Corsair’s H50 all-in-one CPU water cooler

Manufacturer Corsair
Model Hydro Series H50
Price (Street)
Availability Now

Water in a computer? Sounds crazy, but enthusiasts often do crazy things in the name of performance. When it comes to moving heat, density is king, and water beats air by several orders of magnitude in volumetric heat capacity. Now, with that physics-jargon-laden sentence out of the way, let’s talk a little more about how water cooling works.

Anyone in the cooling business should be familiar with the benefits of using liquids as an exchange medium. This is especially true in the automotive industry, where fluid-cooled engines are far more common now than air-cooled varieties. Liquid cooling is also picking up steam (ha!) in the HVAC industry, where geothermal systems utilize water’s excellent thermal characteristics to harness the constant temperature of the Earth. Thanks to the use of a superb heat mover like water and a heatsink as large as the Earth itself, common heat pumps and blowers can manage the temperatures of entire buildings with huge increases in efficiency over traditional furnaces and air exchangers.

In a computer, the principles are all the same, but the scale is a little smaller. Sure, some people go nuts and build systems large enough to cool a motorhome, but even most hardcore enthusiasts will be happy with anything that enables an overclock that makes their forum buddies jealous. The quest for higher overclocks drove gutsy early tinkerers to cobble together water cooling systems from equipment normally used in all kinds of different areas. Popular components included small car radiators, laboratory-grade tubing, and water pumps meant for small ponds and fish tanks. These folks still needed to transfer heat away from the CPU, and since few had the means to mill custom water blocks, it’s no surprise that some manufacturers picked up the slack, offering designs of their own.

Water cooling gained popularity as more PC-specific components entered the market, but folks were still piecing together systems using parts from different manufacturers. To make things a little easier, cooling companies starting bundling all the parts one might need into complete kits. These became quite popular, as they also guaranteed component compatibility. Assembly was still required, though. That doesn’t usually faze enthusiasts, but when you’re dealing with conductive liquid flowing around the internals of an electrically charged PC, securing tubing and checking for leaks can be a little harrowing.

In recent years, some manufacturers have begun dabbling with factory-sealed kits that take much of the assembly—and paranoia—out of water cooling. These units are often just as easy to install as traditional air coolers, and they don’t cost all that much than some high-end heatsink towers. We had our first real look at such a design when we pitted CoolIT’s Domino ALC against a range of traditional air coolers back in June. The Domino cooled well and was easy to use, but its fan noise put us off a little. Today we’ve corralled a similar factory-sealed unit from Corsair, the new Hydro Series H50, to see how it compares.

So what’s all in an all-in-one water cooler?

Corsair’s H50 isn’t quite as all-in-one as the Domino, but only because the included 120-mm fan doesn’t come pre-attached to the radiator. Other than that, the H50’s components require no assembly.

Instead of putting the pump right next to the radiator, Corsair embeds it inside the water block assembly. While this makes the radiator lighter and therefore easier to install, it does burden the motherboard with a little extra weight. Thankfully, the mounting hardware includes back plates to alleviate any extra stresses on the motherboard. Mounting hardware is only provided for Intel LGA775 and LGA1366 sockets, though. AMD-compatible brackets (shown on the left in the picture below) are sold separately and cost $3 online. Lynnfield-compatible mounting hardware will apparently be available soon on the Corsair website at a similar price.

Each retention package comes with a motherboard back plate, retention ring, and four spring-tensioned bolts to hold everything together. Four long screws, complete with washers, secure the fan and radiator to an enclosure’s rear 120-mm fan mount. The washers are basic metal ones, which is somewhat surprising considering the popularity of vibration-dampening rubber washers in not only cooling products, but cases, as well.

The H50’s all-copper water block surface is large enough to provide plenty of contact area for modern processors. It’s also coated with a putty-like thermal compound, further simplifying the installation process. Factory-sealed and semi-flexible tubing leads right out of the top of the water block assembly, stretching a full 11 inches before you get to the radiator.

Installing the Corsair cooler is a two-stage process, but it really doesn’t matter which step you do first. To secure the water block assembly, I found it easiest to half-tighten the retention ring to the back plate before orienting the block to slip through the ring’s circle of teeth. Once past the teeth, the entire water block assembly can be rotated to anchor it under the ring, after which tightening the bolts locks everything into place. Compared to other locking mechanisms I’ve worked with, Corsair’s approach with the H50 is both effective and simple. You do have to remove the motherboard to secure the retention bracket’s back plate, though.

