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Corsair H115i RGB PLATINUM 280mm Liquid CPU Cooler Review

Corsair has launched a pair of new liquid CPU coolers in their Hydro Series lineup, with the H100i (240 mm) and H115i (280 mm) RGB PLATINUM. These coolers feature an array of customizable RGB LED lighting, not to mention things like optimized copper cold plates and high-performance pump designs. We have the larger of the two coolers in for some launch-day benchmarking, so let's check out this new 280 mm H115i PLATINUM!

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"The CORSAIR Hydro Series H115i RGB PLATINUM is an all-in-one liquid CPU cooler built for extreme cooling with a 280mm radiator and vivid RGB lighting from 24 LEDs. Two CORSAIR ML PRO RGB 140mm PWM fans run up to 2,000 RPM, alongside an optimized cold plate and pump design that delivers the high performance Hydro Series cooling. Take control with CORSAIR iCUE software to customize lighting effects and enable Zero RPM mode at low temperatures. Easy to install and compatible with most modern CPU sockets, the H115i RGB PLATINUM pairs killer looks with chiller performance."

Specifications:

  • Coldplate Material: Copper
  • Tubing Material: Low permeation with black sleeving
  • Radiator Material: Aluminum
  • Radiator Size: 322 x 137 x 27 mm
  • Fan included: 2x ML PRO RGB 140 mm PWM Fans
  • Fan Max Speed: 2000 RPM
  • Fan Airflow: 97 CFM
  • Fan Static Pressure: 3.0 mm-H2O
  • Fan Noise Level: 37 dBA

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Pricing and Availability:

  • Hydro Series H100i RGB PLATINUM: $159.99 MSRP (launching November 1)
  • Hydro Series H115i RGB PLATINUM $169.99 MSRP (launching November 1)

Continue reading our review of the Corsair Hydro Series H115i PLATINUM liquid cooler!

Box Contents and First Impressions

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Inside the box, we have an assortment of mounting hardware for all of the modern platforms, and this is slightly revised compared to the previous Corsair offering. Gone is the plastic backplate for Intel sockets, and in its place is one made from metal with rubber insulator–a welcome change.

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The stars of the show are the ML PRO RGB 140 mm PWM fans, which offer the same kind of multi-color LED lighting we saw on the Crystal Series 280X enclosure. You are not limited to customizing just one color at a time, and the effect is much more vibrant and interesting than many RGB fans - if you're into that sort of thing.

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The radiator and hoses are on par with what we've seen from recent coolers such as the H100i PRO, which we reviewed back in July, and the cold plate is nicely milled and comes with thermal paste neatly applied. It's time to try this out on the test bench!

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Performance

All performance settings and color customization is done via Corsair's iCUE software, which is a free download from their site. Presets range from a zero-RPM mode (at low temps) all the way up to the "extreme" performance mode.

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For our testing I ran in the conventional fan modes, testing quiet, balanced, and performance presets under identical circumstances using my usual cooling testbench.

Test Platform
Processor Intel Core i7-7700K
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-H270-Gaming 3
Memory G.Skill Aegis 4 GB 2400 MHz DDR4
Graphics Card (CPU Graphics)
Storage Corsair FORCE LE 240 GB SATA 6.0 GB/s SSD
Power Supply Seasonic PRIME Titanium Fanless 600W
OS Windows 8.1 64-bit

Temperatures scale as expected through the different modes, and while results compared to the previous benchmarks made with the H100i PRO are underwhelming on the chart there is a little more to the story.

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Temperatures were lower across the board on my testbench with the 280mm H115i PLATINUM. However, the lower ambient air temperatures in these new tests resulted in the delta temperatures on the chart above. Do ambient temperatures make that much of a difference? With these coolers the liquid can't be cooler than the ambient air without some sort of refrigeration, so yes, but how much may be debatable. I did get the impression that this H115i PLATINUM is tailored slightly towards low noise over raw temperatures, and that was validated with the noise level testing:

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Under quiet and balanced settings the H115i PLATINUM is barely audible even on my open testbench, free of any "whine" or high-pitched sound, so it should be silent inside most cases. There was a marked difference in noise when moving to the extreme preset, but it is still surprisingly quiet under full load. Compared to the H100i PRO's extreme load results this new cooler has nearly a five dBA reduction in noise! It doesn't come across so well in this simple chart, but this is a very, very quiet liquid cooler.

Conclusion

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The H115i PLATINUM is big, colorful, and carries a hefty $169.99 MSRP. What you get for that sizable investment is very good performance with very low noise, as long as your system can support 280mm liquid coolers. Overall I was impressed with the build, installation process, and very low noise of this new H115i PLATINUM cooler, and while its price puts in squarely into the premium category, you are getting a premium experience.

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The lighting options using the iCUE software allow for full RGB customization

If your build favors silence, and you like the H115i PLATINUM's style (and colorful RGB lighting onboard) then this is an excellent choice. In any case, this is one of the quietest liquid coolers we've tested. The MSRP does make this something of a niche product, however.

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Review Terms and Disclosure
All Information as of the Date of Publication
How product was obtained: The product is on loan from Corsair for the purpose of this review.
What happens to the product after review: The product remains the property of Corsair but is on extended loan for future testing and product comparisons.
Company involvement: Corsair had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.
PC Perspective Compensation: Neither PC Perspective nor any of its staff were paid or compensated in any way by Corsair for this review.
Advertising Disclosure: Corsair has purchased advertising at PC Perspective during the past twelve months.
Affiliate links: This article contains affiliate links to online retailers. PC Perspective may receive compensation for purchases through those links.

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