CORSAIR Hydro X Series XC9 RGB CPU Water Block Review 9

CORSAIR Hydro X Series XC9 RGB CPU Water Block Review


Value and Conclusion

  • The CORSAIR Hydro X Series XC9 RGB CPU water block costs $79.99 from the CORSAIR webshop and their retailers, for customers in the USA and as of the date of this article.
  • Extremely user-friendly throughout unboxing and installation
  • Good price for the feature set
  • High degree of lighting customization via 16 dRGB LEDs and transparent nylon top
  • Good software control over the CORSAIR lighting ecosystem via iCUE
  • Excellent build quality and packaging
  • Proprietary connection/support for lighting
  • Limited CPU socket compatibility
For those who skipped pages in the review, this article covers only the CORSAIR Hydro X Series XC9 CPU block and not the XC7 that launched alongside. The latter will be tested separately on my new test setup and is different enough to where the two can not really be covered together in a single block review.

The Hydro X Series XC9 is CORSAIR's flagship CPU water block as part of their all-new Hydro X custom watercooling business unit, and they made good use of personnel who have had years of experience in this field before they even joined the company. They were surely aware of, more than most, how hard it is to carve out a new entity in this extremely competitive field wherein brand name at times ends up mattering more than pure performance. Indeed, physics is such a great equalizer today that even aesthetics, price point, and other features add up to just as much, and it is not really surprising then that CORSAIR has not aimed to hit the top spot by beating out the others by an extra tenth of a decimal point, if at all. They made it clear to us at Computex that the goal is to offer a more value-oriented product that would also lower the entry barrier to custom watercooling.

This comes about with the introduction of a whole new lineup of products, an online product configurator, and lots of marketing $$$ thrown to get the word out. We will go over the other components at another time, but as it is today, the XC9 CPU water block does a good job of meeting those objectives. Sure, it would have been nice to see a more common connector for the RGB LEDs, but I can not deny that CORSAIR's iCUE driver-based ecosystem is among the best implementations at this time, if not the very best in my opinion. If you are looking for the very best performer or simply want something else in terms of build or aesthetics, there are plenty of options for you. But if you are a newcomer to the exciting field of PC DIY watercooling, the CORSAIR XC9 is well worth checking out.
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