To fasten the H50’s radiator, the four long screws are run first through the case and fan before anchoring in the radiator and securing everything in place. Corsair recommends that the fan be oriented as an intake to keep the coolest air flowing over the radiator fins, which makes a certain amount of sense. The amount of heat transferred from one medium to another depends on the difference in temperature between them, and the air outside your case is likely to be cooler than what’s circulating inside. Bear in mind that if you’re making changes to the orientation of any case fan, it might be necessary to adjust the orientation of others to maintain a good system airflow pattern. If you switch a filtered intake to exhaust air from the case, you might be able to move its filter up to the H50’s fan mount.

With the H50’s two main components in place, all one needs to do is connect the power. Instead using a control module, Corsair feeds power to the H50’s pump and fan separately. The four-pin fan lead is designed to plug into a motherboard header, and it will play nicely with temperature-based automatic fan speed controls. However, the pump’s three-pin connector must be connected to a power source that provides a constant 12 volts. The pump’s power cord is only 7″ long, so you might run into trouble reaching an appropriate header on your motherboard. There’s more reach with the fan’s power connector, which measures a lengthy 11 inches.

Before getting into our test results, I should take a moment to point out that the H50 doesn’t take up all that much space inside a system. Modern motherboards usually keep the socket area relatively clean, knowing that rear exhaust fans are common. Many of today’s larger air coolers still manage to crowd the socket area, coming quite close to the side panels in some cases. That shouldn’t be a problem with the H50, whose footprint is really quite modest. The fact that users can easily change the water block’s orientation also adds a measure of flexibility, since the orientation determines where the 11 inches of tubing starts.

Testing notes

To gauge the H50’s performance, we’re going to compare it with a similar all-in-one liquid cooler in CoolIT’s Domino ALC and a high-end air tower in Noctua’s NH-U12P. If you’re unfamiliar with either, I suggest checking out our recent air versus water cooling showdown, which details both coolers.

We tested each cooler with a Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition running at its native 3GHz and overclocked to 3.5GHz with an extra 100 millivolts flowing to the CPU. The H50 was configured with its pump running on a constant 12V and its fan plugged into the motherboard’s temperature-controlled CPU fan header. With the Domino, users are given the choice between low, medium, and performance options, with medium automatically adjusting fan speeds based on coolant temperature. The medium setting worked for us at stock speeds, but we had to crank the Domino up to performance mode at 3.5GHz to achieve stability. Our NH-U12P air cooler runs nice and quietly even on 12V, which is how we configured the cooler for testing.

Our test system hasn’t changed since that showdown, but ambient temperatures have, so we’ve conducted a new round of testing for this review. We built everything up in a Thermaltake Spedo enclosure because it’s easy to work in and represents the kind of larger enclosure you’d expect from enthusiasts interested in high-end or liquid-based cooling. All of the Spedo’s case fans were hooked up to a 7V adapter, allowing them to move plenty of air at significantly reduced noise levels that should allow us to better hear the CPU coolers we’re testing. I did remove the Spedo’s massive 220-mm side fan, though. It’s simply too noisy, even on only seven volts, so any differences in sound levels coming from the CPU coolers should be easily heard. The large 220-mm side fan has been removed, as it creates too much noise even at seven volts.

Processor AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition 3GHz
System Bus HT 3.6 GT/s (1.8GHz)
Motherboard Asus M3A32 MVP Deluxe
BIOS Revision 1002
Memory Size 2GB (2 DIMMs)
Memory Type Corsair CM2X1024 DDR2 SDRAM
Memory Speed 1066MHz
Hard drive Maxtor 200GB SATA
Graphics XFX GeForce 8800 GTS 512 PCIe with GeForce driver version 190.62
Enclosure Thermaltake Spedo
Power Supply Enermax MODU 82+ EMD625AWT 625 Watts
OS Windows Vista Ultimate x64 Edition
OS updates Service Pack 1, DirectX redist update August 2008

We used the following versions of our test applications:

The tests and methods we employ are usually publicly available and reproducible, but as is always the case with cooling and overclocking, individual results will vary. We’ve locked down as many variables as we can to focus on the performance differences between these three coolers.

