Corsair is the number one choice among gamers, overclockers, and enthusiasts across the nation when it comes to high-performance PC components. The company has expanded its catalog to include power supplies, cases, CPU coolers and more, but it is known primarily for its memory.
Their H100 Liquid CPU cooler released in July 2011 has since been updated to the H100i, but there’s little difference outside of the physical appearance.
- Compatibility: Intel LGA 775, 1155, 1156, 1366, and 2011, AMD AM2 and AM3
- Block material: Copper
- Radiator Dimensions: 122mm x 275mm x 27mm
- Radiator Material: Aluminum
- Fan Dimensions: 120mm x 120mm x 25mm, 2 fans
- Fan RPM: 1300 RPM (Low Noise), 2000 RPM (Balanced), 2500 RPM (High Performance)
- Fan Air Flow: 46 – 92 CFM
- Fan dBA: 22 – 39 dBA
Corsair’s Hydro Series offers an easy solution to liquid cooling your CPU. Watercooling is known for being very difficult to set up with a lot of different parts to put an effective system together. The Hydro Series CPU coolers are sealed, closed-loop systems that are pre-filled and never needs pre-filling. This is very convenient for both enthusiasts and casual PC users.
The H100 is in the Extreme Performance tier of this generation which included the H60 and the H80. It introduces a double-wide design with a 240mm radiator and two 120mm fans – twice the width of the previous 120mm radiator seen on the H80 and H60 while keeping the thickness of the H60. It also has the option of installing two more fans for a push/pull configuration.
It features the same water block and fan controller as seen on the H80 which offers 3 settings – Low Noise, Balanced, and High Performance. One issue with this is that the fan controller is a button on the water block itself meaning users have to open their case to change the setting. Although this setting feature could be useful, actually using it is a little out of reach.
Corsair’s Link Digital, the suite of hardware and software for monitoring purposes, is supported on the H100. The Corsair Link is not included with the H100, but this would be a way to change the fan speeds and other settings without opening the case.
Installing the H100 radiator was a little difficult. The 275mm overall length is very large when compared to many cases. The mounting instructions were also too bare to help much, which is disappointing when there is a mounting bracket involved for different CPU sockets. It is mandatory to have a case that has the correct amount of clearance and spacing to make installation go somewhat smoothly.
The water block is easier and actually has a convenience for both Intel and AMD sockets. For Intel, mounting brackets come pre-installed, which AMD users will have to remove to install the AMD brackets. For AMD, users do not have to worry about installing a backplate as the H100 makes use of the backplate already installed with the CPU. That said, the installation is notably easier for Intel CPUs.
The test system was installed in an NZXT Phantom case that previously used the stock AMD cooler on an AMD Phenom II X6 1090T processor at 3.20GHz.
Following installation, the test system showed a temperature decrease of about 11 C – 13 C. A noticeable difference was also heard between the H100 and the stock cooler. At the higher temperatures, the H100 was significantly quieter, than the stock cooler. The noise was comparable when it was on the High Performance setting, but still a mellower hum than the usual whir that came from the stock cooler.
Overall, the Corsair H100 succeeds in offering an easy solution to upgrading your CPU cooler, both in temperature and noise, without the hassle of a watercooler system. Although not the cheapest solution when compared to air coolers, it is much cheaper than full watercooling system components. It is worth mentioning again, however, that having the right case to install the H100 in is imperative.