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Corsair A500 Dual Fan CPU Cooler

crazyeyesreaper

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Corsair's A500 dual-fan CPU cooler is a monster in terms of size, with an appealing design and features that set it apart. We found installation to be remarkably easy as well, but performance could be better. The review also goes into detail about why we had to file down the heat pipes on the A500.

Show full review
 
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..when I see 'A500' in the title, all I can think of is an Amiga.
 
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For the same price you can get the Noctua U12A with the same performance, fraction of the size and won't make your ears bleed. You can also get the Scythe Fuma 2 although it looks more bland but costs 40% less.
 
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"Performance is average at best" -a500
"Good performance" -u12a

a500 outperforms u12a in his own test.
 
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a500 outperforms u12a in his own test.
Assuming no bad contact results

difference is 1c in prime both in stock and OC between the two
difference is 1c in AIDA64 for OC but 3c in stock. The stock results doesn't really make sense since you figure if anything results in OC results should be the greater difference. The A500 also has the same results as the U12s (the U12A is a better cooler) in AIDA64 stock. It can't be the PWM settings as fans are at 100%.

AIDA64 FPU shows the same thing. In OC, both coolers have the same results but at stock a 3C difference.
 
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This product is offensive from a (supposedly) reputable company.
 
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Basically this feels, looks and performs like a cheap Chinese knockoff NH-D15S.

And I reckon it is one, minus silly name and logo.
 

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Hopefully, the teething problems with this design won't result in Corsair abandoning the air-cooling market again..
I really thought i had missed something that happened in the last decade so I decided to go hang out with my boi google.

My boi tells me that the ONLY non AIO/custom watercooler they have released to date other than this here reviewed A500 is this...

A70.jpg


A one and only product they released in 2010....

I asked my boi more questions. He didn't have anymore answers for me.

A one off product that only exists on the pre-owned market. because a brand new retail unit does not exist anywhere.

One can debate if they ever 'entered' the market in the first place, let alone 'abandoned' it.


This is boatymcboatface. Reporting for live at five. Now back to you in the studio.
 
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I really thought i had missed something that happened in the last decade so I decided to go hang out with my boi google.

My boi tells me that the ONLY non AIO/custom watercooler they have released to date other than this here reviewed A500 is this...

View attachment 144753

A one and only product they released in 2010....

I asked my boi more questions. He didn't have anymore answers for me.

A one off product that only exists on the pre-owned market. because a brand new retail unit does not exist anywhere.

One can debate if they ever 'entered' the market in the first place, let alone 'abandoned' it.


This is boatymcboatface. Reporting for live at five. Now back to you in the studio.
I believe they had something called the A50 also which looked similar to the Antec air coolers at the time.

Edit. Found it, the corsair A50

Blast from the past, Antec's first foray into air coolers (as far as I recall) came and left the market fairly quickly.
 
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So reference coolers from both AMD and Intel have machining on them to increase clearance for those motherboard capacitors right next to the socket in the keep-out zone.

Here's an AMD cooler to show you exactly what I mean:

Capture.JPG


Clearance for those is quite literally IN THE SPEC that must be adhered to when designing a cooler. I just checked a couple of old Intel LGA1150 and 1155 boards to confirm that those raised capacitors exist there too.

Disappointing mistake from Corsair. They really should have tested this design better.
 
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crazyeyesreaper

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So reference coolers from both AMD and Intel have machining on them to increase clearance for those motherboard capacitors right next to the socket in the keep-out zone.

Here's an AMD cooler to show you exactly what I mean:

View attachment 144754

Clearance for those is quite literally IN THE SPEC that must be adhered to when designing a cooler. I just checked a couple of old Intel LGA1150 and 1155 boards to confirm that those raised capacitors exist there too.

Disappointing mistake from Corsair. They really should have tested this design better.
True but in this case the MSI board I use the capacitors sit closer than probably 70% of ATX boards due to the VRM design. Most other ATX boards would never encounter the issue with it instead likely appearing on ITX instead. Its honestly a perfect storm situation but even then i was able to remove enough from the heatpipes without ruining them to get proper performance. Showing the issue is 1 to 1.5 mm give or take. But still its a problem that never should have existed in the first place. A solid copper base would have raised the cooler the 1 to 2mm to clear everything.
 
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can we remember when hanging 1Kg off of your mobo was only something an enthusiast did this thing weighs in at 1.4Kg and for what just so they can say we have a very large cooler
If they wanted this to work like it should have they should have gone with 4x 8mm heatpipes not 2x 6mm + 2x 8mm made the fin stack narrower and out of copper and as @crazyeyesreaper said put a copper block on the bottom
 
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Corsair air coolers just feel sloppy...
 
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for $100, it's not the worst air coolers or it's the best one either. Also, I don't think other air coolers have adjustable fan brackets that comes as standard, a tube of thermal paste & a free screwdriver, coz for that price range it's rather competitive in the already crowded market of good air coolers.
 
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Its not competitive. The fans are really bad, and every other decent (read: even much cheaper ones) cooler comes with a screwdriver and a tube of thermal paste.
A NH-D15 is cheaper than this thing.
 
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So the Noctua D15 is now getting nearer to the end of its life and it has the old design fans on it; yet the outcome for the A500 is that the D15 is cheaper with fans that have better longevity and better noise levels at similar performance, and all that without the need of a file.

This is not a competitor to D15.
 
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Just can't watch Jay anymore, since he went big time he just don't seem interested anymore. IMO!

So the Noctua D15 is now getting nearer to the end of its life and it has the old design fans on it; yet the outcome for the A500 is that the D15 is cheaper with fans that have better longevity and better noise levels at similar performance, and all that without the need of a file.

