Temperature Results

Each Corsair Hydro Series cooler is mounted to blow air from outside the case over the radiator. We had to leave the top cover off of our 600T chassis during the H100 tests due to its restrictive design; otherwise the H100 results would have been horrendously skewed. The top cover didn't affect our other tests and was left on for those. Since the H60 has a PWM fan, we disabled any BIOS fan controls to ensure the fan was spinning at 100%. All three of the H80 and H100 speed settings are tested. We’ll start with our stock 3.5GHz test results and then move to the overclocked results.

CPU Delta Temperature - 3.5GHz (Stock)

The stock speed test doesn't provide much of a challenge for any of the Hydro Series coolers, leaving very little gap between them. Not surprisingly, all of the aftermarket coolers simply crush the stock Intel cooler; however, it’s also worth nothing that the Silver Arrow outperforms both the H60 and H80, and nips at the heels of the H100 set to Medium fan speed. Due to the relativity cool temperatures during this test, some of the speed profiles for the H80 and H100 never hit their maximum RPM. This keeps those coolers relatively quiet even when running on high or medium at stock speeds.

CPU Delta Temperature - 4.8GHz (OC)

Now that we're overclocked to 4.8GHz, these coolers are finally showing a temperature difference worthy of their price difference. Also note that the stock Intel cooler didn’t handle the 4.8GHz load reliably, so we don’t have results for it in this chart. The H100 is the runaway leader here, sporting a comfortable 3.3C lead over the H80. The H60 falls 5.1C shy of the H80—not terrible considering its slimmer radiator and single fan design. The cooling advantage of the H100 on the high setting does come at a penalty though; it's substantially louder as you'll see next in the noise test. The potential spoiler in the midst of these results is the Silver Arrow, once again coming very close to the H100 at a lower price. It’s not without compromises, which we’ll cover in the conclusion.

Test Setup and Procedures Noise Results


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  • n13L5 - Monday, August 27, 2012 - link

    ooops necro alert.... Reply
  • JPForums - Monday, November 7, 2011 - link

    <quote>(English is my 2nd language so I'm not sure I use all words 100% correctly. Hope I'm understandable.) </quote>


    Also, you seem to have a good understanding of how liquid cooling systems work, and for all practical purposes I agree with you statements.
    However, in regards to the function of reservoirs, there are a few technicalities that could dispute your statements in theory, but not in common practice.

    First, if the reservoir is made of a thermally conductive material and has good thermal contact with the chassis in which it is mounted, it can remove heat conductively. Commonly, reservoirs are made of plastic and thus provide no effective cooling. As you alluded to earlier, you would need a massive surface area of liquid to radiate an appreciable amount of heat. Further, as most of this heat is lost as liquid turns to vapor (Read: liquid loss), it would not be in your best interest to rely on such a system.

    Second, larger volumes of liquid would take longer to heat. If you were to take measurements of two similar systems with varying volumes of liquid, you would find that the system with less liquid would reach steady state temperatures more quickly. If you compared temperatures without making sure the second system reached steady state, then you might indeed conclude that the extra volume of liquid was beneficial to cooling. However, upon reaching steady state, both systems would perform more or less the same.

    Again, in practice the reservoir does little to add to the cooling capability of the system.
  • Death666Angel - Monday, November 7, 2011 - link

    Good addition to my post and of course, very true. :-) Reply
  • martyrant - Monday, November 7, 2011 - link

    I just have a $30 enzotech cpu block, $5 casa depot homer bucket, $15 eco 264 pump (using 1/2" tubing), and let me tell you, compared to every other "pc built water cooling system" whether I pieced it together of expensive parts off frozencpu or bought a kit, this is by far the best cooling setup I've ever ran. No radiator. Just a 5 gallon bucket of distilled water. If you are worried about algae or other goodies, just run h2o2 (hydrogen peroxide) with it [don't use the medical stuff, grab the stuff that is like 30% h2o2]. Sometimes I can't believe how much I used to spend on this crap. Sure, it's not that portable [but who moves their water cooled computer anyway--you are supposed to drain/fill everytime you do with the other custom kits], and it either loses/gains wow factor depending on how you look at it (I love showing off my ghetto cooling setup that beats the pants off everything beyond going chilled water). The only upgrade would be a car radiator...hah. Reply
  • double0seven - Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - link

    It sounds like it is working for you this way, but have you ever wondered why your windows keep fogging up? And the underside of your desk is moldy? Reply
  • martyrant - Sunday, November 13, 2011 - link

    It's got a lid, I cut out holes, it's semi-sealed...and even if it wasn't, those wouldn't be an issue...do you know what you are talking about? Reply
  • jewie27 - Sunday, November 20, 2011 - link

    they use a 240MM radiator because they are only meant to cool the CPU not the entire system with GPU's... Reply
  • Wakanabi - Monday, February 13, 2012 - link

    I just overclocked a new FX4100 cpu from 3.6 to 4.6Ghz per core, quad core, in a NZXT M59 case and using a corsair H60 $60 liquid solution I ran prime95 overnight. Completely stable and better yet the cpu never eclipsed 38 degrees celcius. On top of that it has been idling at 8-15celcius. Compare that to stock or even aftermarket fans.

    Even the cheap H60 does an amazing job at cooling. Naysayers simply haven't tried them. The H100 in my HAF case is even more amazing with my core i7 cpu.
  • ashujmc - Monday, August 25, 2014 - link

    You make a water cooler with a Radiator surface area equivalent to that of those Huge air coolers, you will get better performance.. additionally, not to forget that Air coolers, However massive, release all their heat Inside the CPU cabinet itself.. so HEATING THE OTHER COMPONENTS.... so heat washout from the cabinet will depend on Air flow through cabinet.. and to make the matter worse, they Obstruct Air flow inside the cabinet due to their Huge size... but Water cooler radiators will release the heat outside the cabinet.. so less heat trapped inside.. and due to smaller nature of main unit, won't block the air flow much.. if at all... Reply
  • zodiacfml - Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - link

    surface area. that is why these sealed water cooling kits perform better with faster fan speeds. yet, they still make sense when you have a moderate target cooling capacity like cooling a Sandy Bridge. Reply

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