Corsair H100i CPU Cooler Review

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Cybershaman

An interesting note is that the stock fans included with the cooler look as if they use the similar plastic molds as the "High Performance" High Static Pressure fans they sell. What you get with the HP fans is rubber mounts and 3 different colored plastic rings. It would be interesting to take one of each apart to view the motor construction but I haven't done that...yet... ;)

In other news, recently went round a bit in their forums about the no CD with the hardware thing. It's hard to argue when the link to the software is right on the product page. And MaxPC always downloads the latest drivers for video cards, mobos and, well, pretty much everything else anyway. I will note that if you have problems, the sticky links in the forums can be a bit confusing. Plus, since the "i" cooler is sort of a "hybrid" between two of their product lines, there is another section in the forum for the Corsair Link stuff with more software links. So...I don't know... I'm kind of leaning on the it's silly to bring up the no-CD thing side. Bah. Whatev... :/

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John Pombrio

The directions are poor. I ended up mounting the fans as the directions said and found the mobo would not fit into the case. Mind you, this a new CORSAIR case. Turns out I had to mount the fans on the other side of the cooler using the top of the case to screw things together. The directions also showed the tubes coming from the backside of the case in one diagram and the front of the case on another. Same with the picture of the Corsair pump orientation, two completely opposite directions depending on where the tubes are mounted.
Next, the pump/heatsink did not sit flat on the CPU after I mounted it causing massive heat spikes. I had to bend the tabs a bit to get the cooler to seat properly.
Then the Corsair Link software does not work unless I pull out the header and reinsert it. something to do with Z87 chipset is the speculation so waiting on update.
Finally, when the baby winds up to full power it is NOISY! The same goes for bootup. When the computer first turns on, massive noise for 15 seconds or so. I ended up putting one of the radiators fans on the case's fan controller to reduce the noise level without compromising the cooling too much.
4.3GHz on my i7-4770K Haswell chip.

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JosephColt

The h100i does have poor instructions, easiest method:

1. Install Fans(Place Radiator at top, but don't mount it).
2. Install Heatsink(Makes it easier to get the tubing set correctly).
3. Install Radiator(Screw it in from top).

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John Pombrio

I wish I could do pictures. The radiator fans are NOT in the Corsair case, there is no room for them. They are on the outside of the case, sitting on the top. Fortunately there is a cover over them so Corsair knew that there was an issue trying to mount the radiator and fans IN the case.

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DR_JDUBZ

4ghz on phenom 2 quad with a max temp of 45C

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Vano

Why does a freaking cooler need firmware???

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John Pombrio

Mostly to control the LED lights built into the cooler and to update the intelligent operating system that controls the pump and fan speed when it is running hot.

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JosephColt

H100i cables for fans, and the SATA power cables make it look untidy, that's for sure.

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bestinmexico

Just bought this for my new build. Haven't been able to use it yet though, mobo was damaged and had to return. Hooray for 2 week RMAs! How bout some links to the firmware? Also bought a couple Noctua NF-F12 fans with the hopes of a bit better cooling and lower noise.

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JosephColt

They won't perform better and have less static pressure than the stock fans; stock fans are better for the radiator.

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kiaghi7

Well it would be more quiet, but yes about 30-50% less fan power for cooling...

If he were to get Noctua NF-S12A fans however, he'd still be pushing comparable air (still less, but not tremendously so), while getting the sub-20dB rating...

In the end, I'd be using a push-pull configuration with quad fans anyway, so the stock fans would be moot.

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JosephColt

True for push/pull in a way, but the performance of push pull for the H100i is very insignificant. The fans also are inaudible on quiet mode, but they are very loud on performance. You'd be gaming when it gets loud anyway where there is loud music/sound effects.

Spending 100 dollars on an H100i, then another 100 on 4x NF-S12A fans that will provide inferior fan cooling to 2x stock fans, that is incredibly poor way to spend your money, but how you spend your money is none of my business. Push/Pull only gives you 3-5C at best for an H100i, or around that so it's not worth it, especially for 100 dollars. Throwing away money to make your processor run a few C cooler is crazy waste(for example if you're overclocked at 4.5ghz on a 2500k and your load is 52C, then you spend 100 dollars for push pull with the NF-S12A fans to get it to 48C, why would you do that!

Shouldn't ever spend over 100, maybe 120, on a closed loop or heat sink.

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kiaghi7

Perhaps, but one could also say every degree counts, as that such an overclock could readily be done on many air-cooling solutions. In fact the NH-D14 can actually go toe to toe with the H100 series on nothing more than air and more/better fans.

If you're already going "enthusiast" enough to buy a water cooling solution, but still taking a conservative enough route to stick with a closed loop system rather than going all-out-custom, why not stack the fans? Clearly the entire goal is to get just a few degrees more, because otherwise they'd be sporting a stock setup and we wouldn't be having this conversation...

