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Corsair Hydro Series H100 Liquid CPU Cooler Review

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Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction, Features, Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of Corsair

Corsair expanded their product line exponentially in 2011 by adding a variety of PC components like mechanical keyboards, gaming mice, performance CPU coolers, desktop and headset sound systems, solid state drives, and their trademark system memory modules. One of the truest innovations we saw from Corsair this year was their self-contained watercooling units. Corsair developed the H100 to be their flagship CPU cooler that uses a dual-radiator configuration to bring enthusiasts an efficient and responsive cooling solution.

 

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Courtesy of Corsair

The Corsair H100 debuted in June 2011 and is the only self-contained watercooling unit on the market that sports a massive 240mm radiator and digital fan control buttons to adjust the CPU cooler for quiet, performance, and balanced modes. This CPU cooler retails for around $119 before shipping at most vendors, but many enthusiasts wonder how it stacks up against other comparable options from Corsair, Antec, and Thermaltake. Personally, I would also like to see what performance differences I will see using the H100 against a few of the top air-cooled heatsinks I have in our office.

Continue reading our review of the Corsair Hydro Series H100 CPU Cooler!!

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Courtesy of Corsair

The H100 also includes two 120mm fans that operate at 1,300 RPMs in Quiet mode, 2,000 RPMs in  to Balanced mode, and 2,500 RPMs in Performance mode. This CPU cooler also supports a variety of CPU sockets from Intel and AMD including the LGA 2011 socket. Throw in a five-year warranty, and the H100 may push leary consumers away from air-cooled heatsinks to modern watercooling units that require no maintenance and can be configured with a touch of a button.

 

Features

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.

 

Easy installation, zero maintenance
You no longer need to invest into finicky modular watercooling 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
The H100 includes 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. 

 

Technical Specifications (taken from Corsair's website)

Radiator dimensions: 122mm x 275mm x 27mm

Fan dimensions: 120mm x 120mm x 25mm

Fan speeds: 1300 - 2600RPM

Fan airflow: 46 - 92 CFM

Fan dBA: 22 - 39 dBA

Fan static pressure: 1.6 - 7.7mm/H20

Compatibility: Intel: LGA 775, 1155, 1156, 1366, and 2011; AMD sockets: AM2 and AM3

Warranty: Five years 

Cold Plate Material: Copper 

Fan Specifications: 120mm (x2) 

Socket Support: AMD AM2, AMD AM3, Intel LGA 1155, Intel LGA 1156, Intel LGA 1366, Intel LGA 2011, Intel LGA 775

Radiator Material: Aluminum 

Tubing: Low-permeability for near-zero evaporation

January 17, 2012 | 02:52 PM - Posted by Somar (not verified)

Thanks for the review - appreciate the good info on this.

Have you done any comparisons to high end air coolers on the same testing rig? The thing that's always stopped me from getting the earlier models of the Corsair water coolers is that they never really seemed measurably better than the top notch air coolers. Would be very interested to see how they compare to this model.

April 13, 2012 | 04:13 AM - Posted by jewie27 (not verified)

The H100 cools slightly better than the Noctua NH-D14. I've had my H100 since November 2011.

January 17, 2012 | 04:44 PM - Posted by nabokovfan87

For my money I cannot stand my h50. The tubes are so rigid that it feels like they are going to break every time I open the door on my Antec 1200. The plastic rather then rubber nature of the tube makes them more difficult to work with and I really wish corsair had revised it to match the upcoming Asetek 2011c designs with plastic tubing.

For your pro/con section of the review, you should add the mirror finish to the con. You mentioned it in the article and while it still presents the best performance, I am going to guess it would be slightly more with the type of finish in question.

Not trying to question your methods or anything, but why was there a vast difference between core 1/2 and 3/4 on the load testing? Seems like there was a defect with the heatsink or something to cause a hotspot on that aspect of the processor. Under all the other load testing the heat was distributed evenly for every other cooler, which makes me think it wasn't a single/dual threaded app and caused only those threads to be under stress.

To give you an idea, ~5-10 degree C difference, which is 41-50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Finally, didn't this come out around 3-4 months ago? Anyways, thanks for the review, glad to have the PCPER opinion on things.

January 21, 2012 | 01:26 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

10 degrees celsius converts to 18 degrees fahrenheit. Converting a difference in temperatures is not the same as converting a single temperature reading. Ie

40c = 104f
50c = 122f

January 18, 2012 | 01:17 AM - Posted by kbohip (not verified)

Picked one of these up for only $75 a couple months ago. Needless to say I'm happy with the performance/price ratio. Still, I was thinking it would keep my oc'd 2600k at least at no more than 60c under Prime load. It's actually hitting 70c even with the fans on high.

April 13, 2012 | 04:14 AM - Posted by jewie27 (not verified)

depends on what voltage/clock speed you are running.

