You know, we recently tested the NZXT Kraken series which in essence is a product close to the Corsair H110. Both originate from the very same ODM, albeit with different preferences and specs. The basis (radiator/cooling-block) however is from the same DNA. So it's not a surprise to see the two similar sized products perform very close to each other. My preference however goes to Corsair for the simple fact that is it the most silent product.
The H110 compared to the H100i definitely can be spotted. What matters a lot is the fans used and the radiator size, the H100i has a slightly smaller radiator surface (240mm) whereas the H110 has the bigger 280mm radiator with two bigger fans. The H110 on its end is the more simplified product, no LED lighting system, no software configurable fans and stuff like that. Truth be told, I like the H110 better as I like simplicity. You pop it in and it works with good performance whilst being silent and with very little wiring.
When the processor launched we never saw the heat issues with Ivy Bridge processors coming. Whatever you fire off at the processor, Ivy bridge remains hard to cool once overclocked with added voltage. I do say overclocked with added voltage specifically here though as at normal voltages and default settings, it is such a sweet processor. A handful of coolers can take 4600 MHz @ 1.30+ Volts, but really there are only very few in our tests that kept the temperature acceptable, and that was the 70 EUR Noctua NH-D14, a cooler design that has proven itself to be leading, many times over the years. The 100 EUR Corsair H100 series is capable and the Kraken X60 as well, but that one is a 150 EUR already (has more bling, LEDs, software control). We can now add the Corsair H110, priced much like the number at 110 EUR.
Aesthetics & design
As already mentioned, the overall looks are just terrific as far as I am concerned. All black design, fairly easy to install with the mounting system and prefilled it's one of the most easy and comfortable kits on the market to use and install. Reality remains though, this will continue to be a high-end cooling product and not enthusiast one. It simply is a good alternative toward heatpipe coolers with the added benefits of being fairly quiet whilst offering very nice looks.
We like the simplicity, only one wire goes from the water-block to the motherboard, and then both fans each need a FAN header as well. Here I'd like to suggest to Corsair to include a y-splitter. Two fans can then be connected to one FAN header, meaning even less wires. But that's just a suggestion though.
The price of the H110 remains competitive, by leaving out any LINk related materials it is merely a tenner more expensive compared to the H100i, whilst you get more radiator and fan efficiency due to the increased surface area and airflow. In the enthusiast segment the cooling performance here might not be appealing to you, but please be realistic as enthusiast LCS products can easily cost you twice maybe three times as much or even more.
I am convinced that Corsair has a great offering with the new Hydro H110 liquid cooling kit. Please do make sure it can actually fit inside your system before you purchase it though. It needs 280mm fan mounts which is a little more uncommon. If you stick to Corsair cases, all new 900D (review soon), 650D, 500R and C70 can be used for top mounting.
The overall performance we think is terrific, and combined with the extremely low noise levels the H110 gets my approval real fast. You will not have software control, you will not see any LEDs but even better, you won't have to worry about a bundle of wires either. Overall the kit is fairly easy to install, good looking and offers great cooling performance. Leaving the bling out of this kit keeps it quite affordable, and as such comes recommended by Guru3D.com with a top pick award.
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