Corsair Hydro Series H90 and H110 140mm-Based Liquid Cooler Review
CPU Module and Radiator Discussion
The CPU module on both the H90 and H110 coolers is comprised of a thick extruded plastic watertight compartment bolted to the copper CPU cold plate. The plastic top of the unit has a simple white colored Corsair logo embedded on it, but does not contain the embedded LEDs or Corsair Link&trade ports of the H100i or H80i cpu modules. One other difference is the lack of drain/fill ports in the H90 and H110 cpu modules.
The bottom portion of the CPU module is a copper cold plate with manufacturer applied thermal paste for your initial CPU mount. To protect the thermal paste and the finish of the cold plate itself, Corsair ships the cpu module with a snug-fitting clear plastic cap. Notice the double line of screws along the outside of the bottom of the cooler. The inner ring secures the cold plate to the pump assembly chamber, while the outer ring holds the top cap securely to the pump and water chambers.
With the thermal paste cleaned from the surface of the cold plate, we can see the construction and finish quality of the cold plate and its surface. The surface is flat and imperfection free with the slight rings in the surface a result of the surface finishing and polishing process. The input and output valves are 90 degree angled 1/4 inch barbs with full 360 degree rotation possible. The unit's pump is powered from a 3-pin fan connector.
The included 140mm-based radiators included with both the H110 and H90 units are just barely thicker than the included 25mm fan, as shown in the picture. In the previous Corsair Hydro review, we found that the 120mm-based radiators of the same thickness (specifically with the H100i unit) held the unit back, while the H80i with a double thickness radiator received the gold award because of its increase performance capabilities. We shall see how the 140mm radiators fare.
The radiator features 1/4 inch input and outlet barbs as shown in the unit pictures. In a water cooling system, the radiator is typically the most restrictive part of the system necessitating the use of larger input and outlet barbs to compensate for this fact. Use of the 1/4 inch barbs goes against this common practice and could further hamper the H100 and H90's performance.