January 18, 2012 | 02:00 AM - Posted by Swoosh (not verified)

A friend of mine bought this as his cooler upgrade for this i7 2600K processor.
Since he's into heavy overclocking and currently his processor clocks at 4.2ghz
and i told him that he could further maximize his H100 cooling performance
by adding 2 hi performance fans making it a push/pull setup and he immediately
bought two CM sickle flo 120mm fans and install it as "pull" fans in his CM HAF
932 advance case. As a result, he cant believe that he reached 4.4ghz @ around
70c+ degrees. Im impressed to H100's cooling performance but IMO, H100 design
could be further improve and will surely provide much better results as to what
Corsair did now.

Few of these improvements are making the radiator much thicker to an additional
5mm to 6mm to make cold air flow through the fins more thoroughly and instead
of using aluminum fins they could do a revision using copper fins in that way,
heated water coming in from the CPU block will be more easier to cool which
adds to a much cooler water making it more efficient specially on heavily
overclocked i7 processors and with that, i think H100's performance would yield
into an additional 20 to 25 percent added cooling efficiency as compared to the
current released model.

- I hope Corsair would released a revised and improved version of their H100
based on what many are suggesting similar to what i said here and im sure it
will be worth it.

January 18, 2012 | 04:54 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I have the H50 and not the H100 and i can reach 5.0 GHz at 70° C with the 2600K. Maybe your friend is doing something wrong?

The H50 and the H70 are from Asetek, H60, H80, H100 from CoolIT.

January 18, 2012 | 04:14 AM - Posted by xiz0r (not verified)

I have one (in push/pull) with my 2500k oc'ed to 4.8 and I rarelly see over 50-55C in game but prime 95 will take it up to 68-70C.
Not bad given that I need 1.48V on the 2500k to make it stable.
I really like it!

January 18, 2012 | 04:47 AM - Posted by Prodeous (not verified)

The main issue of concern for me based on this review is the CPU Load temperatures.

While other coolers show difference of 2-5*C difference between the cores, the H100 shows 10*C difference between the cores.

42*C on two cores
47*C on one core
52*C on one Core???

That indicates that there is definitely are of improvement in the design. If the manage to get that sorted out then indeed it would be a significant improvement over others.

January 18, 2012 | 09:56 AM - Posted by amythompson172@gmail.com (not verified)

i have thought about buying the h100 but my zalman z9 plus can't support it kinda gay nevertheless this cooler cool my cpu very well i got mine hex core up to 4ghz and max out at 50c so no biggy very impressive cooler if u r doing push pull

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0051U7HMS/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=...

January 18, 2012 | 10:57 AM - Posted by kbohip (not verified)

Hmm, after seeing the temps people are getting above, I guess mine is doing the job as well as it should be. Maybe I'll eventually try a push/pull configuration with it.

January 20, 2012 | 04:40 PM - Posted by nabokovfan87

I would suggest it. I would look into high static pressure fans as well if you are just using the stock corsair/antec fans, which TBH, not good at all for liquid.

April 13, 2012 | 04:16 AM - Posted by jewie27 (not verified)

Push/pull and high pressure fans doesn't matter, the H100 uses a thin radiator. The temperature difference between 2 fans and 4 fans is about two degrees. Not worth replacing the stock fans with $100 worth of aftermarket fans. That would pretty much cost as much as the H100 itself.

March 11, 2014 | 09:36 PM - Posted by شارژ ایرانسل (not verified)

Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you, However I am experiencing problems with your RSS.

I don't know why I can't subscribe to it. Is there anybody else having identical RSS issues?
Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

January 19, 2012 | 12:29 PM - Posted by jewie27 (not verified)

I have one for my Corsair/Asus ROG gaming rig and currently overclocked my I5-2500K to 4.9 Ghz.

January 20, 2012 | 07:18 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Did I miss it, or is there no discussion of what fan speed setting was used for this or any of the other tested products? Were these performance numbers attained at low/medium/high speed?

And no discussion of noise? What kind of HSF review doesn't mention noise?

January 20, 2012 | 07:22 PM - Posted by Dan (not verified)

This H100 cooler (with 4 noctura fans, push/pull) is great for me. I am using it with a 3930X hexa core. Running a mild overclock of about 4.0 the temps are in the high 20's at idle and about 34-35 under a bit of a load. The fans are set at the lowest (quiet) setting. Fitting it on my motherboard (Rampage IV Extreme) was a bit tight but it installed with no problems. It is quiet and effective

January 24, 2012 | 05:27 AM - Posted by Casho (not verified)

I also think that it is curious to have no discussion about noise.

September 3, 2012 | 12:04 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

eii i have a question, i bought this item for my pc , i installed it according to your instructions, i connected the 4 pin conector and the free 3pin conector to the motherboard but when i start my pc, it says there is a CPU error,did i connect something wrong? or did i got bad luck and got a dmged h100? ... it seems to be working, the CPU fan is lighted up and everything and the top radiator is cooling and everything, what should i do ? D: plss help QQ

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