Test Bed and Setup

To test the performance of Corsair Hydro X, we compared two setups which we replicated the best we could with the hardware available. The Corsair Hydro X series single 240 mm radiator loop was tested with our ASRock X570 Aqua motherboard, while we used the ID-Cooling Auraflow 240 mm AIO on the similar spec ASRock X570 Creator for comparison. We used the exact same hardware across both systems including the same OS build, and same firmware settings. As the ASRock X570 Aqua and ASRock X570 Creator are nearly identical.


The Corsair Hydro X installed on our Openbench Table for performance testing

For our stock settings, we ran with default settings with the XMP 2.0 on our Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro DDR4-3200 CL18 memory kit enabled. Our overclocking settings include XMP 2.0 enabled on our memory, with a CPU VCore of 1.35 V and an all-core frequency of 4.3 GHz.

Corsair Hydro X System Test Setup
Processor AMD Ryzen 3950X, 105W, $329 
16 Cores, 32 Threads, 3.5 GHz (4.7 GHz Turbo)
Motherboard ASRock X570 Aqua (BIOS 1.40 - ABBA) - Corsair Hydro X
ASRock X570 Creator (BIOS 1.70 - ABBA) - ID-Cooling Auraflow
Stock Settings AMD Ryzen 3950X, Default Settings, PBO Enabled
Overclock Settings AMD Ryzen 3950X, 4.3 GHz All-Core, 1.35 V CPU VCore
Cooling Corsair Hydro X Series:

Corsair XD5 Pump/Reservoir
Corsair XR7 240 mm radiator
Corsair Softline 10/13 mm fittings
Corsair Softline 10/13 mm tubing
Corsair XL5 clear coolant
Corsair LL120 RGB 120 mm fans
Corsair Commander Pro RGB hub

ID-Cooling Auraflow 240mm AIO (as base comparison)
Power Supply Corsair HX 850 850 Watt Platinum
Memory Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32 GB (4x8GB)
DDR4-3200 CL18-19-19-39 1T
Video Card ASRock RX 5700 XT Taichi X 8G OC+ (1810/2025 Boost)
Hard Drive Crucial MX300 1TB
Case Corsair Cyrstal Series 680X
Operating System Windows 10 1909


Thermal Performance

The AMD Ryzen 9 3950X is a 16-core 32-thread processor designed for the X570 desktop platform. With larger core counts typically comes more heat and as standard, the 3950X has a TDP of 105 W. While this is great, TDP doesn't play out as intended once motherboard vendors implement its tweaks to maximise performance. To keep the Ryzen 9 3950X cool, AMD recommends liquid cooling as standard from its marketing. 

For the temperature testing, we took delta temperatures at idle and maximum load. For our load results, we ran the Prime95 to stress our AMD Ryzen 9 3950X processor and took the value after 30 minutes. Our ambient office temperature at idle was 21°C and at load, it was 22°C during testing.

Delta Temperature: Idle

At idle, the differences aren't that major at both default settings and overclocked at 4.3 GHz. The Corsair Hydro X has the benefit of running slightly cooler with 1.35 V applied on the CPU VCore. 

Delta Temperature: Load

Running an AMD Ryzen 3950X at full load with Prime95 for 30 minutes, and we start to see the gap open up between the Corsair Hydro X series custom loop and the ID-Cooling Auraflow 240 mm CLC. Although the gap at default settings between both solutions at stock is 3°C, and at load, just 5°C, the radiator size of both options is the same. Another variable to consider is that the Corsair Hydro X Series in our testing isn't just cooling the processor, but the power delivery and chipset of the ASRock X570 Aqua. This will naturally increase temperatures as more components are being cooled, but not by a drastic amount. 

Corsair Hydro X Build Experience CPU Performance, Short Form
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  • Holliday75 - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    Was going to post this. I was like uhhhhhhhhhhh I was not planning on buying a new CPU, but at that price buy buy buy! Reply
  • airdrifting - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    Who is paying $130 for 3 Corsair fans? lol Reply
  • Makaveli - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    lol I have a Corsair H150i which is RGB but comes with just Regular ML fans.

    As soon as I saw the price for Corsair RGB fans I said forget that idea.

    I payed like $200 CAD for the H150 I was not going to spend $130 on fans just for RGB.

    Corsair what are you smoking.
    Reply
  • Teledhil - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    Is the World of Tanks enCore a useful benchmark? I get around 200 fps with my i7-2600k@4'3GHz and a RTX-2080. (1080p with max settings, no RTX) Reply
  • eastcoast_pete - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    Why does the illuminated CPU cooling look like Mr. Potato Head? Reply
  • Tomatotech - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    Because the CEO made a bet with his friends that he could release an overpriced potato head and intelligent discerning gamers will happily buy it as long as it was lit up with LEDs.

    Judging from the amount of clicks and comments on this article, I fear we may see more vajazzled articles on AnandTech.
    Reply
  • Arbie - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    Which is the larger factor in selling liquid cooling:

    • Actual need, to manage very hot chips at tolerable noise levels.
    or
    • Relentless hype and attention on tech websites.

    ??

    Neither one will ever sell it to me. And - 30W for the pump alone?
    Reply
  • Roboionator - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - link

    In what world are such temperatures, i test some air coolers and custom water systems but this what a see here is from another world.....I don't see a forum that doesn't have a high tempreature thread....(3900x and 3950X) Reply
  • Roboionator - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - link

    delta temp, all temps + 21/22 just confusing Reply
  • Ratman6161 - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - link

    Ok, I see. But we are still left with not that much cooling performance difference between the el-cheapo product and the expensive product and no indication on weather or not the slightly better cooling would equate to any performance benefits. Reply

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