Corsair Hydro H110i GT CPU Cooler Review
When it was launched more than two years ago, Corsairís original Hydro series H110 met the needs of a relatively narrow but expanding subset of users. Alongside the H90, its design focused on installation into cases that utilized 140mm fan mounts. The end result was a lineup that offered good performance and an installation process that was novice-friendly, though its target clientele were those who cared about extremely quiet acoustics. Since then the AIO market hasnít changed all that much but the competition has heated up so Corsair is now launching the next generation of 140mm-compatible water cooling units. The first out of the gate is the Hydro Series H110i GT.
While fairly conservative in their approach to AIO design Corsairís lineup has always featured models for nearly any scenario - and budget. Thanks to its massive radiator, excellent waterblock, and moderate fans the older H110 could still outperform many dual 120mm radiator based designs but its gearing towards low noise tended to stymie performance in some respects. As a result, newer models have been able to surpass it. For example, NZXTís Kraken X60 and X61, Cooler Masterís Nepton 280L, and even the smaller, 240mm SilverStone Tundra TD02 were all able to compete against or even beat Corsairís flagship. Thatís about to change since the H110i GT is meant to retake the performance crown without sacrificing in other key areas.
At CES 2015 Corsair announced three new models: a refreshed the H80i (called the H80i GTX) a new H100i - also now with the 'GTX' moniker and finally the H110i GT. In broad terms this new cooler is very similar to the H110 it replaces since once again it uses a 280mm radiator design and a waterblock-mounted pump but this is where the similarities end. Instead of using Asetek as their OEM of choice, Corsair is leveraging their partnership with CoolIT this time around. This leads to updated tubing, easier to install magnetic mounting brackets, improved overall aesthetics, and built-in fan control abilities. In many ways this is a next generation All in One design rather than being a byproduct of designs past.
The built-in fan control is key to understanding the new H110i GT since it plays a pivotal role in its nearly-limitless potential. Instead of worrying about the potential noise created by a pair of high RPM fans since they can be set to optimal levels for quietness, extreme performance or anything in between. Even when compared to the likes of NZXT's current top of the line model, which we praised as having some of the best fans around, the H110i GT's fans boast nearly double the static pressure envelope. How big an impact on overall noise this has remains to be seen, but with Corsairís LINK software, such worries are rendered nearly moot.
In addition to these new high performance features, Corsair has also taken equal care to not price their new top of the line model outside the budget of its intended consumer base. An online average price of $120 may sound like a lot of money, but it is in keeping with what NZXT, Cooler Master, and most other dual 140mm units command these days. Best of all its only about $10 more than what their older H110 still demands.
Mix in a best in class five year warranty, new aesthetics and it is the sum total of these features that Corsair is counting on to regain lost ground and show the market that they are still a dominant force.
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