CPU Temperatures at 3GHz

To compare the performance of these three coolers, we graphed a log of Everest’s CPU temperature probe over a computing session. Before starting the log, I let the system warm up to a stable idle temperature. Next, I let the system idle for 15 minutes before turning on Prime 95’s maximum heat test for all four cores. The Prime95 load ran for 20 minutes—long enough for load temperatures to stabilize with each cooler. Finally, I halted the Prime95 test, returning the system to idle, and let Everest log CPU temperatures for another 25 minutes.

At stock speeds, all three coolers perform almost identically, with the Domino managing a CPU temperature one degree lower than the rest under load. More interesting is the shape of each temperature curve around when we start and stop our load. The NH-U12P and Domino cool our test system’s processor at a quicker pace than the H50. This suggests that the H50 could have more overall mass than the Domino or that it’s simply not whisking heat away from the CPU as effectively.

Separating our data into idle, load, and cooldown temperatures, we get another look at just how closely matched these three are. The fact that all can keep a full-loaded Phenom X4 running around 43 degrees is quite impressive. How about the other part of the equation, though? These days, a heatsink doesn’t just have to keep a processor cool—it has to do so quietly.

To get a feel for how much noise each setup makes, we took sound level measurements with each cooler from three locations: 12″ away from the front, top, and left side of the case.

3GHz CPU Noise at Idle

Now that’s a quiet fan: even running on a full 12V, the Noctua makes less noise at idle than either of our two water coolers. The H50 is the quieter of the liquid-fueled units, and it emits a less obnoxious whine than the Domino.

CPU Noise under load

Even under the strain of a fully loaded quad-core processor, the H50 doesn’t run any louder than it does at idle.

Upping the Ante

You’re probably not too interested in dropping over 50 greenbacks to run your processor at its stock speed, so we bumped our Phenom’s multiplier to 17.5X, raised its core voltage by 100 millivolts, and conducted another round of tests at 3.5GHz. The Domino only made it about halfway through our load test before the CPU overheated, crashing the system. We had to abandon the cooler’s medium setting in favor of performance mode, which was perfectly stable when overclocked under load.

Overclocked CPU temperature over time

The H50 holds a slightly higher temperature both at idle and under load. And again, it cools off more slowly than the others.

Overclocked CPU temperature at idle
Overclocked CPU temperature under load
Overclocked CPU temperature during cooldown

Corsair runs the CPU a degree or two warmer than its rivals here. The temperatures are still impressively low considering that we’re overclocking a 125-watt processor by 17%. Plus, there’s also the matter of noise levels:

Overclocked CPU Noise at Idle

With the Domino forced to run in performance mode to maintain system stability, the H50 ends up being significantly quieter at idle. In fact, it’s no louder at 3.5GHz than it was at 3GHz. What about under load?

Overclocked CPU Noise under load

This is the first time we’ve seen the H50’s fan speed ramp up, but noise levels only increase by two decibels. Of course, the Noctua air tower doesn’t get any louder at all.

Conclusions

The H50 is a good example of the evolution of all-in-one PC water cooling kits. Corsair’s cooling division has created an easy-to-install unit that offers great performance and commendably low noise levels. With a street price around $80 online, though, it’s not the cheapest way to get this sort of heat-dissipating power. Still, the H50 did fare quite well against the similar Domino ALC, achieving comparable CPU temperatures with consistently lower noise levels. The Domino is a little cheaper at $65, but it’s not as easy to install or adapt to different cases and custom builds.

Now, just because I’d recommend the H50 over the Domino doesn’t mean that the Corsair model is the best way to cool your processor. Air-cooled CPU heatsinks have had a lot longer to mature than their factory-sealed, liquid-fueled counterparts, and the Noctua maintained comparable temperatures to its liquid-cooled peers while making less noise than even the H50. I suspect the Corsair unit would have fared better with a higher flow rate, larger-diameter tubing, and more coolant. That said, I can still think of a couple of reasons why one might want to spring for the H50 over a high-end air cooler.

