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           Corsair Hydrocool 200EX

Product :

  Hydrocool 200

Manufacturer :

  Corsair

Reviewed by :

  Wayne Brooker

Price :

  £159.00 + VAT (Scan.co.uk)

Date :

  24th April 2004.

 

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Introduction

launched on the 20th March 2003, the original Hydrocool from Corsair was massive hit. This is what Corsair said about their new baby at the time:

"The HydroCool200 uses patented cooling technologies from Delphi Thermal Systems, the world's largest manufacturer of liquid-based cooling systems. Corsair, using Delphi's unsurpassed expertise in thermal physics, has engineered a feature-packed product that sets new standards in water cooling integration and performance."

The Hydrocool200EX

We were lucky enough to get a look at the original Hydrocool an, because much of it is still relevant to the new, improved EX I'll reuse some of the details.

The shipping box has the Hydrocool200 unit safely packaged, with a second box containing all the extra's which are all in bubble wrap, a very safe package which includes:-

  • The Cool block with 2 lengths of 5ft tubing pre-attached to each barb on the Cool Block and pre-mounted temperature probe.
  • Retention brackets for both AMD Socket A and Intel Socket 478.
  • 300ml bottle of water additive + fill funnel.
  • Interface slot card
  • 15 pin D-sub control cable
  • thermal grease
  • molex extension cable
  • 2xquick connect right angled self sealing connectors
  • 4xquick grip clamps
  • 2xOetiker clamps(spares)
  • 2 pole power control cable with fly lead
  • quick start and full manual (electronic)

All in all everything you could need for you installation, and enough coolant to provide for a second filling should you ever need too.

What can it do?

I'll give a quick rundown of how the unit works first. The CPU Cool block is attached to the CPU; the tubes from this are passed through a provided controller card with two rubber grommet edged holes. This requires only a free expansion slot as it doesn't utilise an actual PCI slot. The tubing is then attached to the quick fit, non leak fittings that are plugged into the rear of the Hydrocool200 unit. You then fill the main unit's reservoir to just below the top. You will also need to attach the wires from the block to the controller card for temperature measuring, and run the wire from the controller card to the motherboard's power switch header so that the Hydrocool activates as soon as you power your system up.

All this is of course explained in admirable detail in the installation manual, alas this is of the electronic variety meaning you can't refer to it while you're assembling things unless you remembered to print the entire thing out! Come on Corsair, the Hydrocool isn't a budget product, we need a paper manual for this kind of job!

The next step is to turn the computer on which will start the pumping of water around the system, and this is where I have a real problem with Corsair's way of doing things. Considering it's so easy to activate your power supply with a paper clip, short length of wire or even a plug made specially for the purpose such as the one Global WIN supply, it seems fairly ludicrous to me that Corsair suggest you plug everything in and actually switch on your PC BEFORE you've confirmed the coolant is flowing and BEFORE all the air has been purged from your system.

Here's a quick summary of the main functions:

  • Three alarms, one for water level, and two programmable ones that you can set at levels you feel comfortable with, those are for temp alarm and shutdown temp
  • A thermal probe embedded into the Cool block, that reads the temps of the block itself, Corsair advise that CPU temperature will often be around 15C higher than this Cool block temperature.
  • Dual speed running fan, 66% at below 38.5C, 100% above 40C, if the temps rise above 40C the fan will automatically kick in at 100% and won't go back to 66% until the temps drop below 38.5C. Turbo light on the front will light up if in turbo mode
  • Manual Turbo mode, for those times when you either want to feel extra safe, or need that extra temperature drop when trying to drag out that final few MHz from your core, just pressing the button on the front will switch it between turbo and whisper mode.
  • Flow rate detector

One thing we weren't able to do with the original Hydrocool, thanks to a screw with a stripped thread, was take a nosey around inside. This time there were no such problems so let's break out the screwdriver!

 

 


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