The new age of power efficiency is here and the old paradigms of cooling no longer apply. Large bulky and expensive water-cooling units are unnecessary to achieve a 4.5 to 5GHz overclock due to lower voltage requirements and airflow-conscious chassis designs enable better ambient thermal management. Concurrently, memory manufacturers have flooded the market with very tall heatspreaders that render most superior tower-style air-coolers unusable. Addressing these concerns, self-contained liquid cooling systems have risen to prominence.
Although they were pricey and lagged behind in terms of performance, compared to popular air-cooled heatsinks when they were first introduced, all-in-one liquid cooling kits have eventually caught up after a few years of trial-and-error in terms of design. As one of the leading brands in the market, Corsair has a healthy stable of self-contained CPU liquid cooling kits, dubbed the “Hydro series,” which target various price points. They have been updating their older designs in response to consumer feedback and the latest to receive a refresh is their entry level high-performance unit called the H60.
The Corsair H60 self-contained liquid CPU cooler has been updated for 2013, improving its looks and performance. The 2013 edition Corsair H60 still utilizes a 120mm radiator but now comes with a higher static pressure fan. For convenient installation, the Corsair H60 2013 edition’s mounting brackets now apply magnetically so there is no need to use a screw driver to swap out between Intel and AMD systems. Replacing the ribbed plastic tubes of the original Corsair H60 are new, thicker and more manageable low-evaporation rubber tubes. Each Corsair H60 CPU cooling kit is pre-filled and requires no maintenance. Corsair also provides a 5-year warranty on each updated H60 CPU cooler for total peace of mind.
|Cold Plate Material
||Copper Micro Fin|
||AMD AM2, AMD AM3, AMD FM1, Intel LGA 1155, Intel LGA 1156, Intel LGA 1366, Intel LGA 2011|
|Tubing||Low Evaporation Rubber|
||120mm x 152mm x 27mm|
||120mm x 120mm x 25mm|
||2000 RPM +/- 10%|
|Fan Static Pressure
- Self-contained cooling system - Serious liquid cooling for high-performance CPUs no longer means dealing with complex plumbing. Hydro Series H60 comes pre-filled, and never needs refilling or priming.
- Tool-free magnetic multiplatform mounting bracket kit - The modular design makes installation simpler, and it's compatible with Intel and AMD processors.
- Large-diameter, low permeability tooling - Minimal coolant evaporation helps ensure long life, and the flexible design gives you better leak protection and makes installation easier in tight spaces.
- Copper cold plate with pre-applied thermal compound - Copper has better thermal conductivity for more efficient heat transfer to the manifold. Pre-applied thermal compound lets you save a potentially messy installation step.
To test all heatsinks/fans in this comparison, Hi Tech Legion will maintain an ambient room temperature of 23C. Temperatures will be climate controlled in all instances, so there will be no variance in benchmarks. Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Compound will be used for all comparison units. All heatsinks/fans will be benchmarked in the exact case as its comparisons, unless otherwise specified. HTL does not benchmark heatsinks/fans on a work bench - this is an attempt to show real world statistics. Temperatures will be calculated using AIDA64 and will all be measured in Celsius. All load temperatures will be at 100%, achieved by using OCCT, which will be run for 60 minutes before temperatures are measured.
In this review, the $79.99 MSRP Corsair H60 (2013 Edition) CPU Cooler will be tested against the following comparison units. The units were tested in succession in the same build, and only results from these tests were used.
- Corsair H55 - $69.99
- Phanteks TC-14CS - $69.95
- Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 (with NM-I3 mounting bracket) - $89.99
- OCCT x 60 minutes for load temperatures
- AIDA64 for System monitoring
Room Temperature: 23C
Provided by: Corsair
No compensation was received for review of this product.
Price: $79.99 USD (MSRP)
With an estimated price point of $79.99 USD, the Corsair H60 2013 Edition is in the high-end category of CPU coolers.
The Corsair H60 got more than just a cosmetic makeover in the 2013 update. While the original looked very plain with the flat square design, the new 2013 Edition Corsair H60 comes with a new rubber tube, and a slicker metallic pump cover design with matching magnetic mounting brackets that really make it look like a high-end product. The generic looking fan has also been replaced with a Corsair SP120 styled fan with gray fan blades. The AMD and Intel mounting brackets can now be interchanged without the use of any tools and the new fan included has a higher static pressure and cools much more efficiently per RPM compared to the previous design. The new rubber tube is now also easier to manage compared to the old ribbed plastic design, despite being thicker. As usual, since the pump does not occupy too much space around the CPU area, users can fully populate the DIMM slots with very tall heatsinks and will not encounter any clearance issues. The 120mm radiator means that, like the original H60, the new 2013 edition is compatible with most of the cases out there in the market.
In terms of performance, it is slightly better than the Corsair H55 we have recently tested, which most likely explains the small price difference despite the new fan, easier mounting mechanism and superior looks. The backplate at its lowest setting only supports 75mm x 75mm mounting holes (compared to LGA775 mounting holes which are spaced at 72mm x 72mm) and at its maximum at 80mm x 80mm. This means that the Corsair H60 2013 edition backplate is only compatible with LGA1366 and LGA1155/1156 motherboards and not with LGA775, so users still using that platform have to look elsewhere.
During installation, the backplate initially appears to be loose. Upon installation of the pump, the fit is secured properly and the cooler stays in place. Many users might be initially confused by this and think that it is a design issue. I strongly suggest avoiding the addition of any spacers to compensate for the mounting screw distance as it could affect the performance for the worse. I believe this was done by design by Corsair so there is much more wiggle room to mount the bracket, especially on LGA 1366 mainboards. Once the thumbscrews are in place, proper pressure is applied and the backplate is pulled towards the mainboard, locking it in place.
The updated fan also performed better and was quieter than the H55's fan but did produce enough noise at maximum RPM to be noticeable, even inside the case. Since Corsair did not market the updated H60 as a quiet cooler but as an entry level enthusiast self-contained liquid cooler, I feel that this not a major concern. Compared to the Corsair H55, the Corsair H60 also boasts an easier installation procedure and better looks. In terms of performance, however, both are almost similar with the slight advantage in favor of the Corsair H60 2013 edition.
- Easy to install magnetic bracket
- Does not intrude on DIMM slots unlike large air-coolers
- Pre-applied thermal paste
- Higher static pressure PWM fan included
- Low evaporation rubber tubing is easier to manage compared to the ribbed plastic tubing of the original H60
- 5-year warranty
- Fan can be loud when at maximum speed
- Minimal performance difference compared to the Corsair H55