CES 2020: CORSAIR Introduces the A500 Dual Fan CPU Air Cooler
CORSAIR Returns to Air Cooling With the A500
It’s been a while since CORSAIR has introduced a CPU air cooler (remember the Air Series A70?), but they have returned to this market in a big way with the A500 Dual Fan CPU Cooler.
“The A500 Dual Fan CPU Cooler is a high-performance air cooler, combining low-noise operation with dark styling and an innovative fan mounting system. Able to cool CPUs up to 250W TDP, the A500 is equipped with four direct-contact heat pipes and two CORSAIR ML120 magnetic levitation bearing fans, controllable via PWM for precise adjustment of fan speeds between 400 RPM and 2,400 RPM.
The fans sit within a ratcheting slide-and-lock fan mount, allowing for a variable fan height to accommodate a wide range of DRAM. The A500 is easy to install and stays firmly in place thanks to the CORSAIR HoldFast retention system, and is compatible with AM4, AM3, FM2, LGA115x, and LGA20xx CPUs.”
The A500 is a very substantial cooler, beginning with a heatsink that measures 137 x 169 x 103 mm (with fans the cooler is 144 x 169 x 171 mm). The cooler (with fans) weighs in at 1460g / 3.2 lbs, which is more than large coolers such as Noctua’s NH-D15 (1320 g). It features a direct-contact copper heatpipe design, and boasts 75 CFM airflow from its dual ML Series 120 mm fans. Interestingly, there is no RGB lighting with this new cooler, in contrast to the increasingly colorful AiO liquid coolers from CORSAIR.
An interesting feature of the A500 Dual Fan CPU Cooler is the “slide-and-lock” fan mounting system, which allows for variable mounting height of both fans to accommodate tall memory modules. With other coolers this generally involves manually placing and clipping fans higher up on the heatsink, which is hardly ideal (and sometimes problematic). This slide-and-lock system, which uses a ratcheting mechanism, sounds like a nice innovation (and one I am eager to try first-hand).
The included ML120 fans are part of CORSAIR’s magnetic levitation series, and are PWM fans with a wide 400 – 2400 RPM range. At lower RPM’s noise levels should be quite a bit lower than CORSAIR’s 36 dBA rating for the cooler, though higher noise output should entail some significant cooling potential at 2400 RPM.
For a secure fit CORSAIR is using a retention system called HoldFast, and all modern AMD and Intel platforms are supported – with the exception of Threadripper (a common omission as companies will often have a separate TR4 model).
Another nice touch is the inclusion of a tube of CORSAIR’s XTM50 high-performance thermal paste, in addition the pre-applied XTM50 paste on the cooler out of the box. And you have to like that optimized pattern, which puts my five-dot paste application pattern to shame.
The CORSAIR A500 Dual Fan CPU Cooler retails for $99.99 USD and is currently up for pre-order on CORSAIR’s site with availability “in 1 week”.
If you’d like a closer look at the design and a look at the cooler in action, CORSAIR has uploaded a video overview of the A500, embedded below: