Corsair have provided the industry with many great coolers in recent years, their H80 and H100 all-in-one water coolers have proven to be some of the most popular choices for system builders, capable of cooling overclocked CPU’s for a fairly competitive price tag, plus they’re rather well designed, and look great in almost any build. From that we’ve got big expectations of their latest range of coolers and their Hydro Series H75 looks like a promising solution for those looking for a 120mm radiator. With a slim rad, but two 120mm fans, we can get some sweet push/pull action going that should help shift some serious heat from our test system.
Priced at around £70 the H75 isn’t exactly cheap, but the AIO (all-in-one) water cooling market is fiercely competitive and so long as the performance is there, it’ll be worth every penny. For around the same money you can pick up the H2O 950 from Antec and the Zalman Reserator 3 Max, both of which are 120mm radiators and of a similar specification, albeit both come with a hard mounted fan, and a second fan would have to be added at extra cost, so the H75 is already sounding like great value for money given that both of its fans are fully removable and both are included in the box.
With support for all major AMD and Intel sockets, as well as a redesigned pump, aluminium radiator, a pair of 2000 RPM, high static pressure PWM fans, and a wonderful five-year warranty mean the H75 is really well equipped right out of the box. I can’t wait any longer, so let’s get right to it and see what Corsairs latest hardware has to offer.
Features and Specifications
- 120mm aluminum radiator
- 120mm x 152mm x 25mm
- Two SP120L PWM 120mm high static pressure fans
- 120mm x 25mm
- 2000 RPM (+/- 10%)
- 54 CFM
- 31.4 dBA
- PWM fan control for customizable cooling
- Support for AMD and Intel CPUs
- AM2, AM3, FM1, FM2, LGA 1156, 1155, 1150, 1366, 2011
- Advanced copper cold plate and manifold design
- Tool-free bracket for simple installation on most Intel and AMD motherboards
- Sealed all-in-one design, pre-filled and maintenance free
- 5-year limited warranty
The H75 comes nicely packaged in a fairly compact box, on the front you’ll find a nice picture of the cooler and details of its support for Intel and AMD sockets.
Around the sides of the box you’ll find the full specifications (see above) as well as some further information on the components and their performance, but of course we’ll be taking a closer look our selves in a moment.
The box is nicely laid out, with some protective covering for the pump, and all the fittings and components packaged into separate sections of the box.
Included in the box is an easy to follow installation guide, molex to dual 4-pin fan cable adaptor, two 120mm x 25mm fans, high quality screws, washers and other mounting components, a metal retention bracket and finally a plastic backplate with metal screw pegs pre-installed in sliding brackets to allow for easy installation to various motherboard socket types.
Of course you’ll also find the pump and radiator in the box, which comes with thermal paste pre-applied and a protective cover to prevent the copper plate getting scratched up in transit.
A Closer Look
Since this is an all-in-one unit, the radiator, pipes, pump and CPU block are already assembled, meaning you can just bolt it straight into your system with relative ease, making it very beginner friendly. Corsair have even applied some thermal paste, however we’re not fans of the common gunk they put on, so we’ll be cleaning that off and applying our own Gelid thermal paste.
The fittings for the pipes are your typical compression fittings with a little glue on them, nothing especially fancy, but they should hold up just fine, although obviously they for pumping fluid so handing with a little extra care couldn’t hurt.
The pump is housed on the back of the CPU block and is powered by a single 3-pin fan cable, nice and easy to install and get it up and running. Corsair even pre-installed the top mounting bracket to the block, which should make installation super easy. The new round design of the pump is rather nice too and features a mixture of plastic and metals that give a nice contrasting design.
The pipes are really flexible and of a good length, so compatibility is high compared to the often difficult to work with thick pipes of their H80i and H100i range.
The radiator is quite slim, but the H75 soon becomes a large unit once the fans are installed, adding 50mm to the overall thickness of the unit. A push-pull configuration should shift a lot of heat from the radiator, especially thanks to the use of the two high performance fans that come bundled with the cooler.
The installation for the H75 is one of the easiest I’ve ever dealt with. The back plate has the retention clips and metal pegs pre-installed, you just slide them along the four oval cut-outs to suit your motherboards socket size, couldn’t be easier.
Screw in the four stand-off bolts, this is easy enough to be done tool-free.
Sit the CPU block on the top, pop in the four thumb screws and you’re done. This can be done completely tool free, but it never hurts to give it a quick tweak with the screw driver to make sure it’s all secure. Of course You’ll still also need a screw driver to mount the fans, but again that only took a minutes each.
Test System and Methodology
We always use the same test system and tests with CPU coolers that we compare against each other. The full specifications of our test system are as follows:
- ASUS P8Z77-V, LGA 1155 socket, Z77 chipset
- Intel Core i5 3570K with Gelid GC Extreme under the IHS
- 8GB G.Skill Trident X 2400MHz DDR3
- 128GB Kingston SSDnow V100 (Boot Drive) and Samsung F3 1TB (storage)
- Antec High Current Gamer 620W
- Cooler Master Test Bench v1.0
- We always use Gelid GC Extreme thermal paste to make sure testing reveals the efficiency of the tested coolers not the efficiency of the bundled thermal paste.
