Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Corsair has been in the sealed loop AIO game for what seems like forever. We have seen many great coolers along the way, as well as the rash of recent products that use silence as the pinnacle to what makes an AIO great today. Even though we are not fans of, nor do we pull any punches when it comes to the latter type of coolers, we are still going forth with what could be another review where we do not put Corsair or their products in the best light.
However, when we asked if they wanted us to review the cooler based on our stance on this matter, they had no issues having us put the newest AIO through the ringer and seeing what comes out the other side. To us, this means one of two things. They either get significant traffic from our reviews, which leads to purchases anyways, or better yet, they may have changed their minds and made a CPU cooler which is a cooler first, and a silent light show second. We can only hope the latter is true, and we have a sealed loop system worthy of getting excited about again.
Beyond the cooling capabilities of the latest entrant, we see many changes have happened to the Hydro Series coolers. The square head unit is back, but rather than a gray or silver surround, this time a metal ring is applied, with a natural metal coloration and brushed texture. The hardware has changed, and gone are the plastic nuts on the backplate, in favor of metal ones, and the standoffs have been stylistically changed as well as the thumbscrews.
While many Corsair AIOs have RGB lighting, none have come before with twenty-four individually addressable RGB LEDs. There are many smaller things you may pick up on along the way as well, but the other big deal is the inclusion of this cooler into the iCUE software. It is what drives this system to do almost anything you can imagine, whether speaking of the lighting or looking to control the cooling of the AIO with everything from preset modes to fan curves, and even the ability to turn the fans off altogether for those times when the CPU is not under heavy load.
Just in the way Corsair names the newest of their AIOs hitting the market as you read this, our excitement is high, but so are our expectations. The Corsair H115i RGB Platinum, in and of itself, delivers the feel of being a top-tier product all by itself. However, if you are looking at the box or some of their literature, Corsair goes on to describe the H115i RGB Platinum as an "extreme performance 280mm RGB liquid CPU cooler."
The feeling we get from this is that if you are going to go that far in the description, buyers will expect better than usual results from this product. Since we have already gone through all of the testing before writing this up, we can surely say with confidence that the H115i RGB platinum liquid CPU cooler may be the beat AIO to hit the market from Corsair in some time. If like us, and you want an AIO that is good all-around and not just silent, hop into our way back machine, as the H115i RGB platinum cooler has brought back our love for sealed loop AIOs again, as they have in years gone by.
In the chart provided by Corsair in the preview literature, we see very little is given when it comes to information, although this is typical for Corsair AIOs. We are shown that the cold plate at the bottom of the head unit is made of copper, but there is no mention of the pump inside, which can top out at 2950 RPM to move the coolant inside.
Corsair does describe the tubing, where we see there is low-permeation rubber tubing used, which has been covered in black sleeving, but no mention of the new hex shaped plastic covers which retain the sleeving at the connection points. At the other end of the tubing is the radiator, which is made of aluminum, and is 322mm long, 137mm wide, and is 27mm thick. However, the fins inside of the radiator are also thicker than previous models, where now they nearly contact the frame of the radiator, rather than having the few millimeter insets the earlier models had.
Cooling the radiator is a pair of Corsair ML PRO RGB 140mm PWM fans. With a range of 400 to 2000 RPM, these fans are said to deliver 97 CFM. Not only do you get a ton of airflow from these fans, but they are also rated at 3.0 mmH2O of static pressure, and the combination of high flow and enough push to get through the high FPI radiator is exactly what you need to deliver high-end performance. The last mention on the fans is about their noise level, which we see is shown to be 37 dB(A) at maximum speed.
One last thing can make or break a product, and that is the price. We are used to Corsair asking top dollar when their AIOs hit the market, yet at the same time, comparatively, we feel that Corsair is on point this time around. While the $169.99 MSRP may be a bit of a sticker shock to some, when you sit back and consider all of the things they changed, the capabilities of this cooler, both in thermal performance as well as its aesthetics, the price is more reasonable the more you ponder.
With what you are about to see, you may be looking at the best AIO, in all aspects, to hit the market in quite some time. That being said, with many similarly priced coolers on the market with only silence in mind as the driving force, it won't be long until you realize what a unique cooler this new H115i RGB Platinum is.
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