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Corsair crams full-blown liquid cooling into a tiny new package

Though it’s been shown off before, Corsair is finally ready for users to start installing the downright tiny H5 SF liquid CPU cooler. The closed loop system manages to pack a cold plate and reservoir into a box with almost the same footprint as a Mini-ITX motherboard, allowing it to be mounted without any extra brackets.

The Corsair H5 SF was first announced as part of the Bulldog kit earlier this year. The Mini-ITX barebones kit was designed to spark interest in small form factor gaming PCs, and Corsair is pushing that even further by rolling out the cooler to other system builders. Considering the Bulldog won’t even be available until the first quarter of 2016, it would appear that Corsair really believes it’s on to something with the small form factor cooler.

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There aren’t a lot of Mini-ITX options when it comes to liquid cooling, and this is Corsair’s first attempt at a cooling solution that’s designed specifically for small form factor systems. Most of the currently available options for Mini-ITX liquid cooling are enclosures, with limitations on motherboard size, chipset, and graphics card length.

Corsair’s solution is more modular, allowing users to outfit an existing rig with improved cooling, or build it into a new setup. The radiator itself, which measures 120 x 40mm, is attached via flexible tubing to the cooling plate. The fan is a 120mm blower fan that’s also designed to move some of the heat off non-cooled parts of the motherboard. The total height is just 84mm tall, so it should fit well into almost any Mini-ITX case.

More efficient methods like liquid cooling are a necessary step towards higher performance gaming in Mini-ITX systems. It’s not necessarily quieter, but it is more power efficient, offer better performance, and perfect for overclocking. If that all sounds appealing, the H5 SF is available now from Corsair and partners for $80.