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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  • LedHed - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    If you read the review, he had to use the 240mm because of space constraints (caused by the E-ATX motherboard).

    I wish he would have ran this guy without the ASRock power delivery H2O block/s connected.

    I.E. Just shown us the performance of cooling the CPU alone, since no AIO cooler can connect to multiple blocks and the review is meant to be against AIO coolers.
  • Samus - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    You can easily get away with a 120x38 radiator on a 84w CPU, but you will need a push and pull fan to effectively cool that radiator. I’ve run 54-65w CPU’s with full core boost enabled on cheap closed loop coolers with those thin 25mm radiators and “they work” but you need two fans and they will run at full speed during load. Don’t ask me why, it’s what the customer wanted :P
  • brontes - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    My bad. It's mentioned that Corsairs only amd gpu block is for 5700 XT, the test bed uses 5700 XT, but upon closer inspection of course they're using stock air cooler.

    Why would you ever custom loop for just the cpu.
  • FatBoyDiesel - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    I've got a Radeon VII with an EKWB GPU block, Coolstream SE 240mm radiator, 2 EK-Furious Vardar fans, and a DDC pump. I also have a Corsair Hydro XC7 CPU block for my 3900X, all soft tubing. I'm especially curious to see the noise comparison between this setup versus air cooled Radeon VII and an H100i v2 Platinum 240mm AIO. Mind you, that AIO got pretty loud.
  • LedHed - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    As well as the common AIO coolers, like the x62, H110 and H115.

    Who the heck owns an ID-Cooling Auraflow 240??
  • anactoraaron - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    Yeah this whole article seems like a corsair ad. It's almost like corsair found a very poor performing aio and sent it with everything else.
  • AshlayW - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - link

    Oh shut up. Arm-chair reviewer sat behind their monitor complaining about everything. Perhaps the author only had that model on hand at the time. They still put a lot of effort into reviewing it and you can take the Delta figures and compare to another more comprehensive AIO review elsewhere.

    Don't comment if you're going to post such dumb complaints.
  • anactoraaron - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - link

    I would expect a reasonable comparison of similar coolers, popular air and aio, in a credible tech website like Anandtech. If most small time youtubers can do this it shouldn't be that difficult. What tech reviewer doesn't have an x62, h115 or h100, and a NH-D15 already? It would be like only having an AMD g3000 as the only amd chip for comparison to an intel 9900k.

    Looking at numbers from 'elsewhere' will have a different test bench, different ambient temps, and in general will not be similar in any way to this review.

    Sit down troll. Go find an intelligent comment and try again.
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - link

    Let's not omit the fact that Corsair did hire someone from Anandtech so there is a connection. However, I do not believe that AT overtly advertises without making it abundantly clear content is paid for by a third party. Ryan and company may let a few typos slip here and there and yes, debating article quality is fair (including pointing out personal bias *cough* Killer NICs *cough*), but I don't think there is any reason at all to question their journalistic integrity.
  • Drkrieger01 - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link

    I recently put an EKWB block on my EVGA 2080 Ti. In the loop, I used a Corsair XR5 240mm radiator, and I have to say, I was very pleasantly impressed by the quality of the rad for its price. The screw/tube protectors are by far the best feature I've seen on a low cost radiator in a very long time. The cooling performance was also astronomical (can't break 52 C under max load on GPU w/overclock)

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