The first and most obvious reason is case clearance. Standing only 2.5″ tall, the H50’s water block and pump assembly is significantly shorter than aptly named tower heatsinks. Even with the associated tubing, the H50 requires only 3.5-4″ of clearance above the CPU; the Noctua, by comparison, needs roughly six inches of vertical clearance. Of course, the H50 still requires a case with a 120-mm fan mount, and those enclosures can typically accommodate taller air towers. Enterprising modders should be able to add a 120-mm fan mount to smaller cases and squeeze in the H50’s relatively slim radiator, though.

Another reason to opt for an H50 over an air tower relates to how often you move your system. Hanging a heavy, 6″ metal heatsink and a 120-mm fan off of a motherboard back plate works for plenty of folks, but if you often take your PC to LAN parties or otherwise move it around a lot, you might appreciate the fact that most of the H50’s weight sits lower to the motherboard or is anchored directly to the case. I’ve never had a problem with larger tower heatsinks damaging motherboards, but I’ve heard enough horror stories to prefer lower-profile coolers for more mobile builds.

The H50’s simple design should also appeal to folks who are specifically looking to dabble in water cooling but don’t want to go through an involved installation. As we’ve seen, though, the right big-honkin’ heatsink can give you lower temperatures and noise levels.

Comments closed
    • oldog
    • 10 years ago

    The question I have always had with reviews of water vs. air cooling relates to case temperature.

    Presumably a water cooler set up to vent heat outside the case will keep the case cooler than an air cooler. With a lot of aftermarket GPU fans designed to vent into the case, it can get plenty hot in there.

    I for one would be interested in case temps. It is my belief that the only good reason to water cool is to physically move the radiator (and the heat) to the outside of the computer case. (I realize that this set up does not allow this).

    • herothezero
    • 10 years ago

    Have to say I love my Noctua HSF; not shocking that they perform so well, though.

    • astraelraen
    • 10 years ago

    So they put the pump – which produces heat – right on top of the CPU – which produces even more heat.

    Then they tried to dissipate the even larger amount of heat through a small pump and radiator.

    I’m actually fairly surprised it did that well to be honest.

      • mesyn191
      • 10 years ago

      The pumps don’t add that much heat to the water, something like 10-18w tops IIRC. That radiator is just too small, you really need a dual or triple fan rad to beat todays heat pipe based HSF’s, even then it’ll probably only beat it soundly if you OC.

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 10 years ago

    Nice review… I guess I’ll stick with air-coolers for now. It is good to know that we can rely on you to spend the money for us to test theories and make them facts! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I have a question tho. Why is it most of the focus is on CPUs? From experience, it seems that the video cards need more focus. They seem to be too toasty for my tastes. I know there are VGA water coolers, but they are way too expensive and require major water cooling systems. I’m probably off target here. Video cards are in tighter spots and air has a hard time getting in and out. I know they have come a long way with it, but I would think that water cooling would be a better focus on video cards.

      • mattthemuppet
      • 10 years ago

      I think that’s pretty straight – GPUs are fast outpacing CPUs in heat production and, as you said, have far less space to get rid of the heat. The few all-in-one GPU water coolers (actually probably only one, from Thermaltake) that I can think of were pretty shite. Can’t imagine it’d be all that hard to do an all-in-one rad+pump and heatblock that would hang of the rear 120mm fan like this one.

    • shaq_mobile
    • 10 years ago

    First off, I read about three sentences because I’m ADD right now, but good review. The pictures were great and there was alot of cool closeups.

    I got an old radiator from my el camino sitting out in the driveway, that would make a sweet start for a custom water cooling system. I always thought it would be cool to build a computer into the inside of a freezer but i was always concerned about frost, anyone done this before?

      • MadManOriginal
      • 10 years ago

      Computers inside refrigerators/freezers don’t work long term unless you replace the cooling system which pretty much defeats the purpose. The reason for this is those systems are not designed to run constantly or deal with an actual heat source, they are intended to cool the air and food and then use the insulation to keep it cool with an occasional refresh from the cooling system.

    • UberGerbil
    • 10 years ago

    You know, just for kicks, I would love to see a test of this cooler in the Swiss Army Knife system. Yeah, it’ll be weird because you’re reversing the expected airflow in the Sugo SG05 case, but /[

      • eitje
      • 10 years ago

      seconded, totally.

    • YellowElf
    • 10 years ago

    One thing that is not tested (and is indeed hard to test) is the behavior of the liquid cooler over time. I purchased a machine with a CoolerMaster sealed liquid CPU cooler back in 2006.

