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Corsair Hydro H100

High performance cooling with water

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Author: Jouni 'Jipa' Vasama
Published: 22.09.2011
Manufacturer: Corsair
Product Group: Cooling - CPU
In English In English
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Temperatures

  Hardware used for testing:
  • Processor: Intel i7 870 (@3,8 GHz 1,250 V (1,287 V actual)
  • Motherboard: MSI P55-GD80 
  • Graphics: Gainward GeForce GT220
  • Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws 2*2 GB DDR3 2000 CL9
  • Hard drive: Seagate 7200.10 250 GB
  • Power supply: Xigmatek NRP-HC1201
  • Case: Open air test bench

For performance testing we used the same i7-870 rig as before, but this time we clocked the CPU up to 3,8 GHz using Vcore of 1,25 V (1,287 V measured under load). At these settings the system draws about 70 W from the grid when idling and 277 W when under full CPU load. For reference thermal paste we used the Phanteks PH-NDC thermal compound and to see how the fans affect the performance of the coolers we also used the Corsair fans on all the other coolers.

 

Corsair Hydro H100 - High performance cooling with water
 

All of the coolers on the chart can be considered to be high performance models, so also the differences in temperatures are small. The Corsair Hydro H100 takes the first position with load temperature of 68 C, followed closely by the Antec 920 and Phanteks PH-TC14PE, both equipped with the Corsair fans. With the Corsair controller at low speed the temperature goes up by 5,75 C, but is still lower than that of the Noctua NH-D14 (stock fans) or the Kühler 620 with just a single fan.

While the competition here is very close, it's worth remembering that unlike other watercoolers here, the Hydro H100 can be loaded with four fans in push-pull configuration. To test this we used the corsair stock fans on one half of the radiator and the Antec 920 stock fans on the other half. This improved the temperature by another 1,25 degrees, but at this stage the fan noise was getting unbearable.

 

Noise

As you can guess by looking at the temperature graphs and specifications, the Hydro H100 comes with a pair of very powerful fans, and at full speed they also are LOUD. It isn't quite as noisy as the Thermaltake Frio OCK that still holds the noisiest cooler-award, but atleast for me the noise is just too much. The fan controller on the pump of course helps with the noise and the low- and mid- settings hit a nice balance between cooling performance and noise.



Conclusion


PROS 
  • Low profile block
  • Fan controller
  • Solid performance

    CONS 
  • No remote control for the fans
  • No fan speed monitoring
  • Award
    Silver Award!


    The Hydro H100 is a leap for the closed loop water coolers as it brings a larger 240 mm sized radiator to the mix. This is a logical step to take seeing how popular 240 mm mounting points are in modern cases, and also helps improve the performance of the cooler. In the performance testing the H100 did top the charts, but the difference to the competitors wasn't quite as large as we'd expected.

    The two problems that I see with the Hydro H100 are both related to the fans, first of all to control the fans one needs to open the case and press the button on top of the pump, and secondly it's impossible to monitor the fan speeds. The Corsair Link-system should solve these problems, but it's also going to make the already rather high price tag go even higher.


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    Corsair

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