The Corsair Hydro X Custom Water Cooling Review, on a Ryzen 9 3950Xby Gavin Bonshor on February 5, 2020 9:00 AM EST
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|
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.
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.
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.
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Gonemad - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - link"I'm one of the uncommon ones that just wants it to work, without lights."
You are my hero.
But I didn't take the jump, yet. I would settle with big Noctua fans and heatsinks or whatever the best air setups can provide... considering I live in a country where 95F ambient is commonly known as "a nippy summer" and 59F is known as "dead frozen winter".
Yeah, I'm not after overclocking, just avoid thermal throttling is a win already.
surt - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - linkWould love to know more about your setup. I just want silence and would prefer my components be invisible (zero bling).
DanNeely - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - linkThe main reason my current system is watercooled and the GPU in my next one definitely will be is lower fan noise. 120/140x25mm fans on a radiator are far quieter than 70/80x10mm fans on the GPU.
Assuming I do a custom loop for the GPU cooler again (I've seen AIO water cooler to GPU adapters, but never looked into them) I'll probably do the CPU too just for completeness, even if I don't go with a zillion core count model that's hot enough to make it mandatory. (Depends what the market looks like in mid 2022.)
PeachNCream - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - linkThe argument for bigger, slower, and quieter fans at the radiator to reduce noise is a good one to be sure. There is really nothing quite like going from a totally passive, silent system to one that is packed with whirring fans. I'm not so sure its worth the cost of components in this specific build example which is mainly my point of criticism as there are lower cost options that reach the same goal, but I do agree that silence is certainly has value.
AshlayW - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - linkIt's called a hobby, hon. This site is also for PC hobbiests who enjoy this sort of thing.
Protip: Untangle your jimmies.
PeachNCream - Thursday, February 6, 2020 - linkProtip: Refer to yourself to your own protip.
Dug - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - linkI get why some people may want to overclock with watercooling, but at the end of the day it's way too much work, too many chances for leak, more maintenance, very expensive, heavy, and if you hate pump noise, then air cooling works really well without the hassle. Especially if you have the right case.
TEAMSWITCHER - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - linkIs overclocking the CPU even worth while anymore? I am a Blender User and CUDA support for Nvidia GPU rendering has really changed my life. My RTX 2080 can render so much faster and unlike CPU rendering the fans barely get any louder. Renderings complete in about one third the time compared to my 9900K. My gaming is at 4K now also, so there is no CPU bottleneck that needs alleviating. At a time when everyone is water-cooling, I'm thinking that it's unnecessary, I'm going back to air cooling.
Slash3 - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - linkAny specific reasoning for the use of such old AGESA/BIOS versions? Your testbed lists them as having the ABBA release, which predates, and is not recommended for use by AMD on, the 3950X.
The current releases are 2.10 for the Creator (January 22nd) and P1.70 for the Aqua (December 12th).
HideOut - Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - linkYou list a 3950x as the CPU but are linking to a 3700x. I assume the 3950 is what was used, but if you got the hookup on a $329 3950 please share the deets with us :D