Corsair H115i RGB Platinum Review



The Corsair H115i RGB Platinum - The most complete RGB cooler from Corsair yet!






The PC cooling market has picked up recently especially in terms of liquid coolers since more and more CPUs tend to get hotter by every iteration with some reaching upto temperatures so high that they challenge the might of the conventional 360mm AIOs which earlier was reserved only for the HEDT platforms. Keeping up pace with this demand Corsair thie year launched it first ever H150i RGB Pro along with the H115i RGB Pro which happens to be their first ever 360mm AIO and its performance along with the CUE support makes it one of the highly regarded ones out their both by consumers and reviewers alike.





Taking another step of improvement into the same direction Corsair just launched their H115i RGB Platinum which is their new and improved version of the H115i Pro with a plethora of new features both in the cosmetic and performance sections alike. It is a 280m AIO and come with support for all the Intel and AMD platforms of recent times including the much coveted sTR4 out of the box! Finally a Corsair cooler that supports AMD Threadripper out of the box without the need for additional purchase of brackets. The pump and fans are ARGB and hence can be fully controlled by the iCUE software via a USB connection which is a welcome move and an improvement for sure over the Pro series. No final words on the pricing is out yet but I'll update that here as soon as I get any leads on the same.


What's in the Box!?






Corsair has packed the H115i RGB Platinum in a thick and heavy cardboard box
just like all of its coolers and the color scheme of black and yellow is
also there that we are used to now from them with all their products
but this time we also see a hue of colors in the backdrop of the image
of the cooler imprinted on the front that signify the RGB nature of the
cooler. All the features are neatly printed on the front itself such as
compatibility, use of ML140 fans, multi-zone RGB pump header and the 5 years
warranty support.







Inside we find the cooler & all its components packed safely inside a
molded cardboard frame which is good enough to cushion a unit of this
size and weight.

Content wise the package includes the H115i RGB Platinum cooling unit, two
140mm ML140 Pro RGB edition PWM fans, a Corsair Link cable, AMD bracket,
Intel backplate, stand-offs, washer and screws for installing the cooler
and fans along with the warranty leaflet and installation guide.





This time Corsair has gone with the pull and replace approach for installing the various brackets for Intel and AMD platforms with its H115i RGB Platinum cooler ditching the older place and twist approach. The Intel bracket is universal for all Intel platforms and comes pre-installed on the pump but can be easily swapped with any other. The AMD Threadripper sTR4 bracket looks solid and comes inside the packaging itself but there is a small with the manual part to which we'll come later on in the review.


Let's take a Closer Look!






Corsair H115i RGB Platinum is a quite different from any of its
predecessors in terms of almost everything, at-least from the outside.
The pump and cold plate unit on the H115i is quite sleek and made out
of premium quality glossy plastic. The top has the Corsair logo which has 16 distinct ARGB sections for full control over the lighting effects and functions.

Also the Intel bracket comes installed out of the box and can be easily
swapped with the AMD one. The micro-USB port on one side is for connecting the Corsair
Link cable that the cooler comes with.





If you haven't noticed by now, the pump and the copper plate are not circular like the Pro series but is almost square to provide more contact with the IHS of the CPU including the very massive one on  the Threadripper chips!

The cold plate comes pre-applied with a thermal paste and looking
closely we can see that the copper base plate is not perfectly smooth
but has some machine marks on it which shouldn't be an issue in cooling
as almost all Corsair AIOs that I've used so far had the same finish but
delivered nicely in cooling.





Corsair has used a 350mm long Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) tube
braided tube on the H115i RGB which is thinner than the ones which
we are used to from Corsair but are extremely flexible and not too hard
like the ones on the H100i GTX that caused issues when routing them
inside tight spaces! I'm happy that Corsair made these braided tubes
flexible and they can even rotate to a full 90° to the pump unit for
easy installation and routing.





