Introducing Corsair’s Hydro Series: H60, H80 and H100

Closed-loop liquid CPU cooling solutions are gaining popularity as more and more vendors are carrying their own variation. We've even seen both Intel and AMD announce the inclusion of liquid-coolers for their upcoming processor lines. Today we're going to take a look at the Corsair Hydro Series H60 High Performance, H80 High Performance, and H100 Extreme Performance liquid CPU coolers. Corsair has teamed up with CoolIT Systems this time around. They have previously partnered with Asetek for other Hydro Series products (H40/H50/H70/H70 Core), but our focus here is on the H60, H80, and H100.

The Corsair Hydro Series of liquid CPU coolers aim to give you the power of liquid-cooling in a compact, easy to install package, without the complexity of traditional water-cooling kits. They are designed to be a closed-loop solution with no maintenance required at all. But just how well do these Corsair liquid-coolers perform against the current cream of the crop air-coolers? After all, Corsair is targeting the high-end air-cooling market with these cooling solutions, both in price and performance. First, let's take a look at the specs for the units being tested today.

Corsair Hydro Series Specifications
H60 H80 H100
Radiator Dimensions 120mmx152mmx27mm 120mmx152mmx38mm 122mmx275mmx27mm
Fan Dimensions 120mmx120mmx25mm 120mmx120mmx25mm (x2) 120mmx120mmx25mm (x2)
Fan Speed (+/- 10%) up to 1700RPM (+/- 10%) up to:
1300RPM (Low),
2000RPM (Medium),
and 2500RPM (High)
(+/- 10%) up to:
1300RPM (Low),
2000RPM (Medium),
and 2500RPM (High)
Fan Airflow / dBA,
Static Pressure
74.4 CFM / 30.2 dBA,
46-92CFM / 22-39 dBA,
46-92 CFM / 22-39 dBA,
Cold Plate / Radiator Material Copper / Aluminum Copper / Aluminum Copper / Aluminum
Tubing Low-permeability for near-zero evaporation Low-permeability for near-zero evaporation Low-permeability for near-zero evaporation
Intel Sockets LGA 775, 1155/1156, 1366, 2011 LGA 775, 1155/1156, 1366, 2011 LGA 775, 1155/1156, 1366, 2011
AMD Sockets AM2, AM3 AM2, AM3 AM2, AM3
Warranty Five years Five years Five years
MSRP $79.99 $109.99 $119.99

H60, H80, and H100 Overview
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  • mach2plus - Monday, January 23, 2012 - link

    "why do the big honking air coolers consistently outperform the sealed water cooling units?"

    What testing are you referring to? I have read reviews of the H80 and H100 here and elsewhere, and your comment just doesn't seem to make any sense...

    please elaborate on your claim and cite facts, please.
  • johnyfriend - Monday, November 7, 2011 - link

    Went with the Antec Kuhler than with Corsair as the Corsair one was not so quiet...Happy with Antec now...
  • jigglywiggly - Monday, November 7, 2011 - link

    What happened to all the other coolers? Like the thermalright ultra 120 x, this test is useless atm without better comparisons.
  • Beenthere - Monday, November 7, 2011 - link

    The test data clearly shows no cooling advantage to the Corsair closed loop water-coolers and they are a poor value compared to quality HSFs. Open loop coolers costing >$185 have some merit if you like to tinker and want to do some more extreme OC'ing, but water-cooling for PCs in general is hardly worth the cost and trouble. It only takes one leak to fry your PC hardware. A quiet, single fan Xigmatek Aegir costing $70. will deliver as good of or better performance than the Corsair water coolers.
  • LancerVI - Monday, November 7, 2011 - link

    Spoken like a true non-enthusiast. I have been water cooling for 10 years and haven't had one problem. While I'm no fan of closed loops like this, I can assure you that my open loops performance far exceeds this.

    Don't base your judgement of water cooling on this limited closed loop, your lack of knowledge and your fear.
  • Beenthere - Monday, November 7, 2011 - link

    As I said open loop cooling systems costing far more are OK if you want to do serious OC work but they are not a good value and one leak can cost you dearly. Just because you system has not leaked does not mean other's have not destroyed hundreds of dollars in PC hardware. My comments are far more objective than most folks who are in one camp or another.
  • Death666Angel - Monday, November 7, 2011 - link

    Yes, current generation normal air coolers are pretty great. But they also cause trouble with their size. Some (14cm+ height) may not fit in certain cases. On some motherboards, their width can result in RAM with larger heatsinks not fitting, blocking the first PCIe slot or interfering with HDDs.
    For all these purposes, AIO water cooling is a great alternative if powerful cooling is still desired.

    I had a Noctua C12P in my Lian Li V-351B, because it was the biggest thing that could fit (height restricted by the PSU hovering over the CPU socket). It is okay, but not great (OC very much heat restricted and loud once I go for full load). A friend of mine has the H50 and has the radiator on one of the front intake fans. He can run it silently and much, much cooler as well.

    I personally just bought components for a full blown water cooling setup, mostly because I need something to tinker with (file server and new HTPC are done) and I want better OC/lower noise. Though it cost an arm and a leg. :D
  • JPForums - Monday, November 7, 2011 - link

    <quote>On some motherboards, their width can result in RAM with larger heatsinks not fitting ...</quote>

    I was thinking the exact same thing. While I certainly haven't used the majority of motherboards out there, I have worked with a pretty sizable cross-section (for one person). The above statement is true of every Core i-series and Athlon64 or newer board that I've worked with. This typically only applies to the first slot. Though in many cases, if you want to maintain optimal multichannel capabilities, you loose out on another (two for triple channel controllers).

    I ran into this problem with the Thermaltake Frio, several Thermalright coolers, Prolimatech Megahalems, and several Noctua coolers including their 90mm NH-U9F. In fact, some of these coolers with less vertical clearance block the usage of RAM regardless of height.
  • beginner99 - Monday, November 7, 2011 - link

    Yeah I agree with Jared. I have a NH-D14 and it is sometimes annyoing because it blocks so much space I often have to remove it just for some minor change in my setup.
  • Tetracycloide - Monday, November 7, 2011 - link

    On the other hand the NH-D14 offers significantly better delta to noise ratios. In my experience mine has certainly been worth the extra hassle of dealing with a large fin assembly every time I open the case because of how well it performs when the case is sealed.

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