The famous H100 finally gets a revamp, the thing is can that little 'i' really mean a lot when we start talking intensive testing? The original H100 did perform really well even though it was noisy compared with the big brand heat sinks, as we found out though with Noctua NF-F12's or more recently SP120 Quiet Editions it was a completely different animal and could be tuned to be a great performing plus a very quiet unit. So with everything changed apart from the radiator how does the H100i really fare when put through the torture of the OC3D heat sink tests, lets take a look at the specifications before moving on to the testing.
Normally this would be where we would start showing your graphs but shockingly even though this has a full video review we have had to break the pages up!
Test Set Up & Results
Intel Core-i7 950
Gigabyte G1 Assassin
12GB Corsair vengeance
Windows 7 Ultimate x64
For the first test we set our i7-950 overclocked to 200x20 @ 1.25v for a clock speed of 4.0GHz. We allow the system to idle for 10 minutes and then run Prime95 'maximum heat maximum stress' setting for a further 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes we note the temperatures of all cores and the ambient temperature of the room. An average of all cores is taken, then the ambient temperature is removed from this figure and this gives us the delta temperature. Delta is the temperature difference above ambient which is a truer reflection of the heat-sink performance rather than mere maximum figures. Testing in an Igloo or the Sahara would give vastly different maximum temperatures, yet the Delta could be the same.
The second test follows all steps from above but with a 200x21 @ 1.35v for 4.2GHz overclock, the extra voltage in this test allows us to see if the heat-sink can cope when extreme loads and overclocks are applied.
The last test is at 4.4GHz, 200x22 @ 1.45v and is an extreme test that only extreme coolers will ever pass. Any cooler in this graph is a one of the elite few that has the cooling ability to dissipate the heat created during this grueling test.
Head over the page to see what we think of these results plus some surprising socket 2011 tests too!
So the testing on the 1366 system didnt look right so we put the orignal H100 back in and got the same results as we did when we tested a few months back. After seeing these results we decided just to double check on the 2011 rig we had built on the test bench with the new 3970X in it, both coolers were run again with their fans run from molex at 12v. The results however were very different, better than expected if anything. We can not answer why considering we did so much testing and retesting with the other system including making sure everything was fitted correctly, checking back plates were aligned correctly etc. We could also remove those result and re-run everything on 2011 but we wont until we work out exactly why the results are so different. Lets look at the new results then move on to the rather lengthy video and conclusion.
H100i & H100
3970X @ 4.6GHz 1.425v
Asus Rampage IV Extreme
Corsair Dominator GT
AX1200i & Neutron GTX
Cor blimey oh Riley! If you watched the video you'll see a lot of time was spent testing and head scratching and plenty of hardware swapping going on! We cant put our fingers on why the H100i didn't perform well on the 1366 i7-950 rig but as you have seen its great on the 2011 system. We have since (just quickly) tested a 3570K, 3770K and a Trinity A10, all these systems the H100i beat the H100 with 12v fans by several degrees.
People straight away will want to know about fan noise and at max the fans are not quiet they are as loud or louder than the original H100. The ace card in with the H100i though is the Corsair Link software, no longer do you have to open your case up and press the button to turn the fans down, use a fan controller or maybe even just have them manually set via molex and put up with warmer temps in the search for quietness. Now, thanks to the Link software you can adjust it on the fly to suit your mood or needs. The only annoying thing is you have to change the fans individually. You can set it to quiet and having it running very quietly and this will be fine unless you are running massive overclocks or plan on having OCCT or Prime95 running in the background on a daily basis!
The RGB is a great touch, finally Vendors are starting to realise giving us choice over things like coloured LED's is a god send and a great selling point. You can even set it up so it changes colour depending on your CPU temp. I think you all as I would will just set it to match the colours of the system you put it into.
The tune-ability of the system via the link software is brilliant and is probably the single biggest improvement in our eyes, sure you can get better temps too but that is the feature that will make the biggest difference to most users in the real world. Its come in right on the money of the old H100 though but packs more features and better temperatures (on most things at least) so how could we not award this the OC3D Gold award!
If you are a silence freak Specialtech have a deal on atm called the H100i TTL Bundle - H100i plus a dual pack of SP120 Quiet Editions fans for just £100!
Thanks to Corsair for the H100i, you can discuss your thoughts on this rather complicated review in the OC3D Forums.