All-in-one water coolers have been worthy of some pretty big debates. Are they actually needed, do they serve a niche need, or are they an option for everyone? - Does their cost at release justify the results? - When I first was seeing samples of this type of unit, I so far have yet to be overly impressed. While these units are easy to install, easier to clean than an air cooler and do look really clean in any build, up to date, performance or noise levels at that performance were just not justified for the cost. As time went on, some of these models dropped into the $50 range at the big box stores and that changes the game a bit. At that price range, they are way more worthy of your consideration.
Basically, all of these units stem from a pair of OEMs, except for Thermaltake's latest concept. Corsair used to be tied in with Asetek through the original Hydro series, but has since made the move over to CoolIT to develop these newer Hydro Series coolers. At first, I found that the move was beneficial for the much better mounting system, and to me, Corsair moved to the better of the two OEMs from my experience. With this move, Corsair has options available to them that I have yet to really see done by Asetek. I am speaking of both fan controls on the head unit and the connectivity to an optional controller box. What was once known to me as the CoolIT Maestro system is offered from Corsair as the Corsair Link.
I will get into more detail about these new features as we progress through this, but the general idea is to imagine a dual fan H60, add fan control to the head unit with a push button switch and incorporate usage with this new Link system. Come to think of it, I remember seeing the same plug on the H60, so they have the potential to work with the link as well. Either way, I think this is well worth the read, as you are about to see as I did that there is real potential in these newer, more advanced water coolers. I for one am impressed with the temperature results, but that isn't everything! Let's get into a bit more detail and look at the shortfalls and the successes of the new Corsair Hydro Series H80, maintenance free, sealed, water cooling unit.