CORSAIR Hydro X Series XR5 360 Radiator Review 4

CORSAIR Hydro X Series XR5 360 Radiator Review


Value and Conclusion

  • The CORSAIR Hydro X Series XR5 360 radiator costs $69.99 from the CORSAIR web shop for customers in the USA, as of the date of this article.
  • Good value for money
  • Excellent build quality
  • Great thermal performance at low-mid fan RPM, and decent scaling with airflow afterwards
  • Three year warranty
  • Increased compatibility inside cases as a result of the relatively low width and thickness
  • High liquid flow restriction relative to other radiators
  • Mid-high fan RPM range is not as strong when it comes to thermal performance
When it comes to radiators being added to their Hydro X series of custom liquid cooling parts, CORSAIR could have gone with their own factory (which in turn means $$$), a China-based OEM, which would be harder to differentiate from a few other brands and risk QC mismanagement, or the German/Philippine options. As it turns out, not only is CORSAIR going with Hardware Labs as an OEM for radiators, but so is Bitspower, so it must have been the right move in more ways than one.

At $70 for the Hydro XR7 360, you will be hard pressed to find radiators that cost less, but there are a few to be had in the 30 mm thickness class this belongs to. For more context, the retail Black Ice Nemesis GTS comes in at ~$65, and the $5 extra here come down to how much you value the larger brand CORSAIR is, as well as the bigger retail channels that come with it. You get a lower warranty, but three years is still a plus given most radiators tend to have 1–2 years only and radiators are passive components that are either bad out of the box or not at all anyway. Bitspower's own take on the Nemesis LS costs $70 and performs worse, which could be a sample-to-sample variation, but CORSAIR also tells me they worked with Hardware Labs to improve quality control. So you may well be getting a more consistent unit each time, and perhaps that played a role with this review unit performing consistently better than the Black Ice Nemesis GTS, let alone the Leviathan SF. As it stands, the Hydro XR5 360 is one of the best values for money you can get as it is the best overall performing thin radiator currently, especially if you do not care for LEDs or displays on your radiator and want better case compatibility compared to the thicker radiators out there.
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