This is not a competitor to D15.
The Maglev Corsair fans are not all that good, they are very loud even at low speed. Yes the workmanship is good tho.
 
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True but in this case the MSI board I use the capacitors sit closer than probably 70% of ATX boards due to the VRM design. Most other ATX boards would never encounter the issue with it instead likely appearing on ITX instead. Its honestly a perfect storm situation but even then i was able to remove enough from the heatpipes without ruining them to get proper performance. Showing the issue is 1 to 1.5 mm give or take. But still its a problem that never should have existed in the first place. A solid copper base would have raised the cooler the 1 to 2mm to clear everything.
Fair enough. It sounds like it'll be a rare problem - and yet a problem that simply shouldn't exist at all. There are very clear specs for socket clearance on all AMD and Intel platforms. Corsair violated that spec and didn't test enough - which is 'amateur hour' IMO. I just expected better from Corsair with their reputation.

Anyone shaving their heatpipes down is going to invalidate their warranty on a brand-new $99 purchase. If you hadn't been provided a review sample, would you have DIY'ed the solution that you did or would you just have taken it back for a refund and bought a better-designed cooler? :)
 
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Fair enough. It sounds like it'll be a rare problem - and yet a problem that simply shouldn't exist at all. There are very clear specs for socket clearance on all AMD and Intel platforms. Corsair violated that spec and didn't test enough - which is 'amateur hour' IMO. I just expected better from Corsair with their reputation.

Anyone shaving their heatpipes down is going to invalidate their warranty on a brand-new $99 purchase. If you hadn't been provided a review sample, would you have DIY'ed the solution that you did or would you just have taken it back for a refund and bought a better-designed cooler? :)
No one in their right mind should be shaving this or any other $100 PC hardware component down to make it fit another spec product. It should go back in the box for a full refund, plenty of other CPU coolers out there in the sea.
 
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Blast from the past, Antec's first foray into air coolers (as far as I recall) came and left the market fairly quickly.
[/QUOTE]

Antec has a few lower end coolers. The A30, A40 Pro, C40, C400, etc.
 
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Has the maker of the graphs ever consider adding an actual decimal point to the charts so stuff like this:
1581690222920.png


doesnt happen?



For example; there is no reason the 40dB Corsair A500 should be ranked worse than the 40dB H100i or R1 Ultimate.






Another minor "gripe" from me, to go along with the FPS numbers reported in GPU reviews being only the average and nothing else - the methods/reporting system applied for reviews sometimes seem outdated, to say the least.
 
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Antec has a few lower end coolers. The A30, A40 Pro, C40, C400, etc.
Yes they released them fairly recently. They also seem to be more popular in Europe then here but look interesting none the less.

Just can't watch Jay anymore, since he went big time he just don't seem interested anymore. IMO!
Everyone now has their own shtick after seeing the success of Linus. The reviews are more entertainment then informative but that's what gets views and I won't argue with a financial business model that works. I will say what he states in the video is rather interesting and incorrect.

He mentions this is Corsairs first foray into air cooling. Obviously that is incorrect from the posts above.

He mentions that previously the only way PC owners could OC their CPU was by water, Ive been OC my CPUs since the Pentium III and have only used air coolers.

He then mentions how the Dark Rock PRO and Noctua D15 offer similar performance as AIO coolers (his words) but the Dark Rock Pro series has been out since 2011 and Noctua D15 came out in 2014 (replacing the older but similar D14). So that contradicts his previous statement about needing water cooling to OC your CPUs.
 
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crazyeyesreaper

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Has the maker of the graphs ever consider adding an actual decimal point to the charts so stuff like this:
View attachment 144811

doesnt happen?



For example; there is no reason the 40dB Corsair A500 should be ranked worse than the 40dB H100i or R1 Ultimate.






Another minor "gripe" from me, to go along with the FPS numbers reported in GPU reviews being only the average and nothing else - the methods/reporting system applied for reviews sometimes seem outdated, to say the least.
IF you want to buy me a high end sound pressure level meter sure the one I current use is about $45 and does the job necessary for testing because you would never hear the difference between 40 and 40.2. Sad fact is my pressure meter is while accurate not accurate enough to bother with decimals because it fluctuates too much to be that accurate. Rather than a difference being noticeable noise wise your more likely to make note of tonal hum of the fan motor etc. Which if its annoying I make note of in the review however in the last few years that hasnt been a problem. 4-5-6 years ago fan quality was worse and weird noises or quirks were more common.

For instance the Bruel & Kjaer 2236 used in GPU reviews is originally $4000. I mean if you want to pony up so I can have one by all means. Its like people here via PM and email etc think I am just rolling in money. At some point you have to make a judgement call and my cheaper meter is good enough to get results that line up fairly well compared to more expensive options.

Also the graph software auto sorts when compiling the graphs its automated to save a great deal of time. Manually creating every line for the charts would be a nightmare since its all text based including color codes etc. As such it is what it is. But bottom line is going from $45 to 4000 would get you your decimals but wouldnt really change much and considering $4000 is a quarter of my yearly pay after taxes while working other jobs sorry just aint gonna happen.
 
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can we remember when hanging 1Kg off of your mobo was only something an enthusiast did this thing weighs in at 1.4Kg and for what just so they can say we have a very large cooler
If they wanted this to work like it should have they should have gone with 4x 8mm heatpipes not 2x 6mm + 2x 8mm made the fin stack narrower and out of copper and as @crazyeyesreaper said put a copper block on the bottom
It's a standard weight BTX cooler...
 
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