Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
When the time comes to look at a new AIO to cool your CPU, two brands pop right into our head, and that is Corsair and NZXT. Corsair has been in the game the longest, and NZXT a close second, but it is obvious that Corsair holds a larger segment of sales, and tends to deliver us new products nearly every year, while NZXT tends to ride their design for a couple to three years at a time.
By this, one would assume that since Corsair is always trying out new things, and adopting the newest generation of pumps and head units, that Corsair would tend to stay at the top of the pile when it came to performance.
Sadly, however, we have seen a movement in the market where silence takes center stage, above and beyond all other aspects of the coolers. While we do come from the old school segment of using Delta fans at full speed, delivering tons of noise into the room, we knew it was all for the greater good of lowering temperatures, and pressing overclocks to unheard of levels with traditional cooling.
Those days seem to be just a memory anymore. With the outcry from users at the amount of noise of the earlier Hydro Series coolers from Corsair delivered, it seems to be that Corsair no longer cares to find themselves at the top of any charts outside of being the most silent solution one can purchase. While we find this a tad disheartening, the market is what it is, and it appears that even going with the largest option of AIO coolers no longer means you will get the results you expected to see.
Not too long ago, we were sent a Corsair H150i PRO RGB cooler, but we ran into a software and firmware issue which we were not able to correct. Informing Corsair of the issue, doing some R&D for them on the cooler, we discovered that there was no saving the original cooler, so we were sent another. This second cooler performs as expected, and the software functioned as expected this time too, but one thing still rang true; the H150i PRO RGB is not all it is cracked up to be.
While it looks terrific and does have an RGB LED head unit which will bring the boys to the yard, we feel that if spending this sort of money, and buying what should be the best solution available today, yet getting the performance you are about to see is a bit of a letdown. We have seen other reviews tout the awesomeness of this cooler, and we have seen numbers thrown around, but not many will use the cooler with the software in all of the modes like we have to show the whole picture. While this review may dampen your spirits a touch, we feel that our readers will appreciate the honesty and full disclosure found in this review.
In the box, what you will find is the Hydro Series H150i PRO RGB 360mm AIO along with all of the mounting hardware for all of the sockets shown on the right side of the chart. To cool the radiator Corsair ships a trio of ML-Series PWM fans, which in this instance are 120mm fans.
There is a USB cable which connects the head unit to the motherboard so that software control can be achieved as well. Thermal compound is pre-applied to the cold plate, and Corsair sends a guide which covers installation and use.
In the next section, we see that the cold plate is made of copper, as we would expect. Transferring coolant between the head unit and the radiator, Corsair opted for large diameter, low permeation tubing, covered with black sleeving.
We also expected that the radiator was made of aluminum, and comes with a high FPI count. Dimensionally, the radiator is 396mm long, it is 120mm wide, and it is 27mm in thickness.
The fans are ML-Series 120mm PWM fans. The maximum speed of the three fans is 1600 RPM, and we saw speeds as low as 375 RPM in testing. With the fans at full speed, there is 47.3CFM of airflow coming out of each fan with just 1.78 mmH2O of static pressure. Fan noise is shown to be low as Corsair rated them at just 25 dB(A).
What is going to make your jaw drop a bit is the price for this cooler. The MSRP is set by Corsair at an astounding $169.99, which we believe is the highest MSRP we have seen to date with a Corsair AIO. If there is a good side to this level of cost, it is that both Amazon and Newegg are holding prices to the MSRP, and both sites are selling the H150i PRO RGB at $169.99, so pick whichever you have a membership to or whichever is cheaper to ship.
However, with what you will see in our charts, it is easy to see how inflated this price is for the performance offered. You will find a fancy looking product that keeps noise at bay, but in our mind, cooling the processor should always be job one, and without that taken into consideration, we almost thing Corsair is throwing things at the wall to see what will stick here.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging]
- Page 3 [Corsair H150i PRO RGB CPU Cooler]
- Page 4 [Accessories and Documentation]
- Page 5 [Installation and Finished Product]
- Page 6 [Corsair LINK Software]
- Page 7 [Test System Setup, Thermal Tests, and Noise Results]
- Page 8 [Final Thoughts]