Corsair Hydro Series H80i – Test and Review
Corsair is one of the oldest companies on the market, which already offers a wide range of AIO products – All in one water cooling kits coming in various sizes, a lot of useful features and very serious cooling capabilities. The Hydro Series offers several models, which are:
- Hydro Series H55 – the system includes a single slot aluminum radiator with dimensions of 120mm x 25mm, cooled by 1 x 120mm fan, Low-Evaporation Rubber tubes and Copper Micro Fin cooling plate. The model doesn’t feature Corsair Link technology and is made for Light gaming or general use dual core processors, with lower noise than most stock coolers. Hydro Series H55 is compatible with all modern sockets from Intel and AMD.
- Hydro Series H60 – the system includes a single slot aluminum radiator with dimensions of 120mm x 25mm, cooled by 1 x 120mm Air Series SP120L fan, Large Diameter Low-Evaporation Rubber tubes and Copper Micro Fin cooling plate. The model doesn’t feature Corsair Link technology and is made for Quad-core or highly overclocked dual core processors. Hydro Series H60 is compatible with all modern sockets from Intel and AMD.
- Hydro Series H75 – the system includes a single slot aluminum radiator with dimensions of 120mm x 25mm, cooled by 2 x 120mm Air Series SP120L fans, Low-Evaporation Rubber tubes and Copper Micro Fin cooling plate. The model doesn’t feature Corsair Link technology and is made for High performance cooling for virtually any processor, with less noise. Hydro Series H75 is compatible with all modern sockets from Intel and AMD.
- Hydro Series H80i – the system includes a single slot aluminum radiator with dimensions of 120mm x 38mm, cooled by 2 x 120mm Air Series SP120L fans, Large Diameter Low-Evaporation Rubber tubes and Copper Micro Fin cooling plate. The product is made for High performance cooling for virtually any processor, with Corsair Link performance monitoring and control. Hydro Series H80i is compatible with all modern sockets from Intel and AMD.
- Hydro Series H90 – the system includes a single slot aluminum radiator with dimensions of 140mm x 25mm, cooled by 1 x 140mm fan, Low-Evaporation Rubber tubes and Copper Micro Fin cooling plate. The model doesn’t feature Corsair Link technology and is made for High performance cooling with less noise. Hydro Series H90 is compatible with all modern sockets from Intel and AMD.
- Hydro Series H100i – the system includes a dual slot aluminum radiator with dimensions of 240mm x 25mm, cooled by 2 x 120mm Air Series SP120L fans, Large Diameter Low-Evaporation Rubber tubes and Copper Micro Fin cooling plate. The product is made for Extreme performance cooling with Corsair Link monitoring and control for systems that work with 240mm radiators. Hydro Series H100i is compatible with all modern sockets from Intel and AMD.
- Hydro Series H110 – the system includes a dual slot aluminum radiator with dimensions of 280mm x 25mm, cooled by 2 x 140mm fans, Low-Evaporation Rubber tubes and Copper Micro Fin cooling plate. The model doesn’t feature Corsair Link technology and is made for Systems that need the world’s best closed-loop CPU cooling performance. Hydro Series H110 is compatible with all modern sockets from Intel and AMD.
For this test and review I received Corsair Hydro Series H80i, which should be the best performing AIO with single slot radiator, large diameter tubes and cooled by two very loud and at the same time very well performing 120mm fans. And to be honest, I am really excited about the tests, so let’s get started with the review.
|Corsair Hydro Series H80i package – front||Corsair Hydro Series H80i package – back|
Corsair Hydro Series H80i arrived to me in a pretty attractive and very solid looking package, made entirely of carton and painted in black/red and white colours. On the front side of the package there is a big picture of the product itself, the name of the model, a lot of information regarding the socket compatibility, Corsair Link logo and the AIO purpose. Of course, the full technical specifications and all of the additional details regarding the technologies used so this product can be created are described on all other sides of the package in several languages. Actually, the package is very rigid and is made to provide maximum protection for the product when it is shipped. And as you can see on the pictures above, it fulfilled its purpose to deliver the test sample in perfect condition though the courier company didn’t really seem to care what would happen if they tossed the AIO around the warehouses and the trucks. Awesome Corsair performance and very bad courier shipping method. Anyway, the package is kinda ruined but I am really excited to check what is inside the box. And this is the view, which I got after I opened the package.
|Leaflets||The AIO packed inside|
After I opened the package for the first time, the first thing to notice was a very detailed installation manual, a warranty leaflet and additional products leaflet. All of them placed above a Styrofoam sheet, protecting the AIO itself. After I removed the leaflets and the Styrofoam sheet there was the AIO, accompanied by the fans and all of the additional accessories, which will be needed so the cooler can be used with all modern Intel or AMD sockets. All of them packed in separate nylon bags just to ensure that everything will arrive with the AIO and in perfect condition.
