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The H100 is currently the top of the line offering from Corsair in their Hydro series which is a low cost liquid cooling (LCLC) product line. Water cooling is far superior to even the best air coolers on the market, but will the H100 be worthy of being put into the same category as custom loops? Will it even be able to beat out what some say is the best air cooler on the market, the Noctua NH-D14? Continue reading to find out!
(Courtesy of Corsair)
|Corsair Hydro Series H100 Specifications
|122 x 275 x 27 mm
|120 x 120 x 25 mm
|(+/-10%): up to 1300 RPM (Low Noise),2000 RPM (Balanced), 2500 RPM (High Performance)
|46 – 92 CFM
|22 – 39
|Fan Static Pressure
|1.6 – 7.7mm/H20
|Cold Plate Material
|Low-permeability for near-zero evaporation
|Intel: LGA 2011, 1366, 1155, 1156, 775,
Not too much to comment on here except for the usage of an aluminum rad, anyone who know anything about water cooling will immediately advise against using a copper block and aluminum rad. This is because when using two different materials you have the potential for corrosion to be an issue. Since Corsair has pre-filled the H100 propylene glycol it won’t be an issue since it contains corrosion inhibitors. Given the 5 year warranty this product has it is safe to say that Corsair does not think it will be an issue. It still would have been nice to see a copper rad if only for the added performance and peace of mind.
(Courtesy of Corsair)
- Ready for Corsair Link Digital.
The H80 and H100 work great with Corsair Link, an ecosystem of hardware and software components designed to give you unprecedented control over your PC. Connect your H80 or H100 to the Corsair Link Commander (available separately) and monitor a wide range of parameters, including pump speed, coolant temperature, and fan speed, and customize your own performance profiles.
- Control at your fingertips.
The low-profile integrated pump and cold plate includes push-button control so you can select the fan speed and cooling performance setup that best suits your needs. The cool white LED display lets you know at a glance which profile is being used.
- The Hydro Series H100: Go long.
Want even more? Featuring a full 240 mm radiator and two 120mm fans, the Corsair Hydro Series H100 extreme performance liquid CPU cooler is designed to deliver cooling performance that meets the needs of even the most demanding enthusiast.
- Easy installation, zero maintenance.
You no longer need to invest into finicky modular water cooling systems to get serious CPU cooling performance. Each Hydro Series Liquid CPU Cooler is a sealed, closed-loop system that comes pre-filled and never needs refilling. Tubing is constructed from low-evaporation FEP for a long lifespan. Even the thermal compound is pre-applied. You’ll be up and running in minutes.
- The latest cooling technology.
Both the H80 and the H100 include a low-profile, light-weight cooling unit with a micro-channel copper cold plate and a split-flow manifold. The result of all this attention to fluid dynamics is CPU cooling that’s remarkably efficient, with a total noise level that’s lower than most stock CPU fans.
Packaging and Contents
Corsair has a very nicely packaged unit, the outside of the box is covered with pictures of the contents and marketing info in several different languages. Just about everything a consumer needs to help them make an informed purchase. As can be seen inside everything is securely packed to help prevent any damage occurring during shipping. I did find some damaged fins on the radiator, they are not likely to have an adverse affect on cooling performance. Besides the fins, everything else was in good order. Another thing to note is that the base of the water block I received was slightly convex. There is a debate that a flat base is better than a convex base, but I for one do not see it as a big issue.
Installation of this unit was very easy, the supplied instructions are step-by-step and contain instructions for both Intel and AMD mounting systems.
A .pdf version can be found here for download and viewing.
The H100 was able to easily to fit internally on my Fractal Design Arc Midi, any case that is able to fit a dual 120 mm rad will be able to fit the H100. The H100 hoses have ridges built into them like anti-kink coils so routing the hose was very easy since there was virtually no chance of kinking it. The only complaint to be made about the installation is that the different socket spacing on the mounting bracket for Intel was not label or explained anywhere, so someone who is new to computers might have a bit harder time figuring out where to slide the nut on the bracket. This is only a minor issue since you can just hold it up to the backside of your motherboard and look. But some instruction is always welcome for first time users.
Mounting the water block and pump assembly was easy due to the thumb screws supplied, I would suggest using a screw driver to torque the screws up just to ensure that your mount does not loosen over time due to the minuscule vibrations caused by the pump.
- Intel Core i7 870 @ 4.0 GHz with 1.344 V
- Gigabyte P55A-UD4P
- PNY GTX 580
- Samsung 2×4 GB 1600 MHz RAM (Overclockers.com Approved)
- Corsair TX750 V2
- Windows 7 64-bit with SP1
- Corsair H100
- Noctua NH-D14
- Swiftech H20-220 Ultima XT
- Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste
- All power saving features where disabled to ensure a consistent clock speed without throttling. All fan speeds were set to full and the same two fan headers were used for all tests. The built in fan controller on the H100 was not used since the NH-D14 and Swiftech Kit have no built in controllers to run their fans.
- The ambient temperature in the testing room was maintained at 22 °C for the duration of testing. Core Temp v1.0 and Real Temp v3.6 were used for monitoring CPU temperature during testing.
- I used latest version of (version 26.6) of Prime 95 using in-place large FFT’s. It was run for 30-32 minutes to stabilize temperature and the idle temps were taken after 15 minutes of idling in windows.
- Two remounts were done for a total of three mounts to ensure temperatures were not skewed by a bad mount. All temps were taken from the hottest core in the different tests IE: core ZERO was hottest on idle and core FOUR was hottest under load.
Due to different platforms and other variables this testing is not directly comparable to other cooling reviews that have been done by muddocktor.
Below is a graph of the test results comparing the H100 to the Swiftech H20-220 Ultima XT and the Noctua NH-D14.
As can be seen by the graph, the H100 shows solid performance. Beating one of the best air coolers on the market by several degrees in both average temperature and max temperature. This temperature difference can mean the difference between a 4.2 GHz overclock and a 4.5 GHz overclock on some systems. The H100 does fall in behind the more custom water cooling setup from Swiftech, but the Swiftech kit carries a substantially higher price at $309.95, requires assembly and maintenance.
Overall I am impressed by the performance of the H100. It is finally a low cost liquid cooler that is able to be mentioned along side custom water cooling. The H100 is a solidly built unit that is superior to high end air cooling and just below custom water, so I would say Corsair has brought to the market a much need product. Given the price tag of $119.99 from Newegg it is priced correctly for where it fits in the performance area. Given all of these factors I will give the Corsair H100 a rating of Overclockers Approved! For anyone who wants to achieve cooling above what the current air coolers can, but do not want to take the risks involved in custom water cooling, the H100 is a product that is definitely worth considering.