Corsair Hydro H100i GTX Extreme

High Performance 240mm Closed Loop CPU Liquid Cooling Solution

Corsair Hydro H100i GTX Extreme Liquid CPU Cooler
Corsair

The Bottom Line

Jan 22 2016 - Corsair's Hydro H100i GTX Extreme may be a large all-in-one liquid cooling system but it offers great performance for those looking to push their desktop computer processor to its limits or want a system with very low noise. The system is easy to install and manage as long as your case has sufficient space. Performance is great and noise levels for the most part is quite good.

Just be warned that the performance does carry a price tag compared to other cooling solutions.

Pros

  • Excellent Cooling Performance
  • Very Low Noise Operation Under Standard Conditions
  • Large Size May Prevent it from Being Used in Smaller Cases

Cons

  • Expensive Compared To High End Air Coolers
  • Can Get Noisy At Times
  • Large Size Restricts Use in Smaller Desktops

Description

  • Closed Loop Liquid Cooler with 240mm Radiator
  • Compatible with LGA 1150/1155/1156/1366/2011/2011-3 and AMD FM1/FM2/AM2/AM3 Socket Processors
  • Includes Two Corsair SP120L 120mm PWM Cooling Fans
  • Integrated Cooling Plate and Pump With Adjustable LED Lighting
  • Thermal Compound Pre-Applied
  • Corsair Link and USB Header For Adjusting Performance
  • 37.7 dBA Fan Noise Levels
  • 276mm x 125mm x 30mm/55mm Dimensions (Without/With Fans)

Review - Corsair Hydro H100i GTX Extreme Liquid CPU Cooler

Liquid Cooling for desktop processors has come a long way since the early days of having to install all the piping and components yourself.

Closed loop liquid coolers are an all-in-one solution that allow consumers to simply drop it into their PC without having to worry about the tubing or filling of the system. Corsair's Hydro series has been a popular solution and their latest Hydro H100i GTX Extreme offers high performance for those looking at either overclocking or trying to build a near silent computer system.

The system consists of an integrated cooling plate and pump attached to a large 240mm radiator. While the radiator is quite large and will have issues fitting in smaller cases that do not have a dual 120mm case face setup, it offers a greater surface area for improved cooling of the system by more efficiently moving the heat away from the processor. The tubing between the radiator and the pump is sleeved making it quite sturdy but it can be stiff making it hard to route the cables in some cases. For instance, the radiator barely fit into the Corsair Obsidian 250D case I used for testing.

For testing of the Hydro H100i GTX, I used an Intel Core i5-6500K processor at standard clock speeds in the previously mentioned Obsidian 250D case. The Corsair Link software was set for a balanced profile which is the default and one that most people will use. This will try to limit the fan speeds and noise but also try to keep the processor temperatures at lower levels. The processor was then run in a full stability test for one hour using the AIDA 64 Extreme software while recording the temperatures. Processor temperatures started at 26 degrees Celsius and stabilized at roughly 43 degrees under the load.

Fan speeds ran at 700rpms initially and maxed out at just under 1200rpm which is have their maximum speed. Overall, performance was great and noise levels were very reasonable with GPU fan noise being louder than the radiator fans.

Outside of the testing, I did notice one major annoyance with the Hydro H100i GTX system. When the system went into sleep mode for extended periods, when the system was woken up, the pump would tend to make excessive noise while it spun up and started the circulation of the fluid again. This tended to last for a minute or two and then it returned to its near silent operation.

This makes it a little less than ideal for those looking at truly silent operation but it could have been a quirk with my unit as well. It does not appear to have gotten worse over the two months of test but it has not improved either.

List prices of roughly $130 make it fairly expensive. So is a liquid system such as the Corsair Hydro H100i GTX better than using a high performance tower air cooler that can cost roughly half as much? For overclockers, the liquid cooling system will be more efficient keeping the temperatures down and doing a better job at pulling it away from other components in the system. The problem is that many high performance air coolers can do just as well for lower cost. They may not be as silent and can have even greater issues in terms of compatibility with smaller cases but they still work very well.