    After about two years, the machine began to spontaneously shut down under heavy load; this worsened over time. The builder (GamePC) had no clue as to what might be causing the problem. Once I installed SpeedFan the problem became evident: the CPU was overheating.

    I unclamped and removed the hoses and emptied and refilled the cooler subsystem. This was somewhat difficult because I didn’t want to unseat the cooling block; that would require major surgery and I wouldn’t be sure of doing it right. The coolant also had ethylene glycol (antifreeze) in it, and there was no obvious air bleed point. Once I did this, the shutdowns stopped.

    It seems the coolant somehow was slowly evaporating out, probably at the hose clamps, even though there were no leaks. It is not clear to me how the manufacturers might even be considering this problem and how to service them properly and easily in the field. The one I have is certainly a pain to refill, unnecessarily so. It could be made easier by simple design changes.

    Thus I am wary to consider another “sealed” water cooler. I have had to refill the system several times since, probably because of slight air binding and no proper air bleed available. I am also not the manufacturer with original tools to do it right ๐Ÿ™‚

    Anyone else have any similar experiences?

      • mesyn191
      • 10 years ago

      Depending on the tubing you use water can slowly dissipate through it over time. The neoprene stuff they’re using for these pre-built water cooling loops is some of the best stuff at preventing that, but its a flat black color which many consider ugly so its not used as often in DIY loops.

        • YellowElf
        • 10 years ago

        It would be helpful if the vendors would provide means of bleeding or topping off the coolant levels. Because they’re considered “sealed” this process is unnecessarily difficult. I shouldn’t have to remove the waterblock from the CPU to account for very slow evaporation changes.

      • Tamale
      • 10 years ago

      Good call.. my water cooling loops always lost some coolant over time as well, regardless of how well I sealed them.

      I’ll keep the H50 under use for a while and if it craps out I’ll definitely write a blurb about it ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Freon
    • 10 years ago

    I like the idea of a simple, self contained water cooler, but obviously this thing can’t even keep up with a simlpe air cooled unit half the price. Ouch!

    Can’t say I’m remotely swayed by the potential niche mounting features. I sprung for the big backplate on my S-1283 and it is very sturdy. It was about $40 including the backplate and shipping, very quiet.

    • cegras
    • 10 years ago

    I might sound like a robot or shill, but why no comparison against the TRUE? The H50 was supposed to competitive with the top end air coolers, such as the Megahalems (hate this name) and the Baram, etc, etc.

      • KoolAidMan
      • 10 years ago

      I don’t think that is necessary considering that the Noctua performs similarly to both the TRUE and the Megahalems (I agree, stupid name), given that they all have the same fans. I’m talking within one degree Celcius, IMO within the margin of error. Throw a more powerful fan on any of them and they will perform even better and also within a very tight range.

      That said, the Noctua also comes with two very quiet and very efficient $20 fans and some of the best thermal paste on the market. Neither the TRUE nor the Megahalems come with anything except for the heatsink itself. Not only is the Noctua a great performer, it also represents one of the absolute best values out there.

        • Tamale
        • 10 years ago

        My NH-U12P only came with one fan.. I think only the SE 1366 version of the product comes with two fans.

          • Dashak
          • 10 years ago

          Seconded. My U12P also came with one.

    • Spotpuff
    • 10 years ago

    I thought for watercooling flow rate had little to do with performance (past a certain point) because the water temperature tends to equalize after a bit.

      • Voldenuit
      • 10 years ago

      Yeah, that’s what I thought as well (assuming an adequately sized reservoir and radiator). Now if they could only seal the water in at sub-atmospheric pressures, it would vaporise at lower temperatures, allowing the enthalpy from the latent heat of vaporisation to cool the heat source far more than just simple conduction+convection.

        • UberGerbil
        • 10 years ago

        Yeah, I had a friend who started a company to do the opposite — phase change (condensing) heaters fired by natural gas (ibcboiler.com). It’s a nice way to wring a lot of additional efficiency out of the system, but it’s technically tricky (which is why people haven’t been doing it all along).

        For a cooler, running below ambient pressure at least avoids the risks of high-pressure steam in case of a leak, but leaks would still hose (heh) you badly.. and it would be hard to make foolproof a cheap system that you expect to be self-installed by amateurs (aka ingenious fools).

