Corsair H80i GT Review
For a 120mm rad based AIO the H80i GT sure is a chunky monkey. A 49mm thick radiator, coupled with a pair of 25mm thick fans brings the whole shooting match in at a mere 1mm under 10cm think. The thickness isn't the only impressive factor about the H80i GT though. Take a look at those fans. With each fan revving up to 2435rpm (not 2500 rpm mind you, you're not going to catch Corsair rounding the number up) they each output 70.69 CFM of air at a static pressure of 4.65mmH20. This performance though comes at a price, and that price is noise, 37.7dB(A) of noise is loud, very loud indeed and while this might not be an issue when you're gaming there's no way you're going to tolerate it when you're sitting at your desk top or watching a movie. Thankfully the H80i GT is compatible with the Corsair link software which means that you can dial in one of the many pre-loaded profiles, or even set up your own custom profile, and like the Corsair units that have gone before, you can also change the colour scheme of the cold plate LED to match your mood or perhaps more usefully the colour scheme of your case.
Although on the face of it the cold plates for the H80i and H110i GT appear similar they do in fact differ greatly, the main difference, aside from the round vs circular cold plates being the absence of 90 degree rotating elbows on the H80i GT. Instead, the tubes go directly, and stealthily into the top surface of the cold plate. In practice we found the lack of a 90 degree rotary to have little impact on things, perhaps Corsair have done their homework and discovered that in practice a 90 degree fitting on the cold plate is very rarely moved, and taken the opportunity to save a few quid as well as presenting us with an alternative and interesting aesthetic
Fitting the H80i GT into your case is a simple enough affair, although, as with all push/pull configurations it can be a bit of a fiddle getting the holes in the case, fan and rad to line up long enough for you to get the screws in. Even at 99mm thick there should still be no trouble getting it into mid tower cases, but if you have plans to secrete it into a minuscule SFF case you might want to check that you have enough headroom to play with, and enough air for it to breath even if it should fit in.
Performance is a bit of a mixed bag. With the fans at full speed the H80i GT performs well, blitzing the competition and making it to the hallowed halls of the 4.6GHz Club. Very few other 120mm Rad based coolers have managed this, and it is indeed a mark of how well the H80i GT performs at the top end of its envelope. So that's the good bit, now for the not so good. With the fans stood down a few hundred rpm to their Balanced and then Silent settings, the performance falls off markedly, leaving the H80i GT picking up the mid and bottom ground in the charts. Now, this is to be expected to some degree, but we did expect it to do better than it did. That said, it's still in the running, just not at the top. This lack of performance at lower rpms isn't the disaster that you might think it is though, and is easily overcome by spending a few minutes fiddling around with the custom fan profiles, setting up for yourself a profile that will run the fans at full tatt when required and step things right back when you're just fiddling around on the desktop.
Despite the relative lesser performance at the lower fan speeds and because of the ability of the excellent link software to mitigate the issue to a greater degree through the establishment of a custom fan profile, we're going to give the H80i GT a Gold.
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