Corsair has long joked that it makes almost everything you need to build a PC—except for the CPU, GPU, and motherboard. Well, take one more thing off that list.
Corsair just introduced its own factory liquid-cooled, overclocked, GeForce GTX 980 Ti card. Called the Hydro GFX, the new Corsair card comes “superclocked,” with clock speeds about 20 percent faster than a stock GeForce 980 Ti card. The clock speed increases from a standard 1000MHz base and 1075MHz boost to 1191MHz base and 1291MHz boost, which adds up to about to a 15-percent performance increase, according to Corsair. Thanks to the liquid cooler, however, it runs 30 percent cooler, Corsair said.
The board is a joint project between MSI, the board’s manufacturer, and Corsair, which made the cooling system and used its Hydro Series H55 for the card. MSI will market the same product under its own brand as well. The Hydro GFX will come at a slight premium of $740, versus an air-cooled GeForce GTX 980 Ti at $650.
Corsair said the new Hydro GFX is aimed at those who want quieter and higher performance while gaming and don’t want to go through the hassle of doing the liquid cooling themselves. While relatively easy, not everyone is comfortable with taking apart his or her $650 video card.
Nvidia’s GPUs currently get the nod for relatively quiet performance under load, but long gaming sessions without serious airflow can warm up the cards enough to make noise.
The Hydro GFX joins a spate of factory liquid-cooled GPUs, including AMD’s R9 Fury X, its Radeon R295 X2, and cards such as EVGA’s GeForce GTX 980 Ti HYBRID card—but this probably puts Corsair one step closer to putting out its own PC kits, too.
The company already announced plans for its 4K HTPC Bulldog project earlier this year, which would give gamers a bare-bones system without CPU and GPU. I can see this card being a natural fit for that. The Bulldog itself won’t be available until early 2016, either as a bare-bones kit or fully assembled from a partner company.