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Thread: Corsair H100 Alternatives?

  1. #1
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    Corsair H100 Alternatives?

    Short version:
    I've got a Corsair H100. It's dead. I need to get a replacement. From what I've seen on the internet, I'm not the first person to have a H100 fail, so I'd like to try something different. Suggestions?

    Long version:
    I've got a 3770k running at 4.8 GHz at 1.28v-ish, it makes quite a bit of heat. I bought an H100 and fitted some push / pull fans (4x 120mm Zalman ZM-F3 fans) with shrouds and lapped it, which kept it cool enough whilst still being relatively quiet
    Unfortunately, the H100 has died - the lights on the unit don't work, the fan controller is only running one fan and the pump doesn't appear to be working. I'll be swapping back to the stock cooler later today but I somehow doubt I'll be able to keep at 4.8 GHz with the stock cooler!

    I need to get a replacement. From Googling my problem it seems i'm not the only one with problems with an H100, so I'd like to avoid it again if possible. But I need something that cools at least as well as it does now (and of course ideally, better).

    I've had a look around and so far I've found a refurbished H100 (it's only ?46, so cheap but I'm scared it'll break again), H100i (could try to pick one up on eBay, doesn't appear to cool much better but a different pump gives me more confidence) or the Swiftech H220 (which looks to be the best but is expensive).

    Case is a Coolermaster ATCS 840 which is absolutely massive so (hopefully) space isn't such a problem - it can have up two 3 120mm fans in the top or a radiator mounted in place (terrible pictures but you get the idea).

    Don't want to spend *too* much but it depends what's out there. Suspect with the cooling requirements it'll have to be watercooling, but I really want to stick with a sealed system for cost and lack of maintenance.

    Full pc specs.

    Suggestions?
    [C

  2. #2
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    If "seal and no maintenance" is a requirement, you are pretty limited. Even the H220/Glacier 240 will require topping off after a few months. With that said, I'd probably suggest an H100i, it is sealed and has an 80,000 hour MTBF pump rating and 5 year warranty.

    As much as they have been working to improve the H220/glacier pump, I still see quite a few issues posted in forums with pumps making noise and quitting. I am sure it is a small percentage but I hear fewer issues with the H100i. I have had an H100i in a system for almost a year now, and while I prefer the H220s kit fans and expansion capabilities, I feel more confident in the H100i regarding reliability. The pump is silent and the seal nature really does make it pretty much maintenance free. i have run long term custom kits as well for over two year, but you do have to top them off every 3 months or so and probably should plan on a tear down cleaning at least once a year depending on fluids used.

    The XSPC kits are another to consider if you don't mind DIY installation and maintenance but the X2O pumps don't have an MTBF rating and I'm not sure they would be as durable as the h100i.

    I would probably suggest full custom or a D5 based kit if you really want durable heavy duty parts and ability to expand. A good old D5 doesn't need any cooling and will run for 5+ years and have plenty of power to run multiple rads/blocks with easy bleeding. The AIO expandable kits struggle to bleed and really just marginal in pump power.

    If you really insist on sealed no hassle install or maintenance, the h100i with custom fans is still a tough kit to beat. No other watercooling kit is going to offer a 5 year no touch warranty, it really is one of the more reliable maintenance free options if you don't mind not having the ability to expand. It's too bad the don't make a 320 rad version or 420 with the H100i pump. Also with they came with better fans, I don't care for the H100i kit fans much and would much prefer something like medium speed yates or swiftech helix or artic cooling F12 if looking for budget fans. GT AP-15s if you don't mind spending more.
    Last edited by Martinm210; 12-22-2013 at 08:43 AM.

  3. #3
    The H100 is not a particularly thermally capable or efficient cooler so some of the top tower style HSFs will cool as well for your application if you want to get away from the chronic closed loop cooler issues. There are many HSF review databases online for comparison. Frosty Tech is one of the better ones IMO as they use proper testing methodology and controls other's do not use.

    http://www.frostytech.com/articlevie...id=2665&page=7

  4. #4
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    I could probably live with some maintenance and DIY IF the performance was worth it.

    I previously had a Zalman Reserator (I know, I know, it's not very good) which has a massive external reservoir and was generally a pain. Plus, would I get a decent, heavy duty custom system for the same price range as an H100? I thought they'd be ~?120+
    [C

  5. #5
    Xtreme X.I.P.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jakg View Post
    I could probably live with some maintenance and DIY IF the performance was worth it.

    I previously had a Zalman Reserator (I know, I know, it's not very good) which has a massive external reservoir and was generally a pain. Plus, would I get a decent, heavy duty custom system for the same price range as an H100? I thought they'd be ~?120+
    The bigger difference is rad capacity. On a 3930K using similar fan speeds I was able to average around a 9 degree benefit over the H100i using similar fan speeds and a much larger radiator.

    The first is the H100i kit ($110)

    This second test is a custom DIY setup with a quad radiator, all good higher end stuff (Probably $350 worth of kit)


    So full out custom with a quad radiator can net you a pretty good gain of 9 degrees for triple the price.

    But using a custom <$150 kit like the XSPC X20 RS240 which is a lower end rad and smaller pump, they really pretty comparable.

    The XSPC kit was really close to the H220 for me as is the H100i:


    At like RPMs the H220 is very close to the H100i:


    Although the H100i kit fans do have much higher speed, the noise is really harsh.
    Using the same upgraded (GT-15) upgraded fans, I actually got identical results:


    So, the H100i is a good performer for a 240 kit size and price, also nice that it's sealed and really is plug and play and no maintenance for a warranteed 5 years.

    If you have the extra $$, a custom kit with more rad capacity is going to net better performance for sure. Do you NEED that extra 9C, probably not, but do you WANT it bad enough and are you willing to deal with the setup and maintenance. That's only something you can answer..the old NEED (adequate) vs WANT (extreme), we always have to pay for extreme things we don't need..
    Last edited by Martinm210; 12-22-2013 at 12:47 PM.

  6. #6
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    Very interesting, thanks!

    I'll try pricing up a custom system and see if it's worth the ? - but for example I'd struggle to justify a ?150 CPU cooling setup on a ?250 CPU (and I don't really plan on watercooling my graphics cards).

    I've also been offered a Cooler Master 240M for ?40 - which might be a better option on a budget.

    I didn't mention it (d'oh) but idle noise is a big decider for me - my PC is largely a web browsing machine that just happens to have lots of power if required, the last thing I want is intrusive noise for most of it's life.
    [C

  7. #7
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    An update to this.

    I bought the Coolermaster 240M and fitted it. It was ok. Quieter than my H100, but didn't cool as well - in fact it got a bit too hot for my liking, but I put up with it.

    I posted my H100 back, but it'd been lapped, I bought it second hand, had no receipt and I had no fans. I didn't expect to get anything, but for the sake of postage (which was ?12 to NL!) I thought I'd try.

    ...the other day a brand new H100i (!) turned up. Very impressed. Fitted it, cools brilliantly and looks cool, too. Slightly noisier, but better performance. Can't fault Corsair here at all!
    [C

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