A bunch of wires vine out from the pump unit, again, namely as a SATA cable to
power the pump, a PWM fan connector to power the installed fans and two
Y-splitters to connect the two provided fans for power and for their RGB lights. It can surely give a few a
hard time to manage so many cables protruding out near the tight CPU
area but this is a good arrangement as it sheds the additional load off
the motherboard fan header to power the pump and fans all together hence
there is no compromise upon the performance. Also in case one uses this unit with  a motherboard that doesn't support RGB headers then one can still use the RGB lights and control without the need of an additional controller which eases in installation and wire mam management as a whole.





The fans that comes with the Corsair H115i RGB Platinum are the Corsair ML140
Pro RGB magnetic levitation fans that are 140mm in size and are
rated at 1200 a rpm max which can move up to 55.4CFM of air at a sound
pressure rating of only 20.4 dB. These fans to be honest complete what is missing in the Pro series cooler since they offer full RGB control and the RGB in the product now is not only for the sake of it like earlier, good to see that Corsair listened to the feedback from customers and reviewers alike.







Corsair has used a aluminum radiator on the H115i RGB Platinum which measure
in at 143x315x29 mm and has a high fin density of 20FPI (Fin per Inch)
which should be there for a product of this stature. The build quality
of this unit is solid and doesn't feel light or flimsy from any angle,
support for upto four 140mm fans making a push pull configuration for
which the fan screws are provided by default inside the package earning
it a few brownie points. As for the aesthetics Corsair has done nothing
odd or out of the world here but just put their logo at one end creating
a minimalist design.





An awkward thing I noticed was that my unit's pump had stains on both the connectors which had caused some sort of discoloration of plastic cover of the pump. This isn't actually a leak atleast in the finished product as nothing seemed to have leaked during my overnight test for the same with just the pump running through a PSU to detect any leaks if at all. Probably an early manufacturing issue which is just aesthetically and nothing as such to effect the performance.


Time for the fun part - Installation 






Over here I'm going to test the Corsair H115i RGB Platinum with my Gigabyte
X99 Gaming 5P motherboard which is an Intel platform and also can get
really hot at times. For this we'll be using all the parts shown in the
picture above.

We basically need the LGA2011-3 stand offs along with the retention
screws for holding the pump in place. The ML140 fans provided with the
unit are the simple ones and not the ones with a rubber grommet at the
edges so using the provided washers is a good idea to secure the fans
nicely upon the radiator. Also the Corsair Link cable is optional and is
only needed to control the RGB lights or to set fan profiles otherwise
if not used the cooler would work with the LEDs on and programmed to a
breathing mode changing color each time.

Now there are two things worth mentioning here, firstly the AMD installation is still the simplest of the lot just like the one on the Pro series coolers which makes use of the stock stand-offs on the motherboard. Secondly, the manual doesn't state upon how one can use the TR4 installation bracket nor mentions about its inclusion inside the package at tall which is quite odd as its a stand out feature for this cooler and should be mentioned atleast in the manual if not on top of the box. Seems as if Corsair made a last moment decision to include the TR4 bracket for this cooler readily out of the box.





Once installed and ready I'm very happy with the outcomes as the
installation is very simple for this cooler on any platform whatsoever.
The tubes are flexible and can be turned and twisted in the desired
fashion which eases the installation process manifolds. Even though
there are a lot of wires going in and coming out of the pump area
tucking them in is not big of an issue and can be done with ease and
patience.


Let's put it to Test!


For testing the performance of the Corsair H115i RGB Platinum we'll be using the following test bench -





CPU: Intel Core i7 5930K

Motherboard: Gigabyte X99 Gaming 5P

RAM: Kingston HyperX Predator 16GB DDR4 3000Mhz

Cooler: Corsair H115i RGB Platinum

Graphics Card: MSI GTX 1070 Ti Gaming X

Storage: Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB

Power Supply: Corsair CX750 750W

OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit



Before I move on any further its noteworthy that the Zero RPM mode,
which was introduced with the Pro series coolers and is exclusive to now the Pro and Platinum series only, is enabled by default on this unit which doesn't allow the fans to spin at
all when the coolant temperature is below 45°C which tends to happen
specifically when the PC is left idle for long or has just booted up so
nothing to panic about, like I did in the beginning! As my ambient
temperature was low the fans on this cooler only started spinning once I
had booted into Windows and opened up a few apps. Its a welcome
addition as not only it eliminated the unnecessary noise production for
idle systems but it also brings these coolers in sync with Corsair's
PSUs that boast a similar feature such as the AXi series.





