20 - 01 - 2018
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CORSAIR Hydro H150i Pro Low Noise 360mm RGB Liquid CPU Cooler Review

Article Index

INTRODUCTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   We're just hours away from this year’s CES (taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada) and if what we've been hearing for the past month or so from manufacturers is any indication 2018 should be a lot more interesting than 2017 in everything related to technology (we will be covering CES related news quite thoroughly just like every year). Moving to the review at hand it's no secret that due to the rapid climb in sales of AIO liquid CPU coolers in 2016 and 2017 we've now reached a point where the majority of CPU air coolers are considered "entry-level" and thus it's probably only a matter of time really before manufacturers turn almost exclusively to the first. CORSAIR just launched the latest addition in their growing Hydro line of AIO liquid CPU coolers and today with us we have the H150i Pro Low Noise 360mm RGB model.


   Founded in 1994, CORSAIR supplies high-performance products purchased primarily by PC gaming enthusiasts who build their own PCs or buy pre-assembled customized systems. The company's award-winning products include DDR3 and DDR4 memory upgrades, computer cases, PC cooling products, gaming headsets, gaming keyboards, gaming mice, power supply units, USB flash drives, solid-state drives and system monitoring and control devices.


   The Hydro H150i Pro Low Noise 360mm RGB Liquid CPU Cooler (most likely also manufactured by Asetek) is not only CORSAIR's very first tri-fan model but it also marks the start of extensive RGB products into that specific category. Now CORSAIR claims that they developed the H150i Pro with low-noise levels in mind and that's somewhat evident by the type of 120mm fans they used since the ML magnetic levitation PWM fans are mid-speed models that can spin up to 1600RPM to produce 47.3CFM of airflow and 1.78mm-H2O of air pressure with just 25dBA of noise (just for comparison the 140mm fans used in the H115i could spin up to 2400RPM to produce up to 104.65CFM of airflow and 3.99mm-H2O of air pressure). These three fans are paired with a 396mm long and 27mm thick radiator, 350mm long black sleeved low permeability tubes. High-performance pump (up to 2850RPM / probably the exact same model also used in the H115i) which also features a temperature control RGB LED at the top and an all-copper base (coldplate). Finally via CORSAIR's LINK software you can customize lighting, monitor temperatures and precisely adjust pump and fan speeds or stop cooling fans entirely via the Zero RPM fan mode. The brand new H150i Pro certainly sounds interesting so let's check it out.

 



 

SPECIFICATIONS AND FEATURES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

featspecs

 



 

PACKAGING AND CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Hydro H150i Pro gets shipped inside a long black box that has a product picture at the front surrounded by its many features.

 

 

A short list of the main product features is placed on the right side in two languages.

 

 

At the base of the box we see a list of things one can do via the LINK software.

 

 

Moving at the top of the box we see the CPU compatibility list and bundle contents printed in 6 languages.

 

 

Turning the box around we see a radiator drawing (showcasing its dimensions) and a description of the main product features again in languages.

 

 

As usual the entire bundled is placed inside a thick formed piece of cardboard.

 

 

Along with the main body of the Hydro H150i Pro inside the box you will also find three ML Series PWM 120mm fans, USB cable for CORSAIR LINK™ Integration, fan and radiator mounting screws, quick start guide and all the required hardware to mound the cooler onto Intel LGA1150/1151/1155/1156/1366/2011/2011-3/2066 and AMD AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+/AM4/FM1/FM2/FM2+ compatible mainboards (optional AMD sTR4 bracket is also available from CORSAIR).

 



 

THE HYDRO H150I PRO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Once again we see the usual radiator/tubes/pump/waterblock combo but this time over it's easy to see that CORSAIR has focused more in quality.

 

 

Their logo is placed on the side of the 27mm thick radiator.

 

 

The H150i Pro radiator features an FPI (fins per inch) count/density of 21.

 

 

Just like with the H115i the H150i Pro features two 350mm long black sleeved tubes.

 

 

CORSAIR has placed their logo ontop of the pump/waterblock combo (a LED placed beneath it is responsible for the RGB illumination).

 

 

A small micro USB port is placed at the front of the base and you will have to connect it with your mainboard in order to control the H150i Pro via the LINK software (you can also connect it to an external USB port via a regular USB to micro USB cable).

 

 


Unlike the H115i the H150i Pro features tubes which can rotate up to roughly 90 degrees from the base.

 

 

The all copper base has several visible machine marks on it and features a thin pre-applied layer of thermal conductive material on it.

 

 

In terms of connectors the H150i Pro has three four-pin fan connectors, one SATA power connector and a three-pin fan connector for the pump.

 

 

For reasons unknown to us CORSAIR decided to use their plain ML line of 120mm fans (no RGB LEDs).

 

 

With all three fans mounted onto the radiator the H150i Pro is ready to be installed in our Obsidian 900D full tower.

 

 

The thickness of the H150i Pro with all three fans mounted is roughly 52mm so it should fit into every case out there as long as it supports 360mm radiators.

 



 

CORSAIR LINK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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To use the LINK software by CORSAIR you will need to visit their download page as seen above.