The fans, while pricey in some instances, are typically the after thoughts of a significant build. For a retro-fit you likely have extra fans anyway from the heatsink being replaced by the closed loop cooler, and so on and so forth...

If you have the materials available, it'd be almost silly NOT to use them, and if you're doing a new build the fans are a modest investment compared to practically anything else you'd be getting... Heck gaming mice/keyboards routinely cost as much or more than 3 of the fans, but people rarely bat an eye now-a-days.

I distinctly remember when telling someone that you paid $50 for a computer mouse would be grounds for being committed to the nuthatch... Today if you get a good quality and new-er generation gaming mouse for $50 you got a deal...

Case fans are going the same direction because the demand is there for better performing components at every level, even the minutiae are starting to become ever more enthusiast oriented and improved as a result, however the price for such developments and performance must be paid for...

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JosephColt

Every degree does not count at a point.

With an H100i, you're not paying for the cooling, your paying for the looks, no weight on motherboard, and something that is easier to clean than a really thick heat-sink for 20-ish dollars more than a Noctua.

If your using the H100i with stock fans, which will perform better than the fans you want to get anyway, you're going be getting adequate cooling already. There is no need to spend 100 dollars on fans or more, that is just stupid as it comes unless your doing a serious custom loop to reach those really high overclocks.

You will get 50-70C with any chip overclocked to a 4.3,4.4,4.5 as long as the chip is decent itself and can reach those clocks, with an H100i. Those temperatures are very safe, and the processor will last 6-8 years easily at an overclocked speed, you will replace it in 4-5 years too.

So, the point is, spending 100 dollars to get a couple extra degrees is completely pointless and does NOTHING to give you increased performance or help a processor last longer. A few degrees cooler will not help you get past the wall where you need tons of voltage of the next step up that you will eventually run into too.

Only reason mice are expensive is gamers are typically easy to fool into buying gaming gear that cost to much, and the sensors are going to cost a bit more than a typical mouse that's 10 bucks.

Also, you're not an enthusiast in the slightest because you buy an H100i.

Nothing wrong with getting an H100i when stock is more than enough.

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kiaghi7

Indeed, the components do not make the enthusiast...

However the enthusiast does indeed go out of their way for the components, and they go out of their way for them for a reason...

I'll not touch on the matter of how wise the purchasing decisions of people are, we live in an age where Justin Bieber is considered "entertainment"...

However, someone who wants to eke out a few more degrees of cooling, whether for practicality sake or not, is irrelevant... They aren't doing what they are doing because it's practical. If practicality was the goal, they'd have a bone stock setup to begin with, and again, we would not be having this conversation...

The entire point is that the enthusiast WANTS the slightest edge in performance, not because it's a tremendous difference, but precisely because it is a small difference over the alternative(s).

This is the entire driving force behind every generation of "new and improved" dodads all over the world. Newer, faster, better and what have you is precisely why we're not driving a Model T.

It's not always because it's "practical", it is quite often simply because someone WANTS it...

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JosephColt

My point is your wasting 100 dollars on fans to get a couple C more cooling from an H100i!

200 dollars for an H100i push/pull setup, you could do a cheap custom loop for a couple hundred more that will be slightly better; that is more enthusiast, not spending 100 dollars on fans that will make NO worthwhile difference for a closed loop.

Things you could have done with that 100 dollars instead:

Buy a better closed loop when a new one comes out?
Buy a 770 instead of a 760?
Buy an i7 instead of an i5?
Buy a better case for air flow?

Save it for when it will make a difference, not lower the temperature from 52 to 48, no one will be impressed by an H100i doing a little better like that.

I know it's what you want, this isn't a personal attack or anything, just trying to keep you from what I think is a very wasteful decision.

I've got nothing wrong with going for the most performance/latest and greatest, but some things don't make sense. You don't do that type of stuff with a closed loop at that price; go the extra mile and do it right if you want to spend the money. I doubt that money is no concern to you in real life, choosing how you spend money when it matters is the best thing you can do.

If you really wanted to do push/pull just buy 2 extra stock fans and get the performance you desire(MUCH cheaper):

http://www.corsair.com/en/cpu-cooling-kits/cpu-cooling-accessories/hydro-series-h80i-h100i-sp120l-2700-rpm-replacement-fan.html

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kiaghi7

Again, you keep getting hung up on it being about me, and about it being practical...

First, I neither have nor want the H100i... I have never once even mentioned that I like, want, or have the H100i or any closed loop cooler... I hearken from the age arcanae and cool on air... But I digress...

Second, it's NOT ABOUT PRACTICALITY...

Therefore it's not a measure of what you "could have gotten instead", this is entirely about getting all of that -AND- the extra this or that...

Frankly it's hard to see why this is even a matter for discussion at this point, it's not about it being the best, it's not about it being practical, and it's not even about it being preferable compared to "X" alternative...

