For the longest time, AIO units were the only cooling solutions Corsair was known for. With the success of the hydro series however, Corsair has branched out into custom loops and now in 2020 high performance air coolers in the form of the A500.
At around R1,750 this is at the very upper end of high-end air coolers. In fact, this unit costs just as much or the a little more than the Hydro H100X AIO. So, for that kind of pricing, we are obviously looking at similar levels of performance. Fortunately for CORSAIR, the A500 is one exceedingly capable unit as we will find out.
Performance isn’t all we are looking for however, past the temperature readings, these days a cooler needs to not only look good, but also be quiet enough to use in a wide variety of environments. It is in light of this that one sees a departure from all things Corsair, which is the absence of any LED lighting on the unit. We’ve come to expect everything from Corsair to offer some lighting flair, however what we have instead is drastically toned-down component. It’s literally greys, blacks and nickel plating for the most part. Not even the Corsair yellow is present. Despite all this, I’ve come to like the simplistic looks of the A500, but do wish it had at the very least some LED lighting on the Corsair sails for example.
It’s quite clear that Corsair is gunning for the best of the best in this field, that the likes of Noctua have dominated for years. If not in sales, most certainly in perception and popularity. Lofty ambitions without a doubt, but here we are with a product that for all intents and purposes is a first attempt at this market segment. For a first attempt I have to admit that the Corsair A500 is beyond competent.
Before we get into all of that however, below are the specifications of the Corsair A500.
|AM2/3/4 | LGA 115x/2011/2066
|2x ML Series 120mm fans
|75CFM | 36dBA
|Cold Plate Material
|Direct Contact copper Heatpipe
|137mm x 169mm x 171mm
What’s worth noting here is that the fans used are Corsair ML series fans. They are high performance units that push a lot of air at 75CFM. Great for cooling, but also be aware of the 36dBA noise levels they are specified with as this are crucial to the overall value proposition of the A500.