When Corsair first showed off their Bulldog system at Computex last year, the chassis deservedly took most of the attention. But in order to make that system a reality, they also had to introduce 2 new items- an SFX PSU and a blower style SFF CPU cooler. The Hydro H5 SF is that very blower style cooler, and happens to be the subject of interest for this review. This is one of the first liquid CPU coolers designed to accommodate cases without space for dedicated 120/140mm radiators, and thanks to Bobby and Harry from Corsair we will soon see how it performs.
Let’s take a look at the specs from the product page:
The demo unit at Computex used a Corsair/Asetek design, however they have decided to go with CoolIT for the retail units here. As mentioned before, this is solely aimed at low profile builds, and is compatible with mITX motherboards only due to the unique mounting method which we will get to soon. The radiator here is similar to a triple 40mm radiator such as this one but with the added advantage of not having to deal with 40mm size fans. In fact, the fan here is a massive 120 x 32mm blower style fan which directs airflow through the radiator core and outwards, and as such will also help dispel hot air inside the case if case airflow is not good. As with other CoolIT CLCs in the market, the cold plate is copper and the radiator fins, tubes and end tanks are aluminum so the coolant inside is Propylene glycol based with anti-corrosive additives to minimize galvanic corrosion. Before we navigate to the next page to see the cooler properly, a small note on socket compatibility- AsRock has 2 mITX motherboards with the Intel LGA 2011-3 socket but their absence in the specs sheet does not mean it is not compatible. Buyer beware though as quite a few mITX motherboards on the LGA 1150 and onward platforms have decided to test mITX specs and included components such as capacitors quite close to the socket itself. Again, more on that a bit later.