Thursday, March 7th 2019

CORSAIR Hydro X Custom Watercooling Parts Up at Swiss Retailer + Visual Impressions

When we first had a glance of the CORSAIR Hydro X custom watercooling loop parts in action, we suspected they might have a CES debut. CES has come and gone since, with no word of the company's entry into this field. Their direct competitors, including Phanteks and Thermaltake, have since added to their respective product portfolios comprising fans, water blocks, coolants and radiators. Perhaps CORSAIR wanted the launch to not be overshadowed by the other product launches at the recent trade show, and perhaps the listings of the Hydro X products on Digitech.ch is a sign of things to come sooner than later. Read past the break for a more in-depth discussion on the various parts listed, based on our experience with this industry as a whole.
CPU water blocks appear to be available in two designs, one with a polished acrylic top (XC7) and another with a sandblasted aluminium trim in addition (XC9). These seem to be designed in a similar manner to their new Hydro Platinum series of closed loop liquid coolers, to allow for a unifying look across their cooling ecosystem. The XC9 product page mentions the use of 70 microfins on the cooling engine, which is on par with most flagship blocks today, but has no mention of the fin height or thickness, which also contributes to the cooling efficiency of the water block. The cold plate is made of nickel-plated copper, as expected, and the flow chamber made of acrylic allows a visual look at the coolant passing through for both aesthetics and functionality (to notice any trapped air bubbles, and to confirm coolant flow as well). There are 16 addressable RGB LEDs, which will be controllable via iCUE, and the design allows for the lighting to be transmitted in a circle around the cooling engine itself. Presumably these LEDs will be powered and controlled via a header that connects to a CORSAIR Commander PRO or Lightning Node PRO, which would likely be optional accessories. There are two G1/4" threaded ports on top, and CPU socket compatibility appears to be LGA 1156 and AM4 for the XC7, and LGA 2011, LGA 2066, AMD sTR4 for the XC9.
At first glance, the two GPU water blocks seen above might appear identical. Both use an aluminium casing (no contact with coolant), an acrylic top, a CNC-milled nickel-plated copper cold plate, and two G1/4" threaded ports on an I/O terminal which looks very similar to the older CORSAIR Dominator Platinum memory sticks. A closer look reveals a different cooling engine and coolant flow path (linear, as opposed to split central-inlet flow), and this is how we know the first block is for a smaller PCB. Indeed, on the left is the Hydro X Series XG7 block for the NVIDIA RTX 2080 reference PCB (Founders Edition and other compatible aftermarket cards), and the one on the right is for the equivalent NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti. The product page for the RTX 2080 Ti Fe block says, and these details are otherwise identical for both, the cold plate uses more than 50 microfins and has integrated RGB lighting similar to the CPU blocks above. The block is full length and full cover, adopting a shroud + transparent center design that has gained popularity recently. Interestingly, both blocks seemingly come with pre-applied thermal paste, which I think is going to be a polarizing move among the end users.

There appears to be only one reservoir and pump option at this time, both appearing together as a combo unit. This is similar to what was used in the demo system late last year, and perhaps CORSAIR might offer more options later down the line. As it stands, the XD5 RGB pump/reservoir combo uses a Xylem D5 PWM pump, although we do not yet know whether this is one of the newer designs that is more in line with Intel PWM spec 1.3 for better PWM control over the pump speed. The reservoir uses a rectangular cuboid shape, and appears to be made of acrylic with acetal end caps and pump body. The end cap is designed similar to the CPU block, and has two G1/4" threaded ports, with two more ports at the bottom. There is return line adapter allowing coolant from the top to enter past the coolant level in the reservoir to minimize turbulence, and the port configuration allows for a fill port + in/out ports as usual. Judging by the image, the reservoir appears to be about 100 mm in height on top of the pump itself. The product page mentions ten integrated RGB LEDs, and the inclusion of 120 and 140 mm fan mounting brackets for easy installation in cases or on radiators.

