Final words and conclusion
Final words and conclusion
You know, the new Corsair Hydro Series H115i RGB Platinum edition is more of a sidegrade opposed to a massive upgrade really, however, it's a really good sidegrade. Corsair focussed on the fans and RGB primarily, whilst offering the same cooling performance level as it's predecessor. It is a very good product, of now you will not reach the performance levels of your 'custom' liquid cooling kit, but the H115i RGB Platinum edition does offer plenty of cooling capacity. With that box ticked away, you need to move onwards towards aesthetics and noise levels. The including of ML140 RGB fans is sweet, really sweet even as personally I feel these fans are among the best in the business.
People, in general, do not understand these fans though, they make heaps of noise at 12v and thus people frown upon them. However they are not designed to run at 12v, we're talking low RPM airflow at say 3 volts, the airflow of these fans is above what you normally see. These fans move proper amounts of air at low RPM, get it? And since they can do that at low RPM, the kit offers lower acoustics with more airflow. That, in a nutshell, is what the ML fans are all about. They are also PWM compatible and have 24 addressable LEDs. If you combine that with iCUE that allows you to control all in software, you realize that you just purchased an incredibly flexible solution with really nice looks. Just pop the unit in, set it at balanced mode. This option offers proper performance at acoustic levels you can hardly hear (if you can hear it at all).
Magnetic Levitation equals to little to no friction, and at low RPM you gain pretty terrific airflow whilst hardly making noise. That shows in the DBa measurements as this kit easily was one of the most silent ones we have ever tested. In the past I have mentioned some noise at the pump, a bit of grinding and crackling noises, this round the pump was totally silent. You will not hear that unit in a closed chassis. Also if you do hear a bit of a grind, let it settle for a few hours.
Aesthetics & Design
The overall looks are very nice, that, however, is a subjective statement of course. You will get that all black design with the subtle shades of grey makes it an appealing product to the eyes. New is the chrome element and LED unit on the cooling block, totally programmable. Also new are the 16 RGB LEDs that can be addressed individually, allowing some really impressive effects. it's the very same with the Ml140 RGB fans, each fan has 24 addressable RGB LEDs. The LED system can be as loud or subtle as you want it to be, as hey everything and anything can be configured to your preference.
If you do not appreciate the RGB hype, simply don't activate or just set a subtle single static color it and your problem is solved. While we're on that topic, the added benefit if you use iCUE is that you not only change the color animation of the Corsair logo embedded into the cooling block, but you can match up any RGB color. We can imagine that with an ASUS ROG themed motherboard you'd change that to red, perhaps orange or orange with an accompanying Gigabyte Aorus motherboard and perhaps white with an MSI Titanium series motherboard. As subtle as that LED is, it really does bring a 'finished' feel to your final PC build and color theme. Remember iCUE can sync up all your Corsair components, and the software has made huge steps ever since it's initial release. I am not saying it's perfect but has become something really good.
Much like the other models, H115i Platinum is very easy to install with its mounting system. The unit is factory filled with coolant in a closed loop. Just install the backplate, the standoff-screws, position the cooler and secure it. The black design will make this kit look great on any PC. It simply is a good alternative to heat-pipe coolers with the added benefits of being fairly quiet whilst offering very nice looks. No 'advanced' skills are required other than the need for ten minutes to install the kit.
So here's where things take a different turn, the Corsair H115i Platinum will be introduced at a price of roughly 150 USD. We expect roughly similar prices in the EU, but that depends on the VAT in your country and the USD to EURO differential. The price premium really is due to the ML140 RGB fans, these are expensive puppies in the range of 30 bucks a pop if you would buy them several. But yeah, they are the shiznit though.
If you'd ask me to mention some adverse points for the H115i RGB Platinum, I'd need to scratch the back of my head a couple of times and think about it? The price is maybe a notch on the high side, then again two ML140 RGB Platinum fans bought separately would also have cost you 60 bucks. Herein is that price premium to be found. Honestly, as far as LCS kits go, it hardly can get any better? This kit is extremely flexible in its configuration, and whether you need high performance, or are the silent audiophile, it serves it all. OUr 90 Watt TDp processor is chilled down to really nice temps, and even overclocked with high CPU voltage, the cooler manages to offer temperatures that remain very acceptable. The fun thing is, it does that at a near silent level. The acoustic performance of the kit is mainly thanks to the magnetic levitation fans, at very low RPM these offer good airflow and that translates to cooling performance.
New for the H115i RGB Platinum is the inclusion of sixteen RGB LEDs (addressable per LED), that make the options in RGB animation much more diverse and better looking. The same can be said for the ML140 RGB fans with 24 of such RGB LED units. As mentioned, if you are not into the RGB thing, just assign a color of preference, select static mode and adjust to a brightness level of your preference. It is that flexibility in combination with iCUE that makes the kit special. And lovely are the predefined performance modes in the same software. We recommend balanced on the fans and silent on the pump BTW. The Zero RPM mode we can not advise as the coolant needs to be 40 Degrees C performance the fans kick in, by that point your CPU already might be running 90 Degrees C. Corsair really needs to make that coolant temperature programmable or set it at a lower 35 Degrees C threshold. The cooling capacity is more than adequate. It's at the level of a really good heat pipe-cooler, but far better aesthetics and likely acoustics as well.
I opened up the first paragraph of this conclusion with the question if I would know of any negative points while writing one did come to mind. The RGB fans do add two more wires, and it's a lot of cables you need to deal with. Take your time with them, hide them as much as you can. other than that what can I say, a necessary evil? Concluding, cooling performance is good, the low acoustics are fantastic, the aesthetics, ease of installation and the upgraded RGB functionally with iCUE software are nothing short from amazing. We will totally recommend the new Hydro H115i RGB Platinum, in fact, this has to be worthy enough for our top pick award
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