What I am about to show you is something that I have sat back and hoped for in almost three years. In that time I have seen just about every incantation of all-in-one water cooling loops from various manufacturers. Even with the fact that we already know that CoolIT is tied to Corsair at this point and Asetek moved teams to deliver Antec their versions, the battle for cooling supremacy in this segment is still essentially a two sided battle. It seems when the original manufacturing of these units were being done, the simple idea of the all-in-one solution had its own issues that arose and took some time to work out the kinks, pun intended! Since the OEM manufacturers are able to have the support of big name manufacturers like Corsair, new features and capacities could be worked on, as the initial idea has already been worked out on paper and in practice.
Up until I had reviewed the Hydro Series H80, I saw these all-in-one coolers to be really niche, and simply trendy. I can't deny the clean looks of a water loop cooling a processor, but up till now, they just didn't have the capacity to handle some of the higher TDP processors without some form of modifications made to the units as they were shipped. Usually it involves possibly lapping the cold plate, figuring out a way to add washers for more head pressure, or swapping out the fans so that the mind numbing noise that is associated with these coolers doesn't drive you nuts while you are trying to game. Being spoiled early by Noctua, I got accustomed to having a near silent working environment, and even the slightest roar of a fan will make me look for another solution.
What you are about to see here in this review is something I wasn't too sure I would be able to show you at this point in the all-in-one cooling segments development. That is the simple fact where finally glitz and glamour are add-ons to a cooler that is more than capable of handling even the hottest of processors! - Where it used to be the fact that the unit has fan controls, or LED lighting, or even a way to read system information via your desktop, these were all things that used to sell coolers that while performing well, cost too much to really recommend them, especially if you were to compare them to a custom built water loop. Today I am pleased to show you Corsair's latest submission to our testing, the Hydro Series H100. Not only did this cooler climb right over all of the air coolers I have tested, it even gives the triple radiator cooled Swiftech H20 320 a run for the top spot!