The radiator lineup appears to be fairly extensive, with both 120 mm and 140 mm size offerings ranging from single to quad (at least for the 120 mm size). In addition, the 120 mm sizes also get two variations- the XR5 at 30 mm thick and the XR7 at 54 mm thick- compared to the 140 mm radiators with only the XR5 version. The radiators look eerily similar to Hardware Labs Black Ice Nemesis GTS and GTX respectively for the two thickness values, given they also match up well. Perhaps these are OEM versions (Nemesis LS and LX) customized to CORSAIR specifications. Adding fuel to this fire is the 25 µm fin thickness, another Hardware Labs technology used in their current product lineup. If true, this is fantastic news as these radiators are excellent at heat dissipation while being optimized for low fan speed and noise. The product pages, and there are way too many to list, also mention the use of screw guides and shields to aid in installation, and the radiators have a matte black finish to go well with just about any color scheme you might have. Two G1/4" ports are seen here, and thus there are no dedicated drain or fill ports here- another aspect of the Black Ice Nemesis radiator lineup, and now I am >95% certain of it too.
There are no images available for the listed tubing and special tubing connectors, and only one for the coolant, but they all have their own product pages with more information. CORSAIR seems to have hardline tubing (plexiglass, PMMA) in 1 meter lengths and two size options (10/14 mm or 10/12 mm), as well as soft tubing (PVC) in 3 meter lengths and one size option (10/13 mm). Three different tube sizes and two different tube types means a lot of fittings to stock as well, and we will get to that below. The XL5 Performance Coolant appears to be only available in a 1000 mL pre-mix format, with clear, pink, red, blue, and green colors to choose from. These are translucent coolants, not UV active, and include anti-corrosion and anti-bacterial inhibitors. The tubing connectors, called XT Hardline Multicard Kit, are used to help connect GPU water blocks in a multi-GPU configuration without worrying about cutting tubing to length. Indeed, the kit (coming in 12 mm OD only as per the website listing) contains two each tube sections long enough to fit one, two or three slot graphics card spacing.
Last, and certainly not the least, comes the XF lineup of fittings. These include compression fittings for all three tube options (hardline and soft tubing alike) in four color options- gold, glossy white, chrome, black- and in packs for some additional savings. These colors are reflected also in angled adapters and angled compression fittings, and there are also some more specialized fittings including a fill port and shut-off ball valve which come in chrome and black colors only. This is a good collection of fittings to begin with, but time will tell if all retailers choose to stock every single tubing and fitting option available.

There is really no point in discussing pricing at this stage, so we will get to that when the products are actually announced. This is, for all intents and purposes, an inadvertent leak by the retailer. All products list a 24-month warranty period, which may also be region-specific. Feel free to discuss more about these products, which no doubt are close to release, in the comments section below. Source: CORSAIR Hydro X on Digitec.ch
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37 Comments on CORSAIR Hydro X Custom Watercooling Parts Up at Swiss Retailer + Visual Impressions

#26
Bones
hat, post: 4008022, member: 32804"
Final frontier? Ha. Once you do full water, what's stopping you from using a TEC plate instead of a waterblock? Or, worse yet, phase change? This is cold shit, as cold as it gets without literally using liquid nitrogen... and it's a permanent solution, not temporary super cooling for suicide runs at 8GHz.

Realistically, though, the best reasonable solution is to use full water with a water chiller... @Knoxx29
I guess you'd mean something like I did here right? :D



Watercooling isn't anything to be afraid of.
It's like anything else, there's a certain amount of risk with it but the payoff once it's done is worth the trouble. Although I've chosen to go with air with my latest DD builds I still have watercooling setup at my benching area and it works fine.
The area where my DD is isn't suitable for a watercooled setup anyway like I'd build it so I'm just sticking with air to simplify things. I've been doing my own custom water setups for over a decade now and it's simple once you get the basics down.

You could find and start off with an older setup that if something happens you won't be out of much if anything just to learn the basics of it all.

