Etc.

I mentioned the other day that the water-cooling unit in my main PC had failed, and I told the tale of replacing it. What I didn't do was go one step further and examine the ailing Corsair H60 to see what caused it to stop being effective. Instead, I sat it aside and moved on—until last night, when a friend of mine who reads the site visited Damage Labs, saw the cooler in question, and encouraged me to do some follow up.

At his prompting, I grabbed a pair of wire cutters and snipped open one of the hoses on the H60. What came out was a small volume of coolant—not enough to fill the entire cooling loop, but more than nothing. Mixed in with the green-tinted coolant were dark green chunks of apparently coagulated coolant. Those chunks were thick enough that I don't see how coolant could have flowed properly through the system with them present.

So was it a pump failure or a coolant leak? Inconclusive. Apparently the loop wasn't sealed perfectly, since some of the coolant dried out like that. Given the chunky state of the liquid, it seems quite possible that the pump might have failed, too. Who knows?

What I do know is that the H60 wasn't effective any longer, and replacing it with a tower cooler made a world of difference.

Comments closed
    • LocalCitizen
    • 5 years ago

    Hmm, water cooling adds complexity and cost, and doesn’t always last very long. Good to know.

    • BIF
    • 5 years ago

    I had an H80i fail on me just a few days before the annual TRFrankenbot Soire. Grinding noises and such; I’m thinking maybe this is the same issue, Scott. I’ll open up my unit one of these days and I’ll post my findings to the forum.

    I’m not down on Corsair, nor am I down on water. I did buy another H80i because I needed to get back up and running fast. But I think my next system will have a custom loop. Or three.

    • anotherengineer
    • 5 years ago

    No 6 year warranty like my Noctua cooler??

    • south side sammy
    • 5 years ago

    That’s what I said in the first thread on this. Not enough coolant. Sounded near empty when shaken. Funny how “nobody” realized this and just kept sending them out the door as if nothing was wrong. Kinda reminds me of nvidia and the bad chips on their 8800 series graphics cards.

    • Anovoca
    • 5 years ago

    SSD endurance test complete perhaps its time for a AIO endurance test?

      • BIF
      • 5 years ago

      Oh, what an awesome idea. I’d add a few custom loops to that endurance test, because…well, why not?

      Only problem is, how can time-duration be simulated in an AIO endurance test? At least with a drive-based test, you can just keep reading and writing until they fail.

        • Anovoca
        • 5 years ago

        You would test temperature curve until threshold reached or pump failure on equally clocked CPUs.

    • chuckula
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<]Mixed in with the green-tinted coolant were dark green chunks of apparently coagulated coolant. Those chunks were thick enough that I don't see how coolant could have flowed properly through the system with them present.[/quote<] "Ingredients of Happy Fun Ball include an unknown glowing green substance which fell to Earth, presumably from outer space." DO NOT TAUNT HAPPY FUN BALL.

      • Shinare
      • 5 years ago

      Wow, +1 for a throw back reference that had left my consciousness a long time ago. Kudos! 🙂

    • sweatshopking
    • 5 years ago

    STOCK COOLER FTW.

      • cygnus1
      • 5 years ago

      Same here. On a 4570S so it runs cooler than regular wattage cpu too

    • Prestige Worldwide
    • 5 years ago

    AIOs are junk, either go custom loop or keep it simple with a decent tower heatsink.

      • f0d
      • 5 years ago

      100% agree

      i just wish there wasnt such a bad rep with custom loops supposedly being hard to do, your first one is about as hard as your first PC was to build – time/patience/research is the key and once you have done one you find they just get easier and easier

      i reckon i could build a custom loop as fast as i could a pc nowdays

        • Krogoth
        • 5 years ago

        Custom-loops are tricky if you want to do it right and prevent accidents/leaks from being catastrophic. You just have to keep an eye on condensation and the water pump instead of simple dust.

          • f0d
          • 5 years ago

          i dont think i have ever had any issues with condensation so im wondering what you are referring to

          or maybe you are confusing WC with any type of cooling that cools the cpu below ambient air temp (peltiers/liquid nitrogen etc etc) because even with the best watercooling you cant cool below ambient air temp because its the ambient air thats cooling the water so condensation doesnt form anywhere with watercooling

            • Krogoth
            • 5 years ago

            That’s assuming that the ambient temperature stays relatively stable. It may not be the case elsewhere.

            Water-Cooling is often paired with Peiter-coolers so condensation is a constant concern.

            • f0d
            • 5 years ago

            hardly anyone uses peltier coolers with water cooling
            in fact hardly anyone uses peltier coolers at all period

            and even if the ambient air temperature does go up it has to go up a LOT for condensation to form around the block – even here in australia where the temperature rises fast its never an issue

            as someone who has built WC loops for over a decade condensation has NEVER been a problem

            • Krogoth
            • 5 years ago

            Peltier cools are still being used by hardcore overclocking crowd to reduce their CPU temps well below ambient and use water-cooling as a “heat pump”.

