Overclock.net › Components › Fans & Heatsinks › Water Cooling › Corsair Hydro Series H100 Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler (CWCH100)

Corsair Hydro Series H100 Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler (CWCH100)

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #5 in Water Cooling


Pros: Excellent performance from a compact solution

Cons: Fans are loud when it has a high load

Hey Everyone

So only my second time posting a review here, so please be gentle on me smile.gif I created a mini blog/review site here, and this full review can also be found here. It would help me to continue these reviews both from the aspect of encouragement and also obtaining gear to review if you read and post on the site itself. Having said that I'm not going to force you to go read it there so it follows below. Any positive criticism is warmly received. I test with what I equipment I have, I'm also constrained by time (I have a day job) so obviously that limits things but hopefully this is of use to all of you. Now without further ado - my Corsair H100 review:

Review of Corsair H100


A solid performance putting it midway between air and a good custom water cooling loop. It looks good and ease of setup and use are great. The TIM is good and the high speed fans mean it can perform well, however the fans are loud and for high load applications I'd look at going push/pull with AP15's. Shrouds are not worth the cost unless they're free.


The "Sealed" or "All in one" liquid cooler has been growing in popularity over the last few years. Those who can't afford a custom loop or are worried about reliability have often chosen these units. The performance of previous units was usually similar to the high end air coolers such as the noctua dh-14, however the Corsair H100 is the first such unit to feature a 240mm radiator suitable for 2x120mm fans. I had heard rumours that HardOCP had compared it favorably to a custom water cooling setup. However this review is the only one I can find and it doesn't make such a comparison. I myself was interested to see how it does compare to a basic custom water cooling loop and here are the results.

Packaging and aesthetics

Corsair always handles these two well. The box is pretty to look at and the cooler is well protected from damage. All wires are black so no sleeving is required to cover up any clown colored cables. Over all it's tasteful. My only complaint was that the backplate wasn't very specific for socket 1366, it works, but it could have been better. At this price they should have included a block that fits standard metal block that sit on the rear of most cpu sockets.


The CPU block base is polished copper and comes with TIM pre applied. It's not a perfect mirror but it's better than many cooler's I've seen.

The centre of the block has a button that allows you to choose between 3 profiles for the fans. Each setting takes input from a thermal sensor in order to determine the exact fan speed given the load. In my tests I only used the high setting as I'm only interested in maximum performance.

The tubing from the block to the radiator is about 12" long. This is fine for most users, however given that this is a 240mm radiator, some extra length would give more flexibility in locating it given that not every case has a 240mm mounting option within that reach. Here it is with Gentle Typhoon AP15 fans in Push/Pull, the tubing is just long enough to clear the standard size graphics card:


In screwing down the mount there was no spare thread left to screw. In other words I tightened it down until I couldn't tighten any more. With most coolers you tighten until it's tight enough. Luckily it seemed to have exact enough tolerances for this not to be a problem, but it wouldnt' surprise me if someone did have a problem with this.

2 fans were supplied and were recommended to be put in a push configuration. This is not surprising because they run up to 2600rpm and high speeds usually favor push. When at max speed though they are extremely loud as you might expect.


Overall I think Corsair did well with the look, simple, pretty minimal and will match everything.

Test Conditions

All tests were completed on an i7-990x running at 4.4GHz (23multx193bclk) with 1.412Vcore and 1.35Vqpi, memory was run at 1600-9-9-9-27-1N. Hyperthreading on, LLC enabled, all throttles, speedstep etc were turned off. Loading was tested using stresscpu v2 for linux 64 bit under redhat 5.7 kernel 2.6.18-274. Stress cpu is based on the gromacs core (from folding at home) and is fairly stable vs time wrt to temps. Temps were logged on every cpu core every minute using kmod-coretemp and lm-sensors lib. The loop was given 10 mins of time to stabilize before logging for 10 mins. The recorded temperature was an average of all 6 core temperatures for 10 minutes i.e. 60 readings. All thermal interface material (TIM) was shin-etsu x23-7723D unless otherwise stated. This was selected as it is very insensitive to poor application and still has decent performance. To be really fair I should have remounted each cpu block 5 times and taken the best result, shin-etsu seemed the best option given that I didn't have time to do this.

It would have been nice to compare this to a loop with an xspc 750 pump from the xspc kit as well as an rs240 radiator and an rx240 radiator to really give a fair comparison.



I tested this as part of a full watercooling test, you can see the full results here.

