Custom water cooling has been a commitment in previous times. You had to buy all the kit, the radiator, the pump, fittings, reservoir, tubing water block, coolant and then worry about the maintenance.
You would be rewarded with superior cooling and in most cases a better performance to noise ratio than air coolers. Custom loops were and still are a sign of a true enthusiast. Companies like Koolance and XSPC have produced custom water kits that get the novice started, making such an adventure less daunting for the slightly higher than average tech savvy PC gamer - this is a good thing. But what about those of us that just want to get our game on and can't be fussed leak testing, draining the loop and taking the time to get the perfect hosing lengths? Closed loop cooling is the answer.
Images Courtesy Corsair
The Corsair H100 is the big daddy of the Corsair Hydro cooling line. It is a "Self Contained Liquid Cooling Solution" (no maintenance) sealed unit with a 240mm radiator that can be installed properly requiring only slightly more time than an air cooler like the Noctua NH-D14.
Corsair were originally known for their memory products, then they rapidly branched out to other enthusiast gear and now have their fingers in almost all PC component 'pies'. Here at PCGamers.net.au, we rate Corsair gear because it tends to just work. Probably most importantly to us, Corsair are also known for their quality.
Intel, AMD, Corsair and Antec have Self Contained Liquid Cooling Solution coolers with Cooler Master and Zalman also recently announcing that they are entering the sealed unit water cooler market too. The Corsair Hydro coolers are very similar to the other competing brands in appearance, design and manufacture so this is not a completely unique idea or product line. It looks like Asetek and CoolIt are the two primary manufacturers here with the other vendors "branding and value adding" to the OEM technology. What is unique to the Corsair Hydro line is that some units have the LINK controller that integrates with the Corsair LINK system and they come bundled with Corsair 120mm fans.
The Corsair Hydro coolers aim to give PC enthusiasts quality cooling performance without the need for a larger heat sink like the Noctua NH-D14, Thermaltake Silver arrow or other 140mm tower coolers. this would be great for a LAN rig or other smaller case where space could be an issue.