            Besides, Australia is mostly dry outside of coastal regions. So if you happen to live somewhere in the interior then condensation isn’t going to be much of a problem to begin with. It is also why overclocking competitions tend to be held in dry regions.

            • f0d
            • 5 years ago

            hardcore overclockers that use peltiers are a minority of a minority – most of the “hardcore overclockers” use liquid nitrogen instead as its way better and more reliable than peltiers as peltiers dont cool as far as LN2 and they fail at cooling beyond a certain heat load

            either way they are an extreme minority and the people that do use them know all about condensation problems anyways

            most people that make custom loops DO NOT use peltiers

            • Krogoth
            • 5 years ago

            LN2 isn’t as reliable. It just allows you to reduce temperatures far beyond on what a Peltier Cooler can do, however LN2 has poor thermal capacity so it is only good for “bursts”. It also runs into massive condensation issues which is why OC events that use LN2 are held in dry, climate controlled areas.

            • f0d
            • 5 years ago

            for overclocking competitions LN2 is more reliable because peltiers can only take away a certain amount of heat load then they fail in a massive way – if your cpu is producing more heat than the peltier can deal weith then you you can say bye bye to your cpu

            condensation is an issue with ALL types of cooling that cool below ambient air temperature and the people that do use below ambient cooling treat their motherboards so that condesation doesnt become an issue when overclocking

            we are getting off topic – peltiers are rare in the overclocking community because they are too unreliable for extreme overclocking records (which they use LN2 for) and they are too unreliable for everyday usage (which they use normal custom loops for)

            pretty much nobody uses them anymore

            • Krogoth
            • 5 years ago

            LN2 has the same problem and you also have the problem of running out of LN2. LN2 goes fast. It is used only because it allows you to reduce temperatures far beyond then what Peiters can mustered and it is the cheapest, super-chilled “liquid”. They are better super-chilled liquids but are too expensive even for competitions.

            Peliters are good for extreme, sustained overclocks and are still used in the overclocking community despite what you may think as well as vapor-chillers.

            Then again the extreme overclocking crowd is a tiny niche and most water-cooling enthusiasts get water-cooling for its superior noise/thermal dissipation ratio over air-cooling a.k.a near-silence without sacrificing high-end cooling performance.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 5 years ago

            Krogoth, stuck in the past as usual; it’s 2014, not 2004. Go try reading an actual overclocker’s forum, peltiers are very rare, although some people do toy around with them, hardly anyone uses them for daily use any more.

            • Krogoth
            • 5 years ago

            Oh really?

            There is still constant activity regarding peltiers and water-cooling setups among the overclocking crowd. It is certainly rare as it was back in the early 2000s and only hardcore-types are willing to deal with maintenance and work involved.

            Most overclockers are content with basic water-cooling and higher-end air-cool setups. You can most of the headroom of your silicon without it becoming too much of a hassle.

            They certainly don’t use LN2 for daily use either. LN2 gets the buzz since it allows for brief record breakers as long as the LN2 supply lasts.

            • CityEater
            • 5 years ago

            Well 90% of Australians live on the coast while the dry interior is comparatively sparse. Besides aren’t most overclocking competitions held in air conditioned conference centres?

            • Krogoth
            • 5 years ago

            In areas that are known to have dry weather. 😉

      • torquer
      • 5 years ago

      I disagree. They perform well at a reasonable price and offer a level of convenience not possible with component systems.

      There is no data to suggest what happened here is indicative of widespread issues. It could have easily been a manufacturing defect.

      What you’re saying is like suggesting no one should buy a Mustang when Porsches are available. It’s a different market.

        • flip-mode
        • 5 years ago

        I really hate car analogies.

          • torquer
          • 5 years ago

          I’m sorry to hear that.

      • Anovoca
      • 5 years ago

      Pretty broad statement. More accurately you get what you pay for in an AIO and an H60 is about as old and cheap a model as is out there.

      • flip-mode
      • 5 years ago

      I’d go farther and say leave liquid cooling alone completely. But to each his own. If someone wants an AIO cooler that’s none of my concern.

    • torquer
    • 5 years ago

    I actually tend to do full system upgrades every 1-2 years at most and always replace my AIO water cooler when I do so, so I do not expect to have similar problems.

    That being said, this shouldn’t happen in a closed loop system like this. Part of the selling point is precisely NOT having to pay such close attention to a system that should just *work.*

    I’m sure they only have a 1 year warranty max, but if they are prone to this kind of thing they should have an advertised MTBF or useful life index. I wonder if they have improved anything since the H60, which is an older model.

      • DancinJack
      • 5 years ago

      H60 has a five year warranty.

      [url<]http://www.corsair.com/en-gb/hydro-series-h60-high-performance-liquid-cpu-cooler[/url<]

        • torquer
        • 5 years ago

        Its possible he could have gotten it replaced then. I can’t say from experience because I’ve never used a closed loop system for more than about 2 years at most. I’ve used the Antec Kuhler 620 and 920 systems as well as 2 different Corsair H100is. I’m curious if these 1st generation systems (Asetek basically) have any common issues like this. I know the Antec branded ones had a known issue with pump noise and trapped air inside the pump…

        Anyway, its like anything else. If you want a system that runs well with little to no maintenance, generally you’re stuck with OEM style components designed to perform acceptably for a long time. Being that we are basically the “hot rodders” of PCs, you kind of have to expect sometimes that you’re going to have problems most other people won’t or that your rig will require more tinkering than Grandma’s old HP.