Fans: A lot of people have asked how the gentle typhoon ap-15's compare to the corsair fans. The short answer is that for maximum cooling the corsair fans are about 2 degrees or 6% better, simply because they run at 2600rpm vs the ap-15's 1850rpm. However they are extremely noisy, too loud in my opinion for a situation where you constantly load the cpu like folding for example.

Push/Pull vs Push: With such a thin radiator I theorized that push would have similar performance to Pull, however again you can see about 3 degrees or 10% better performance with Push/Pull. Note that with push/pull the AP15's perform better than the stock fans in push.

Shrouds: Adding a 25mm fan shrouds on both sides of the radiator out of old dead fans gave a tiny performance increase of only 0.2 degrees. This was definitely surprising. Here's the setup with the shroud:


TIM: The stock TIM was preapplied and faired a bit better than my slightly smaller than pea sized amount of shin-etsu 7723D, this is probably because I don't get good coverage to the extreme corners of the CPU with the small pea method. I wouldn't bother replacing the TIM unless you're going to use something like Indigo Xtreme. Here's a shot of the stock TIM after removal:


Vs Custom Loop: Here I selected 2 basic loop configurations. The PMP-450S at minimum voltage is roughly equivalent to a D5 vario on setting 4 according to martin's liquid lab. The D5 pump is a very common choice in custom loops however it does dump heat in the loop and so perfomance of a loop with a DDC in it may show better temps. Also a fairer comparison would have the AP15's in push. You can see that custom loops as expected do a good deal better than the H100, however of course they cost more. A fairer comparison would have been the Rasa rs240 or rx240 kit. However I don't have any 240 radiators and my xspc rasa pump/res combo died last week. Here's the custom loop setup for testing - Yikes!:


What does this really mean?

Some of you are more interested in maximum overclock than necessarily reducing temps. By making some estimates we can therefore come up with an approximate change in overclock by doing some math.

Some assumptions:
- CPU power = 200W
- voltage required for overclocking is linear with frequency (which it isn't) and was based on 2 points - 1.4V for 4.4GHz and 1.5V for 4.6GHz
- That the cpu power load is entirely dynamic switching power that follows the standard cmos power equation 1/2 * cap * freq * volts^2
- The max "safe" temperature is 50C above ambient, voltage however can be increased without worry

Using this gave me a formula that from experience looked to be off by a factor of two, applying a correction factor gives us the following plot:


So in other words switching from a bad air cooler to a stock H100 could net you 200MHz. Switching from a stock H100 to a custom loop might net you another 200MHz. This all assumes you are comfortable running the vcore necessary to get there and of course this is a *very* rough estimate.


The H100 looks good and performs well. The TIM is good, the fans perform well and overall it pretty much hits the middle spot between a good custom loop and an air cooler. For the price that's very good. My only complaint is that the stock fans are so loud. If you're looking to run a load that will require the fans running at max speed a lot then you should really look at changing the fans out, however given the fan profile settings, this is really a minor quibble.

Overall 9/10


Pros: Small waterblock, quiet, great for motherboards with huge heatsinks

Cons: Annoying to install, doesn't fit in most cases

I have an EVGA X58 Classified motherboard. It has a huge huge huge northbridge heatsink right underneath the socket. I had this fact in mind while on the market for a CPU cooler, as it obviously limited my choices. Originally I wanted to go for a high end air cooler near the $90 price point, such as the Noctua NH-D14 or the Thermalright Silver Arrow, but after some research, found out they weren't compatible, with some users having to rotate the cooler 90 degrees. I "resorted" to having to look at the Corsair Hydro line of CPU coolers.

I always saw these coolers are marketing gimmicks solely based on their performance. If you could find better performing air coolers for cheaper, why even get Corsair's line of coolers? Why waste unnecessary money when you could get an NH-D14 for $20 less?

Being in this spot of inconvenience, I decided to look at reviews of Corsair's H100. The dual radiator intrigued me, as this was the only cooler out on the market right now with this kind of aesthetics and performance. It performed very well for its price point, and with its tiny waterblock, was perfect for my motherboard.

After purchase and installation, I began to run some benchmarks. After being used to the stock cooler's 55C idle at 2.8GHz and a load temp of around 78C, I was pleasantly surprised to see a very chilly 28C idle temp and a 45C load temp once I began stressing the CPU. A quick reboot and BIOS tweak brought my lovely i7 920 (D0) to 4.0GHz, and once again the benches were ran. Imagine my ecstasy when I saw temps of no higher than 72C running Intel Burn Test.

All in all, this is a great cooler. Installation was a breeze (although my case was a bit unyielding with this one), and this cooler may not fit in all cases. Do your research before you decide to buy this.


