The Hydro Series H80 is the second cooler to come from the Corsair and CoolIT partnership, the first was the Hydro H60. The H80, like the H60, has brought a few new features to the table. The integrated fan controller not only powers the fans but also controls the fans’ speed based on the coolant temp in the unit. The other new feature is the connection port for the upcoming Corsair Link that will allow for digital monitoring of the H80. Corsair also changed the warranty from 2 to 5 years, the most of any of the self contained water coolers we have tested.
There were also changes to the fans and radiator. The fans are higher CFM and have a higher static pressure than the fan used on the H60. The radiator for the H80 has fewer fins per inch than previous kits. The H60 and previous kits all had a fin count of 21~22 fins per inch; the H80 dropped to 16~17 fins per inch. This small change increased performance and dropped overall noise levels. With the H80 on high the fans are noticeable, but not horrendously loud like the Antec H20 920 on “extreme”.
The integrated fan controller does a good job of spinning up the fans as the system warms up. When the system is sitting idle the controller slows the fans down to keep things as quiet as possible. As the coolant in the loop warms up the controller speeds the fans up to compensate until the max is reached for the selected mode. With the performance of the H80 on low it would be nice for most users. It does a great job of cooling the system and doing it quietly, if you want more performance it’s just a push of a button away.
With the H80 I feel that Corsair has taken the hill back from Antec when it comes to the self-contained water cooling kits. The Corsair H80 has performed very well and did it at a reasonable noise level. Even on low the H80 performs nicely and will suit most users’ needs.
Currently, the Corsair Hydro Series H80 can be found for $109.99 with free shipping on both our shopping link and at Newegg. The Antec Kuhler H20 920 costs $119.99 shipped, which makes it $10 more. The Corsair Hydro H80 is backed by a five year warranty, which is two years longer than the one offered on the Antech Kuhler 920. The other major concern with CPU coolers is noise levels and after listening to both coolers on the highest available fan setting I found that the Corsair Hydro H80’s max noise level was lower as well.
At the end of the day the Corsair Hydro Series H80 was found to perform better, cost less and make less noise than competing water cooling solutions like the Antech Kuler H20 920. The Corsair Hydro Series H80 is the easy pick between the two!
Legit Bottom Line: With the Hydro Series H80, Corsair takes back the hill with a cooler that does very well and does it quieter than previous kits. The H80 has a reasonable $109.99 price tag and comes with a 5 year warranty.