Coming back to the testing of the cooler firstly, the CPU is kept at
stock speeds with boost enabled and temperatures are measured both at
idle and at full load. Then we overclock our Intel i7 5930K to 4.5Ghz at
1.45v which is a bit more than what my chip requires to reach that
frequency but I had to add some extra heat to it, the same process as
that for the stock speed testing is repeated. Temperature is measured
using HW monitor with an average being taken of the temperatures
recorded on all six cores. MSI Kombuster utility is what I prefer to
stress test the CPU at all twelve threads, I run it for a good 15
minutes before recording the temperatures since by then the temperatures
reach a saturation point.

Secondly, the pump is plugged directly into the SATA connector while the
fans are plugged into the motherboard fan header via the provided fan
extension cable. Fan profile was kept at Balanced through the iCUE software as that is the profile at which most people would like to keep their coolers at for a perfect balance between noise and performance.

The readings would be shown in delta temperature that is after
subtracting the ambient temperature of the room while noise levels are
recorded from a distance of three feet from the cooler which is a
reasonable and practical distance for such tests.







Temperature wise we can see that the Corsair H115i RGB Platinum does a
fabulous job for a 280mm AIO cooler especially at overclocked
frequencies where it not only beats similar sized 280mm coolers but also
rubs shoulders with a much larger 360mm AIO which is a direct
compliment to the improvement in the pump that Corsair has brought in
with this offering. The only issue is that it is the same level of performance as that of the H115i Pro RGB which is not surprising since both these models use the same size and shape of radiator, technically the same fans with just RGB distinguishing one from another, so what we are looking at here is the same product with a dash of RGB added to it. Also take this with a grain of salt since my readings are with the Balanced mode which restricts the fan RPM to around 700 RPM tops and the performance can be improved further if one enables the Performance mode at the obvious cost of added noise.





The cooler is a bit noisy I'd say when the system is under full load but
at idle state the units is barely audible. Considering its size and the
two 140mm fans that come into play the cooler is one of the quietest
coolers in its category if not the quietest. This is an improvement over
the previous H115i which tend to be noisy hence the use of ML140 Pro RGB did the job for Corsair offering quieter performance while adding that much needed RGB flavor.


My Verdict


Corsair has always brought out some unique AIOs over the year most of
them improving over where their predecessor fell short and the same can
be said for the Corsair H115i RGB Platinum. The H115i RGB Platinum has some
welcome features that easily outweigh its cons.

The radiator and pump are all solid in build and look elegant from every
possible corner with no unnecessary gimmicks! Sleeved tubing is really
robust and flexible which is something I love as I've always felt that
Corsair tubing has been a bit too rigid but not over here. Cooling
performance is
really good for a cooler of this category and its true power is seen
when the processor is overclocked so yet again its proven that this
cooler is only meant for people who plan to run really hot/overclocked
systems as at stock you'll be better off with a smaller unit. Inclusion of addressable RGB not only in the fans but also on the pump header finally filled the voids that were missing earlier hence giving the product a much more complete look along with the fact that it now though seems to be hurriedly but does come with TR4 support out of the box.

With all that said the Corsair H115i RGB Platinum is still the same thing as the H115i Pro RGB with added splash of ARGB and TR4 support so in case you already own one and don't mind the missing ARGB section on the pump then you'll be fine but if you aren't the former then this is definitely the must buy for you as it'll give you all the added benefits with no compromise upon the performance.


"Corsair H115i RGB Platinum is Platinum grade in terms of balance between much needed
features, distinctive yet elegant looks and to the point pricing. Highly
recommended for someone who's looking at building a high end system or just
want a cooler to make his rig stand out from the crowd!"

Pros - 


  • Solid Build Quality 

  • Excellent Cooling Performance 

  • Easy to install 

  • ARGB pump and fans

  • Zero RPM profile

  • Compatible with TR4 out of the box


Cons - 


  • Same performance as the Pro series equivalent


I give it a 8/10 earning our Gold Award!




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