Whether you’re a serious overclocker with a blazing hot chip, or simply want a little added performance over and above what the stock cooler can provide, Corsair seems to have all price points covered with its Hyrdo series all-in-one coolers. After an extended hiatus, we’re back at it with a look at one of the company’s top high-end offerings, the H100i.
It’s nice to see that the change in our cooling test rig is able to push strong coolers such as the H80i and H100i, because it gives us a better chance to see the performance differences between the two.
The H100i is likely overkill for those running stock systems, or even rigs with a mild overclock, but folks running a more aggressive OC like we are should be throwing their mothers out of the way to get in line for one of these.
If you can spare the extra expense (and if your case has the room), we recommend springing for an extra pair of fans so that you can run just about any overclock and leave the fans spinning at the absolute minimum. Even if you can’t afford more blades, this is still a very quiet cooler until fan speeds start to surpass ~1,700 RPM.
We should mention that if users are adding extra fans, they’ll need to source the long, threaded bolts that go from the outside of the case, through the fans and into the radiator since there was only 8 in the hardware baggy, and 16 will be needed. We find it odd that two splitter cables were included to power four fans, but not enough bolts to secure that configuration. Luckily, most hardware stores should carry this type of bolt.
Installation was a snap as always and was made even easier than on past models thanks to the magnetic top cover, which novice builders should especially find very handy. In fact, the hardest part was trying to secure everything to the top of the case, but that’s not the fault of the cooler.
As always, we have to touch on the price because that’s a huge factor for most people. The H100i is currently retailing for ~$109 US, which is pretty steep. However, you get what you pay for along with a five year warranty. Ultimately, users will need to see if their budget allows for a high end cooler such as this, especially if they plan to throw down an extra $30 or more for another pair of fans.
It may go without saying, but users should check to ensure the case they have can support a large cooler like the H100i without running into any clearance problem. These could range from the location of any case fans, to extra tall VRM heatsinks or the location of the 12v power connection, so always do your homework before you pull the trigger.
Wrapping this up, the H100i continues the trend set by other Hydro-series all-in-one liquid coolers and walks away with our Editor’s Choice award for being powerful, quiet, and as always, very user friendly.