Even now, I am still torn. Corsair does in fact deliver an AIO that is slightly cooler than the TD03, and it is slightly less noisy than other AIO solutions, but there isn't any sort of a "wow factor" here. There is the new generation of head unit that has been changed aesthetically, but also engineered with less heat dumping into the coolant. This allows these somewhat quieter fans to have a little less to deal with. I will give it to Corsair on the choice of fans though. At first, when I saw the lower CFM rating, I had little hope for decent results. However, once I saw the static pressure, I could see how they are able to pull ever so slightly ahead of the Tundra cooler. In the end, they do deliver higher-end performance, and are able to do it with less noise than anything else on the charts, so I have to acknowledge and credit them for those accomplishments.
Where things went south for me was all to do with the new mounting hardware. While I do like the concept of the new back plate with the adjustable ends, some things are better on paper than in the real-world. What I found was just a bunch of frustration, and the fact that when things go bad, you are expected to perform magic with two pairs of pliers, and nothing holding on to the motherboard to correct the issue. What I found is that the metal inserts in the Intel back plate are too tall, and while motherboards very in thickness, there needs to be a way to compensate for this. Since the inserts stood a few millimeters above the motherboard, when we inserted the standoffs, the inserts were then pushing out the back and spinning freely, which is not something you want to see.
Once the standoffs were screwed all the way in, the motherboard was not compressed with the hardware; so when mounting the block, you run into the same issues. So, if the access hole in the motherboard is slightly offset to your motherboard, the block must be mounted before the motherboard is installed. Even when it came time to remove the block, we again ran into the point where the inserts would not stay where they need to be, and again I was going at it with two set of pliers to get it off the test system. A washer at the top of the motherboard would alleviate some of this, but it begs the question: Are we getting the correct mounting pressure then? Could this cooler actually be better than what we saw?
So, while the near $90 price point would typically be acceptable for the thermal and audio performances given by the H75, it just seems like such a huge leap back in design.
We had to undergo frustration all the way through the installation, and while we may have put it in the back of our minds during the testing phase, we were so happily reminded of it when we removed the H75. Unless there is some sort of a fix or revision to this newer design in the mounting hardware, I cannot get behind this cooler and promote it as the charts would allude to. That is a real shame too, as the H75 has the potential to be the cooler that a lot of users are looking for, just as it was delivered. They just aren't quite finished yet in my mind.
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