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Corsair Nautilus500 External Water Cooling Kit Review


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Corsair Nautilus500 External Water Cooling Kit Review


Well today I’m finally getting a chance to write up my review of the Nautilus 500 external water cooler from Corsair. I’ve had it for a few weeks but been so busy with the holiday season at work I haven’t had much time to do anything else. And on top of that, last week when I first went to write this my windows took a crap on me and I needed to reformat and I lost all my notes.


Well enough of that let me start with some pictures of the packaging.




Inside the box you’ll find a bottle of coolant, block with tubing attached, bag of hardware and of course the Nautilus unit itself.




Next I decided to browse through the manual that Corsair included and I must say I was impressed with how detailed it was. There are pictures along with detailed explanations that will guide you through the whole process of setting this cooler up. Since I’m not a noob when it comes to water cooling I tried to put that knowledge aside and look at it as if I didn’t know anything about water cooling and it really explained everything very clear to me.


Then I started to look over all the parts that came with the kit and the first thing that caught my eye was the water block.


I pealed the protective tape off and was happy to see this nice smooth finish.



The installation of the Nautilus was VERY VERY easy, the whole process took me about 10-15 min’s and that wasn’t even with me giving it my undivided attention (watching TV also.lol). Filling the unit with coolant was easy and it took no time for the bubbles to get out if the tubing, which is something that usually, takes a while to do.


I like the fact that it uses the stock AMD retention bracket to secure the water block; you don’t even have to remove the motherboard from the case to install it!! I’ve also uninstalled the block and reinstalled it to see how easy it was for the future and it was a breeze to do with everything installed in the case.


Well here are some pictures of the unit installed.





I have to mention how much I love my new case too; it’s a Cooler master Elite that I picked up from SVC.com for only $39 bucks!! This is another reason why it took me so long to review the Nautilus. I originally had this rig in an old antec case that’s all hacked up from previous mods, so I figured you and Corsair would appreciate this review in a nice clean case. ;)


Below you'll see a close up of the back of the Nautilus, reason for this picture is to show off the quick disconnect nozzles of the Nautilus unit. I could see how this would be helpful for someone that moves their rig around a lot and wants to disconnect their Nautilus unit during transit. I even tested it and removed them to see if any coolant would leak out and they worked perfect.




Now for the most important part of the review, the test results!!


The Test Rig


  • DFI Lanparty Ultra-D bios 406
  • Opteron 170 Dual Core Cpu @ 2500 MHz with vcore on auto
  • Stock heat pipe cooler on the CPU for air cooling tests
  • XFX 7800gt @ Stock
  • 2x1024mb Corsair PC4000 @ 250 MHz
  • 250 GB Hitachi Deskstar
  • OCZ 600w Power Stream


Priming was done with ambient temps around 19-21c for both the air and water cooling tests.


In the first picture you'll find my air cooled temps at load after running prime for 10 hours. The second picture will show you the temps at idle after the 10 hour prime session.




Now we'll move on to the water cooling results. Everything about the system stayed the same except I swapped out the stock CPU cooler with the Nautilus 500. These pictures will show the same as the air cooled ones, the first picture will show you the load temp and the second will show the idle temp after the prime session.




  • Air cooled load = 41c
  • Air cooled idle = 30c
  • Water cooled Load = 33c
  • Water cooled Idle = 25c


So we are looking at about an 8 degree drop at load and 5 at idle. I ran all of these tests with the fan of the Nautilus on high because honestly I couldn’t hear it over the other low cfm fans in my case.


These temp drops really impressed me because in the past I've always heard people say that external kits are no better than top end air cooling but that’s not the case with the Nautilus. I've been running the unit for a few weeks and I couldn’t be happier with the performance. It was such a breeze to hook up and on top of that it delivers those nice cool temps that we all expect from water cooling.


For a price of $149 at Newegg you really can't go wrong with it!!


In the next week or so I'll try to push my operton a little higher so I can post some results using a higher vcore. But I’m not sure how fast it will go anymore. I got voltage happy with it one night and let’s just say it’s not happy at 2850 MHz anymore. ;)

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