Corsair iCue H115i Elite Capellix, not just performance: the eye also wants its part. Proof

Source: HW Upgrade added 14th Dec 2020

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We tested the latest heatsink at Corsair’s liquid, the iCue H 115 i Elite Capellix, a solution with radiator from 280 mm which combines good cooling performance of processors, even high-end ones, with the innovative Capellix LEDs on the pump head.

by Manolo De Agostini published , at 08: 41 in the Peripherals channel


In recent weeks it has one of the latest products of Corsair arrived in the editorial office, on iCue H liquid heatsink 115 i Elite Capellix , a cooling system which, as the name suggests, was taken substantially as an aesthetically more advanced model than the previous proposals. Equipped with a radiator from 280 mm equipped with two Corsair ML fans 140 RGB PWM , the highlight of this liquid heatsink is represented by the pump head, equipped with RGB “Capellix” LED.

Capellix is ​​Corsair’s trademark to indicate a type of LED capable of guaranteeing RGB lighting better than that offered by other types of led. The US company developed led on 60% brighter and able to consume the 40% less energy than classic RGB. To achieve this Corsair has collaborated with Primax, developing a new production process that allows it to place small LEDs directly on a PCB, in a very dense way, thus allowing it to potentially cram up to 100 Capellix LEDs where four classic LEDs used to be.

In the case of the liquid cooler we tested, Capellix RGB LEDs are 15, all in the head of pump, and above you can see the result of the Capellix LEDs in operation. The fans on the radiator, two solutions from 131 mm, have eight traditional RGB LEDs, but still give excellent lighting that goes well with other fans in the houses or other light elements.

Easy to install , in the package there is all the needed to mount the heatsink on motherboard Intel LGA 1151 or 1200 , but also on older sockets (or the LGA 1200 of the Core X), and on motherboards AMD socket AM4 and earlier, even the sTRX4 of the latest Ryzen Threadrippers.

The aluminum radiator has dimensions of 280 x 130 x 27 mm, while the copper contact plate covers a space of 56 x 56 mm . The tubes have a length of 380 mm, therefore long enough for most configurations. In the images above you can see the cold plate with and without the thermal paste pre-applied by Corsair (for the tests we did not use any thermal paste in particular, leaving the compound pre-applied).

Together with the heatsink Corsair provides iCue Commander Core , one hub through which to manage the speed and RGB lighting of the included ML RGB fans, as well as any additional RGB fans, for a total of up to six. The iCue H heatsink 115 i Elite Capellix has a list price of 170 approximately euro , but at the moment in which we write is scarcely available.

Corsair iCue H 115 i Elite Capellix to the test

To evaluate the behavior of the Corsair home heatsink we used a processor based system Intel Core i9 – 9900 K , tested in two different configurations : the first with enhanced mode disabled by BIOS, the second with this setting enabled . With the former, the CPU operates according to Intel specifications, forcing the clock frequency in Turbo mode up to a TDP of approximately 140 watt for a few seconds and then lower the frequency until the TDP stabilizes on the 95 watts of the Intel specification. This corresponds to lower temperatures and clock frequencies compared to the initial seconds during which the Turbo technology operates.

The second mode, enhanced mode on, pushes the CPU to the maximum enabling an operation at a much higher clock frequency with a permanently fixed TDP around 180 watt: clock rate and temperature obviously go up, causing the cooling system to work harder for dispose of the heat. We are obviously out of specification with respect to the settings developed by Intel: to maintain this operating mode it is essential that the cooling system is correctly sized for the purpose.

To analyze the behavior of the heatsink at liquid we have included in the comparison the liquid kit Corsair H 115 i RGB , a solution with radiator and double fan from 280 mm practically identical to the new model, an air cooler Noctua NH-D 15 with double fan and the Corsair A 500 recently tested.

Frequency average CPU clock:

  • Corsair A 500: 4. 131, 5 MHz
  • Corsair H 115 i RGB: 4. 130, 2 MHz
  • Noctua NH-D 15: 4. 144, 8 MHz
  • Corsair iCue H 115 i Elite Capellix: 4. 107, 3 MHz

By selecting the first Enhanced off mode, the clock frequency recorded with the 4 cooling systems is almost identical: the differences are so small that they are completely negligible.

Average CPU temperature:

  • Corsair A 500: 55 ° C
  • Corsair H 115 i RGB: 54, 5 ° C
  • Noctua NH-D 15: 54, 8 ° C
  • Corsair iCue H 115 i Elite Capellix: 53, 4 ° C

Similar dynamics also applies to the average CPU temperature : when used in enhancement off mode then with stable TDP at 95 watts none of the cooling systems have problems maintaining temperature on very low values.

Average CPU clock rate:

  • Corsair TO500: 4. 816, 9 MHz
  • Corsair H 115 i RGB: 4. 816, 6 MHz
  • Noctua NH-D 15: 4. 818 MHz
  • Corsair iCue H 115 i Elite Capellix: 4. 818, 1 MHz

Selecting the enhancement on mode from the BIOS the average clock frequency gains 700 MHz, with a clear advantage in terms of pres overall speed: the cooling systems show an almost mirror-like behavior.

Average CPU temperature:

  • Corsair A 500: 82, 9 ° C
  • Corsair H 115 i RGB: 77, 2 ° C
  • Noctua NH-D 15: 80 ° C
  • Corsair iCue H 115 i Elite Capellix: 56, 3 ° C

The picture changes by observing the operating temperature of the processor in the stress test: in this case the liquid kits are able to record the best overall behavior, with a temperature slightly higher than 77 degrees which is nearly 6 degrees lower than that of Corsair model A 405. Halfway we find the Noctua NH-D heatsink 15 with 80 degrees: in general the values ​​for all processors, considering the test condition, are very valid.

If the behavior, in the two test modes, in terms of clock frequency remains constant between the four models and a CPU temperature difference is visible when this is led to exploit a TDP well above 95 default watt, a lot in our analysis changes observing the operating noise. In enhancement off mode, the values ​​in idle are contained for all, remaining unchanged for the liquid kits even at full load. For the two air heatsinks, the first few seconds of tests, which correspond to the higher clock frequency maintained by the CPU, lead to a greater operating noise of the fans which is then reduced when the processor stabilizes on the threshold of 95 watt. However, we note how the Noctua solution is significantly quieter than the Corsair one, despite using two fans: they are from 14 cm in diameter against i 12 cm of those of the Corsair A heatsink 500, but the overall dimensions of the two models are similar.

By switching to the enhancement on mode the previous picture is confirmed, with values ​​that remain constant in the first seconds of the stress test as during the survey given that the TDP remains fixed at 160 watt . Also in this case the liquid kits are the quietest, with the Noctua proposal that clearly distances the Corsair A 500 maintaining a much lower operating noise of the fans and managing to achieve an average temperature of 3 lower degrees.

In light of testing, Corsair’s new Capellix liquid kit is a viable solution for cooling high-end processors . Performance-wise, there are no significant changes compared to the model we had already tested, while the change of the heatsink head is certainly something interesting for those who are particularly fussy in terms of the aesthetics of their computer. The flagship of the new model is the hub for managing various fans and RGB lighting, among other things, all through the iCue software.

Just from iCue you can manage the behavior of the fans and consequently better adjust the behavior of the cooling system , which however proves adequate to manage high-end processors even with fans with the silent profile. Provided you find it at the price of approximately 170 euro, and to have a case capable of hosting a 170 mm , this Corsair iCue H 115 i Elite Capellix proved to be an excellent product, able to combine excellent dissipation capacity with low noise and a unique pump head look.