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The Corsair Hydro Series H80i High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler Deconstructed

H80i Controller Board

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The H80i's main controller board sits on top of the pump in an upper chamber covered by a plastic top cap. Power is provided to the controller board and pump through a SATA power cable that is soldered to the controller PCB in the upper left corner of the board. The controller board and pump are held in place by four steel screws at each corner of the PCB.

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In addition to the SATA power cable and pump speed monitoring cable, a thermistor for monitoring CPU cold plate temperature is soldered to the PCB to the right of the Corsair Link™ ports. In between the power and thermistor attachment points is the on-board color LED panel (large white, rectangular panel).

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The controller's LED panel can display up to 65k colors, controlled through the Corsair Link™ software. The LED panel is fed by three individual LEDs - one by the SATA power connection, and two by the Corsair Link™ ports. The three LEDs are each assigned to illuminate a specific primary color (red, green, blue) with the combination of those colors forming the desired LED color through the integrated panel.

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The pump is power directly through two thin copper wires soldered to the PCB's surface underneath the LED assembly. The PCB rests on plastic standoffs built into the top of the pump with an integrated channel guide to orient the PCB. Unfortunately, the PCB and pump are not meant to be separated as you can tell from the dangling copper leads on the back of the PCB in the picture. The leads attach to the pump through the small holes marked L1 and L2. If you decide to ever take apart one of these units, DO NOT attempt to separate the PCB from the pump or you will end up as we did in the pictures.

January 22, 2013 | 07:13 AM - Posted by David (not verified)

A cool article.

I've owned an original H80 since not long after they came out. The original design had a lot of problems with the integrated fan controller not working properly out of the box. Corsair was very good about RMAing and I'm reasonably happy with it. I don't think I'll ever do another closed loop cooler again, though.

The new cold plate design on the i variant looks like a pain to install compared to the old design.

January 22, 2013 | 12:21 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

I didn't find it too bad to install actually.  And the integrated magnets holding the top plate in place helps immensely.  It is simliar in nature to Swiftech's block mounting mechanism...

January 22, 2013 | 02:31 PM - Posted by nabokovfan87

It was a heck of a lot more elegant on amd compared to my h50, no backplate to swap, easier to install than a stock amd cooler, 2 screws instead of a latch. The multitude of cords is bad though.

January 22, 2013 | 11:16 AM - Posted by leobiendurana

Awesome article. I wish to read more like this.

January 24, 2013 | 02:07 PM - Posted by razor512

Is it possible to get one that has been used in a system for like 1-2 years and then take it apart and check how the internals held up.

Also if possible, on an analytical balance, measure the weight to find out how much fluid was lost.

Also if possible as a final bit of destruction test is a hole can be made in the tank for the installation of a small cap where a small syringe (the kind used for filling ink cartridges) can be used to top the tank off after a few years and then sealed with a screw with a o-ring at the end or something)

December 15, 2013 | 08:26 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I hate people like you.

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