Corsair seems to have two spectacular devices on their hands in the 140mm revisions to their Hydro Series™ liquid coolers. Given the performance measured from these coolers when put up against a Swiftech based custom system, any enthusiast would be more than happy with either unit. The fans that ship with the units are also to be commended for the volume of air they can move almost silently.
As of February 20, the Corsair Hydro Series H110 Extreme Performance CPU Cooler was available at Newegg.com for $109.99 after instant and mail-in rebates. The cooler was also available from other retailers such as Amazon.com for $129.99 and Corsair for $129.99.
The Corsair Hydro Series H90 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler was available at Newegg.com for $79.99 after instant and mail-in rebates. The cooler was also available from other retailers such as Amazon.com for $99.99 and Corsair for $99.99.
Corsair Hydro Series H110 Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
Corsair Hydro Series H90 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
Before continuing with our final verdict on the H110 and H90 140mm liquid coolers, we would like to take this opportunity to give our friends at Corsair a hearty “Thank You” for giving us the pleasure and opportunity to review their 140mm-based additions to their Hydro Series™ liquid cooler line. Initially, I was reluctant about the abilities of these coolers because of their use of 1/4 inch tubing and barbs and the thickness of both units' radiators. Given the results witnessed in testing, my first impressions couldn't have been more incorrect. Both the H90 and H110 liquid coolers are top of the line units with performance that should impress any water-cooling enthusiast. At the price point, both units are a steal, especially in light of the fact that a high end water cooling radiator can run between $90 to $150 US.
While I found no design faults with either cooler, I would love to see the unit's performance when paired with 3/8 inch barbs and tubing and a thicker radiator. I did find the CPU hold down mechanism to be complex to use and require attention to detail to construct correctly. However, it was a small price to pay for the durability and peformance of the units.
One other thing to note with their design is the risk of galvanic corrosion in the units. Because Corsair uses different metals in the radiator and CPU block, there is a possibility of galvanic corrosion occurring in the system. This is caused when two dissimilar metals are connected via an electrical contact forming a battery type connection. In a liquid cooling system, this occurs when the liquid used becomes conductive because of impurities introduced into the coolant. The corrosion surfaces are corrosion in the copper surface or material build-up on the aluminum surface. Corsair uses a proprietary coolant mixture in the coolers to act as dual-purpose corrosion inhibitor and bio-cide to combat both corrosion and bio buildup.
- Sleek flat black and black chromed appearance
- Performance under stock and overclocking conditions
- Durability of tubing
- Build quality
- Galvanic corrosion potential with mixed-metal aluminum radiator and copper CPU block
- Complex CPU hold down mechanism