    • Fighterpilot
    • 10 years ago

    It’s worth noting that big aircoolers turn into dust magnets quickly.
    The H50’s radiator would be easier to service and maintain in that respect.
    Its vertical orientation and high flow rate at least will keep the dust bunnies from clogging things up as fast.

      • Freon
      • 10 years ago

      edit: misreply…

    • Kurotetsu
    • 10 years ago

    For the most part its equal to, or slightly inferior, premium air cooling. BUT, the sheer ease of use I think is worthy of mention. Looks like a nice unit for anyone wanting to take their first dive into water cooling.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 10 years ago

    I only just glanced at the charts, and haven’t read the article yet, but is there a reason why the stock cooler isn’t included in the benchmarks for reference?

    • MadManOriginal
    • 10 years ago

    I’d be curious to see something like this with a dual 120mm radiator. A single 120mm radiator is physically about the size of a large tower cooler like the Noctua and not surprisingly shows a small difference in cooling power. Would that change significantly with a dual 120mm radiator?

      • Firestarter
      • 10 years ago

      A dual 120mm with both a CPU and a GPU block, please?

      I wonder how many CPU+GPU setups these folks have already done for the likes of Dell/HP.

      • Tamale
      • 10 years ago

      Yeah, with cases like the Spedo and Gigabyte 3D Mars they could definitely offer a twin 120mm radiator version of these and I agree.. it’d be a significant improvement.

      If they simply put more coolant in this system with larger tubing too though, I’d be willing to bet it could keep up with the towers.

        • mesyn191
        • 10 years ago

        Tubing diameter doesn’t effect cooling performance all that much, Cathar showed that high flow rates aren’t really an issue with water cooling years ago.

        A 3/8″ ID tubing is fine for something like this, 1/2″ ID tubing only becomes necessary if you have a large cooling loop with multiple blocks and a large rad.

        A dual 120mm rad would’ve been a bigger improvement, but not as many people can fit them in their cases.

          • Tamale
          • 10 years ago

          I’d agree with you if it was an issue of going from 3/8″ to 1/2″ ID.. but this tubing is like 1/4″ inner diameter. It’s really restrictive.

      • flip-mode
      • 10 years ago

      Yep, I imagine that the performance of this thing has less to do with flow rate and the volume of the coolant than it does with the surface area of the radiator. That’s why the Noctua does so well against these – it has a similar if not larger cooling area.

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 10 years ago

    Who’s Joshua Buss?

      • Tamale
      • 10 years ago

      Why, it’s ah-me.. Tamale ๐Ÿ™‚

        • BoBzeBuilder
        • 10 years ago

        OH HEY. Nice review.

    • Meadows
    • 10 years ago

    Conclusion: get the Noctua. Cool and silent.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 10 years ago

      Yeah Noctua coolers look pretty nice all around and unlike the very popular Thermalright coolers they don’t have a rediculously convex base.

      • KoolAidMan
      • 10 years ago

      Yup, my next heatsink is the Noctua, I don’t see anything that comes close in out-of-the-box value, especially given its excellent performance.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 10 years ago

        I like my Scythe but Noctua is very attractive.

      • UberGerbil
      • 10 years ago

      Yeah, that was my skimming take-away too.

      • blubje
      • 10 years ago

      or stick with the factory cooling, and keep the warranty. integrated heat sinks and efficient processors make this less interesting than it used to be.

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 10 years ago

        I have a Noctua C12P, and it keeps an overclocked Q9400 at 50C in Intel Burn Test, on the lowest fan speed. That’s tough to beat.

        However, that’s a completely excessive and unrealistic scenario. You’re completely right that stock coolers are sufficient, and they tend to be quiet, as well, which is more what I’m concerned with.

        • Freon
        • 10 years ago

        True, I was pretty impressed with the factory Intel unit on my E8500. It was silent and kept temps reasonable (<55C at full load). I never tried to push the overclock, but I did run 3.4ghz (factory 3.16) for most of the time before I got a Xigmatek, then I went straight for 4.0 at 5-10C less depending on load. Both are pretty much silent, at least over several other low speed 120mm case fans and definitely the ATI 4850.

        If you don’t overclock, no needs to swap out the stock Intel cooler. They’re plenty sufficient and pretty quiet.

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