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The £3000 Custom Loop PC – with Corsair Hydro-X and AMD 3950X!

I first encountered Corsair’s Hydro-X custom cooling parts in a pre-built system we had in for review last year. The Cyberpower Hydro-X Ultra Gaming PC was equipped with a Corsair XC7 RGB CPU water block and an XD5 pump/reservoir combo in black, which looked very smart indeed. At the time of that review, the focus was on how the system performed as a whole and not specifically about the cooling performance as such. Today we take a closer look at the performance of Corsair Hydro-X custom liquid cooling with some of the refreshed products recently added to the line-up.

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To show off these new Corsair custom cooling parts in all their glory, we need to build a system that not only showcases the aesthetics but one that we can easily swap out the custom loop for other cooling solutions to compare performance, so we can discover just how good the Hydro-X water cooling parts really are. To do this, we will put the new white Hydro-X XC7 CPU block and XD5 pump/res combo up against some fierce competition including a gen 6 Asetek based AIO cooler and the legendary Noctua NH-D15 tower cooler.

The new Hydro-X XC7 RGB White CPU block from Corsair is basically a refresh with a new colour scheme. It retains all the technical specifications of the original black version, but with a new white top cover, perfect for those who want to build a custom cooled PC with a white theme. The XC7 RGB White features a nickel-plated copper cold plate with over 60 micro-skived fins and a transparent flow chamber.

As you would expect from almost any Corsair product these days, the XC7 includes RGB lighting with 16 individually addressable RGB LEDs and is compatible with Intel socket LGA 115X and AMD AM4 platforms. Corsair does provide a water block for high-end desktop platforms in the form of the XC7 for sTR4 which is currently only available in black and the XC9 for sTR4 and Intel LGA 2066. The Hydro-X series also caters for graphics cards too with a range of GPU water blocks. However, these are limited to FE cards and a few other exceptions such as the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080.

It is much of the same story with the new XD5 RGB White Pump/Reservoir Combo, again this is more of a refresh rather than something entirely brand new. The XD5 RGB white includes a genuine Xylem D5 pump at the base, a 330ml capacity reservoir, ten individually addressable RGB LEDs and is bundled with a coolant temperature sensor. The XD5 RGB White is equipped with a total of six standard G1/4 ports and can be mounted in a vertical orientation only.

An entirely new custom cooling product from Corsair is the XD3 RGB Pump/Reservoir Combo, this is a small unit designed for custom cooling builds where space is limited and mounts to a standard 120mm or 140mm system fan location. The XD3 RGB has a built-in DDC PWM pump, a 180ml reservoir with an integrated fill port and features a similar design aesthetic as the XC7 CPU block. The XD3 is equipped with standard G1/4” fittings – two inlet and outlet ports, a fill port on the top and temperature sensor port at the bottom.

Another recent addition to the Corsair product range is the new QL series fans, these are available in 120mm and 140mm versions. The QL120 RGB fans can be purchased separately or in a 3-pack kit with an included Lighting Node Core RGB hub. QL140 RGB fans are also available as singles or in a twin pack kit with a Lighting Node Core hub.

QL120’s are 25mm thick with a hydraulic bearing, they have a speed range of 525 – 1500 RPM via PWM control, static pressure of 1.55mm-H2O and a maximum airflow of 41.8 CFM. The QL140 RGB fans are equipped with a speed rating of 550 – 1250 RPM, 1.4mm-H2O static pressure and 50.2 CFM airflow. Both QL120 and QL14 have a maximum sound level of 26dBA.

Usually, with RGB lighting I can take it or leave it. However, even I have to admit that the Corsair QL fan series looks stunning and is possibly one of the best-looking fans I have seen. They have a total of four lighting zones with 34 RGB LEDs and just like all Corsair RGB components, the illumination is controlled by the Corsair iCUE software which means they have a proprietary RGB cable connection but with a standard 4-pin PWM power cable.

All these new and refreshed Corsair parts are available to purchase now. The XC7 White RGB CPU block is priced at £69.99, the XD5 RGB White pump/res combo is £149.99, the XD3 is priced at £150.99 and the QL series fans start from £29.99 for single 120mm versions.

Specifications:

XC7 RGB White CPU Block

  • Warranty – 3 year
  • Material – Brass
  • Port Thread – G1/4 BSPP
  • Thermal Paste – Pre-applied thermal paste
  • Operating Temperature – 60°C coolant temperature
  • Compatibility – Material Only mix with other copper/brass products
  • iCUE Compatibility  – CORSAIR Commander PRO / Lighting Node PRO
  • Cold Plate Fins – 60+

XD5 RGB White Pump/Reservoir Combo

  • Warranty – 3 year
  • Port Thread – G1/4″ BSPP
  • Fluid Chamber Material – Nylon
  • Pump Type – Xylem D5 PWM
  • Liquid Capacity – 330ml
  • Flow Rate – 800L/h at 2.1m pressure head
  • Speed – 4800RPM
  • PWM – 20-100%
  • Operating Temperature – 60°C coolant temperature
  • Lighting – RGB
  • Material Compatibility – Only mix with other copper/brass products
  • iCUE Compatibility – CORSAIR Commander PRO / Lighting Node PRO
  • Voltage – 12V
  • Power draw – 30W
  • Cable Type – 4-pin Molex (AMP Mate-N-Lok) – 45cm cable length

XD3 RGB Pump/Reservoir Combo

  • Warranty – 3 year
  • Port Thread – G1/4″ BSPP
  • Fluid Chamber Material – Nylon
  • Pump Type – Xylem DDC 3.2 PWM9
  • Liquid Capacity – 180ml
  • Flow Rate – 380L/h at 2.1m pressure head
  • Speed – 4800RPM
  • PWM – 20-100%
  • Operating Temperature – 60°C coolant temperature
  • Lighting – RGB
  • Material Compatibility – Only mix with other copper/brass products
  • iCUE Compatibility – CORSAIR Commander PRO / Lighting Node PRO
  • Voltage – 12V
  • Power draw – 18W
  • Cable Type – 4-pin Molex (AMP Mate-N-Lok) – 53cm cable length
  • Connectivity – 4-pin fan header (KK254)- 68cm cable length

QL120 RGB Fans

  • Fan Warranty – Two years
  • Fan Size – 120mm x 25mm
  • Bearing Type – Hydraulic
  • Flow Type – Static Pressure
  • LED Color – RGB
  • Operating Voltage – 6V – 13.2V
  • PWM Control – YES
  • CORSAIR iCUE Compatibility – YES
  • Weight – 0.171
  • Speed – 525 – 1500 ±10% RPM
  • Sound Level – 26 dBA
  • Power Draw – 0.30 A
  • Static Pressure – 1.55 mm-H2O
  • Adaptive Sync-  RGB
  • Fan Airflow – 41.8 CFM

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