Corsair H110i GT CPU Cooler Review
Big ones, small ones, long ones, short ones, fat ones and thin ones, today they come in all kinds of sizes. Yep you’ve guessed it (I hope), I’m talking about the constantly growing range of the increasingly popular all in one AIO liquid CPU Coolers. Today we take a look at one from Corsair, a company that have dominated AIO sales over the last few years and one that doesn’t just produce the one AIO CPU Cooler, but rather staggeringly have a total of eight different Coolers on the market right now, however we’re not here to look at the entire range. In fact it’s just the one, but a rather special one at that. The current jewel in the crown of the Kings of AIO CPU Cooling, today we take a look at the Corsair H110i GT (CW-9060019-WW).
So what makes the H110i GT so special? Well Corsair themselves say that their new flagship AIO CPU Cooler is for ‘Systems that need the world’s best closed-loop CPU cooling performance’, which is perhaps a bold claim, but one I can certainly believe having used many of the Corsair Hydro range in the past (especially its forebear, the Corsair H110 which was just a little bit good). The H110i GT features a newly designed 280mm radiator which gives it a larger cooling surface area, advanced SP140L PWM fans specially designed for the high static pressure demands for the multi-finned radiators of today, an improved coldplate and pump designs for highly tuned efficiency, a refreshing new look to offering a more industrious design, built in Corsair Link to allow for system thermal monitoring, customisation of the H110i GT cooling performance and RGB LED illumination, then if that wasn’t enough we have a refinement of the tool-free mounting system to help allow for an even easier and quicker install.
I have to admit I’m rather looking forward to this. Both on paper and in picture the Corsair H110i GT certainly looks impressive, but does it really have what it takes to be the King of all AIO CPU Coolers? Let’s take a closer look!
The Corsair H110i GT arrived at pcG within a simply styled, but smart looking predominantly satin black box following a very similar styling to that of the rest of the Corsair Hydro series. In the top left we find the Corsair branding and logo, whilst in the right corner we find the Hydro Series sub-branding. Towards the foot of the box we are informed of the CPU compatibility and that the CPU Cooler is in fact the H110i GT (handy that!), then beneath this we find that the CPU Cooler is Corsair Link compatible, features two 140mm fans, a rather nice five year guarantee and told that it is an ‘Extreme Performance 280mm Liquid CPU Cooler’. Then lest we forget of course, a large isometric image of the H110i GT itself (kinda hard to miss I guess).
Looking towards the rear of the box and with a similar but slightly more technical styling, we are given the AIO CPU Coolers technical specifications (see Specifications/Features below), a smaller image of the H110i GT along with the radiator dimensions (both with & without fans). Towards the left side of the box we also find three pictograms and short briefs on the enclosed Corsair SP140L PWM fans, the improved coldplate and pump design, followed by a little information about the 280mm radiator. Something I personally find a little odd is the little snippet of performance information above the technical diagram of the radiator, yes the information is always handy, but how many of us use the incredibly popular and mainstream Intel Core i7-3970X? Furthermore if you owned one, would you really overclock it to 4.0GHz whilst using an Intel Stock Cooler?!
The left side of the box gives us a more detailed list of compatibility for both Intel and AMD sockets along with processors, along with details for using Corsair Link and compatible Operating Systems, it’s worth noting that Windows 10 is not currently one of these, but according to the Corsair website this is no longer the case.
Up above and in several languages, we find a brief feature list for the Corsair H110i GT, along with the company web address and a brief about Corsair Link.
Whilst over on the right we find nothing really of huge interest, just a large expanse of satin black, with the Corsair and Hydro Series logo, model name and type. It says very little, but the red and white font does offer a rather nice contrast.
With the lid of the box lifted, we find that the Corsair H110i GT is safely packaged much in the same way as pretty much any other AIO CPU Cooler we’ve seen in the past. Beneath a thin white sheet of foam, the H110i GT is held firmly in place within a moulded brown cardboard tray, whilst the AIO assembly, SP140L PWM fans and the fittings are individually protected within clear plastic bags.
