Easy install, several mounting options included (AMD and Intel), great color customizing. .
I've liquid cooled my rigs for many years and always seem to go with corsair. One reason is the warranty - i've had one (out of several) fail over a combined 12 years of use (4 years, 5 years and 3 years) - running 24/7. Corsair replaced it with a new one, and offered cross shipping (ship before the defective one is returned) with a cc number. I love the led customization and have it set to cpu temp in the corsair link program (the program really needs work, btw) - my cooler is green when all is fine and shifts to red when it gets too hot.This cooler is good for cases with poor air circulation, in hotter environments, etc. If you're overclocking a 6 core cpu you'll need a beefier unit with dual fans and a larger radiator, but for many users a single fan and 120mm radiator are fine. I'm actually looking at using this for my gpu - there are conversion kits available from 3rd parties and corsair sells a bracket that works with many gpu's. I'm picking up a new gpu soon and will use this cooler with that - i'm in the middle of rebuilding a couple of pc's, and right now it's mounted on the pc i use as our home server (video and music.) overkill for that, but it runs at a solid 15c colder than the supplied air cooler inside a cabinet with poor air flow.If i have to find a complaint, it's the fan - it's definitely louder than the previous cpu fan, especially when it ramps up when the gpu's under load. If the case were near me i'd replace the fan, but since it's out of the way the louder fan is not a concern.Install is easy, but you need to be comfortable handling your computer parts. I used paper towels and a popsicle stick for carefully cleaning off the old thermal paste. There's no reason to remove the cpu, and i'd advise against it. I actually bent the pins in my cpu socket a couple of months back. I removed the cpu to neat off excess paste (yea, i was sloppy) and somehow hooked tissue paper on the socket pins. Bent the heck out of them. 45 nerve wracking minutes using a loupe and tweezers. Squinting and tweaking to straighten a couple of dozen pins the width of a hair packed tighter than you'd think possible, i somehow fixed them all. And learned a lesson in caution - and not going overboard on thermal paste. So don't remove that cpu. There's no need for it.Install is easy. Remove the old cooling system, neat off the old paste (the new paste is already applied to the cooling block) and attach using the appropriate bracket. This can be the trickiest part, so make sure you select the right hardware - there's quite a collection included. Like i mentioned earlier, this cooler is also popular with diy'ers for gpu cooling.There's a foot of hose, so you should have plenty to reach anywhere in your case to attach the radiator and fan. The only other connections are for the power - this uses a sata power connector, and the fan controller/power. This plugs in the connector where your previous fan was connected, or if it's a new install, to the cpu fan header. Installation is pretty much identical for all corsair coolers. The main differences is the bigger radiator and additional fan in other units. The higher end coolers also have quieter / more efficient fans and beefier hoses.After booting up your newly cooled system, download the corsair link software and check your temps. Set up your custom colors. The software also monitors various fan speeds and temperatures, depending on your mobo capabilities. If you're upgrading a current system, check your cpu temp first - you can use corsair link or your bios config. Then compare it after install. If there's a problem you'll know it pretty fast because your cpu will throttle or the pc will shut down. What can go wrong? Mainly not tightening the block to the cpu correctly, or somehow accidentally removing some of the thermal paste (yea, i know someone who did *that*.) it's really difficult to mess up installing one of these things, but we all know that *one* person who could burn water, right?A couple of comments on the corsair link software: it controls your fan speeds, cooler (including led color) and monitors all your mobo sensors. I have it running in the background so i can monitor my cpu and gpu temps. I really don't need to, but like seeing what's going on when i render 4k video for example. The software is decent and tries to show you everything in a gui with lots of customization, but to see raw info there are better programs. One hint: set all your fans to max in your bios if you want to control fan speed with link. If you have your computer control fan speed you can't control your fans with the link software.Overall it's a great entry level closed system liquid cooler that never needs maintenance except for the occasional blowing out of accumulated dust from the radiator.