Corsair Hydro X Liquid-Cooling Kit Review

February 24, 2020 | 12:00

Tags: #custom-loop-kit #hydro-x #liquid-cooling #rgb-lighting #watercooling-kit

Manufacturer: CORSAIR

UK Kit Price: £560.99

Custom watercooling can be seen as a very daunting idea and therefore is often avoided by many. Majority of the struggles come from not knowing the correct compatible parts for your system, and then how to manage the overall installation process. As a first-time, hands-on experience, I have spent time with the Corsair Hydro X Series, which sets itself apart from many competing solutions by having simpler installation for those new to the liquid-cooling world.

The entire process is detailed in the embedded video above, thereby naturally making this more of a video-centric review from someone who is approaching proper watercooling for the first time.

Corsair build the Hydro X's versatility around a Custom Cooling Configurator on its website, which allows you to choose all the parts you have/need in your system and then shows you the recommended liquid-cooling components to purchase. This is to ensure you don't incorrectly choose a component or fittings that aren't compatible for the build and removes much of the stress for a novice user when making choices about which kit to get. You can mix and match in the configurator to see the best end results to suit your specific needs. As I'm the ideal candidate as someone not particularly au fait with liquid cooling, the process is straightforward and does what it says on the tin. No problems here!

Talking about a full-on installation, here's what I had to play with. The whole shebang comes to £560 or so. That's not cheap, of course, but it's about par for the course for a custom, full-on watercooling kit. Ideally, you would pair this cooling setup with a high-spec PC, to make the most out of the heat-wicking potential.


Specifications:

  • CPU Block: XC9 RGB (2066/sTR4)
  • Radiator: XR7 360mm Water Cooling
  • Pump: XD5 RGB Pump/Reservoir Combo
  • Tubing: XT Softline 10/13mm (3/8” / 1/2”) ID/OD Tubing
  • Fittings: XF Compression 10/13mm (3/8” / 1/2”) ID/OD Fitting Four Pack — Chrome x2, 45° Rotary Adapter Twin Pack — Chrome
  • Coolant: XL5 Performance Coolant — Blue

Additional: 

  • GPU Block: XG7 RGB 20-SERIES GPU Water Block (2080 TI FE)
  • Fans: ML120 PRO RGB LED 120MM PWM Premium Magnetic Levitation Fan, ML140 PRO RGB LED 140MM PWM Premium Magnetic Levitation Fan
  • Premium PCIe 3.0 x16 Extension Cable 300mm
  • Lighting Node PRO 
  • iCUE Commander PRO Smart RGB Lighting and Fan Speed Controller
  • Hydro X Series Filling Bottle

As you will see in the video, in terms of the installation process, nothing seemed to be overly difficult or particularly cumbersome for a first-time user. A lot of it was just making sure that the components were snug and in place, and then making sure the fittings were tight around the soft tubes, to ensure no leakage. 


Having gone through entire process of unpacking all the goodies to having all components working seamlessly on the build, there are a few observations that are worth noting - pros and cons, from my perspective, if you like.

The Good

  • The ease of installation, where the pre-applied thermal paste is a big help. Especially so because there is a lot of debate around what the official "correct" way to apply it. This way there is no such thing as "too little" or "too much."
  • Aesthetically pleasing and solid quality. There are no over-the-top brand names plastered all over them and there is enough to see through the components' windows. And there's that shiny RGB!
  • The easy-to-use custom configurator is a definite plus.
The Not So Good

  • Fittings cut my fingers to shreds. Ouch. I recommend using gloves when installing the fittings as they are very rough and rather sharp.
  • Only a single Corsair pump option available currently. Be good to have more choice in this department.
  • Instructions can be a little bit vague in areas. 


Overall, the whole process of installation from start to finish was easier than expected. In terms of performance comparisons against other kits, the Corsair Hydro X Series gave good, solid results. The Hydro X Series is a piece of kit that I'm eager to get my hands on again. It gives you a sense of accomplishment once you've got past the initial fear, and it makes it all completely worth it to see such an attractive-looking finish. Just be mindful of protecting your fingers!



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