Corsair Hydro Series H80i ADDITIONAL ACCESSORIES
As always, the first thing to do in the article is actually to check the additional accessories, which are provided with the product and after I took all of the accessories out of their nylon packages and arranged them for taking pictures, this is the view which I got.
The standard package offers:
- Painted in black metal back plate needed for Intel sockets
- Painted in black metal front plate needed for Intel sockets
- Painted in black metal front plate needed for AMD sockets
- A set of 4 metal thumbscrews, which will be needed to fasten the water block to the Intel sockets
- A set of 4 metal pillars needed for Intel 2011 socket
- A set of 4 metal pillars needed for all other Intel sockets
- A set of 8 long bolts needed so the fans can be attached to the water block and of course so the radiator can be attached to the case
- A set of 4 washers
- A set of 2 metal hooks, which will be needed to attach the water block to the AMD sockets
- PWM Y-splitter cable for powering and regulating up to two fans
- mini USB to USB header cable
- An installation manual
Since this is the first Corsair product, which I am testing and reviewing and after I checked the standard accessories pack, I can say good job, Corsair. The set of additional accessories will provide the best possible compatibility and allow the AIO to work with every Intel and AMD socket and to be installed as the customer prefers. Here I saw something very interesting, but I will leave it aside for now and pay some more attention to it when the time comes.
I believe the time has arrived to check out the AIO water cooling system itself.
Before I started describing every single feature of the product I spent a couple of minutes observing the structure of the Corsair Hydro Series H80i AIO which is actually a pretty nice combination of very massive aluminum radiator made to work with up to 2 x 120mm fans, very thick and at the same time not very long tubes and pretty sleek and elegant water block with tons of high-tech features and connectors.
Corsair Hydro Series H80i STRUCTURE
After I took all of the parts out of the carton bed the first thing which drew my attention was actually the water block itself, made as one really sophisticated structure with one purpose only and that is to do the cooling magic for this product.
Corsair Hydro Series H80i offers a water block structure made of a square, perfectly-milled and entirely made of copper contact plate, featuring the Copper Micro Fin technology with the water pump, which is actually made to operate at up to 4500 revolutions per minute, attached on the top side of the contact plate and both of the parts are secured to each other with eight bolts for leak-free operation and to guarantee the best build quality. Of course, the contact plate arrived with pre-installed thermal compound.
|Corsair Hydro Series H80i contact plate||Corsair Hydro Series H80i waterblock|
Above the contact plate / pump structure the guys from Corsair installed a PCB, which is responsible for powering, regulating and controlling the whole cooling process. The PCB itself features 2 connectors for powering up to 4 PWM fans, using a special PWM Y-splitter, 1 mini usb connector for making the connection between the PCB and a USB port on the motherboard for controlling the AIO via the Corsair Link software and one more connector, which for now is actually a mystery for me, but I guess it is used with Corsair commander… Apart from the pretty interesting connectors, Corsair added RGB LEDs which are made to change their colour according to the temperature of the water inside of the loop.
And to improve the overall appearance of the AIO, the whole water block structure is covered by entirely painted in glossy black plastic cap with the company logo engraved, which is semi transparent so the RGB LEDs light can be visible. Pretty nice and to be honest I am really eager to check what the AIO will look like when it operates.
For powering the whole AIO, Corsair added something, which is not really a very common feature but it made me smile. To power the AIO all I had to do was just connect a pretty short cable with a SATA connector directly to the power supply of my system and attach the 3 pin tachometer cable to the motherboard’s CPU fan header. Pretty reliable setup, to be honest.
Of course, on one of the water block sides the guys from Corsair installed the 2 x 90 degrees rotatable plastic fittings on which the 2 tubes are attached. And by saying the tubes let’s check what is interesting about them.
The connection between the waterblock and the cooling radiator is done by 2 very rigid and at the same time not very flexible, entirely painted in black Low-Evaporation Rubber tubes with outer diameter of Ø15mm and probably inner diameter of Ø13mm. And since both of the tubes are not really long, the AIO can be installed only on the rear 120mm case fan slot or on the top 120mm fan slot if the case is not really tall.