- Prime 95 is run for 10 minutes and then the average maximum temperatures as recorded by CPUID HWMonitor are noted
- The average temperature across the four cores is taken on our quad core processor
- Fans are mostly left to operate at default PWM profile speeds and with maximum fan speed for reference.If PWM functions are not supported then fixed fan speeds are used and sometimes a low noise adapter if appropriate/provided. If fixed fan speeds or low noise adapters are used it will be clearly pointed out either on the graphs or in the write-up.
- All default result entries on graphs are for PWM performance unless otherwise specified. A variety of fan speed results are done for a particular product review and then removed from the graphs in future reviews of other products to avoid clutter. If you would like to see more fan speed results for a particular product please check its individual review.
- For watercooling tests all pumps have been operated at 12 volts directly from the power supply
- Delta temperatures are always used (Observed temperature minus ambient temperature) and we keep the ambient at 22 (+/- 1) degrees for all testing . Delta temperatures should correct for any marginal ambient differences between 21-23 degrees.
- Acoustic measurements are taken 10cm horizontally away from the CPU cooler with the VGA fan disabled, hard drive in idle and power supply isolated. These are taken at desktop idle and Prime95 load.
- The cooling performance tests are run at stock 3.4GHz (with Intel Turbo up to 3.8GHz) and overclocked 4.5GHz (1.35v) settings. Voltages are fixed to prevent inaccuracy between comparisons.
- All other coolers in the graphs have been tested under identical settings so are fully comparable.
- Each test is repeated 3 times with 3 remounts for consistency of results
- There is approximately a 1 degree celsius margin of error in our temperature recording software CPUID HW Monitor
- There is approximately a 1.5dBA margin of error with our Benetech GM1351 decibel meter
Since I recently took over our cooling reviews section we have started our graphs again to keep things consistent with my own testing methodology. If you wish to view any of the previous results you can do so on any of our prior cooling reviews in the Cooling section.
We currently have four main categorisations for CPU coolers that are:
- Budget CPU coolers (sub £40 in typical RRP)
- Low Profile CPU coolers (Often top-down design, but any CPU cooler that is designed to be small)
- Water cooling AIO CPU coolers (Both closed loop and expandable water CPU coolers that come pre-built – no custom kits)
- Performance Heatsink coolers (Heatsinks designed for performance, typically cost upwards of £40)
In all these graphs we may have a few “reference” results of particular products that do not fit within that category for comparative purposes.
With testing under way I noticed nice and low idle temperatures, but higher ambient temperatures than was expected. With the fans at their low state in PWM the radiator runs almost passive and silent, which is no bad thing because these temps are a long way into the safe area, if things heat up further, the fans will soon kick up and take care of it.
Because of this low activity state, the H75 ran super quiet at stock clocks, with only a slight air noise being noticeable from the two fans, once installed in a chassis this is virtually silent.
Water cooling is designed (for the most part) for overclocked systems and that really reflects here, with super low idle temperatures and some of the best temps we’ve seen when overclocking, beating out the nearest rival by almost 4c. This is simply due to the push / pull fan configuration and a great example of how two fans are better than one when it comes to radiators.
Unsurprisingly the extra heat had the fans spinning a harder, but they’re still impressively quiet overall, again only a small air turbulence noise if you’ve got your ear within 2-3 feet of the unit.
You can pick up the Corsair H75 here in the UK for around £65 and $82 in the US, which is very competitive when you look at its performance, the included components and the overall build quality.
The Corsair H75 is a superb cooler, it performed way beyond my expectations in our overclocked test and it managed to keep the noise a lot lower than I expect given its dual fan design. When it comes to spending nearly £70 on a cooler you’re obviously looking for great performance and while it may not be particularly cheap, the performance figures speak for themselves.
Having just a 120mm radiator can often limit your overclocking potential, especially when pushing towards 5Ghz on high-end chips, but the H75 made easy work of it and this is mostly down to the quality of the fans included in the box. Having a good radiator is only part of the solution, having great fans to keep blasting the heat from that radiator is what really matters and Corsair’s H75 doesn’t disappoint in this respect.
It’s about £5-10 more than the Antec 650, which it out performs easily and the Corsair features fully removable fans, while the Antec cooler does not. Then we have the Zalman Reserator 3 Max, which is £5 more than the H75, still features a single fixed fan like the Antec 650, and it’s not as cool, or quiet as the H75.
The design isn’t anything overly exciting, but the new design of the CPU block is aesthetically pleasing, yet overall it’s just you’re typical AIO water cooler with a couple of fairly normal looking fans mounted on it. Build quality feels pretty good, but the pipes are still a little thin, so a little more care may be required compared to the more durable look and feel of something like the H80i. Of course, with the performance figures I’ve seen today, I think Corsair have done a lot of things right with the H75 and it’s undoubtedly worth of our Editors Choice Award.
- Two high-quality fans included in box
- Quiet performance
- Great thermal performance
- Easy to install
- Good value for money
“The H75 is easily one of the best options on the market within this price range, it has great performance when overclocking your CPU, it’s incredibly easy to install and the inclusion of two fans makes it great value for money.”
Thank you Corsair for providing us with this sample.