Only way you'll ever know is to "Just do it" and you only live once you know.
Go for it I say.
Posted on Reply
#27
looniam
i am so disappointed corsair didn't RGB the rads. :slap:
Posted on Reply
#28
Assimilator
Bones, post: 4008198, member: 144474"
you only live once you know
You also only die once, though.
Posted on Reply
#29
John Naylor
Wavetrex, post: 4007853, member: 182738"
The age of affordable custom loops (for almost anyone) is upon us.
Once Corsair gets seriously into this, everyone and their dog will want to make their own CL parts.

I remember when first AIOs appeared, they were SO expensive compared to the best air towers. But now... they are found in any PC at any price point.
It was been for some time. But still ... the 'affordable ones' (< 3 x an air cooler) are always making unacceptable tradeoffs. And yes, there are CLCs at every price point but, as yet no comparable performance / noise pricing alternatives. When the best air cooler is $45, and CLCs with comparable performance are both noisier and 2 -3 times more expensive, I really don't see their raison d'être. A Delta T of 10C design is going to be hard to describe as affordable,

Wavetrex, post: 4007853, member: 182738"
The age of affordable custom loops (for almost anyone) is upon us.
Once Corsair gets seriously into this, everyone and their dog will want to make their own CL parts.

I remember when first AIOs appeared, they were SO expensive compared to the best air towers. But now... they are found in any PC at any price point.
It was been for some time. But still ... the 'affordable ones' (< 3 x an air cooler) are always making unacceptable tradeoffs. And yes, there are CLCs at every price point but, as yet no comparable performance / noise pricing alternatives. When the best air cooler is $45, and CLCs with comparable performance are both noisier and 2 -3 times more expensive, I really don't see their raison d'être. A Delta T of 10C design is going to be hard to describe as affordable,


ArbitraryAffection, post: 4007862, member: 145270"
Im still super anxious/scared to do my own water loop. It is literally the final frontier of PC building for me. :x
You might start with a Open Loop (expandable AIO) from Swiftech or EK and Maybe a Seahawk EK GFX card ... all thats left to do is add two fittings and a tube. Tho personally, I'd be inclined to use compression fittings if the model uses barbed. My son did that and regretted it tho ... it was so easy, he wished he'd overcome his fears and went custom.


lynx29, post: 4007895, member: 153071"
the problem is temps - my nocuta NH-D14 with 3x 140mm fans in push pull on it with a strong fan curve still comes within 4 celsius of the best Corsair AIO 360mm model. on a oc'd cpu in prime95.

I mean why risk a leak if I don't have to? now if this custom loop adds even 3 celsius to that 4... so 7 celsius difference, THEN i might consider going water if its affordable, last i checked though a custom loop would cost me close to 300-400, plus the annoying part of cleaning it every couple years. where it only takes 5 mins to clean my noctua fans
1. You are severely limiting your OC by using P95 as a measuring stick. That's kinda like seeing if the nail in your wall is capable of hanging your daughter's gradutaion picture by hanging a 400 pound weight on it. RoG Real Bench will put a much higher load on your CPU than it will ever see IRL and will drop temps by 8 to 10C ... in addition, as a multitasking benchmark with modern instruction sets, it tests stability in a way synthetics can not. I have had 24 hour stable P95 OCs fail under RB in 45 minutes.

2. I have not had an OC significantly limited by temps since Ivy Bridge. Usually hit the voltage wall 1st...though if ya want that last 0.1C, (V = 1.38 in BIOS, reaching peaks of 1.5 in stress testing) water is the way to go.

3. Many of us use custom loops for silence ... if i can tell the PC is on when sitting next to it with monitor off, = unacceptable.

4. The reason folks clean custom loops is to address clogging or dye fades. CLCs experience the same thing, just nothing you can do about it. But can't argue with air's simplicity. Cleaning the fans tho, is only haf the effort tho ... it's the dust between the fins that is the PITA. You can eliminate the leak risk by a leak test using a small 12v PSU ($15)... no risk when PC is not plugged in.

