Corsair Nautilus 500 Water Cooler Review :: Nautilus 500 Inside and Waterblocks

07-14-2006 · Category: Hardware - Cooling

By Tulatin

Popping the cover off of the Nautilus 500, there were two things I spotted right off the bat. First off, was how the tubing was routed, which was in a manner to avoid kinks, much unlike the Hydrocool. The second thing to note was the usage of a standard 120mmx25mm fan, which simply sat on top of the heater core, rather than being sealed to it with any form of foam gasket, in order to force air through it, rather than creating a vacuum inside the casing. More importantly, however, are the components which make up this unit, and how they are arranged. Starting the loop is the reservoir, from which the Delphi pump draws the liquid, and then shoots it forward into the radiator, after which it worms through, and passes out of the unit. As you'll see, the turns taken to get the coolant from the unit are rather sharp, and rather rely on hard turns, Corsair has chosen more gentle bends, afforded by the use of Swiftech's Cool sleeves. From the unit, it heads out into the world of your Waterblocks - whether they're Corsair's or not - then returns, to sit and warm the reservoir. Unfortunately, this setup results in the entire unit getting quite warm under heavy loads, with all of the plastic feeling near hot to the touch - which is definitely a bad sign, considering the usual water cooler's maxim that "If a radiator spits out warm air, it's overloaded". On the positive side of things, though, the unit's organization is clean enough that users will never have to worry about wires catching in the fan, or something springing a leak. In fact, the only place a leak could spring would be during the filling process, where overfilling would take a toll. In such cases, it's advisable to just gently tilt the unit to the four cardinal directions to flush things out.


Corsair Nautilus 500 Water Cooler Review
Corsair Nautilus 500 Water Cooler Review
Corsair Nautilus 500 Water Cooler Review
Corsair Nautilus 500 Water Cooler Review
Corsair Nautilus 500 Water Cooler Review

Moving to the blocks themselves, it's hard not to see the inspiration of the past generation - Swiftech's MCW6000 blocks, albeit in black. On the unfortunate side of things, the block carries such a low profile that a foam block must be relied upon in order to keep it in place, but then again, considering the pressure which the mounting brackets apply, it never seemed to really be a problem. Flipping the block to its base (since there really isn't much to see up top, apart from permanently clamped down barbs), a plastic film greeted us, one which had to be removed before installation could continue. Unfortunately, due to the humidity of Canadian Summer (or maybe just my luck), a decent amount of the film's glue decided to stick to the block, which, though coming off after a hearty scrub with rubbing alcohol, proved to be a pain in the ass. On the plus side though, seeing a finish of this shine and caliber on a product at entry level is definitely a nice touch, as it means that Corsair - as proven before - cares about all of its consumers, not just the rabid enthusiasts. This same manner of fit and finish can also be seen on the accessory water block for VGA, which Corsair was kind enough to include for this review. In reality, it's a very simple block, which just comes with some thermal grease, a decent manual, and mounting hardware. Installing this pure copper block is as simple as the bundle is, to boot. All you've got to do is peel back the film protecting it, apply some thermal grease to a clean GPU, seat the block, feed the mounting bolts through the card's PCB, then just screw it down, and voila, you're in business. Thanks to the angled design of the block, you'll be able to pass it's "exhaust" water directly out of the back of the case at this point, removing the need to loop around to get access to a kink free exit. The only item of real concern in regards to the block is how the single central spring used to apply pressure to the GPU digs into the block, leaving a spiral carving in it's middle, which may be good to hold it on in future, but definitely is bad for the prospect of stemming leaks.


GPU Block


Corsair Nautilus 500 Water Cooler Review
Corsair Nautilus 500 Water Cooler Review
Corsair Nautilus 500 Water Cooler Review
Corsair Nautilus 500 Water Cooler Review
Corsair Nautilus 500 Water Cooler Review
Corsair Nautilus 500 Water Cooler Review


Corsair Nautilus 500 Water Cooler Review
Corsair Nautilus 500 Water Cooler Review
Corsair Nautilus 500 Water Cooler Review
Corsair Nautilus 500 Water Cooler Review
Corsair Nautilus 500 Water Cooler Review