Saturday, June 30, 2012

Corsair H100 CPU Water Cooler Review by Kirk Spencer

Keeping a CPU cool is an important task that also helps extend its life expectancy. This task becomes even more important when overclocking is considered. As the stock voltage is increased to reach higher potentials of a CPU, the temperature will also increase. Recent processors from Intel have an uncanny potential to be significantly overclocked. Today we're going to test
out the Corsair H100 by overclocking a second generation Core i5-2500k processor. We'll measure temperatures at the stock level and then at overclocked speeds idle and at full CPU load after a couple hours. It's time to see how this monster of a water cooling unit stacks up.
The Corsair H100 is a sealed water cooling unit. I can't say enough how nice it is to get the benefit of water cooling without having to put anything together and there's no worry of leaks. Enthusiasts looking to squeeze every last drop of performance out of a processor should take note that they don't have to hassle with hoses and fluid and everything else that goes along
with a water cooling unit that is not pre-sealed. The H100 has a large radiator which takes up essentially two 120mm fan slots, so you need to make sure there is plenty of room in your case. We've installed it in our Cooler Master Cosmos 1000 case.
· Radiator dimensions: 122mm x 275mm x 27mm
· Fan dimensions: 120mm x 120mm x 25mm
· Fan speed: 1300 - 2600RPM
· Fan airflow: 46 - 92 CFM
· Fan dBA: 22 - 39 dBA
· Fan static pressure: 1.6 - 7.7mm/H20

When you see a box like this on your doorstep it's bound to put a smile on your face. The H100 comes with all the individual parts wrapped up. The contents are as follows:
· Corsair H100 Extreme-performance liquid CPU Cooler
· Corsair Link Digital connector
· Two 120mm fans with mounting screws
· Multi-platform mounting kit (Intel LGA 1366, 1155, 1156, 775, and 2011.AMD AM2 and AM3)
· Thermal compound (pre-applied)
· Quick start guide

I've said it already and I will say it again, the Corsair H100 is a no hassle easy to install water cooling unit. The only issue we ran into had to do with our case being a bit too big for the 120mm fan setup. We still got it mounted securely to the top of the case. Once the unit was mounted to
the case and the fans were on we attached the mounting kit for our Core-i5 processor and motherboard. To reiterate a point, make sure you have room for two side by side 120mm fans to mount this unit to. The pump itself is relatively small so you won't have to worry about it getting in the way of memory modules which is definitely a welcomed change over the larger silent air
cooling alternatives.
Noise Level
The Corsair H100 has a digital fan control button on the pump which lets you choose between three levels of fan control: 1) quiet 2)performance 3) balanced profiles. The H100 also supports the Corsair Link Cooling Kit. As you might have guessed the quiet fan control setting keeps the fans at a db level where they are practically silent even when the cpu is running at a max load. The performance setting runs the fans at a noticeably higher db level.
To start off we have a second generation Intel Core i5-2500k processor. We installed the Corsair H100 on this computer and set all of the bios settings to their default settings. Each processor is going to be somewhat different, this should give you an idea of what you can expect out of the
performance of this liquid cooling unit.
The CPU with all the stock settings at idle hung out at around 25-26 degrees Celsius and never really went over 30 degrees Celsius.
This is where it gets really interesting. We cranked the processor up to maximum loads and the temperatures never went above 46 degrees Celsius! That staggering result left our jaws dropping to the floor. With those numbers in hand it was time to put the pedal to the metal and overclock this CPU. Rather than do some insane overclock that would barely post we wanted to
demonstrate what this cooler was capable of by overclocking the CPU by about 1GHz above its stock speeds. This is a reasonable setting which you could keep it at 24/7. Our voltage levels had to be increased and any increase to the voltage will result in an increase to temperature settings.
Our idle temperatures with the Core i5-2500k overclock stayed at an average of 32 degrees Celsius. The increase in temperature here is only a slight increase for the performance gain we're getting at a speed of 4.4 GHz.
At full load the temperatures never went above 60 degrees Celsius! These results speak for themselves. You can expect staggering results from Corsair's H100 sealed liquid cooling unit. If you're looking at overclocking your CPU, this is definitely a safe, easy and highly effecting

If you are looking for extreme cooling at a reasonable price, the Corsair H100 is a solid bet. We didn't have to worry about leaks or the fluid levels or any of that mess. The installation was easy and we experienced extreme cooling with no hassle. Corsair has put together something we can all lust after. Heck with a current price tag of $109.99 on you should be running out and getting one! If you're in the market for a cooling solution for your CPU we highly recommend picking up the Corsair H100. You will not be disappointed. Based on its design, features, quality, and performance, the Corsair H100 has earned our Editor's Choice Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at