At the time of writing, the Corsair H110i GT is currently available on Amazon for approximately £98.00 and also from eBuyer for approximately £98.00, whilst offering a a very reasonable 5 year warranty.
courtesy of Corsair
The new aesthetics of the Corsair Hydro GT series is certainly refreshing and looks good. This can most evidently be seen on the pump and the radiator courtesy of the gunmetal grey plastic strips. The radiator itself is of the slim 280mm variety, measuring just 140mm(W) x 312mm(L) x 26mm(D) and also surprisingly light. The radiator shroud and fins are powder coated in satin black, whilst the squared off end shroud and retainer tank help to give the radiator a more solid construction than that of its forbears. This combined with the gunmetal plastic accents across the length of the side shrouds, help to give the H110i GT a more industrious look. If on looks alone, the new Corsair H110i GT certainly looks like it means business!
Looking a little more closely at the radiator side shrouds and we can see how good the gunmetal grey plastic strips actually look. Rather than being symmetrical across its entirety, the accent itself is very nearly twice its own width towards the far left, to help accentuate the white Corsair logo. While from afar these aesthetic details look great and the strips themselves are solidly fixed to the shroud, the plastic does feel a little hollow when tapped and whilst during an initial install will be perfectly fine, I’m not entirely convinced they will hold up to repeat re-installs or a little man-handling during installation within the tight confines in some of the smaller cases available.
Right at the end of the H110i GT’s 280mm radiator we find the retainer tank, which certainly looks better with its squared of shroud. To the left we find a white sticker with the Corsair logo and the AIO CPU Cooler model number, but more importantly we find that the fixed tubing connecting the radiator to the pump assembly is a little bit different to that of your typical AIO CPU Cooler. Instead of the usual plain finish we normally see on rubber or plastic tubing, Corsair have instead decided to entirely sleeve the tubing with some soft black braiding. Which looks great and feels quite nice to the touch, it does also have the after effect of making the tubes feel a little stiffer than you’d expect and possibly more durable too.
Looking more closely at the pump housing, we find a slightly different design to that of the Hydro Series of old. Gone is the sleek but typically circular housing and in comes a square design with a rather industrious aesthetic. The pump housing is made from black plastic and and features a similar gunmetal grey plastic accent as that of the radiator, except this time the Corsair logo is both larger and once powered on will also be illuminated. Once the H110i GT pump is connected to a free Motherboard header via the included Corsair Link cable, the LED colour can be changed to best suit your Gaming Rig or alternatively to change colour based on the temperature readings. The pump assembly features two fixed black plastic coated ribbons which divide into four to connect to the SP140L fans and provide power.
One end of the pump assembly features a closed cap fillport which whilst not looking especially pretty, isn’t particularly offensive and won’t be visible upon installation. Towards the top of the pump housing we find a mini USB port, this is here to allow the H110i GT to be connected to your chosen Motherboard so that you can customise the CPU Coolers settings via Corsair Link. While this is certainly a welcome addition, I can’t help but wonder why Corsair hadn’t chosen to go down the hardwired route and bunched up like the rest of the cables? Which would help cut down on visible cable clutter and offer a much cleaner and better look upon installation.
The rather lovely braided tubing that feeds liquid coolant too and from the 280mm radiator, is fixed to the H110i GT pump via two rotatable right angled fittings. The fittings themselves are rather stiff, but this will actually help to keep the tubing where you want it during installation. Looking at either end of the tubing, instead of a simple collar, be it plastic or rubber, or even heatshrink, Corsair have chosen to use a black plastic coated coil. This should not only be more durable than most fittings we find out there on other AIO CPU Coolers, but help keep the braiding in place and stop it from fraying.
Underneath the Corsair H110i GT pump assembly we find the coldplate. Again unlike the The Corsair Hydro Series I’ve seen of old, instead of a circular baseplate we find one that is rectangular in shape, therefore giving the H110i GT a larger contact surface area. Which could potentially mean better cooling for larger CPU’s such as the Intel Socket 2011/3 family. The plate itself is made from a brushed copper and affixed via Phillips screws. Much like the other Corsair Hydro series, the H110i GT features an even spread of pre-applied thermal paste, which will make for a slightly quicker and easier installation.
