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The Corsair Hydro Series H80i High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler Deconstructed

H80i Pump and Upper Chamber

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CPU cooler assembly breakdown
Courtesy of CoolIT Systems

Pump Technical Specifications (taken from the CoolIT Systems website)

Motor

Electronically commutated, brushless DC

Nominal Voltage

12 VDC

Nominal Current

0.1 A

Power

1.2 W

Maximum Flow Rate

2 L/min

Maximum Head

112 cm H20

Speed

2100 +/- 10% RPM

Acoustic Noise

23 dBA

Life Expectancy

50000 Hour MTBF

Maximum Operating Temperature

70 (C)

The pump specifications shown are for the CoolIT Systems' ECO II integrated pump. From outward appearances and Corsair supplied cooler specifications, this pump matches the pump that CoolIT Systems designed into the H80i.

Common practice in the water cooling community is to place the pump in between the reservoir and the radiator, so that heat from the pump does not feed into the CPU water block. Corsair's design goes against this principal, but works because of the lower power output of the pump itself. The pump uses just over 1 watt of power for operation, meaning that its heat generation is minimal. Therefore, the heat fed into the CPU from the pump operation or via the coolant from cooling the pump is negligible.

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The pump site directly under the cooler controller PCB. You can also see the inlet, outlet, and drain channels leading into and exiting the lower water chamber as well. An air pocket surrounds the pump on all sides to aid in dissipation of heat generated by the pump during normal operation. This, in conjunction with the upper and lower cavity separation, makes this integrated pump design a viable solution.

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With the pump removed from the assembly's upper chamber, you can see the entry and exit ports for coolant in the upper chamber. Coolant enters from the left barb through the middle hole in the chamber and is pushed to the lower chamber through the hole in the left side. Notice that the barbs are plastic and attached to the assembly on rotating supports. The 90 degree angling of both the input and outlet barbs is not ideal for flow rate, especially with a pump only rated at 0.5 gallons per minute (2 liters per minute).

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A rubber o-ring around the outside edge of the pump make the pump and impeller assembly water tight when sealed against the CPU cooler assembly upper chamber.

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The impeller is a round plastic piece with a metal bushing in the middle for smooth rotation around the pump's center shaft. While the impeller rotates, the blades in the top of the impeller suck the water from the center inlet hole and force it out through the side outlet hole. This is similar in nature to how a fan pushes air through its blades. The holes towards the center of the impeller allow some water to get in between the surface of the pump and the impeller, acting as a water cushion upon which the impeller spins.

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The pump is designed so that the impeller mechanism sits on the center shaft with the impellers outer edge sandwiched in between the pump motor and the lip containing the o-ring. The pump motor assembly is underneath the center plastic housing through which the pump shaft protrudes.

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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