CORSAIR has quickly become an established presence in the PC DIY watercooling market with an entire product portfolio including CPU blocks, GPU blocks, pump/reservoirs, and even new fans having launched in the recent few months. Our full article on a complete Hydro X Series build is in the works, but I wanted to wrap up the individual product reviews with the often underlooked components—the heat dissipating radiators themselves. As with the coolant and fittings, CORSAIR decided to work with established leaders in the market rather than spending a tremendous amount of money on their own radiator line from scratch, which is how we arrive at the Hydro X Series XR7 and XR5 radiators that are a result of a partnership with Hardware Labs. Thanks again to CORSAIR for sending along review samples.
This review is of the thin profile Hydro X Series XR5 radiators, and the 360 mm (triple 120) version in particular I will refer to as the CORSAIR Hydro XR5 360 for my ease and yours. This series comes in 120/140/240/280/360/420 mm versions and uses the Hardware Labs Black Ice Nemesis LS (OEM version of the Nemesis GTS) as a base, with changes made to suit what CORSAIR thinks is attractive to their customer base. This article is meant to be read alongside our accompanying Hydro X Series XR7 360 review, which is a thicker radiator built upon the Black Ice Nemesis LX. The two share a lot of DNA, but are intended for different use cases. The Hydro XR5 is 30 mm thick, which falls into the 25–30 mm radiator thickness class and needs cases designed with custom watercooling in mind. This would also serve as a review of the Black Ice Nemesis LS 360 on TechPowerUp, so you get twice the serving for your money here. As always, we begin the review with a look at the specifications below.
|CORSAIR Hydro X Series XR5 360 Radiator|
|Material:||Copper and brass|
|Radiator size:||3x120 mm|
|Dimensions:||396 (L) x 120 (W) x 30 (H) mm|
|Fan compatibility:||Square frame 120 mm|
|Fin type:||25 µm copper with paint coat, 16 FPI splitter type fins|
|Ports:||2, BSP G1/4" threaded|
|Screw type:||M4 threading|
Packaging and Accessories
CORSAIR operates a web shop in the USA. However, this sample came from their marketing hub along with a few other products. So we begin directly with the product packaging, which is decidedly CORSAIR if you have seen any of their products in recent years. The for them now typical yellow and black color scheme greets us with the company and product name on the front and a render of the radiator inside. This continues on the back and sides with more technical and marketing features listed in multiple languages. We at this point see that the Hydro XR5 360 uses a two-stage packaging with an outer box and an inner cardboard box accessible through the sides.
As with the Hydro XR7 360, we see the Hardware Labs influence with the plain cardboard box inside the other cardboard box outside. Made out of recycled cardboard, this inner box should be completely recyclable as well, if what I know of the brand is correct. Side flaps help keep the contents inside in place. and once this box is opened, we see the radiator inside a piece of thin foam and a bubble wrap, snugly between the cardboard as well as more foam on the sides.
The provided accessories are off by the side and inside another cardboard compartment to prevent them from hitting and damaging the radiator. CORSAIR provides twelve 6 mm, 30 mm, and 35 mm long M4 threaded screws, each, with a Phillips head on all screws to aid in their use with fans. As such, we have enough for a single set of 25 mm thick fans in push or pull and intake or exhaust. Note that the longer screws are to be used with thicker case panels or radiator mounts where the usual 30 mm long screws may not be long enough. This is a change from the usual Black Ice offerings unless that has changed since I examined them, and it is a welcome change as well.
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