For most gaming PCs, heat is an enemy. If you don’t have a good cooling solution and you run a game for hours, heat will quickly build up and destroy your PC’s components. Liquid coolers are generally considered excellent for gaming, and in this article, we will discuss two AIO liquid coolers from Corsair, which are Corsair H45 vs H55.
Continue reading below to learn more about
– What CPUs and GPUs that are compatible with these coolers
– The dimensions of Corsair H45 and Corsair H55
– What control features that are available on each cooler
– The performance and noise of Corsair H45 vs H55
– The warranty information for Corsair H45 and Corsair H55
– Which AIO liquid cooler that is generally more recommended
Both Corsair H45 and Corsair H55 are AIO liquid coolers. “AIO” stands for all-in-one, meaning that these coolers come with pre-packaged parts that have been designed for quick and easy installation. Traditional liquid coolers are notoriously difficult to install, but with either liquid cooler here, you only need a screwdriver and less than 20 minutes to set everything up and running. Very convenient. See also: Corsair H50 vs H55.
However, since Corsair H45 come pre-packaged, they indeed have been designed to fit only certain processors. On the positive side, most consumer-grade motherboards nowadays have similar cooling socket and processor slot sizes, so these coolers most probably fit your processor as well. Still, you should check the compatibility of the product before buying.
Both Corsair H45 vs H55 are compatible with Intel 115x, Intel 2011, and Intel 2066 cooling sockets. In other words, they can work with most Intel CPUs. In addition, both Corsair H45 and Corsair H55 are also compatible with AMD AM2, AMD AM3, and AMD AM4 cooling sockets, so most AMD processors are also within the scope.
Although AIO liquid coolers are mainly designed for CPUs (you don’t need any additional tool besides a screwdriver to install Corsair H45 or H55 on a CPU), certain models can also be used for cooling GPUs if you mount them on special mounting brackets like NZXT Kraken G10 and NZXT Kraken G12. These mounting brackets are compatible with various Nvidia and AMD graphic cards.
However, Corsair H45 can’t be used for GPUs – it is not listed in the compatibility section of NZXT Kraken G10 or G12. This is probably because of the larger and bulkier design. On the other hand, Corsair H55 is compatible with both NZXT Kraken G10 and G12, so the unit can be a cooling solution for your graphic card.
Design and Dimensions
Corsair H45 vs H55 have different shapes and dimensions. In general, Corsair H45 is bigger and requires more space. Corsair H55 is slimmer, smaller, and more space-friendly, hence allowing it to fit in a GPU fan mounting bracket.
If you take a look at the Corsair H45 unit, you will find that the fan is put inside a rectangular housing. The fan measures 120 mm x 25 mm, but the radiator unit measures 168.5 mm x 120 mm x 71 mm. As the effect of the bigger dimensions, Corsair H45 requires more space. This can be a problem if your computer has a small chassis and there isn’t much room available.
On the other hand, Corsair H55 is relatively more compact. The housing is circular. The fan also measures 120 mm x 25 mm, but the radiator unit only measures 152 mm x 120 mm x 27 mm. Compared to its sibling, Corsair H55 is much slimmer. This is a great choice for pretty much any motherboard, as it can easily fit into the available space.
Both models have aluminum radiator units and copper cold plates for optimum heat transfer. These materials can quickly absorb heat from the processor so that the heat can be carried away by the coolant. The radiators and tubes all feel solid and durable.
Corsair H45 and Corsair H55 have been designed to be maintenance-free. Both come with pre-applied thermal paste, so you don’t need to add anything manually. This is very convenient, as manual application can get pretty messy. Also, these self-contained systems use low-permeability rubber to prevent leakage and minimize coolant evaporation. There is no need for priming or refilling.
Corsair H45 and Corsair H55 should be able to work for several years without failing, though the actual lifetime greatly depends on how you use your computer. You only need to replace when your CPU’s temperatures start going up too much. However, usually, by the moment that a replacement is needed for your H45 or H55, the computer has become quite old and outdated.
The next difference between Corsair H45 vs H55 is the control features. Depending on what tasks that you usually run on your computer, you may need a fan that can be dynamically controlled so that it won’t run at full speed all the time.
Corsair H45 supports PWM (Pulse Width Modulation), which is a method that enables the computer to control the speed of the fan dynamically. It uses a 4-pin connector. Most motherboards nowadays have at least one PWM connector, but high-end models may come with multiple.
Since Corsair H45 can be controlled by the computer, it does not need to run at full speed all the time. When the CPU is not working heavily and is at low temperature, the fan may be switched off or only run at low speed. This way, the noise and wear experienced by the fan can be minimized.
Corsair H55, on the other hand, doesn’t support PWM. As the effect, it draws constant power and runs at full speed all the time. This can be considered fine if your computer runs heavy programs frequently, or if your room doesn’t have an air conditioner so that the computer gets hot pretty quickly. Otherwise, running the fan continuously is rather inefficient, not to mention that some people may find the constant fan noise to be annoying.
Corsair H45 and Corsair H55 provide different levels of cooling power. In general, Corsair H45 is more powerful, recommended if your computer tends to get hot quickly and frequently. However, if you need a more space-friendly option, Corsair H55 is a great alternative that is already better than most standard fans.
Corsair H45 is capable of providing up to 94 CFM airflow with 3.65mm-H2O static pressure. This model is considerably more powerful than the H55 model. Corsair H45 will keep your computer cool even during an extended gaming session. If your gaming session typically goes for more than just a few hours, this liquid cooler will give the best performance.
Corsair H55 provides up to 57 CFM airflow with 1.9mm-H20 static pressure. Although it is not as powerful as H45, it is already quite better than most standard fans that are without liquid cooling. This model will keep your computer within safe temperatures when you are gaming continuously for several hours. Not very cool, but sufficient to prevent overheating.
When buying a new cooler, people usually want something that runs quietly. It is very annoying to hear a loud whirling noise when you are playing your favorite game. Besides disturbing their concentration, the loud noise may also cause a psychological effect that makes people worry about the heat in the computer.
Corsair H45 is the louder one of the two. Which is not surprising, considering that it can deliver more powerful cooling performance. The peak noise level is 31dBA. However, since the speed can be controlled, the fan noise won’t be present all the time. Besides, 31dBA is actually pretty quiet.
Corsair H55 can be your choice if you want a quieter cooler. The peak noise level is 30.32dBA. Compared to H45, the noise of H55 is noticeably lower. However, since the fan is running at full speed constantly, the fan noise will always be present.
Lastly, let’s check the warranty information for Corsair H45 and Corsair H55. The warranty length of a product often indicates the confidence of the manufacturer about the product’s lifetime. Usually, a product that is backed by a long warranty tends to be more durable and last longer.
Both Corsair H45 and Corsair H55 are backed by a 5-year limited warranty. This is a decent warranty coverage. Nevertheless, before installing the liquid cooler, you should inspect the parts thoroughly to ensure that there is no defect.
Corsair’s products are known for their quality, but being careful is never a bad thing. If you happen to find a defect, you can claim the warranty to get a replacement. The company has helpful customer support. However, note that the warranty won’t cover any damage from user abuse or improper use.
Corsair H45 vs H55
Both are great AIO liquid coolers with different advantages and disadvantages. In general, Corsair H45 is more recommended. It is more powerful, capable of providing more airflow and static pressure. It can keep your computer cool even when gaming continuously for several hours. Also, it supports PWM, so the speed can be controlled by the computer.