other liquid cooling kits, the Corsair H50 fits the 'low-cost' moniker that Asetek calls its technology. It can be found for around US$80 online or S$169 in local retail shops. That may be more expensive than most air-cooled solutions but for a liquid cooling kit, it's certainly on the affordable scale. When one looks at the cooling improvement, the Corsair H50 should only be compared to the top air coolers and at its price, it makes a good case for itself.