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Corsair > 
Item#: N82E16835181031
CORSAIR Hydro Series H80i High Performance Water/Liquid CPU Cooler. 120mm
  • Built-in Corsair Link
  • Multiplatform magnetic mounting bracket kit
  • Large-diameter 120 x 152 x 38mm
  • 2700 RPM (+/- 10%) 77 CFM
  • Fan Noise 37.68 dBA
  • $114.99
  • $89.99
  • Save: $25.00 (22%)
  • Free Shipping (restrictions apply)

3 out of 5 eggs Overpriced and Underperforming 12/17/2013

This review is from: CORSAIR Hydro Series H80i High Performance Water/Liquid CPU Cooler. 120mm

Pros:

I should start off by saying this isn't a bad cooler. It out performs the stock intel heatsink by far. The fans that are included are top notch, and even when running at almost full speed or in "performance mode," the unit is very muted. Not silent, but very quiet relative to the amount of air the two fans are moving and the rpms they are spinning at. The management software that you download is pretty nice as well, allowing you to manually tweak your cooling profiles, use preset cooling profiles, and monitor your system. Also, it is less bulky and takes up less space than most comparably performing air-cooling solutions. I was using this cooler to cool a Haswell 4770k. At idle, my processor was running at ambient room temperature. You can't get any better than that unless you're using an exotic liquid nitrogen cooling solution. Under normal usage, temperatures were at mid-40's Celsius. Stress-testing with an AVX enabled LinPack put temperatures in the high-50

Cons:

I bought this cooler for to replace a CoolerMaster Hyper-212+ I had recycled from my previous build. The processor I am running on my new build is a Haswell 4770k. I wanted to overclock my 4770k more aggressively than I was able using my CoolerMaster Hyper-212+ set up in a similar push-pull configuration. The performance is comparable to, but not better than, the CoolerMaster, which is a $30 part ($40 if you include the purchase of the second fan).

The performance difference is best illustrated by comparing temperatures.
At idle, the Corsair Hydro keeps the 4770k at 22-25 Celsius (ambient temperature).
At idle, the Cooler Master 212+ keeps the 4770k at 28-32 Celsius (a few degrees above ambient temperature).
Under normal usage, the Corsair Hydro keeps the 4770k at 36-42 Celsius.
Under normal usage, the Cooler Master 212+ keeps the 4770k at 38-44 Celsius.
At stock speeds and running an AVX version of the LinPack (via OCCT), the Corsair Hydro keeps the 4770k between 56-64 Celsius.
At stock speeds and running an AVX version of the LinPack (via OCCT), the Cooler Master 212+ keeps the 4770k between 62-68 Celsius.
With a mild overclock to 3.9Ghz for all 4 cores and running an AVX version of the LinPack (via OCCT), the Corsair Hydro keeps the 4770k between 85-90 Celsius.
With a mild overclock to 3.9Ghz for all 4 cores and running an AVX version of the LinPack (via OCCT), the Cooler Master 212+ keeps the 4770k running between 80-85 Celsius.

As you can see, the Corsair Hydro 80i runs only a few degrees Celsius cooler than the Cooler Master 212+. This is hardly a breakthrough compared to air cooling. Notably, the Corsair was actually worse at dissipating heat while overclocking than the Cooler Master 212+.

Moreover, the Corsair Hydro 80i did not help me address the "AVX problem" that Haswell has. Haswell runs hot. When executing the new AVX2 instructions, Haswell runs REALLY hot. Ultimately, this is a design flaw by Intel. However, I was hoping that a decent water cooler could help get a handle on the issue. Unfortunately, the Corsair 80i didn't.

The Corsair 80i also has a number of design flaws that make installation a pain.

First, the rubber hoses are stiff and filled with coolant, which makes them hard to bend and flex into place. The result is that the hoses only bend in certain directions, so you can't just install and align as you see fit. It's not like folding a wire.

Second, the cooling plate has TOO much thermal paste. In order to make the cooler installable on Ivy Bridge-E, Haswell, and AMD systems, they put a square patch of thermal paste equal in size to the biggest processor this is designed for. Unfortunately, this means that the area covered by thermal paste is larger than the corresponding surface area of some processors (e.g. Haswell). So I had to remove the factory paste and apply my own. Not a big deal, but realize you will need to purchase a separate tube of thermal paste if you have a sma

Other Thoughts:

I'm keeping it, but only because I'm too lazy to pull my computer apart to reinstall my old Cooler Master 212+ and attempt to return or resell my now used. My case has incredible airflow, but it is essentially impossible to access the backplate with the motherboard installed. So my only option for changing coolers is to remove the motherboard, change out the coolers, and reinstall the motherboard. Not hard to do, but long and tedious enough that I'm not going to do it multiple times if I can avoid it. Also, my old CoolerMaster Hyper-212+ leans against one of my DIMMS, which can only be solved by moving the offending fan off-center, which is an effective but aesthetically annoying solution.

As I said, this isn't a bad cooler (which is why I did not give the review one or two eggs). It's just that there are better value air coolers out there (which is why I did not give the review 4 or 5 eggs). In my mind, a high-end close-loop liquid cooler, which is what the Hydro 80i is positioned as, should be able to out compete a cheap, base model air cooler like the reliable Cooler Master 212+.

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  • John L.
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week


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