It goes without saying that some system builds are more fun than others. This is especially true when I know that I am going to get to do some extensive “testing” with it when I’m done as opposed to shipping it off to a tradeshow or LAN party. This build log is certainly no exception and may well be the most fun rig I have built since I’ve been employed here at Corsair. I built it to be a strong workstation, but I expect my testing to show that it will be excellent for gaming and multimedia also.
Hardware Secrets, Hydro Series™ H80 CPU Cooler Review — "The Corsair H80 is a great liquid cooling solution. It reached one of the best performances we saw on all air coolers and sealed watercoolers that we tested so far. It is also not too loud, maintaining the noise at an acceptable level even at full speed."
Mad Shrimps, Hydro Series H80 CPU Cooler Review — "With the Hydro 80 Corsair has raised the bar again on their all in one cooling solution product line. Too bad I couldn't put it up against the Antec 920 solution. The latter being in fact just a beefed up/revised version of the previous Corsair/Asetek lineup. The improvements in the radiator design allow for better cooling and less generated noise than the Hydro 70. Performance wise, depending on the used profile you get similar or slightly better performance than any of the single rad Hydros. The little single fan Hydro 50/60 are no match for it's beefier and bigger brothers."
Techgage, Hydro Series H80 CPU Cooler Review — "At ~$90 from various online retailers, you'll pay for the performance that you gain. Is it worth the extra money on top of the H70 or other high-end air coolers? You bet! Not only does it provide what amounts to a ton of extra performance when talking about CPU coolers, but it's incredibly quiet and expandable thanks to the Link system - there is no doubt in my mind that the price premium is warranted.
Performance, build quality, functionality and low noise levels all create a remarkable piece of kit that any enthusiast should be tripping over themselves to buy."
Hexus, Hydro Series H80 CPU Cooler and Hydro Series H100 CPU Cooler Review — "In terms of overall performance, both the KÜHLER 920 and Hydro H80 are difficult to separate. The thick-radiator, dual-fan configurations deliver similar results at a similar price, but Corsair's solution - with a thinner rad, three built-in fan profiles and Corsair Link expandability, is arguably more evolved.
However, at these prices, performance is what matters most, and - provided you have the room - the Hydro H100 is undoubtedly the best-performing cooler we've ever tested. Making use of a large 240mm radiator, the Hydro H100 is capable of shifting plenty of heat in either of its three cooling modes, and support for up to four fans and Corsair Link provides a useful upgrade path, too."
KitGuru, Hydro Series H100 CPU Cooler Review — "The Noctua NH D14 has been the highest performing 'mainstream' enthusiast level cooler now for around a year. None of the liquid coolers or flagship heatsinks have managed to oust it from the top spot and we were beginning to wonder if it was possible. Until today.
The Corsair H100 is without question the highest performing all in one cooler on the market, outperforming the D14 by around a single degree under full, overclocked load. Obviously some test results might vary a little, but the only way to test these coolers is to crank then to the limit with the hottest running CPU on the market today – Intel's Core i7 990X."
Tweak Town, Hydro Series H100 CPU Cooler Review — "In the end I have to go with my gut! Corsair offers one serious option to those who can't afford, or may not want the hassle of planning and mechanical ability needed to build said loop. Looking at it in the broad spectrum, the H100 offers custom water cooling results for less than half the price. Even for those looking for aftermarket cooling to everything in their build, this $100 cooler and just about any aftermarket GPU cooler on the market at $80 or less is still leaving you with over $50 in your pocket, and a lot less hassle if you do have to remove something later than what a typical custom loop restrains you to. If you are in the market for an all-in-one, water cooling solution, there is no reason why you should look at any other solution. For what you get in the Hydro Series H100, even with the loud fans, it isn't any worse than any of the others really. My advice here is dive in with both feet, and if the case is willing, get a H100 installed on your CPU and enjoy similar results to mine!"
HardwareHeaven, Force Series™ 3 240GB SATA 3 6Gb/s SSD Review — 10 of 10 Stars — "The Corsair H80 is a great liquid cooling solution. It reached one of the best performances we saw on all air coolers and sealed watercoolers that we tested so far. It is also not too loud, maintaining the noise at an acceptable level even at full speed."