From what I saw the tubes look very impressive and most of all very reliable, which for AIO cooling system is the most important thing for leak-free operation and long lasting life.
And by mentioning the cooling radiator, let’s check how big it is and what we can expect from it.
Corsair Hydro Series H80i is equipped with very solid, and at the same time pretty standard water cooling radiator made entirely of aluminum and painted in black with a thick design and dimensions of 120mm x 152mm x 38mm. The radiator itself is compatible to be used with up to two 120 x 25 mm fans installed on both sides of the aluminum fins in push-pull setup.
The standard AIO package offers two Corsair SP120L High Performance Fans, which can be attached to the radiator via 4 long bolts for every fan and the bolts which will be needed for the back fan are actually the ones which will hold the radiator to the case on the back or top of every middle or full ATX modern case.
And by mentioning the fans let’s check what they have to offer.
|One fan installed on the radiator||Both fans installed on the radiator|
Corsair Hydro Series H80i arrived to me for doing a test and review with two Corsair SP120L High Performance Fans fans with dimensions of 120mm x 120mm x 25mm made of very aggressive looking plastic black frames and a painted in grey propellers with seven very wide and not very sharply angled blades meant to provide stable airflow level of 77 CFM with static level pressure of 4mm/H2O, while rotating at up to 2700 revolutions per minute range with noise level range of 37.68 dBA.
The fans themselves are equipped with pretty long sleeved in black mesh 4 pin PWM cables and connectors for doing the powering and regulation. So far so good, but as I said earlier in this article both of the fans are powered and regulated directly from the waterblock and to do so I had to install the cables and connect the fans.
|Cables detached||Cables attached|
As you can see on the pictures above, there are 2 cables which arrived with the standard setup. The first one is a pretty standard mini USB to USB header cable for making the physical and the logical connection between the AIO PCB and the software responsible for controlling the performance and the features of the AIO.
The second cable is actually a pretty standard PWM Y-splitter for connecting both of the fans directly to the PCB of the AIO to make the PWM powering and regulating of the AIO. And here comes something which really made me happy. The 4 pins of the PWM connector arrived with additional plastic caps, with one purpose only and that is to protect the pins from bending. This is the first time i see such a feature. Very nice Corsair… seems you thought about everything.
And to install the fans to the radiator and the radiator to a 120mm case fan slot I have to use the 8 long bolts provided in the package.
And this is what the fans look like installed on the radiator and connected to the waterblock.
After I assembled the AIO I should say, pretty nice, stylish and very, very neutral colour combination featuring an entirely painted in black waterblock, tubes and radiator and painted in black/grey fans.
To use the AIO I will have to install it using the provided in the package mounting kit. According to the official details announced on the company web page, the AIO is made to be compatible with:
- Intel sockets: LGA 1150, 1155, 1156, 1366, and 2011
- AMD sockets: AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1 and FM2
Before I assemble the mounting kit and install the cooler on the motherboard I want to point something out which made me a bit curious and worried. To attach the waterblock to the processor the standard motherboard brackets are required. Both the backplate and the front plate. After that I had to attach the two small hooks to the front plate provided by Corsair using 2 thumbscrews and after that just connect them to the plastic bracket.
And this is what the assembled kit looks like when it is ready to be installed on the motherboard.
Actually for me, this is a pretty strange idea, which I can’t really trust in, but only time will show if it is reliable. Now let’s mount the water block to the motherboard and get ready for testing.
Actually it was pretty easy to attach the water block to my processor and the connection between them was very tight and solid.
As you can see from the picture above, when the waterblock is attached to the processor it will not block any of the DIMM slots and will provide full low profile RAM compatibility and high profile RAM compatibility only for the second, third and fourth slot. Of course, the water block can be rotated and then it will provide full RAM compatibility. Since my case is a bit non-standard I had to install the water block like this because the tubes are actually tough to bend.
Corsair Hydro Series H80i TESTS
With the AIO installed, the time to check my testing rig has arrived and I continue the article with the tests…
CPU: AMD Vishera FX-8350
- At standard frequency 4.020 MHz (at 1.356V)
- At low overclock frequency of 4.220 MHz (at 1.380V)
- At medium overclock frequency of 4.420 MHz (at 1.416V)
Motherboard: GigaByte 990FXA-UD3
Video card: 2 x Gigabyte GV-R927XOC-2GD
Memory: 2 x 4GB Geil Black Dragon 1866 MHz
Hard drive: Kingston SSD SV100S264G
Case: SilverStone Raven RV-03
Power supply: Antec HCP-750W
Cooler: Corsair Hydro Series H80i
Thermal paste: Pre-applied on the waterblock by Corsair
For this test and review I am going to use the two standard Corsair SP120L High Performance fans working at speed range of 1300 – 2700 revolutions per minute providing maximum airflow level of 77 CFM each, with static level pressure of 4mm/H2O at noise level of 37.68 dBA in push-pull setup.
