Corsair Hydro Series H100i AIO CPU Cooler

Posted: March 13, 2013 in Kits
Tags: , , ,


As of 3/4/13 there was not support for Windows 8 with Corsair Link, so I had to utilize Speedfan to reduce the kit fan PWM speeds along with a PWM splitter. To montior pump and fan speeds I ran the RPM wires from the pump and fans over to my Crystalfontz CFA-633.

That has since changed and Windows 8 is now supported after I completed noise and thermal testing. Corsair link is avilable for download via the Corsair site and has quite a bit packed into the software controls and monitoring. It’s not necessary to use, but a nice little optional software control bonus.


Here you can set some shut down features for things like the pump speed.



You can also change the color of the LED, have it pulse on/off, change between two colors, or have it change over three colors based on temperature. I have heard in the forums of a few users having problems with the LED burning out, but I didn’t see any issues with the short time I had playing around with the settings.


More to come, just started playing with the software since it wasn’t available at the time of testing and I’ve since switched coolers. I’ll update this as I gather some experience and test results. So far it looks like a fairly good set of tools to customize your speed settings and a few controls over the LED you would otherwise not have.

I also see there is a temperature sensor built into the H100i pump. The Corsair Link specs mentioned a water temp sensor, but I’m not sure if it’s measuring water or the H100i electronics temp. I may have to wait until the internal review to confirm, but that’s always nice to see an extra temp sensor.

Fan Controller

The built in fan controller does have some nice features. There are several basic curves already built in that you can choose from, or you can create your own custom curve with up to 5 points. Custom also allows you a slightly slower speed than the “Quiet” mode..go figure, but it seems to do the job very well.


While not really an issue with such high speed fans to begin with, it’s worthy to note that the maximum fan speed using the pump fan controller is less than what you can get plugging the fan into true 12V.

I’ve heard mixed reviews from forum members having USB type problems, but that seems fairly common with most USB devices.  After a bit of longer term testing, I have found issues myself.  At first it seemed like everything was working fine, then when I removed the unit and put it back in for later testing I found I could no longer communicate with the pump or fans.  The LED was stuck as well.  As with many USB devices, there are issues with USB drivers and certain motherboards that is relatively inconsistent.  While initially I was impressed and expected the software to be a huge bonus to the 100i, I was later let down by bugs.  I would ultimately have to bypass corsair link all together and simply run fan through other means.

Hopefully future releases of the software fix the issues, but at the time of this review I had very mixed results.  Sometimes it worked, other times not at all, luck of the draw.

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  1. Pedro says:

    Thanks Martin,
    I’ll use your tips. I will cut the tubes to the size I need them to be and then re-assemble and bleed the kit out of the case.
    Do you know that voltage is the pump using? if it is using the 5v rail maybe I can mod a cable to connect it to the 12v to speed it up a litle.. humm I can alreasy smell the smoke..

    Using a reservoir is out of the question as there is no space for one on the case. It’s a mini-itx build with a ncases M1 case.

  2. Hi Martin,

    Hope you had a great Christmas ! And hope you have a safe and joyous New Year also!

    Quick question, have you heard of that Kraken g10, the CPU AIO adapter for a GPU? It looks pretty cool and read some impressive reviews. Just wondering your thoughts on it. Also, do you know someone who sells a heatsink kit for a graphics card to use on the VRam and VRMs? Perhaps an assorted package of small heatsinks you could glue to the chips? I talked to a guy that was going to use 2 of these with H90s to cool 2 780s. He said he would get back to me when he has it up and running.

    Take care

    • Martinm210 says:

      No personal experience, but this review:

      Seems to indicate the VRM need more than the fan and noise is really not better than the stock HSF. I had a GPU only block on an old 8800GTX with passive ramsinks and a 120mm fan which seemed to do ok, but I do think you generally need the little Heatsinks and a fan close by to keep the rest of the card cool. In the end it doesn’t look nearly as nice as a full cover GPU block.

      By the time you buy two AIO units and all the other bits, you could nearly buy lower end DIY watercooling that looks a lot better. might be fun to play and try, but that’s my limited experience take on it so far.

      • Thanks Martin, that is a good write up, liked the thermal images, they really tell a story. I sort of figured the same as you, the NZXT info says the fan will take care of VRAM and the VRMs, but it seems they are not. That is why I asked about a heatsink kit, to let this guy know.

        Your right, after adding up the cost for everything, a full cover would be a lot better, but this guy got most of the stuff free so that is the way he is going. I will drop you a line when he gets back to me about how things went.

        Take care

        • Martinm210 says:

          Nothing wrong with putting together a bunch of free or cheap parts and tinkering, it’s all good!

          • vChris says:

            Hey Martin, first off I love your reviews. Always very thorough and well-controlled testing.

            But I was wondering if you collected any data on the h100i built in fan outputs. I have a watercooling project in the works and I’m wanting to see if I can just plug my NZXT grid fan splitter (30 watt max) into one of the h100i’s 4 available fan headers and use that to control a 2nd radiators fans.

            I couldn’t seem to find any specs on the max fan wattage so I was hoping you tested it.

          • Martinm210 says:

            No i didt’t but…you could probably make or buy one of the power supply fed splitters like the swiftech pwm splitter or one of the other brands that use only the pwm signal from the device and draw power direct from the power supply. The h100i newer models do use 4 pin pwm fans so the output should include PWM signal. You could make your own out of a spare fan molex adapter and a normal 4 pin Y splitter too. You just need to bypass the power and ground and draw them direct from molex or sata power to the PSU.

            I would just recommend testing the H100i output voltage. If power out remains a constant 12v while reducing speeds, then you can be sure it is sending a regular PWM signal. Pretty sure it does, but I never checked. I also had no luck with link on windows 8 so I have no way of testing and bypassed the pump fan controller completely.

            Of coarse you could also bypass the h100i fan controller and run PWM off the motherboard cpu header using speedfan as well on to multiple PWM 4 pin fans.

  3. Kaah says:

    I like your scientific approach and trust your judgement
    I’m owner of the h100 coupled with Noctuas (NF-F12) and confident with that
    I’d like to move my hardware to a new home (namely a Lian Li TYR-X2000(F(N)))
    therefore I’m looking for reviews about Coolermasters Nepton 140XL – ideally in Tandem with 7mm shroud/anti-vibration adapter and Arctic F14 PWM fans …
    any plans to do something along this line? 😉

    • Martinm210 says:

      Sorry, no testing in the near future. I’m in the middle of my buggy building project. I also tend to feel you really need at least a 240 rad to gain the benefits of watercooling. I’ve been able to bring even the 240s to their knees and throttle my 3930 at lower fan speeds. A lot of high end air coolers are fairly competitive I think with many of the 120/140 CLCs. A noctua NH-D14 with a pair of Gentle Typhoon AP 45s running with PWM mods would probably outperform most of the CLCs of similar size and with lower noise.

      • Karsten says:

        thanks for your input *goes back to the drawing board^^*
        New idea:
        Swiftech H320 + Nexxos 180mm monsta rad + EK GPU full cover (GTX 680)