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"Those who go mad are merely thoughtful souls who failed to reach any conclusions." - Bloodborne

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Corsair H100 Initial Thoughts.

Update 1: 8/20/11

My H100 is still running like a champ, I just wanted to give a small update. I've since overclocked the 1090t to 4.1ghz at a voltage of 4.45. It's perfectly stable and the temps might touch 50c while running Prime95 if it's warm in the room. I attempted 4.2ghz but it seems I've hit the ceiling of this particular chips overclocking potential as it won't run stable at that speed, even at a voltage of 1.50. The cooler still gets a 5/5 from me and I very highly recommend it so far.

My real plan for this cooler is the Bulldozer chip I plan to purchase when they're available, hopefully around Sept 19th if what I'm hearing is correct. I hadn't really planned on overclocking this chip any more but with all this extra thermal headroom, I couldn't resist. If anything changes I'll update this post again.

End update 1.

So I recently got my Corsair H100 liquid CPU cooler in and I thought I would give my initial thoughts on it. Why? Because. What? Exactly.

The H100 is the newest and beefiest of the Corsair liquid cooling units. The units are all pre-filled and maintenance free for their lifetime. Much unlike the bigger, more expensive water cooling systems you would buy and put together yourself. It sports a full size 240mm rad. It comes with two 120mm fans which seem to be very nice and push a lot of air. It only comes with the screws to mount the two 120mm fans, but it supports adding another two for a push-pull configuration. The fans plug into the water block/pump combo that you attach to the CPU mounting bracket and it has room for four fans in it. This allows you to control the fan speed of up to four fans via a button on the pump itself. It has three profiles, low, medium and high. It shows the current profile via three lights on the unit itself. It also has support for something called Corsair Link, with another light on the unit to display when that is working.

It has full support for AM2, AM2+, AM3 and AM3+ AMD processors, along with LGA 775, 1155, 1156 and 1366 support for Intel processors. It comes pre-installed with the Intel bracket although I removed it and installed the included AMD one. It should be noted, especially because I haven't seen ANYWHERE else that I've looked mention this, that if you have an AMD CPU you will not have to remove the mounting bracket or plate from the back of the motherboard. The unit includes the bits to install it onto the existing bracket for any modern AMD socket type. You will have to do this for an Intel socket however, but it includes everything you need to do so. I'm not the best reviewer so I won't say too much else right now, other than my initial experience with it.

So how is it? Fan-fucking-tastic so far. I had some help holding the radiator in place while I screwed it in to the top of my Cooler Master HAF X case. Other than that the installation went very smoothly and quicker than I thought, perhaps because I didn't have to fiddle with the back of the motherboard as I expected I would have to. It blocks NO memory slots, which is a big plus as I find the whole idea of a CPU cooler blocking anything important to be ridiculous.

What about temps? I don't have anything scientific for you but there are a million reviews on the internet for that. But just based on my experience, here's what I've noticed... Before I was using a 92mm HDT (heatpipe direct touch) cooler from Xigmatek. I have an AMD 1090t 6 core CPU overclocked to 4ghz at 1.425000 volts. Operation would be great but running Prime95, although stable, got the CPU a little too hot after a while. The temps would rise to around 63c after about 20 minutes and I would end the program for fear of heat damage. After install the H100, I ran Prime95 again with the same settings and the H100 set to the third setting on the pump, maximum, the temps topped out running for around 20 minutes at 43-44c. About 20c cooler. Holy shit. That's hardly a scientific test, but damn, it's impressive.

What's even better is that I don't even think the fans had ramped up all the way with the temps only briefly touching 44c. I suspect this thing could handle a lot more. At about $109.99 on Newegg, I would very highly recommend the H100. The only way you could match or beat this with an air cooler is with something huge like the Noctua NH-D14 which would prevent the installation of RAM with tall heat spreaders. So, at this point, I'd say solid 5/5. If this changes, I'll let you know. But for now I'm extremely satisfied. If the H100 is too large for your case, then I would also recommend the Corsair H80 as it would have performance almost as good as the H100 and would fit in most cases with a 120mm fan slot. If you have any questions, let me know. Here are the relevant links.

Corsair H100 on Newegg.

Corsair H80 on Amazon.

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