Right out of the gate, we were offered an AIO that can take on a bit of personality to suit the build with the new interchangeable colored rings for the head unit. We did not expect, however, the level of performance we saw in this Hydro Series cooler. Taking third place on the charts is a great accomplishment on its own, but considering what beat it, the H105 is the best sealed, traditional AIO on the market that we have tested. The two products that did slightly outperform this cooler had much more surface area, one with a larger radiator, the other with a similar one, but both have much larger head units, stronger pumps, higher flow rates of the coolant, and larger diameter tubing and fittings that also help to improve the flow and efficiency.
For what Corsair and Asetek were able to squeeze out of this ever evolving AIO design is really summed up simply with us being super impressed with the H105, and it makes us wonder what is next if they are able to nearly level the playing field between a custom loop and an AIO with much less cost involved.
While I may not like the lack of mounting pressure this cooler comes set up to apply, it was obviously more than enough to take this cooler to the top of the charts and is something I guess I need to just deal with. It just seems sloppy, badly designed, and we can only assume that with better head pressure, we could theoretically get better transfer from the IHS into that cold plate, raising the efficiency even more. While we loved the ability to add the red ring to the head unit of the H105, it leaves us wondering why not include the matching fans and complete the look that we all want.
Yes, it may cost a few dollars more for Corsair to include them with their AIOs, but it is almost a kick in the grapes to not include them. Of course, that is just personal opinion, as the AF120L fans they do include, while loud, are definitely capable of the "Extreme Performance" in the name and all over the packaging.
Sure, your previously purchased air cooler or older AIO may be within a couple of degrees, or it may be able to run with a bit less noise involved, but if you want the best of the best of what the market offers, the Hydro Series H105 is truly worth the investment. To take on all the AIOs and custom AIOs on our charts, beat a custom loop, and still come in third overall has impressed us and even makes us rethink the expense of a custom loop.
While it does lack the ability to add in components and still be covered under the five year warranty, we think the slightly lower than normal current pricing, the customizable colors, and the thermal performance are all things you just cannot ignore. Yes, it is a bit out there in noise levels, but when attempting to get the most out of the system, and you just don't like air coolers, Corsair has proven to be the current king of standard AIOs, and at its current pricing, I just don't see how you can pass up on this cooler, unless like us, the only thing holding us back is waiting to see what their new 280mm radiator based AIOs have to offer.
PRICING: You can find the Corsair H105 for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The Corsair H105 retails for $109.99 at Amazon.
Canada: The Corsair H105 retails for CDN$119.99 at Amazon Canada.