Tweak Town, Dominator® GT 1.5V 8GB DDR3 Memory Kit with DHX Pro Connector and AirFlow II Fan Review — "The CMT8GX3M2A2133C9 is a really good all round kit that brings something new to the party for Corsair. The slightly relaxed timings are a small trade-off for the higher speed and low voltage on offer, but another real highlight to the kit is the fact it's an 8GB one. And to be honest, moving to 4GB isn't a trade-off you probably want to make, so it's great it's not one that has to be made here."
HardOCP, Enthusiast Series™ TX850 V2 80 PLUS® Bronze Certified 850W PSU Review — "The DC Output Quality of the TX850 V2 today was excellent and posted significant improvements over what we saw from the TX850W just as was the case with the 750W example in the new TX V2 line we previously reviewed. Also like with the TX750 V2, the trace amplitudes of all rails were started off testing at ~10mV. During testing, the minor rails stayed close to this value as they ended up peaking at ~15mV. The 12v rail on the other hand, moved up to ~25mV which really isn't that much more and represents a significant improvement over the TX850W. Incidentally, this also represents an improvement over the Core Edition 850W which is just another feather in this unit's cap. All in all, the DC Output Quality of the TX850 V2 is excellent in all of our testing today."
Neoseeker, Carbide Series™ 400R Mid-Tower Case Review — "All of Corsair's cases are acclaimed for their included features, support, expansion and functionally, so it should come as little surprise that the 400R is yet another excellent case from Corsair that succeeds on all fronts."
Tech Power Up, Carbide Series 400R Mid-Tower Case Review — "Corsair already has gained an excellent reputation for their cases in a considerably short time frame. With all of their cases occupying the higher end segments, the Carbide 400R is coming down below the magical (yes I said it) 100 USD barrier. While you may expect that such a case could have lost most of its appeal and functionality on the way to this milestone when compared to the previous Corsair enclosures, I am happy to report that this is not the case. Corsair has managed to impress in the past and continues to do so with the Carbide 400R. It features an excellent and really cool looking paint job, the same build quality we have seen on the 600T and all the core functionality of their modern case line up."
The most recent information I saw indicateded that there are over 30 million Steam users now. When I last logged in, there was over 3.2 million users online. Those are astounding numbers. And of course I hope they are all Corsair customers!
One thing I personally like about Steam is the backup and restore functions. If you do many OS installs or new system builds, I'm sure you know what I mean. But, I'm also sure that there are some people that do not utilize this feature or may not even know it's there. It's super easy to use so let's take a look at it.
I'll start this out with an admission. Yes, I am a Steam user. And, the more I use it, the more I like it. If you check the Wikipedia information you’ll find this:
Steam is a digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications platform developed by Valve Corporation. It is used to distribute games and related media online, from small independent developers to larger software houses. Steam also has community features, automated game updates, and in-game voice and chat functionality.
As of July 2011, there are over 1,300 games available through Steam, and over 30 million active user accounts.
Corsair works very hard with Intel to provide memory that complies with Intel's XMP standards. This means that not only does the user get the benefit of predefined performance settings, they also get an extra level of assurance that Corsair memory is tested with and compatible with their Intel based system. In fact, Corsair has more XMP approved memory listed at Intel than all other memory vendors combined on the Intel XMP charts:
The Hydro Series™ H100 is the new top of the line all enclosed water cooling CPU coolers from Corsair. The H100 is similar to other Hydro Series CPU coolers from Corsair with a few exceptions, the main one being that the H100 uses a longer 240mm radiator. Luckily all of Corsairs PC cases will support the H100 and this blog will serve to illustrate the process. We will be installing it in our Carbide Series™ 400R mid-tower case.
TechRadar, Force Series™ 3 120GB SSD Review — Four out of Five Stars — "One hundred and seventy English pounds for a 120GB SSD powered by the latest SandForce SF-2200 controller and 25nm NAND flash memory? Looks like a bit of a bargain, particularly compared to 120GB-ish drives with the Marvell 9174 controller, such as the Intel 510 and Plextor M2S."