In order to power and control the pump and fans, the H110i GT features two hardwired black plastic cable ribbon. Both of these split in two, one set is used to connect up the two 140mm SP140L PWM fans, the second two consist of a SATA power cable and a 3-pin fan connector. The fan connector will connect to your Motherboard via a spare fan header (preferably CPU_PWR or Pump), but only features the one cable. This is simply because the cable isn’t there to provide control or power, but just to report the speed of the H110i GT pump. While the cables themselves all look tidy enough and entirely black, I can’t help but wonder why Corsair would go through the lengths of making the tubing look so good with that high quality braiding, then not do the very same thing for the cables?
The Corsair H110i GT box contains two 140mm PWM fans to help reduce the AIO CPU Coolers temperatures (and your CPU of course 😉 ). These are both Corsair SP140L PWM fans that have rated speeds of 2000(+/-10%)RPM, can deliver airflow of up to 104.65CFM, with a static pressure of 3.99mm-H2O, while delivering a maximum noise level of 40dB. As you can see from the image above, the fans themselves are nothing particularly exciting to look at with their putty grey impellers and matte black frames, but they actually suit the colour scheme of the Corsair H110i GT rather nicely.
I’m not going to lie, upon unboxing the Corsair H110i GT, my initial impressions were of excitement, followed by disappointment. In terms of aesthetics, I very much like the way that Corsair have decided to shake up the often bland look of AIO CPU Coolers and radiators, by the use of gunmetal grey plastic caps on the top of both the pump assembly and along the sides of the 280mm radiator. These really do look good against the satin black powder coating of the radiator and the black plastic pump housing. The typical dull look of AIO CPU Cooler tubing? Well that’s gone too thanks to some incredibly nice braiding, which looks that good it makes you wonder why no one has thought to do this before? Yet I do have a few niggles which I’m not so happy with… The first being the cables running from the pump and fans, yes they are all entirely black, but why not have a similar high quality braiding as that of the tubing? It would surely give the H110i GT a far more finished and premium look. Talking of cables, why not have a fixed USB 2.0 cable for Corsair Link affixed to the same outlet as the rest of the cables? This would assuredly give the AIO CPU Cooler a much cleaner look once installed within your Gaming Rig? Then we have the build quality, whilst this follows the same high standard we’ve seen from Corsair in the past, the actual pump assembly housing feels rather hollow and the implementation of the Corsair logos on the gunmetal plastic strips may look great from afar, but upon closer inspection somehow feels a little cheap…
|Case||Cooler Master HAF XB||Power Supply||Corsair Professional Series AX 760i|
|Motherboard||ASRock Fatal1ty Z97X Killer||CPU||Intel Core i5-4690K|
|CPU Cooler||Corsair H110i GT||RAM||HyperX Savage 2400MHz 8GB Kit|
|Graphics Card||XFX AMD Radeon R9 290X DD Black Edition||SSD||HyperX FURY 120GB|
Installation of the Corsair H100i GT into the pcG Test Rig was fairly simple on the whole courtesy of the typical tried and tested formula we’ve seen on many CoolIT and based AIO CPU Coolers we’ve seen over the years. The very first task at hand was to simply remove the two stock 120mm fans from the Cooler Master HAF XB and the Raijintek Themis from the Motherboard assembly, leaving a blank canvass of sorts. The Intel mounting bracket and fittings for Intel Socket 1150 are then selected from the fittings kit and the backplate fitted together. The backplate itself features four sliding mounts, which when reduced to the smallest setting allow the backplate slot into the ASRock Fatal1ty Z97X Killer socket mounts, to which the uprights are then screwed into place in order to clamp the backplate in place. Something you’ll find with the Corsair Hydro backplates, is that they all seem to have a slight slackness once installed which allows for movement, instead of a firm and secure fit like that of many other AIO CPU Coolers. This may not instil confidence in first time builders, but it really is nothing to worry about as once the pump assembly is mounted and fixed in place, it’ll be securely pulled into place.
