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Corsair Hydro Series™ H100i GTX Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler

Posted

Pros: Excellent cooling, good to moderate ease of installation

Cons: Noisy under heavy load, initial noise from pump, having to change the default Intel mounting collar to AMD

Hello. I am new on the Corsair forum, (no posts there, yet,) but I noticed that there were no reviews of the H100i GTX/v2 cooler. I am not a habitual review writer. I will not be scientific. Impressionistic or anecdotal would be better descriptions. These come from an old computer geek, with an obsession for fans, ventilation, and now, AIO liquid coolers. Part is an account of such a guy messing with, and tuning a new piece of gear.

I came by this cooler through an RMA of my H100i "V1" which developed circulation problems. At the time I was running an FX-8350 at stock 4 GHz, slightly under-volted at 1.32 V. I run processing 24/7 for GIMPS: The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search. This is best known for its software, Prime95, which many people use for its torture test. My CPU is usually at 98+%. In addition, there are two overclocked GPUs, both of which dump a lot of heat inside the case.

In the course of multiple CPU cooler changes, the heatsink compound yanked the chip out of the socket, bending pins on one edge. Trying to realign them, resulted in one pin breaking. This caused me to go through a process which ended up with an FX-9590 installed. This stepped up the rated TDP from 125 W to 220 W.

The H100i V2 is set up in exhaust as the original was, stock fan arrangement. Obviously, this is a challenging situation, but so far, the V2 has dealt with with it well. The most extreme heating Prime95 Torture Test, combined with the GPUs going full tilt, pushed the CPU to 69 C. Under normal P95 processing with GPUs, it drops to 55-57 C.

When I first installed the V2 there was a clattering sound sound that had me going through the case stopping individual fans manually to find the source of noise. Playing with the pump speed in Link convinced me that was it. However, after a week or so of nonstop operation, that sound has diminished, and now is lost under the fairly noisy case and GPU fans.
As I said, this is a challenging cooling environment, in a case designed to be quiet. (Define R4) rather than High Air Flow. As I write, the CPU is running real Prime95 assignment at:
Ambient: 23-24 C
Liquid temp: 39 C
CPU: 58-59 C
98-99% usage
4.7 GHz
Vcore: 1.52
pump: 2880 rpm (Performance profile)
Radiator fans: 2640-2700 rpm. (max 2700 rpm.) This brings the noise up a good bit, though it is low background noise up against Ziggy Stardust. A degree or two cooler is much quieter.
( have revised the temperature upward a few times since I started writing. This just shows how long it takes a lot of heat to really saturate the cooler. As this happens, and the difference between ambient temp and coolant temp increases, the heat transfer out also improves.)

Here is another thing: I have read on the Corsair forum much discussion of what sensors could be assigned to control the radiator fans. I am running Corsair Link Version 4.3.0.154. The Check of Updates button returns: "You have the latest version." On the Home tab of Link, H100i v2 (Liquid cooler) tile, I have quite a few drop down Group options. The significant ones are, "H100i v2 H2O", and "MB CPU". H2O
is the name I gave the Liquid temperature. MB CPU is the CPU temp. either can be assigned to control radiator fan speed.

I have found that the Corsair advice to use Liquid temp to control the fan is correct. A liquid cooling system does not change quickly. It has a lot of thermal mass, which also provides a large cooling buffer for the CPU. Because of this, fan speed changes do not immediately get through to the CPU. They affect the CPU as the coolant temp drops. The greater the difference between the coolant and the CPU temps, the better the cooling.

I may only have the option for the CPU temp to control the fans because the board is Asus ROG, with seemingly more ways to extract sensor data. YMMV. In any case, fast fan response will not have any useful effect. Consequently, letting the fans track the Liquid temp makes more sense, and avoids the annoyance of the fans revving up and down.

Conclusion
The H100i v2 cooler holds an FX-9590, 220 W chip, in similar temperature range as an Fx-8350, 125 W chip with the original H100i, which is a good cooler itself. Version 2 stands up to a 9590 at 4.7 GHz, an OC GTX-460, and an OC GTX 580. These are dissipating an estimated 220 W CPU, maybe 135 W for the 460, and 220+ W for the 580. It is definitely running hard, but it is temperature stable.

This is impressive performance, especially since it is really warm here, for late October. I expect overall lower temps, once seasonable outdoor temps return.
Corsair Hydro Series™ H100i GTX Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
Description:

H100i GTX 240mm AIO Liquid Cooler

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