Pros: cools great, i7 860 at 4.4 at 55

Cons: sealed, not upgradable

Leaps and bounds over the other smaller systems. I upgrades fans with push/pull fans and even cools my IB 3770k:thumb:


Pros: Cheap (in general terms) water cooler, keeps cpu cool, easy to use.

Cons: Fans are dodgy.

I got this cooler when I upgraded to the AMD FX-8150. I knew for the overclocking I was planning, air cooling wouldn't cut it. So, I went (almost) all out, and got the H100 while I was in the store.

When I got it all out of the box, I had mixed feelings. It looked and felt like a well built cooler. However, the rad is quite thin, and looks like it wouldn't cool very much.

But looks can be deceiving. Very deceiving. I hooked it up, and was able to get 4ghz on the FX-8150. That's not a big deal... But it was maintaining 45c with my room being like 25c. Oh yeah... And the fans were in silent mode.That's not gonna happen on air.

Now comes the sadness. I woke up at roughly 5AM to what sounded like a jet wanting to land in my backyard. Nope... Just my computer going nuts. After doing a few fan tests, I was able to find out that one of the fans was bad, and was not only running at full speed, but likely also has a bearing problem. I replaced them with a set of Cooler Master fans for now, with a set of SP120's on their way.

The bottom line is: If you want to overclock further than you can on air, buy this. A custom loop is always best, but some might not wanna bother with that. If your stock fans come in good condition, then they're pretty quiet. However, you should be prepared to swap the fans for some better, quieter ones, just in case. However, considering how cheap this unit is over all, can you really expect the fans to be top notch?

Final answer: Buy it, and a spare set of fans.


Pros: Easy setup, No leakage, Silent, Low temps

Cons: No external fan adjustment.

The H100 is a great liquid cooler for anyone wanting liquid cooling temps, without the liquid cooling installation. Taking the plunge into liquid cooling can be a little tricky for a beginner, from the leak testing, to deciding the loop order, not to mention the price. For anyone a bit hesitant of taking that on, the H100 is a great choice.

The main advantage the H100 has over full blown liquid cooling loops, is that you can just pop it in your rig and not have to worry about it. No worrying about leaks, no cleaning, and no lengthy install. The H100 will easily fit in most full tower cases, and some mid towers.

Temps wise, personally I have a 2500k with a 5ghz OC and I'm holding a 25c idle temp in a 22c room. When I get into 100% load using Prime95, my temps never break 65c. During a long gaming session, my temps are usually around 55c.

With all my case fans at the lowest speed, the two 120mm fans of the H100 are barely audible on max speed. I've kept my H100 fans on max since day 1 and feel no need to turn them down due to noise.

The sleek look, simple install, silent operation, and low temps that the H100 brings to the table makes it a sure choice for anyone looking for an easy window into the watercooling world.


Pros: Easy installation, near custom loop performance, lets case look nice and neat

Cons: Not a big difference in push/pull

I didn't have that much of a problem installing this cooler. Note that I do have an Corsair 800D that lets me take the back panel off and access behind the board for the processor mounting. If you have any case like that, this will be a breeze but if you don't then this may be a bit more frustrating for you.

The cooling on this is great even with stock paste. It uses a mid-high quality TIM (Thermal Paste) that keeps the processor nice and cool. Under loads at a mild OC of 4.5ghz @ 1.27 I was getting max of 63c as a push only config 10hr prime. From what I've seen a push/pull will affect the temps by 1-5c.

Overall if you're scared of doing custom loops as I was, then this is a great way to start off. I have no regrets buying this and I have recommended this to other people that I know.
Corsair Hydro Series H100 Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler (CWCH100)

Featuring a full 240mm radiator and two performance matched 120mm fans, the Corsair Hydro Series H100 extreme performance liquid CPU cooler is designed to deliver cooling performance that meets the needs of even the most demanding performance enthusiast. Performance, times two Featuring a full 240mm radiator and two performance matched 120mm fans, the Corsair Hydro Series H100 extreme performance liquid CPU cooler is designed to deliver cooling performance that meets the needs of even the most demanding performance enthusiast. Control at your fingertips The low-profile integrated pump and cold plate includes push-button control so you can select the fan speed and cooling performance setup that best suits your needs. The cool blue LED display lets you know at a glance which profile is being used.

BindingPersonal Computers
FeatureQuick and easy installation brackets make it easier than ever to upgrade to watercooling.
Is Autographed0
Is Memorabilia0
Height5 inches
Length5 inches
Weight1.5 pounds
Width10 inches
List Price$119.99
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameCE_ACCESSORY
TitleCorsair Hydro Series H100 Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler (CWCH100)
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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