Corsair Hydro H90 & H110 CPU Coolers Review

Author: AkG
Date: March 5, 2013
Product Name: H90 & H110
Part Number: CW-9060014-WW & CW-9060013-WW
Warranty: 5 Years
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Closer look at the H110

Like the previous generation H100, the H110ís bright and attention getting box contains all the information anyone could want to know about whatís inside, compatibility and warranty information. The internal protection scheme consists of the same cardboard container and foam topper

The H110ís accessory list mirrors that of the H90 with mounting mechanisms for both Intel and AMD systems. Unfortunately, even though this cooler uses a pair of fans, a Y-adapter that allows both fans to run off of one header wasnít included, making cable routing an absolute nightmare.

Quite a few comparisons will be drawn between the H90 and X40 and that also holds true for the similarities between the H110 Kraken X60 since both share many of the same Asetek design characteristics. With that being said, once again, the differentiating factors play into NZXTís hands.

The H110ís dual 140mm radiator is for all intents and purposes the same one NZXTís X60 uses. Both are approximately 27mm thick and use 13 water channels while providing about 36% more surface cooling area than a standard dual 120mm radiator. However, there is one crucial and critical way in which they differ: the fan spacing offset. The Kraken X60 uses the newer 15mm spacing standard for the distance between its two fans, whereas the H110 uses the older 20mm offset.

In practical terms a smaller offset leads to less Ďgapí between the fans on the X60, while the H110 features a small half centimeter space. This becomes extremely important when case compatibility is factored into the equation.

Not all cases which can technically accommodate dual 140mm radiators use the same standard. While 15mm spacing is the new standard, if your case uses 20mm installing a Kraken will be problematic. Conversely, it will be very difficult to install the H110 into a case which uses the newer 15mm spacing for its exhaust ports. Be aware of this issue and choose wisely based on what your case can accommodate.

Even opting for a Corsair case does not guarantee success since their own line-up isnít homogenous, with some supporting the new 15mm standard while others support the older 20mm. At the very least, Corsair should have included mounting adapters for the H110.

While both H110 and its NZXT doppelganger do use the same thin yet flexible 3/8Ē OD tubing, the H110ís tubing length is rather short. It only comes with about 8 inches which is quite limiting when compared against NZXTís 16 inches and could cause some installation concerns.

The waterblock itself is also a mixed bag of positive and negative attributes. The quality of the baseís finishing is first rate and its internal design uses Asetekís latest bag of tricks to optimize performance. Unfortunately, despite this being Corsairís flagship model, any semblance of included fan control has been kicked to the curb. This wil lseverly limit adaptability and is simply inexcusable at the H110ís price point.

Because Corsair opted to forgo the fan controller hardware, lower RPM fans were used. We arenít expecting these to negatively impact performance but enthusiasts deserve the option to sacrifice acoustics for performance and that canít be done here.

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