In conjunction with Corsair sending the COOL in for review, I was contacted by Integrity PC Systems, the company behind Fluid XP+. This is a new type of coolant for watercooling systems and it is actually based on water, but with several additives which lower the resistance and electrical conductivity of the liquid. I wouldn’t go and pour Fluid XP+ in a high voltage device such a PSU though, as it still has enough conductivity for higher voltages to pass through it. The liquid itself has been approved by the FDA in the US as safe for home use and you also won’t die if you digest some of it by mistake.
Fluid XP+ doesn’t cause corrosion, nor does it cause any deposits in a watercooling system, something normal water can do. Normally you’d use de-ionised water in a watercooling setup along with some kind of coolant that comes with the kit. The cool thing (no pun intended) with Fluid XP+ is that you can actually mix this with the coolant supplied, as it is water based. I only added about half of the Corsair coolant to the Fluid XP+ liquid; if nothing else it gives the liquid a funky green glow if you have some lights in your case.
I have to say that I’m really happy that I used Fluid XP+ instead of water, as the water tank had a tiny leak in it – a bi-effect of blow moulded plastic – which meant that some of the liquid slowly leaked out into my case. Corsair is not aware of anyone else having encountered this problem, but it is worth checking that there are no leaks once you’ve got your setup running. In Corsair’s favour I was rushed a new water tank to replace the leaking one, which solved the problem.
Having moved from a Scythe Samurai which is a fairly quiet air cooler, along with two 120mm fans in the case, to the Corsair COOL with one 120mm in the front of the case, the noise level in the system has definitely decreased. You do of course get the noise of gushing water instead of the extra fan noise, but it’s a trade off that I’m willing to take.
The cooling performance was also improved, from around 37 degrees at idle to about 34 degrees, but the real improvement is during heavy use were the temperature dropped from around 52 degrees – at times more – to about 44 degrees. It is possible that this could be improved even further by using water as the thicker viscosity of the Fluid XP+ liquid means that it doesn’t flow as quickly around the system, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.
So what we have here are two products that complement each other well, although neither comes cheap. The Corsair COOL will set you back no less than £152.75 inc VAT for the model reviewed – that’s only £17 cheaper than the external HydroCool 200EX – whereas one litre of Fluid XP+ will cost a not insignificant £29.99. It is always expensive getting quality gear, but I have to say that I was impressed by both products in their own right and my PC is far quieter than it has ever been.
The COOL brings Corsair’s watercooling products to a new market space and although the COOL isn’t as easy to install as the previous products, it is much better than several other solutions I have seen. It really needs a good printed manual and some clearer instructions, but apart from these fairly minor issues it’s a great watercooler kit. I would recommend anyone considering a watercooler kit to buy a bottle of Fluid XP+ – it might not provide cooling as efficient as water, but at least you don’t have to worry about your PC dying because of a leak.
Fluid XP+ can be purchased in the UK from the WaterCoolingShop.com