With its fans set to full blast, the Corsair H80i is a noisy cooler, with the push-pull configuration creating a loud wind tunnel effect. However, it's also an excellent cooler. Previously, the lowest delta T result achieved in the LGA1155 test was 36°C, a result shared by four all-in-one liquid coolers at high speed. Not only was the H80i able to knock 2°C from this temperature at its own highest speed, but it was able to match it in its Balanced profile, which is far more forgiving to your ears. Its Quiet setting is exactly as advertised, with the two fans only just audible under full load, and even in this state the H80i scored a delta T of 40°C, 1°C lower than the H80 and matching the super quiet Macho Rev.A.
In our toasty LGA2011 system, the H80i failed to top the charts as before, losing out to the costlier H100 and Thermaltake Water 2.0 Pro. However, its delta T of 48°C at high speed is still excellent, and 3°C less than the H80 at full speed. Its Balanced setting returned a delta T of 51°C, which was still lower than the H80 at medium speed but only by 1°C. With a result of 56°C in Quiet mode, the H80i produced one of the best low noise results, with only a low speed H100 trumping it – the Thermaltake Frio Advanced and Phanteks PH-TC14PE had to spin very loudly to beat this result.
Click to enlarge - The H80i installs into a single 120mm case mount
The analysis above is based on the results achieved by the Corsair H80i mounted with its fans in the suggested intake position. Though this proved to the best position for it, it still produces fantastic results when mounted as an exhaust, as it never dropped more than 1°C from any result in this rotation.
There’s very little to dislike about the H80i. It's even easier to install and better built than the H80 before it, and produces consistently improved cooling results than the older model too. Better yet, it only costs an extra £5, putting it on par with Antec's Kuhler H20 920 (which it also trumps) and thus representing very good value too. Our concerns about it being used as an intake were nullified by its excellent performance as an exhaust setup, even in our minimal airflow test chassis.
We also bemoaned the lack of software fan control with the H80, but with the H80i Corsair have raised the bar over Antec in this regard too, as the Link software is a pleasure to use. It offers the best cooling we've seen for LGA1155 rigs, with its Balanced setting being an almost perfect balance between noise and performance, although it's important to note that most users will not need such advanced cooling for this socket. It's also very effective at cooling LGA2011 CPUs (and even easier to install), especially for its price. Finally, the choice afforded to users in terms of fan control is the H80i's stand out feature, and the ability to match its LED to your case's colour scheme is the cherry on top.