CORSAIR Hydro X Series XC7 RGB CPU Water Block Review 2

CORSAIR Hydro X Series XC7 RGB CPU Water Block Review

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Value and Conclusion

  • The CORSAIR Hydro X Series XC7 RGB CPU water block costs $74.99 from the CORSAIR webshop and their retailers, for customers in the USA and as of the date of this article.
  • Good price for the feature set
  • User-friendly installation and unboxing experience
  • Good balance of thermal performance and coolant flow restriction
  • High degree of lighting customization via 16 dRGB LEDs and transparent nylon top
  • Good software control over the CORSAIR lighting ecosystem via iCUE
  • Proprietary connection/support for lighting, although they are going to include a motherboard LED header adapter in the future
  • Limited CPU socket compatibility, but CORSAIR does provide an alternative with the Hydro XC9
It took a while, but with this Hydro XC7 CPU block, we are now done with the individual product reviews from CORSAIR's Hydro X launch. CORSAIR made good use of personnel who have had years of experience in this field before they even joined the company by not aiming to hit the top spot and beating out the others by an extra tenth of a decimal point, but, rather, offering a more value-oriented product that would also lower the entry barrier to custom watercooling as the goal instead. It would be fair to say that the Hydro XC7 helps meet this goal as a $75 CPU block that comes with the now-expected digital RGB lighting and control and good performance to back up the talk. The block also has the benefit of being a part of CORSAIR's iCUE ecosystem with customizable and detailed software control over the lighting, even if you do have to spend extra on a controller if you do not have one already.

Instead of doing what some companies do with having separate Intel and AMD socket-supporting CPU blocks, CORSAIR has gone with different cooling engines for HEDT vs. mainstream CPUs, and the Hydro XC7 at $5 less than the Hydro XC9 is not a viable replacement unless you get a whole new set of mounting hardware. It is a bit of a shame also in that you get a different build via a black plastic trim as opposed to the aluminium silver finish trim with the XC9, so people will have to go with the only color option available here even if they prefer the other, assuming they want to stick with CORSAIR. Part of the cost saving comes form leveraging their experience with AIO coolers and cold plates, which clearly suffices as far as coolant flow and heat transfer goes. Whether or not you are a fan of the CORSAIR brand, the Hydro XC7 offers plenty enough at its asking price to merit a strong consideration. The form factor not being square also helps it stand out, which is always a good thing in an age of custom PC watercooling more about aesthetics than the actual cooling bit.
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