5. I agree tho, with the best air cooler (Fuma) available only $45 these days, beating most CLCs and all within 2 - 3 times it's cost, it's hard to make a case for CLCs. In my experience, more folks are going to custom loops for silence and aesthetics than performance improvement these days.

bogami, post: 4007903, member: 102090"
Cold additives have added anti-corrosion and anti-bacterial inhibitors in addition to color and a real and very good addition is a super-fluxing additive !!!!!
The issue with most additives is useful life, all of these tend to lose their effectiveness over time. The science of water cooling is over 100 years old. Every power plant using gas / diesel generators has a 'corrosion consultant" that comes in at least quarterly to test cooling water for the effectiveness of corrosion, algae inhibitors and "water wetters". Most manufactured coolants include these to some extent in their product.

jaw shwaa, post: 4007969, member: 164401"
well damnit , I knew these were on the way for a while...but i already have all the parts for my loop.would have been a nice compliment to my 1070 seahawks (that are corsair branded) ....
I didn't quite understand MSI's thinking in doing the co-branding with Corsair ... AFAIK, Asetek actually is still making all of Corsair's CLCs and not as if that's a secret. EK makes the WB on the Seahawk and I do find it quite odd that you can bu the MSI 2080 Seahawk with EK Block for roughly the same price, sometimes less.



The performance, aesthetic and sound arguments are all valid but will vary in importance by individual .... the only argument I find completely without merit is the "big heavy thing argument", unless you are shipping the box via a carrier. How can we be concerned about a 2 pound weight hanging off a MoBo in a case sitting on a sold desk after tightening down a water block with 60 - 70 pounds of clamping force. You literally have 70 pounds of force bending your skinny PCB as the HS pushes down on CPU while an equal and opposite force is at your hold down clamps. The calculated load differential is enormous. The weight presents almost a bending moment of one inch pound and the shear force is 0.5 pounds per mounting pin. Think of it this way ....

a) Take one of those picture hanging tacks bang it into the ceiling and hang your air cooler on it. Would you stand underneath it ?
b) Now hang a 70 pound weight on it.. still wanna stand under it ?

a) Take a 12" x 48" piece of sheetrock suspended between two cinderblocks, put a 5 pound weight on it
b) Take a 12" x 48" piece of sheetrock suspended long ways between two cinderblocks, put a 175 pound weight on it

Which is the safest bet that the sheetrock doesn't break ?
Posted on Reply
#30
Bones
John Naylor, post: 4008321, member: 156078"
It was been for some time. But still ... the 'affordable ones' (< 3 x an air cooler) are always making unacceptable tradeoffs. And yes, there are CLCs at every price point but, as yet no comparable performance / noise pricing alternatives. When the best air cooler is $45, and CLCs with comparable performance are both noisier and 2 -3 times more expensive, I really don't see their raison d'être. A Delta T of 10C design is going to be hard to describe as affordable,



It was been for some time. But still ... the 'affordable ones' (< 3 x an air cooler) are always making unacceptable tradeoffs. And yes, there are CLCs at every price point but, as yet no comparable performance / noise pricing alternatives. When the best air cooler is $45, and CLCs with comparable performance are both noisier and 2 -3 times more expensive, I really don't see their raison d'être. A Delta T of 10C design is going to be hard to describe as affordable,




You might start with a Open Loop (expandable AIO) from Swiftech or EK and Maybe a Seahawk EK GFX card ... all thats left to do is add two fittings and a tube. Tho personally, I'd be inclined to use compression fittings if the model uses barbed. My son did that and regretted it tho ... it was so easy, he wished he'd overcome his fears and went custom.





1. You are severely limiting your OC by using P95 as a measuring stick. That's kinda like seeing if the nail in your wall is capable of hanging your daughter's gradutaion picture by hanging a 400 pound weight on it. RoG Real Bench will put a much higher load on your CPU than it will ever see IRL and will drop temps by 8 to 10C ... in addition, as a multitasking benchmark with modern instruction sets, it tests stability in a way synthetics can not. I have had 24 hour stable P95 OCs fail under RB in 45 minutes.

