Corsair Hydro series H80 CPU cooler review

Cooling/Water Cooling by leeghoofd @ 2011-08-25

The market for all in one cooling solutions is booming. Corsair initially had a good lineup with their Asetek Hydro H50 and H70 coolers. Though they jumped on the CoolIT wagon to enter a more niche market. There was more than just the demand for good cooling. Casemodders and gamers want control over LEDs, Fans, being able to create and monitor different fan profiles,... Corsairs answer is the Link software, a rebrand of the CoolIT Maestro software. The Hydro 60 was Link ready, though it's performance was inbetween the two older Hydro models. Secondly Antec took the performance crown with their 920 cooler, so it was time to react. Let's see if Corsairs latest offering, the Hydro 80 has improved on the previous generations.

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Performance with S1366 970@4.2Ghz

About time and go for the hexacore CPU. Our 970 ES sample is a natural hottie. A good test for any available cooler out there. Benching only stable at a max 4.6Ghz under a solid Phase change. Think you get the picture.


1366 socket Test bed :

Asus Rampage 3 Extreme X58 Motherboard

Intel Gulftown 970 ES CPU @ 4.2Ghz at 1.4Vcore

6Gb Corsair Dominator PC12800C8 rams







Looking at the lowest preset output we see a small difference with the Hydro 70 running at 7V. For both coolers the performance is completely unacceptable as it can't get rid off the generated heat by our 970ES.  If you can barely beat a single fan setup with a thinner radiator then there's something not right. A pure lack in airflow is what is missing. Upping the fan speed (via the two other presets) enhances the cooling drastically with our particular S1366 setup. Again at high preset besting the previous high end Hydro with almost 2°C. If you run your I7 daily for crunching etc, forget about the low speed setting. It all sadly reminds me of the previous CoolIT products, that got spanked by the 970, totally pushing them out of their cooling capacity range. This due to some flaws in the selected profiles and incompatabilities with some motherboards to get their software running correctly. Luckily the Hydro 80 doesn't suffer from that. The AMD Thuban is up next...

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