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.
CORSAIR Hydro X on Digitec.ch