Next up is the installation of the two 140mm Corsair SP140L PWM fans and 280mm radiator. As the H110i GT will be set up in a pull configuration with the fans mounted externally from the main chassis, the eight longer screws are selected and a washer placed upon each of them. To make the installation a little easier I then lined up two diagonally opposite fan mounts on one half of the radiator with the case and used a couple of the screws just to hold it in place in order to install the first SP140L. The two retaining screws were then removed allowing me to fit the second fan.
With the backplate, radiator and fans installed, we’re just left with the Corsair H110i GT pump assembly. In order for the thermal benchmarks to be as fair as possible, the pre-installed thermal paste is removed and replaced with a small pea sized amount of Arctic Cooling MX-4. The Intel mounting bracket is then slotted over the top of the H110i GT pump assembly, then slotted over the four uprights protruding from the backplate assembly. Leaving just the four thumbscrews to be tightened upon each of the uprights in the correct manor of diagonal opposites and a little at a time to help keep an even fit. Ok, I have to admit the pump install took me more than one attempt, purely because the lower two mounts seemed to have a lot more slack than the upper mounts which meant the lower part of the pump wasn’t actually very secure at all. Having removed the pump and checked to see if perhaps the backplate wasn’t quite in line with the Motherboard slots, I found one of the sliding mounts hadn’t quite aligned and popped through the motherboard slot. The motto being always check your work over more than once… Now the pump is assembled CORRECTLY, all that’s left to do is connect the SATA power cable to the Corsair Professional Series AX 760i, both SP140L PWM fans to the H110i GT pump and the Corsair Link Cable to both the H110i GT and an available Motherboard USB 2.0 header, then on it goes!
With the Corsair H110i GT hardware installed, to really gain the benefits of the AIO CPU Coolers variable speed fans and pump, alongside the customizable RGB LED lighting, we also need to install Corsair Link (available here). This is a software suite that allows you to monitor pretty much every on-board temperature available, which is always handy, but for this instance we’ll simply be using it to allow us to set the two SP140L PWM fans to their maximum speed and to switch the H110i GT Pump to Performance Mode and of course to try out the RGB illumination. The latter of which allows for three different modes, the first being ‘Normal’, which allows for your choice of one single solid colour, then ‘Cycling’ which will allow you to set spectrum cycle of either two or four colours, then we have ‘Temperature’ which will shows one of three colours depending on which temperature zone the H110i GT is in once in use. This is of course just skimming the surface of Corsair Link and it’s well worth a download and have a look at it whatever your hardware is. Oh, it is also free! 😉
So despite a little user error, the installation of the Corsair H110i GT is in fact very easy and the Corsair Link software suite simple to use. Now the install is completed, we best get those thermal benchmarks started!
|For CPU Cooler testing, we here at pcGameware run Prime95 for a 15 minute period. During this period the temperature is monitored with CoreTemp and the cooling performance recorded (the max recorded is the average for all cores). Between each stress test we allow a 15 minute cool-down to allow for more accurate results. To adjust the fan speed we simply use the UEFI. A close eye is also kept on the ambient temperature, with the maximum being recorded for each run, this allows us to calculate the Delta temperature (Core – Ambient = Delta). Each run was performed with the Intel Core i5-4690K CPU at the following frequencies: 3.5GHz (Stock) and 4.0GHz (using the ASROCK OC Tweaker, shown in the picture below), all results have been recorded with CPU-Z.|
* Please note: To ascertain the maximum and minimum noise levels produced by our CPU test coolers. The dBA is recorded at a distance of 1 metre from the cooler, with all case fans unplugged to isolate the sound in question.
The speed of the processor is set by clicking on the OC Tweaker tab of the UEFI, you can choose “Disabled” for stock speeds (3.5GHz) or “Turbo 4.0GHz” for the minor overclock test. A point worth remembering though is that when you make changes in the OC setting this will reset the Fan Speeds, after the next reboot you will need to change the fans back to “Full Speed” (see below).
All of the fans that we have installed in our Test Rig are set to 100% speed using the displayed settings, this is made super simple with the ASRock UEFI by applying the option of “Full Speed” being available for all system fans.
