Corsair H110i GT Review
By the time you've got this far you've either read the whole review or most likely skimmed it, and headed right to the performance tables before making a beeline over here to the conclusion to garner the fruit our thoughts. Well if you expect us to tell you what we think in the first paragraph you obviously don't know us that well.
First things first then, the Corsair H110i GT is a 280mm radiator AIO water Cooler. It measures 140mm x 322mm x 27mm, making it 10mm longer but also 2mm thinner than its predecessor. The main difference though between it and the older model is the use of much higher RPM fans, but more of that, and the effect they have had later. The Aluminium radiator is of fairly typical construction with a fin density in the region of 20 fins per inch. The end tanks are squared off giving it a more angular aesthetic which we feel is quite pleasing to the eye. Also adding to the overall aesthetic are the Brushed Aluminium effect strips that run down the long edges of each side, widening at the end so as to accommodate the Corsair name and sails logo. Corsair have also elected to have the tubing ports on the radiator positioned with a bias towards the centre which should help to alleviate any issues encountered in fitting where the tubing would otherwise be butted very close to the case edge. Talking of tubing, we also really like the high gloss braiding that Corsair have covered the tubes in, making them look more like expensive automobile engine bay hoses than simple coolant tubes in an AIO. The chunky cold plate is Copper with fittings included in the package for a whole host of AMD and Intel CPUs. Along with a pair of 90 degree rotary attachments the assembly also has quite number of cables exiting it which will, if not properly managed in the build cause things to look quite messy, and we can't have that can we. In total there's a set of power and control leads for each of the fans, a monitoring cable for attachment to the motherboard header, a SATA style power connector and a detachable mini USB lead that connects down to a free USB header enabling the full utilisation of the downloadable Link software. This link software, while not having the most attractive front end does enable full control of the pump and fans as well as the ability to monitor a whole raft of other parameters. It's also possible to control the RGB colour settings of the cold plate head Corsair logo. Fitting the H110i GT is a piece of piddle thanks in part to the now familiar magnetically attached bracket and the simple way that Corsair have approached the process. Corsair provide eight short and eight long screws for attachment of the fans and to the case respectively. Sadly they do not include an additional set of long screws, so should you wish to add some fans for a push pull set up you'll have to source some additional screws from Corsair.
As usual we carried out our testing with the fans set to their full RPM. To ensure this we didn't use the "performance” setting on the Link dashboard but instead wired them direct to a 12v source. Other speed profiles were by necessity accessed via the software, having first re attached the fans to the headers from the pump, with additional testing carried out with both "Balanced" and "Quiet" profiles selected. We then tested the cooler at all four of our voltage settings meaning that by the time we were done a full 9 hours of testing alone had been carried out.
It's fair to say we expected the high RPM fans to place the H110i GT at the top of the charts, and we weren't disappointed. At full speed they are though as you would expect, quite noisy, spinning at 2100rpm we can believe every one of the 43dB(A) that Corsair quote as a noise level. At the lower and more bearable RPMs engendered by the "Balanced" mode the H110i GT still put in a sterling performance bettering all other units at the “Balanced” level and even beating some AIOs at their full RPM setting. The most surprising set of results though was the figures we achieved with "Quiet" mode enabled. at this level the fans are audible, but only just by the merest whisper, even then the H110i GT is still way up the charts, with its only other real competition being the Fractal S36 which although as quiet and slightly better preforming than the H110i GT in "Quiet" mode is likely to fit into far fewer cases, and just can’t match it at full RPM
In summary, Corsair appear to have cracked it. In the H110i GT we have an AIO that will if required, give balls to the wall performance, but is also capable of keeping things both cool and quiet for the times when we don't want our ears to bleed. It goes without saying that the H110i GT gets our gold award. But as we suspect it's going to be a while before anything out there betters its sheer cooling abilities at high RPMs, we're also giving it the rarely awarded Performance award.
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