I was merely discussing what the OP was asking about, and laying out options... Contributing ideas rather than diminishing them, and lending a suggestion to get both comparable/superior cooling and a more quiet solution while using an H100i...

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JosephColt

Yea, you never did, you said you'd be using push pull if it were you so it sounded like that using the Noctua fans on the h100i is something you'd do.

Sometimes the "extra this or that" is completely foolish in certain scenarios; you gotta know when and when not to.

Spending the money and doing a custom loop with the best fans is one thing, but doing so on an H100i is a total waste. An H100i is just an alternative to a heavy and ugly heat-sink, it's not about performance despite what people think. Spending 100 dollars on Noctua fans for an H100i that is performing optimally already with stock fans is good; even 30 bucks for more stock fans is pushing it. I mean, I guess it's cute if a kid wants to feel like he's a pro by adding better fans to a closed loop, but a really poor idea practically or non-practically.

Yep, you contributed an idea, and I argued against it in my first response post, I considered it a poor idea using those fans or even going push/pull for an H100i.

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bestinmexico

I am so tired of this whole elitist community. Honestly, what business is it of yours what I spend my money on? It has absolutely no effect on you. So I got some extra fans, big whoop. If you think it was a bad decision great, you can tell me why. But don't bash me or call my actions "foolish" just because it isn't what you would have done. I am not by any means claiming to be an enthusiast just because I bought a closed loop system, nor do I believe purchasing the H100i and some extra fans makes me a “cute kid” or wannabe “pro”. Yes, I could have just as easily gone for a full custom loop, but a closed loop to me is worth it for the reduced bulk and ease of maintenance.
In the end, whatever I purchase, is absolutely no concern of yours. It is my money, my decision. Besides just because I purchased the fans with a specific intent doesn’t mean I have to use them on the radiator. If I decide that the noise level is tolerable and the performance is better with the stock fans, well then that just means I now have a few extra quality fans that I can use elsewhere.
Now if I start talking about my cool new FX-9580/Z87 combo, then criticize away…
Kiaghi7
I appreciate the suggestions. According to their site, the NF-F12 have a higher static pressure than the NF-S12A, but I could be remembering incorrectly. Also, thank you for being civil in your discussion of alternate viewpoints.

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kiaghi7

You're very welcome bestinmexico, as with anything, just do tons and tons of research, I am the first to say I don't know it all and especially every stat on every component and every combination there of, so please don't hesitate to check... In fact I strongly encourage it since you may find another, preferable, option to the original line of thought.

I knew the S12A's were a "schoch" less volume than the actual stock fans, but recommended them since they were a far more quiet solution than the stock fans with a hair more volume than the F12's, but as with so many things no single solution is completely perfect...

Good luck to you in your efforts and I hope you end up with something that works how you want it to.

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JosephColt

There is a huge difference between being elitist and informing someone else of a poor decisions when they feel it's the wrong thing and there are better choices for the individual; which is what I tried to do in the first place.

-If you saw someone making a poor decision because they are not familiar with something that well, would you not step in and help?

I even said it was none of my business way on earlier, but is it wrong to still state my opinion and try to inform you?

The other guy just twisted it into a pointless argument about getting every degree and doing things just because it's about being non-practical.

I only wanted to provide you, "bestinmexico" with my opinion, which I did. I did not insult you at all in anyway too. Only started giving my opinion till the other guy began an argument with me.

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bestinmexico

I agree, you have every right to express your opinion and give suggestions on alternative set-ups. I very much appreciate that, and hope that you will continue to share your knowledge/experience with the community. But there is a way to go about it that doesn't, as kiaghi7 pointed out, diminish the person you are trying to help. It is really unnecessary to add in lines such as “I guess it's cute if a kid wants to feel like he's a pro by adding better fans to a closed loop...” How is that helpful in the least? Whether or not that statement had a specific target, in context of things, it is a nonconstructive and unnecessary comment on my buying decisions.
At any rate, this argument is pointless and will go nowhere. I appreciate your input, and will keep it in mind.

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JosephColt

I apologize if you found my comments insulting.

Kids comment was sort of in the context of things(in a non insulting manner), could have written it better.

I agree this is a pointless argument I only wanted to give my opinion until me and the other guy started arguing with me.

Anyway, I hope I helped, even a little. Let's end this here then.

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bestinmexico

That is fine, I probably should not be so dramatic, but hey, isn't that what the internet is for? Thanks for the input. I did end up going with the stock fans on the rad, which is fine because it left me with a few extra fans to use in the case.
Replacement mobo came in yesterday, so I was able to get it finished and boot it up. Stock fans were much more quite than I had originally thought.

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dragonfang18

I agree, its just I'd rather not have 2 pounds of air cooling on my board, especially when I have to move it out of my room for the semi-annual dust removal.