As stated above, to make our performance tests easier to follow and to get the most accurate recordings, all of the following tests have been carried out with case fans set at 100% and the two Corsair SP140L PWM fans attached to the Corsair H110i GT also set to their maximum settings via the Corsair Link software suite.
- Intel Core i5-4690K – 3.5GHz (stock)
|CPU Cooler||Air/Liquid||Fan Speed||Ambient Temperature||Max CPU Temperature (core average)||Delta Temperature||Noise Level|
|NZXT Kraken X61||Liquid||100%||24.50||40.75||16.25||51dB|
|Fractal Design Kelvin S24||Liquid||100%||22.50||41.50||19.25||41dB|
|Deepcool Gamer Storm Maelstrom 240||Liquid||100%||24.00||43.50||19.50||50dB|
|Corsair H110i GT||Liquid||100%||24.50||44.00||19.50||57dB|
|Fractal Design Kelvin T12||Liquid||100%||25.00||46.00||21.00||40dB|
|SilverStone Tundra TD02-E||Liquid||100%||21.00||43.50||22.50||48dB|
|SilverStone Tundra TD03-E||Liquid||100%||25.50||49.25||23.75||51dB|
|Raijintek Themis Evo||Air||100%||21.50||47.50||26.00||37dB|
|Scythe Mugen Max||Air||100%||22.00||48.50||26.50||36dB|
|Prolimatech Basic 81||Air||100%||22.00||50.75||28.75||43dB|
|SilverStone Argon AR06||Air||100%||23.50||79.50||56.00||28dB|
With our test CPU, the Intel i5-4690K set at its stock speed of 3.5GHz, the Corsair H110i GT puts in a very good performance with a maximum average CPU core temperature recorded at 44.00C (19.50C Delta). Which means it betters even our highest performing air CPU Cooler, the gargantuan Noctua NH-D15, even if only by a small margin and a Delta of 0.25C. When compared to its closest rival the colossal NZXT Kraken X61, its performance slips behind slightly by 3.25C (3.25C Delta), even despite both featuring the same 280mm sized radiators and dual 140mm PWM fans with a speed rating of 2000RPM. Could this be because the Kraken X61 possesses a pump with a higher rated speed of 3600RPM, where as the H110i GT is 2800RPM?
- Intel Core i5-4690K – 4.0GHz (OC Tweaker)
|CPU Cooler||Air/Liquid||Fan Speed||Ambient Temperature||Max CPU Temperature (core average)||Delta Temperature||Noise Level|
|NZXT Kraken X61||Liquid||100%||24.00||48.00||24.00||51dB|
|Fractal Design Kelvin S24||Liquid||100%||23.00||47.75||24.75||41dB|
|Fractal Design Kelvin T12||Liquid||100%||26.50||53.75||27.25||40dB|
|Corsair H110i GT||Liquid||100%||24.00||51.75||27.75||57dB|
|Deepcool Gamer Storm Maelstrom 240||Liquid||100%||24.50||52.50||28.00||50dB|
|SilverStone Tundra TD02-E||Liquid||100%||22.00||50.50||28.50||48dB|
|Scythe Mugen Max||Air||100%||22.00||54.75||32.75||36dB|
|SilverStone Tundra TD03-E||Liquid||100%||26.00||58.75||32.75||51dB|
|Raijintek Themis Evo||Air||100%||21.50||58.00||36.50||37dB|
|Prolimatech Basic 81||Air||100%||22.00||59.50||37.50||43dB|
|SilverStone Argon AR06||Air||100%||23.50||92.50||69.00||28dB|
Once again the Corsair H110i GT proves its CPU Cooling credentials during our 4.0GHz with a very respectable 51.75C (27.75C Delta), once again beating off every air CPU Cooler we’ve ever tested here at pcG. Yet the ultra cool NZXT Kraken X61 still outperforms it by 3.75C (3.75C Delta). Even so, the Corsair H110i GT is still a damn good performer and it won’t be everyday you’ll be stress testing your chosen CPU to the max with Prime95.