Neoseeker, Hydro Series™ H100 Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler Review — "Looking beyond the size and price, the H100 is simply amazing. It offers best-in-class performance and just looks epic when installed. On top of this, it has options to increase or decrease the fans' RPM levels in real-time, supports Corsair's upcoming Link platform, and can accommodate up to four 120mm fans."
Overclock3D, Hydro Series H100 Review — "The fact you can still turn the H100 down easily is in my eyes its trump card, because its roughly a 4-6c increase but with a massive reduction in noise. So you can set your system up with some hefty over-volts and overclocks for 24/7 and still be able to keep things cool and quiet but with a flick of a switch you can unleash the full cooling power for those silly bench runs and even higher over volts that you would not want to be running 24/7."
AMD recently launched their AMD Fusion™ APU's which integrate a GPU on the CPU. You might be asking yourself what is an APU? It is AMD's new Accelerated Processing Unit that combines a CPU and GPU on one chip. The GPU on the APU chip shares the system memory with the CPU. This makes memory frequency crucial to get the most out of your integrated GPU.
Gigabyte™ posted some results they got when they tested an AMD A8350 APU on a GIGABYTE A75-UD4H using Corsair Dominator® GT memory. They tested four different DirectX 11 titles with five different memory frequencies ranging from 1333MHz to 2400MHz. In one case going from the default 1333MHz to 2400MHz they almost doubled their frame rates!
PC Perspective ran some tests with Corsair Dominator DDR3 memory with their modules clocked all the way up to 1866MHz. All five gaming tests saw an increase in frames per second when overclocking the memory. Here is what Ryan Shrout of PC Perspective had to say:
"Look at those AMD results, the differences are actually quite impressive. The boost from 1333 to 1600 MHz produced the most dramatic results though the jump to 1866 MHz (but at slightly slower timings) still brought performance up."
From the results above you can see high speed memory makes a large impact on the graphics performance using AMD's new chips. Motherboard manufacturers like Gigabyte have options on their AMD boards supporting frequencies up to 1866MHz and even 2400MHz when overclocked! Add in some high frequency Corsair Dominator or Vengeance™ DDR3 memory modules and you can get the best performance when using the integrated GPU on AMD's APU.
In May, we created a video that demonstrates how to upgrade a power supply and a video card. Since it was aimed at beginning and intermediate PC users, we chose a system that's a popular choice for a first computer — a Dell Inspiron.
We couldn't leave well enough alone, so we've tricked out the Inspiron again, this time with a 120GB Force Series™ 3 SSD and eight gigabytes of Vengeance™ Low Profile memory. The performance improvement is dramatic. Along the way, we discovered that the Inspiron desktop PC doesn't quite conform 100% to industry standards, but we were able to work around it pretty easily.
If you're like many of our customers, you've already moved past the pre-built PC stage and you're comfortable assembling systems from the ground up. Creating this video was fun, because it allowed us to get back to the basics and show off the power of system upgrades to viewers who haven't yet worked up the courage to perform their own upgrades. And, it's always satisfying to see some amazing results with just a little work with a screwdriver.
ProClockers, Force Series™ 3 SSD Review — "With the performance number we saw here today we feel that there is no better time than the present to upgrade from the typical mechanical drive to an ultra-fast SSD like the Force 3."
TweakTown, Hydro Series™ H80 CPU Cooler Review — "What the H80 has for me to see value in is simply three things. Number one is performance; I mean it rocked our TECC and showed us that these coolers can keep up and run with the big dogs. The adjustable at a touch cooling, with the option for the additional Link later on makes the new Hydro series coolers even more adaptable. To round out the trio, there is the mounting."
Hexus, Carbide Series™ 400R Mid-Tower Case Review — "The Carbide Series 400R doesn't have the visual lure of Corsair's previous solutions, but it manages to retain a lot of what's good about the Graphite and Obsidian Series enclosures and offer it in a package costing less than £90."
Guru3D, Carbide Series™ 400R Mid-Tower Case Review — "However for 99 bucks you do get a serious chassis that does not forfeit a lot, in fact labeling it mid-range or mainstream doesn't even do it justice. The work space inside is great with easy access to pretty much anything and with 8 expansions lots there is plenty room for multiple graphics cards that are lengthy. Everything can be installed tool free and the new retention 3.5" HDD clips work a lot better then the previous models have shown."