        God knows I’ve had my fair share of cuts from my bleeding edge tech over the years. Note my previous post in the last Etc about the mounting bracket issue on the H100i for Socket 1150.

    • mkk
    • 5 years ago

    Water cooling tends to be used mostly as a fashion statement anyway.

      • BIF
      • 5 years ago

      That’s an ignorant thing to say.

      Mainframe computers used water cooling up until a decade or two ago.

      A few years ago when building a dual Opteron system, I was not able to find a cooler that worked for me, was quiet, and didn’t cause the motherboard to flex and short out. At that time, I didn’t have an AIO available to me and I didn’t want to build a custom loop, so I had to use smaller, faster, noisier fans.

      Noise perpetrates fatigue. Water is QUIET. This makes a HUGE difference and that’s not a fashion statement.

    • Deanjo
    • 5 years ago

    Got a couple of dead ones with the exact same crap.

    • albundy
    • 5 years ago

    so your cooler’s heart attack was due to plaque buildup! what a shame! RIP, little pump! I will send flowers! Just wondering how many people are using these AIO water coolers and are unaware of their pc temps until its too late!

      • NeelyCam
      • 5 years ago

      Yep; should’ve gone low-carb before it was too late

      • MarkG509
      • 5 years ago

      Little green blobs of plaque, or dust and failed bearings…pick your poison.

    • f0d
    • 5 years ago

    im wondering if that green gunk you found was algae/bacteria/fugus contamination

    i had an old thermaltake WC system (before the all in ones were around) that i experimented with and that had similar issues, it eventually had hardened green gunk clogging it up after a few years because the fluid that came with it wasnt good at preventing algae/bacteria/fugus build up and contamination

    those all in ones also sometimes mix metals (alu rad and copper block for example) which causes galvanic corrosion and actually accelerates the algae/bacteria/fugus formation and you need a very strong premix coolant to prevent it

    building your own watercooling system is a much better and more reliable way of watercooling imo – you can then pick all copper parts (or just parts with a close galvanic index) to prevent galvanic corrosion and then all you need to do is put a silver coil and demineralized water in the loop to prevent algae/bacteria/fugus from forming
    its a tried and true method in the watercooling community to do it like this and i have never heard of anyone having any issues when they do it correctly

    correct metals in the loop/demineralized water/silver killcoil is the way to go.!

    edit: replaced the word biogunk with algae/bacteria/fugus

      • oldog
      • 5 years ago

      Wow, that seems like a lot of work!

        • thecoldanddarkone
        • 5 years ago

        It’s a pain. It’s more maintenance for little gain. Every year you change the fluid and double check on your tubing, well I did anyways. On top of that you still get to do normal maintenance. Gpu blocks are expensive (especially full body gpu blocks).

          • f0d
          • 5 years ago

          i havnt touched the water in some of my systems for 3+ years (the only time i ever touch the water is when i have to drain to change a block or something) and i dont need to double check my tubing because i made it rock solid reliable – i have a hose clamp AND a ziptie on each fitting

          i will agree that gpu blocks are expensive especially if you change gpu’s often

          the only maintenance i do is clean the air filter on the intake of the rad which is easier than having to get inside the case and clean out the heatsink

            • thecoldanddarkone
            • 5 years ago

            I still checked and I used Tygon 7/16 on half in barbs with clamps.

            • f0d
            • 5 years ago

            nothing wrong with checking i guess
            was there anything that ever went wrong with your system that wasnt an error with building it though?

            when i build i do check every few days after the initial leak tests (24hrs non stop with paper towling around all the fittings and potential leak points so i can easily see if there are any leaks) but every WC system i have built correctly have had zero issues so now i dont bother checking anything after a month or so

            • thecoldanddarkone
            • 5 years ago

            I was partially ocd because of a leak the first time around. Heh

      • FireGryphon
      • 5 years ago

      This is what I was thinking was his problem, too, as opposed to a pump failure or coolant leak.

      • Anovoca
      • 5 years ago

      I know they make cleaners for water beds that prevent algae and bacteria. I wonder if that type of solvent would negatively effect the the cooling system if introduced into the reservoir. I realize this couldn’t be done with an AIO but for home built systems or even a swiftech AIO you could.

    • brucethemoose
    • 5 years ago

    You’re lucky the coolant didn’t leak out all at once. Dying AIOs can take the rest of your rig down with them.

    AIOs are only useful in SFF systems… A Macho or NH-D14 will outperform AIOs for the same price, and they won’t lose their coolant or spill it on your motherboard.

    • sweatshopking
    • 5 years ago

    IT’S TIME TO WRITE A LETTER.

      • 5150
      • 5 years ago

      I think he just did.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This