One thing we’ve found with the Corsair Hydro Series in the past, is once the fan/s are turned up to 100% they can often be rather on the loud side. However due to the H110i GT using two 140mm fans which are often quieter in operation, I was expecting the current Corsair Hydro flagship to buck this trend. However with a maximum noise level recorded at 57dB, I was proven wrong and unless your intention is to annoy everyone in your household too loud…
There is some very good news though. Upon turning both of the Corsair SP140L PWM fans down to ‘Quiet Mode’ within the Corsair Link software suite, the noise level drops dramatically to a rather impressive 40dB with an average temperature increase of approximately 2.5C! Now how am I supposed to irritate the family?! One word of warning though, if turning down those 140mm fans, you’ll be wanting to switch the pump to ‘Quiet Mode’ as well. It may not be overly loud, but it does give out a very annoying high pitch whine that even a dog wouldn’t appreciate.
I have to admit I was rather looking forward to this. Both on paper and in picture the Corsair H110i GT certainly looks impressive, but does it really have what it takes to be the King of all AIO CPU Coolers? Sadly not quite, but it very nearly is and a damn good Cooler all the same.
The Corsair H110i GT arrived at pcG within a smart predominately black box, styled in a way to give you the assuredness that the Cooler inside is a Corsair hydro product. Once inside, the H110i GT was found to be very well protected and held in place inside an eco friendly brown cardboard tray, while the Cooler itself and all of its accessories were further protected inside clear plastic bags.
Once unboxed and on first impressions the Corsair H110i GT shines. The new squared off aesthetics of the Hydro GT Series whilst predominantly black, features gunmetal grey plates on both the radiator and the pump assembly, with beautifully braided tubing, making for a refreshing new look for the Hydro GT Series which looks both aggressive and industrious. On aesthetics alone H110i GT certainly looks like it means business and aptly lives up to its GT title. However despite offering the typical high build quality that we’ve become accustomed to from the Corsair Hydro series, the pump housing itself and the gunmetal grey plastic plates do feel a little hollow and not quite up to the same standard, which won’t really be a problem once installed into your Gaming Rig. To me though the cables are. Not only does the H110i GT feature Corsair Link, but it does so via a separate cable that needs to be plugged into the pump. Why couldn’t this be fixed just like the rest of the cables? It would surely make for a cleaner look once installed. Furthered by the look of the cables themselves, yes they are entirely sleeved in black plastic, but why go through all the trouble of using the fantastic looking braided tubing and then not do the same for all other cables?
Installation of the Corsair H110i GT is straightforward, simple and very quick. The tool-free mounting system from Corsair is quite possibly the best in the business and the Cooler can be easily fitted within ten minutes (barring user error of course).
With that definite look of business about it, how does the Corsair H110i GT actually perform? As it turns out pretty damn well, with thermal performance better than that of every air CPU Cooler tested here at pcG. Yet does it have what to take the AIO CPU Cooler crown and be the King of cooling? Not quite. With the Intel i5-4690K set at its stock speed of 3.5GHz, the H110i GT performance was recorded with maximum average CPU core temperature at 44.00C (19.50C Delta). Then when the CPU received its 4.0GHz the maximum average CPU core temperature rose to 51.75C (27.75C Delta). Firmly placing the Corsair H110i GT in the upper echelons of our thermal benchmark table and proving it to be a damn good cooler, but not quite enough to beat the current King of cool, the NZXT Kraken X61.
Of course with the good looks and great performance that are apt for its GT title, does the H110i GT suffer the same problem with sound? With the pump and twin SP140L fans set to their maximum settings using the Corsair Link software suite, the noise recorded was a rather lofty 57dB. So yep, it most certainly does… The good news however, is that by turning everything down to their lowest settings, the noise produced drops to a lowly 40dB with just a marginal hit on thermal performance! One word of warning though, if doing so make sure you turn the pump down too. Despite it not being incredibly loud, it does produce am annoyingly high pitched whine.
Overall at approximately £98.00 the Corsair H110i GT is certainly an enticing product. It’ll look good in any Gaming Rig, give you fantastic GT performance and is a piece of cake to install. It’s just a bit of a shame about those cables…
Please Share, Like & Comment below, we really value your thoughts and opinions…
Where possible we always use Amazon’s price for Value…
Many thanks to Corsair for providing this sample for review