Just when I thought they had the total package in the H80, Corsair offers this sort of cooler. The H100 has surpassed my expectations of what is possible with all-in-one water coolers. There are a couple of points to really look at as I make my recommendation and on the award I deliver to a product. First and foremost is the pricing. From what I am seeing, the H100 can be found for the same price as the H80 if you shop well enough, and with that in mind, it leads me to the second part of the pricing. The H100 offers CPU cooling on par with that of a $250 custom loop system! The second point is that while this is impressive, you do need to have a case capable of housing this cooler. Most cases today offer a pair of 120mm fan mounts in the top of a case, or a 200+mm fan that can be removed to allow this to be installed. For those in older or less feature friendly cases, this is a must to consider. The last thing that needs to be considered is the noise levels at which these results were obtained. To me, I prefer silence, but I know most of the users could really care less how loud the cooler is, as long as it's doing a good job, to most it is a given trade off.
The main thing I can't ignore out of what we just covered is the price point. Even the best air coolers on the list are going to set you back $79 - 99, and while they may offer a more silent solution, they are going to take a bunch of room to get them installed. So even on the level of head to head against air coolers, the pricing on this unit of $101.99 at Newegg.com is super realistic, and in no way unjustified in asking that. Then we go and look at it in the perspective of a water cooling solution head to head against the Swiftech kit. While the Swiftech offers way less noise delivering the top results, it costs $150 more for silence and just over a degree of improvement. There is just no way that I can justify that investment. Even though the Swifty kit can be added on to, that is going to cost more money on top of the difference already spent, and I would be crazy to try to explain to you how that should work out in your wallets favor.
In the end I have to go with my gut! Corsair offers one serious option to those who can't afford, or may not want the hassle of planning and mechanical ability needed to build said loop. Looking at it in the broad spectrum, the H100 offers custom water cooling results for less than half the price. Even for those looking for aftermarket cooling to everything in their build, this $100 cooler and just about any aftermarket GPU cooler on the market at $80 or less is still leaving you with over $50 in your pocket, and a lot less hassle if you do have to remove something later than what a typical custom loop restrains you to. If you are in the market for an all-in-one, water cooling solution, there is no reason why you should look at any other solution. For what you get in the Hydro Series H100, even with the loud fans, it isn't any worse than any of the others really. My advice here is dive in with both feet, and if the case is willing, get a H100 installed on your CPU and enjoy similar results to mine!
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