 

 

The main screen gives you a rundown on the temperature of the system, CPU and GPU and reports on the status of the H150i Pro (fan/pump speed, temperatures and LED color).

 

 


From within the configuration tab you can change the speed of the fan and the pumps (via various presets) and the color of the LED (performance mod was used in this review since even with that noise levels were very low).

 

 

If you are not into playing around with the various presets CORSAIR gives you the choice of three main presets from the drop down menu (Performance, Balanced and Quiet).

 

 

Secondary options can be changed from the options tab.

 

 

Pressing on the graphing menu adds several graphs on the right end of the software screen as seen above.

 



 

TEST BED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TESTING METHODOLOGY



   Testing complete water cooling kits or individual radiators is no different than testing CPU Coolers and since we want all of you to be able to compare similar products we created new and separate charts (you can still cross-compare results however since we are using the same test rig). So once again single (120/140mm) watercooling solutions are tested with the radiator mounted at the rear of our test rig while dual/triple/quad (240/260/280/360/420/480/560mm) solutions with the radiator mounted at the top. For the dBA tests complete water cooling kits or radiators with bundled fans are measured both while on idle mode or with the fan controller in the minimum setting and while on extreme load or with the fan controller all the way to the highest possible setting (PWM fans do that on their own without our intervention). Every single test takes place in a temperature controlled room of 23 degrees Celsius Ambient Temp with the help of two AC units placed diagonally inside the room. When testing complete water cooling kits we use the Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste. Finally much like when testing CPU Coolers it's very important to point out that just because a water cooling kit outperforms another when tested with our test rig (when we test complete water cooling kits) that does not necessarily mean that the same performance differences will apply 100% for other CPU models and in other situations (such as different ambient temps and system configurations).


     To successfully record the load temperatures we use the latest OCCT application for around 6-10 minutes to push the processor to its limits and after that is done and the temperatures are recorded we wait for about 10-20 minutes for the CPU to cool down and record the idle temperatures. This is done to allow time for the thermal conductive material to achieve the optimal performance level. Same procedure is then repeated with the Passmark BurnIn Test as a failsafe just in case the OCCT results are wrong. This procedure takes a lot more time than the usual peltier/thermometer tests but this way not only can we deliver real world results to our readers based on real CPUs but we can also triple check the results using a variety of programs. Last but not least the temperatures were recorded using both the latest versions of AIDA64 and RealTemp while the noise level tests (when fans exist in the bundle) are performed using a high precision ExTech HD600 Decibel Meter placed about 10-15cm above the radiator. Still although the same testing procedure applies to all units do take into consideration that unlike the official numbers which are measured in special noise isolated labs with just the fans here we also have both the rest of the cooler and the rest of the system (although all system fans are turned off when recording noise levels).

 



 

TEST RESULTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

temps

 



 

CONCLUSION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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   CORSAIR shipped the H150i Pro samples almost 2 months ago and although we were required to post our review today we had over 3 weeks to play with it. Unlike the H115i the H150i Pro was designed for people who are looking to get an almost inaudible AIO liquid CPU cooler so although it features a longer radiator (although not as wide) with 3 fans (120mm ones however instead of 140mm) in terms of cooling efficiency it’s just not quite as powerful (still it’s much better compared to H115i’s balanced mode which comes closer to its noise levels). Now as you can see in terms of noise the H150i Pro does extremely well and is in fact among the 5 most silent AIO models in our charts (out of a total of 35 that’s no small feat). Of course as mentioned earlier we still don’t know why CORSAIR chose to use three plain ML 120mm fans instead of their brand new ML PRO RGB ones. This could have something to do with cost (since they are identical in everything else) but we think they would fit a lot better than the plain ML ones. With that in mind it’s probably the next step by CORSAIR (that’s what our next step would be) especially since one such model would feel right at home in one of their newest tempered glass RGB towers. As for the LINK software well it’s not the first time we’ve encountered it and it’s still one of the most comprehensive ones in the market today. We do feel that the layout could be slightly simplified so that even not so experienced users could navigate its pages/tabs but such AIO models are obviously mostly targeted towards enthusiasts, gamers and overclockers.


   The CORSAIR H150i Pro Low Noise 360mm RGB Liquid CPU Cooler is currently available for USD169.99 inside the USA (Amazon.com) and for 198.86Euros inside the EU (Amazon.de) a price which places it high up the chain. That being said most 360mm models come very close (some go even higher) so in terms of price although not what we’d call affordable it’s not really that expensive especially when taking into account its target audience (enthusiasts, gamers and overclockers). Overall the only thing missing from the Hydro H150i Pro is RGB fans (ML Pro RGB) but since it has everything else including excellent cooling efficiency, almost inaudible operation, RGB illumination and CORSAIR LINK software it’s certainly worth our Platinum Award.

PROS


- High Build Quality
- Very Good Cooling Efficiency (Performance Mode)
- LINK Control Software
- Thin Radiator (27mm)
- Up To Six 120mm Fans In Push & Pull
- Temperature Controlled RGB LED (Can Be Adjusted Manually)
- 350mm Long Sleeved Tubes



CONS


- Price (For Some)
- Long Radiator