The tests were conducted in a closed system with:
- 2 x SilverStone AP181 – 180mm fans on the bottom panel of the case putting fresh air in and spinning at about 1200 rpm
- 120mm fan behind the motherboard cooling the socket and spinning at about 1000 rpm.
- Room temperature of about 23 degrees.
Both SilverStone AP181 – 180mm fans were connected together to the chassis 1 connector and were rotating at maximum speed.
And here I want to describe my testing method.
I will install Corsair Hydro Series H80i and do stress tests using Prime95 AVX software with constant load on the AIO for 14:30 minutes with custom settings of minimum FFT size (in K of 128), max FFT size (in K of 128) and Run FFTs in place at standard frequency of 4.020 GHz (at 1.356V), at low overclock frequency of 4.220 GHz (at 1.380V) and at medium overclock frequency of 4.420 GHz (at 1.416V) using:
- Quiet mode set (inside the Corsair Link software), which made the water pump operate at about 2200 revolutions per minute and both fans operate at about 1300 revolutions per minute each.
- Maximum speed mode set (inside the Corsair Link software), which made the water pump operate at about 4500 revolutions per minute and both fans operate at about 2700 revolutions per minute each.
And this is what the CPU cooler looks like when installed inside the case and ready for testing.
Now let’s check out the test results:
|H80i Quiet Mode 2FANs@4020MHz 1.356V||H80i Maximum speed 2FANs@4020MHz 1.356V|
|H80i Quiet Mode 2FANs@4220MHz 1.380V||H80i Maximum speed 2FANs@4220MHz 1.380V|
|H80i Quiet Mode 2FANs@4420MHz 1.416V||H80i Maximum speed 2FANs@4420MHz 1.416V|
All of the test results have been summed up in the following charts:
And the fan speed during the tests:
I believe the time for conclusions has arrived.
Corsair Hydro Series H80i CONCLUSIONS
1. Corsair Hydro Series H80i performance:
After I spent a few hours unpacking Corsair Hydro Series H80i, the additional accessories included in the package part of a very extensive accessories pack which will be needed since this AIO can be used with Intel and AMD sockets, arranging them for taking pictures, installing the AIO on the motherboard and both together inside the case and finally after I am done testing, I can say that I am really impressed with the quality of the product, the included features, the appearance and the overall cooling performance.
Corsair Hydro Series H80i is actually an AIO made to be installed on a single 120 slot, on the back or on the top of a middle tower case, offering 38mm thick aluminum radiator, cooled by two very loud when working at full speed and at the same time extremely well performing fans, equipped with huge and very reliable tubes and most of all a water pump with outstanding performance and capabilities. All of these features are made with one purpose only and that is to provide the best cooling performance / noise level balance so this AIO can keep every modern processor working cool and stable at default, overclocked or even extremely overclocked frequency. And I am 100% sure that it will do its job.
Apart from that the AIO features a high tech PCB so it can provide the option to manually control the pump and the fans via a very easy to use and full of features software, which will allow every owner of this product to set the best possible performance/noise level balance according to their needs. And here I want to mention that when the AIO is working at Quiet Mode it is almost impossible to be heard, while when the AIO is working at Maximum speed mode it is a really noisy product. Of course, the Quiet mode is for daily usage, while the Maximum speed mode is actually for doing tests and some extreme gaming, which can make any processor very, very hot.
2. Corsair Hydro Series H80i appearance:
Corsair Hydro Series H80i is one really well performing AIO and at the same time pretty stylish and very well-looking product with its black/grey colour scheme, which when installed inside any modern, entirely painted in black case will stay absolutely neutral. Apart from that the integrated high tech PCB is made to provide a very nice and eye-catching effect with its RGB LEDs, which can be set to automatically change their colours according to the coolant temperature inside the loop or the colour can be set manually according to the colour scheme of the system inside the case.
According to my review, I think that Corsair Hydro Series H80i deserves the following reward:
Official price (MSRP) for Corsair Hydro Series H80i: 109.99 usd
Official warranty: 24 months
I thank Corsair for the test sample.