Corsair Hydro Series H100 Liquid Cooler

Posted by on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 3:19pm

Corsair H100Just about every manufacturer has tried their luck at building a water-cooling especially models that supposes to be easy to install and takes hardly any effort to maintain. But the popularity of these kits picked up when Corsair Hydro Series. It started with the H50 and ends with the model we will be taking a look at today and that would be the H100.

Introduction to the Corsair Hydro Series H100 Liquid Cooler

Cooling is arguably one of the most important things when it comes to being a solid computer. Without it you are in trouble as components will tend to overheat rendering all your time and hard work worthless. And if you thing it’s not important why do you think companies tend to put cooling on everything vital. Whether it’s active or passive cooling there is some form of it in power supplies, motherboard components and video cards to the obvious processor.

When it comes to processor cooling there is the obvious choice of air cooling. This type of cooling is most common and at the point where advancements within is no so great. The next in the line of cooling is what the product we will be talking about here today. Water-cooling is becoming more and more popular every day. Yes, it has been around for some time but it was not in the beginning it was a mess to deal with and was very time consuming. That has now changed.

Just about every manufacturer has tried their luck at building a water-cooling especially models that supposes to be easy to install and takes hardly any effort to maintain. But the popularity of these kits picked up when Corsair Hydro Series. It started with the H50 and ends with the model we will be taking a look at today and that would be the H100.

Corsair’s take on the H100

Want even more? Featuring a full 240mm 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. The Hydro Series H100 will be available in June 2011.


Specifications

Radiator Dimensions

122mm x 275mm x 27mm

Fan Dimensions

120mm x 120mm x 25mm

Fan Speed

(+/- 10%): up to 1300 RPM (Low Noise), 2000 RPM (Balanced), and 2500 RPM (High Performance)

Fan Airflow

46 - 92 CFM

Fan dBA

22 - 39

Fan Static Pressure

1.6 - 7.7mm/H20


Closer look

Out of the box you see immediately why the H100 is the top all-in-one water-cooling kit from Corsair. It was the only one of the series to have a dual fan aluminum radiator while the others are single fan models. The expanded territory of the large helps a lot as it allows for more surface area to dissipate heat adsorbed from the CPU block.

Corsair realizes they are not the only manufacturer of fine cases, so the H100’s rad is rather thin and should fit in some pretty narrow locations. The mounting holes of the rad are the same as those on the after-market rads like Swiftech.

We look the compact size of the water-block which also contains the pump that gets the liquid inside flowing. On top of the block is a small white button that is used to control the speed of any fan connected to the unit. The controller has three speed ratings: slow, medium and fast.

The block has a total of four 4-pin headers to accommodate the two fans that come with the cooler and to additional ones the user can add if they desire a push/pull configuration. On the opposite side is a small connector for connections to Corsair’s Link Commander module. This module when purchased separately will allow the user to monitor the pump, fans and liquid temperature.

The cold plate even comes with the thermal compound already applied.

The H100 comes with two 120mm cooling fans in the package. And depending on the user’s preference can be mounted where air blows across the fins or draws heat from the rad. Two additional fans can be mounted to the rad for a full push/pull configuration which would result in better cooling performance.

The fans are rated between 1300 and 2500 RPM. Noise level is set between 22 and 39 dBA.


Assembling Images

The H100 comes with everything necessary to attach the cooler to all current AMD and Intel sockets, including the newest AM3+ and 2011 sockets.

Attaching the CPU block to an Intel socket is extremely easy and quick. It begins with aligning the screws in the back plate with the holes in the motherboard.

Once that is done the plate is secured with dual ended screws.

Lastly, the block is mounted to the processor using a criss-cross tighten pattern.

Here we have the rad mounted in the top of the Corsair Carbide 500R.


Testing Methodology

For our testing we will be using the following procedures and parameters to acquire the necessary data:

  1. Thermal compound used is Arctic Silver 5
  2. Idle temperatures are recorded after the system has been allowed to idle for thirty minutes from the point Windows has finished loading.
  3. Load temperatures are recorded by running OCCT for twenty minutes on all available threads.
  4. Real Temp is used for the recording of all temperature sensor reading.
  5. PWM function is disabled via BIOS to allow the fans to run at full speed.
  6. CPU model and overclock speed used for testing are outlined below in "Test Hardware".
  7. Each cooler is first tested with one fan supplied from the manufacturer.
  8. Each cooler is then tested again with a second fan attached if provided by the manufacturer.
  9. Lastly, the cooler is tested a third time using a neutral set of fans to make all things equal.
  10. Neutral fans used are Aerocool Sharks 120mm, 1500RPM, 82.6 CFM, 26.5 dBA.

Test Hardware:
Motherboard: ASUS P67 Deluxe B3
Processor: Intel Core i5 2500K @ 4.5GHz w/ 1.3 voltages
Ram: Crucial 2133 4GB Dual Channel (9-9-9-24)
Video Card: ASUS Radeon HD 5870
HDD: Hitachi 1TB
Power: Thermaltake Tough Power XT 850 (Sponsored by Thermaltake)
Case: Open air
Cooling: Corsair H100

Results


Conclusion

Without a doubt if you want the best all-in-one water-cooling kit, you have to look at the Corsair H100 model. For a long time kits like these have been slightly less competitive to the higher-end air-cooling solutions on the market. H100 has changed that in an instance.

The addition of the larger radiator and the extra fan has a lot to do with it winning us over in the lab. The extra surface area along with the dual fan setup allows the system to dissipate more heat at a faster rate. A rate no air-cooler can come close too.

The H100 is an ease to install but it is limited into what cases it can fit into. This is a problem that I do not mind at all. In order to have the cooling performance of the H100 you really need the larger rad, so this means you need placement for a dual rad setup. If you have a case that you love and do not want to change then there is the H80 you can pick up in the same places as the H100.

The H100 isn’t the quietest cooler on the market but from the loudest. Throughout the test we did hear the fans spins on the med and high setting. Depending on the GPU in the system, it could easily drown it out. And there is always the option of using the onboard fan controller to turn the RPM down a notch.

The H100 could be had for around $119 from most respectable retailers online. Making it the most expensive way of cooling the processor we have ever tested. But is it worth it? Yes.

 

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