CORSAIR Hydro X Series XG7 RGB 10-SERIES GPU Water Block Review 20

CORSAIR Hydro X Series XG7 RGB 10-SERIES GPU Water Block Review

(20 User Comments) »

Value and Conclusion

  • The CORSAIR Hydro X Series XC9 RGB CPU water block costs $139.99 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, especially with the including backplate
  • Impressive thermal performance
  • Integrated flow indicator
  • Extensive GPU compatibility
  • High degree of lighting customization via 16 dRGB LEDs and transparent acrylic top
  • Unmatched software control over the CORSAIR lighting ecosystem via iCUE
  • Excellent build quality and packaging
  • Proprietary connection/support for lighting
  • Middling coolant flow restriction and VRM cooling
The Hydro X Series XG7 RGB 10-series is CORSAIR's GPU water block for the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10-series (1070, 1070 Ti, 1080, and 1080 Ti) and 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.

As it turns out, the price point is deceptively low if you just saw my performance-per-dollar chart. Pricing for GPU water blocks in particular has skyrocketed across the board in the last 2-3 years such that the same block that was, say, $115 or so then is now going to be more like $135-$145 for the equivalent generation (NVIDIA RTX 20-series, for example), and aftermarket backplates are now sold separately for more by nearly all companies. The $140 pricing here for the entire package suddenly seems more reasonable and even a bargain considering the included backplate and integrated dRGB lighting supported by iCUE. But then you will have to add the cost of a lighting controller from CORSAIR, in case you do not have one already, so keep that in mind.

Overall, the CORSAIR XG7 is impressive in how user-friendly it is, and also how well it does. I have installed close to a 100 different water blocks by now, if not more, and I can count on the fingers of one hand how many GPU blocks take less than 5 minutes to install. Indeed, this was a big feature CORSAIR advertised throughout, and anything to get more hands on PC watercooling and customization is a win in my books. It backs it up with looks that scream out CORSAIR without being obnoxious and has good performance as well. It is a strong entry into custom GPU water cooling then, and one that merits a strong recommendation as well.
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