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Corsair Hydro H100i GTX Review

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Test Methodology

The H100i GTX performance was evaluated against two other similar liquid cooling systems. Published specifications for the three systems are shown below.

Corsair Hydro H100i GTX Cooler Master Nepton 240 Corsair H80iGT
Length 276 240mm  154mm
Width 125 120mm 123mm
Rad. Thickness  30 27mm 49 mm
Cooling Fans 2 x 120mm 2 x 120 mm 2 x 120 mm
Total Thickness  30mm 52mm  49mm
Control Type Corsair Link none Corsair Link
Noise Level  37.7dB(A) 6.5-27 dB(A)  37.7dB(A)
Fan Speed   2435+/-10% 1200-2400  2435+/-10%
Fan Airflow  70.69 CFM 16-76 CFM  70.69 CFM
AMD Sockets All AM2,AM3,FM1,FM2 All AM2,AM3,FM1,FM2  775,AM2,AM3
Intel Sockets 1150, 1156/1155,1156, 1366, 2011(-3) 1150, 1156/1155,1156, 1366, 2011(-3) 1150, 1156/1155, 1366, 2011(-2)
Warranty 5 Years 5 Years 5 Years
MSRP  $119.99 (MSRP) $129.99 $99.99 (MSRP)

To be consistent, the same thermal paste was applied to each of the cooling blocks. The Arctic Silver Ceramique 2 paste was used for all three cooler installations.

In order to test the full range of options in the Corsair Link GUI, separate stress tests were run for each of the different modes available. The Nepton 240M used for comparison does not have different modes, so it was run at it full operating speed.

Each product was measured for CPU temperature after running a 20 minute Aida 64 stress test. Because the test computer system has six CPU cores, the average value of all individual cores was used for the final comparison. A digital thermometer and a FLIR camera were used to capture the ambient temperature during each test.

Noise measurements were also taken using a Galaxy Audio CM–240 SPL audio meter. Where possible, measurements were taken 1 meter from the center of the computer case. The CM–240 audio meter has a minimum SPL sensitivity of 32 dB(A) SPL. For measured values below 32 dB(A), the galaxy meter was moved to 500 cm from the source and the reading was divided by two.

Each of the three cooling systems was installed in the same test system as shown below.

Test System

The test computer system is a Intel i7-3930K based content creation machine with a modest 24/7 overclock of 4.2 GHz.

X79 Test System

X79 Test System

The Antek P100 enclosure provides room for top mounted installation of the cooling system, and has good ventilation with 240 mm front fans and one 120 mm rear exhaust fan.

Processor: Intel Core i7-3930X @ 4.2 GHz OC
(Haswell)
Motherboard: Asus P9X79
Intel X79
Memory: 64 GB 1600
 10-10-10-30
Video Card: Zotac GeForce Titan Black 980MHz
Harddisk: Samsung 840 EVO 500GB
Power Supply: Corsair 850
Case:  Antek P100
Software: Windows 8.1 Pro
TIM: Arctic Ceramique 2

The Asus P9X79 motherboard provides numerous fan headers for attachment to the liquid cooling system water block and fans. The BIOS allows setting the fans to 100%, or to be controlled through a Windows utility to an arbitrary percentage of the maximum speed.

Because the Corsair Link provides the control over cooler performance, the power supply of the cooler under test was connected to 3 or 4 pin motherboard fan terminals that were configured in the BIOS to operate at 100% speed.


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