2. I have not had an OC significantly limited by temps since Ivy Bridge. Usually hit the voltage wall 1st...though if ya want that last 0.1C, (V = 1.38 in BIOS, reaching peaks of 1.5 in stress testing) water is the way to go.

3. Many of us use custom loops for silence ... if i can tell the PC is on when sitting next to it with monitor off, = unacceptable.

4. The reason folks clean custom loops is to address clogging or dye fades. CLCs experience the same thing, just nothing you can do about it. But can't argue with air's simplicity. Cleaning the fans tho, is only haf the effort tho ... it's the dust between the fins that is the PITA. You can eliminate the leak risk by a leak test using a small 12v PSU ($15)... no risk when PC is not plugged in.

5. I agree tho, with the best air cooler (Fuma) available only $45 these days, beating most CLCs and all within 2 - 3 times it's cost, it's hard to make a case for CLCs. In my experience, more folks are going to custom loops for silence and aesthetics than performance improvement these days.




The issue with most additives is useful life, all of these tend to lose their effectiveness over time. The science of water cooling is over 100 years old. Every power plant using gas / diesel generators has a 'corrosion consultant" that comes in at least quarterly to test cooling water for the effectiveness of corrosion, algae inhibitors and "water wetters". Most manufactured coolants include these to some extent in their product.
Used to deal with Chem-Aqua for this with the cooling towers I maintained with my old job, they would come out once a month at least to check chem levels and such in each system. I did some of the testing and such myself as needed but really getting into it is what they were for.


Assimilator, post: 4008310, member: 7058"
You also only die once, though.
One goes hand-in-hand with the other...... Sad but true. :oops:
Posted on Reply
#31
CrAsHnBuRnXp
ArbitraryAffection, post: 4007862, member: 145270"
Im still super anxious/scared to do my own water loop. It is literally the final frontier of PC building for me. :x
Same. But I just cant bring myself to do what needs to be done in terms of upkeep on the custom loops.
Posted on Reply
#32
ArbitraryAffection
CrAsHnBuRnXp, post: 4008590, member: 44048"
Same. But I just cant bring myself to do what needs to be done in terms of upkeep on the custom loops.
Yep! The appeal of the AIO is the maintenance-free apsect. It would be really stressful for me to drain/clean the loop every year, let alone more often. :/
Posted on Reply
#33
Mussels
Moderprator
The final thing my PC needs before i can retire, is a custom loop.

Corsair is delivering.
Posted on Reply
#34
phill
ArbitraryAffection, post: 4008591, member: 145270"
Yep! The appeal of the AIO is the maintenance-free apsect. It would be really stressful for me to drain/clean the loop every year, let alone more often. :/
Do a custom loop, you won't regret it :)
Posted on Reply
#35
ArbitraryAffection
phill, post: 4009570, member: 96013"
Do a custom loop, you won't regret it :)
Maybe you can help me do one? I mean we are both from UK and my confidence is almost zero. I would love to ask if you could maybe come over and help me set it all up? I could pay you for it too^^ Also if I was going to do this I would really ask that you can help me maintain it too, at least until I am confident doing it. I also have 0 knowledge of any brands, parts, how it goes together :/ i am literally as newb as it gets so advice/help/guidance would be much appreciated:love:
Posted on Reply
#36
phill
ArbitraryAffection, post: 4009576, member: 145270"
Maybe you can help me do one? I mean we are both from UK and my confidence is almost zero. I would love to ask if you could maybe come over and help me set it all up? I could pay you for it too^^ Also if I was going to do this I would really ask that you can help me maintain it too, at least until I am confident doing it. I also have 0 knowledge of any brands, parts, how it goes together :/ i am literally as newb as it gets so advice/help/guidance would be much appreciated:love:
Easily taught and easily dealt with :D
Posted on Reply
#37
mohammed2006
ArbitraryAffection, post: 4008023, member: 145270"
Okay on shopping list for next year:
  • 3990WX
  • Waterchiller
48 core 5 Ghz 24/7???
Actually the 3990wx will come with waterchiller Wraith bundled
Posted on Reply
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