Corsair and their friendly efforts with CoolIT have finally paid off. I like other coolers of this genre, but to say I was ever "impressed", well ,that used to be a different story all together. What the H80 has for me to see value in is simply three things. Number one is performance; I mean it rocked our TECC and showed us that these coolers can keep up and run with the big dogs. The adjustable at a touch cooling, with the option for the additional Link later on makes the new Hydro series coolers even more adaptable. To round out the trio, there is the mounting. When I got my H60 I was told not to use the pre-released hardware for AMD, the screws were too long and pressure was an issue. This time I tested the AMD hardware and I really liked both sets, as they offered a tight, secure fit that is easy to do.
Even though I am in good spirits with the results and what the H80 brings to the table, there are two pitfalls that I see that need to be addressed. First, while I like having the option to simply push a button to adjust my fans on the fly, I don't like the fact that now my case door is useless. In order to make that button in any ways useful, you need to have access. So while it is cool to have, I see it not getting used a lot. The other half of the issues stem with the Corsair Link. I know new goods are going to release for a premium price, but asking us to spend around $100 for a cooler, then to make it fully functional I need to drop another $100, or near $140 if I want LEDs? With that incorporated into the mix, you might as well go with a full custom water cooling loop, at least then you have the option to add GPUs to the loop, where for this investment you do not. Hopefully over time and as more of these Links are moved, the pricing will drop to a more accessible level.
The H80 and H100 seem to have just hit the market overnight with very little news, reviews, or even a guess as to the date. It seems almost odd that a cooler with such little press and pre-release hype turned out to be the one to watch out for, or the dark horse if you will. Since you can now get a H80 just about everywhere, and the results I got, even with my personal issues with its usage and optional equipment, I have to say Corsair really opened my eyes and makes me want to push these all-in-one water cooling solutions, at least ones with capabilities like the H80 just delivered! Going way back to when I first started, any of these coolers with any sort of options on it would run you over $100 and likely more to $129. So the price of $109.99 at Newegg.com isn't that unreasonable. Actually, it's a deal compared to earlier releases. That in mind, take three years of progression in technology, mix in a couple of cool features and the results are this seriously strong competitor and top dog in aftermarket cooling solutions.