From the comparison results you might be scratching your head since the H50 trailed the Noctua by 0.5C at full on fan power. Since I am testing in an open air bench, I do not have exact numbers but air circulating around in your case is certainly not ambient temperature. Where the H50’s radiator is best suited (and recommended by Corsair) to pull ambient air into the case through the radiator, where an air cooler has no choice but to use the warmer case air. Again, because I do not have the data my guess is case air would be 4C higher than ambient. Working from that 4C rise, the tables would be flipped and the H50 would be leading the pack. Testing in on a bench is not the best method to test air coolers or a system like the H50, that is evident now. However, even in an open environment the Corsair H50 handled all the tests we performed using our toasty i7 920 D0.
The mounting system on the H50 is a bit more involved than your standard air cooler yes, but even peaking into all the cases I have I do not see where even a dual fan setup would pose a problem. Although, if needed you can mount one fan on the backside of the case to save a little room inside. The mount collar and hooks to the pump head made remounts quick and easy for me, and kept mount variation low. The stock fan held its own against our Gentle Typhoon, but be sure to run in pull configuration unless you are strapping a high-speed screamer to the H50. We did not test the H50 with a 38mm fan, but all signs point to better performance especially considering the 20FPI on the radiator. One minor note, you will need two headers to power the H50’s pump and fan on your radiator. A million and one different solutions to powering more 3pin leads, but something to be aware of none-the-less.
Overall, testing the H50 was a breath of fresh air compared to the grind of fin tower air coolers, even if for just being a different approach all together. Performance wise the H50 held its own and held stability. Being a water head like myself I have some opinions on the H50, but only ones targeted towards improving the product. Move to an all copper/brass radiator is my primary suggestion, even if that means a few dollars more for the package. I welcome the option to cooling the CPU, and no the H50 was not developed to be equivalent to all out DIY systems, you would be foolish to go that far. Where the Corsair H50 comes in is those looking for something different to the norm of air coolers, but not ready or wanting to move on to DIY water. Looking at the Air Cooler market, the Corsair H50 is a bit more expensive than your top tier of performance, priced at $79.95 from Frozen CPU the H50 still stays in the pricing battle. In addition, that listed price is for everything you need to go out of the box, no need for extra mounting accessories for current Intel and AMD, and while the stock fan is fine, I will leave fan choice up to you, but if you are running a single fan, go with Pull.
Before you click away, I have to thank Corsair for sending an H50 over to the lab for testing on our bench. Thanks for reading our review, we will see you again shortly as we keep testing and reporting our findings.