The Hydro H90 adds to Corsair’s lineup of closed-loop CPU coolers, and it differentiates itself from the crowd with a 140mm radiator and a 140mm fan. As such, it offers 20mm more surface area to cool than the standard 120mm components found in many closed loop CPU coolers. Corsair says that the provided static pressure fan (which has an advertised airflow of 94cfm and operates at 1,500rpm) has been designed to deliver more air per decibel than a comparable 120mm fan, so you’ll enjoy superior CPU cooling and quieter operation.
Other than the radiator and fan upgrades, the Hydro H90 is similar to many of the other Corsair closed loop coolers we’ve tested. You’ll enjoy universal compatibility with Intel and AMD processors via the provided backplates and mounting kits. Overall, the Hydro H90 is compatible with Intel’s 1155/1156/1366/2011 sockets and AMD’s AM2/AM3/FM1/FM2 sockets. The H90 also comes with the enhanced copper cold plate found on Corsair’s recently released H80i and H100i coolers and is equipped with thick, flexible rubber hoses that connect the radiator and pump/cold plate.
The installation process is simple, and because the pump/cold plate assembly takes up so little space around the CPU socket, you won’t have to worry about the height of the memory in your build the way you do with some heatsink/fan coolers. One caveat, however: It’s a good idea before bringing the H90 home to make sure that your case provides fan mounting holes for its 140mm fan (or at least that you have room to drill your own, should it prove necessary). Those with space for 140mm fans won’t need to worry about compatibility with the Hydro H90.
In testing, the H90 produced an idle temperature (tested after a half an hour of idle activity) of 29C with Intel’s Core i5-3570K. Our POV-Ray test (run three times to produce a maximum temperature) produced a maximum temperature of 58C, while Prime 95 (ran four instances using the Small FFT test for 10 minutes) delivered maximum temps of 60C. We ran the Intel Core i5-3570K, and as the benchmarks push all the CPU cores to 100% usage, you can see that there’s definitely some headroom for further overclocking with the H90.
If you’re looking for a closed-loop cooler that provides excellent cooling and puts a premium on quiet operation, the Hydro H90 has what you need.
Specs: Water Block: Copper; Pump: 12V; Fans: one 140mm fan that operates at 1,500rpm;
System Specs: Processor: Intel Core i5-3570K; Motherboard: GIGABYTE Z77X-UD4H; GPU:
ZOTAC GeForce GTX 580 (x2, SLI); RAM: Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1333; Storage: 128GB Crucial
RealSSD C300; OS: Windows 7 Enterprise (64-bit)