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Which AIO? Corsair iCUE H150i RGB PRO XT vs Corsair iCUE H115i ELITE CAPELLIX


Dierks
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I have two AIOs and dont know which to choose. The AIO will be topmounted in a Corsair 5000D Airflow case.

Corsair iCUE H150i RGB PRO XT

  • 3, 120 mm fans (ML120, no RGB)
  • Only pumphead RGB
  • 9 months old

Corsair iCUE H115i ELITE CAPELLIX

  • 2, 140 mm fans (ML140, RGB)
  • RGB all over
  • 1 month old

My priorities are evenly split among:

  • 33% Cooling performance
  • 33% Noise
  • 33% RGB

Which AIO should i use and why? 
 

My setup is as follows:

  • House: Corsair 5000D Airflow
  • MoBo: Asus Rog Strix Z490-f gaming
  • CPU: I9 10900K
  • RAM: 4x8gb Corsair Dominator
  • GPU: RTX 2060 (will be upgraded asap after the GPU shortage)
  • PSU: Corsair RM1000i
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Those are two different size radiators and fans unit.  Generally speaking, any 360mm (H150i) will have a slight edge over any 280mm radiator (H115i).  At high fan speeds, the differences its very narrow, but you can get away with a bit less speed in the middle zone where most of us like to stay.  That said, there is a H115i 280mm for both the XT and Elite series as well as 360mm models for both - H150i XT and H150i Elite.  Most people should choose based on the best fit for their case.  It would be hard for me to make an argument for a 280mm over a 360mm in the 5000D.  It's a natural 120mm case.

 

I am not sure if your model distinction was a deliberate selection due to price or availability, but there are some differences between the XT and Elite series.  

1) The Elite series has replaced the XT, but the underlying hardware (radiator, pump, and fan design) are effectively the same.  Equal size models likely bring equal size results.

2) What sets the Elite series apart from the XT is RGB fans, OLED pump face, and an included combination RGB and PWM controller.  There is a lot in the box, so the XT needs to be significantly less expensive to make it a more compelling offer  -- or you hate RGB anything and have no need for a PWM fan controller for the whole system.  That controller can handle up to 6 PWM fans, RGB or not.  It can make everything controllable through the software.

3) Given your requirements, I would recommend the H150i Elite because of your interest in RGB, the 10900K, and the natural fit of the case.  If this really is an either or kind of thing, I likely would choose the XT and upgrade the fans to RGB versions at some point.  However, some people really like the OLED on the Elite pump.  This is something you'll have to decide.  Neither cooler will be a limitation to your overclocking.  That will be the CPU itself and voltage/power.  A 2C difference is not going to matter for that.  

Edited by c-attack
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 Cheers man. First response after trying Sweclockers and Reddit. Thank you.

 

10 hours ago, c-attack said:

It's a natural 120mm case.

What do you mean by "natural"? Made for 120mm fans with the 140mm mounts as an extra option? 

 

10 hours ago, c-attack said:

I am not sure if your model distinction was a deliberate selection due to price or availability, but there are some differences between the XT and Elite series.  

The H150i PRO XT is at the moment topmounted in my 5000D case. The H115i Elite was left over from the decommision of my old X299 platform. 

 

10 hours ago, c-attack said:

1) The Elite series has replaced the XT, but the underlying hardware (radiator, pump, and fan design) are effectively the same.  Equal size models likely bring equal size results.

So basically the only difference is radiator size and the RGB+some peripherals?     

 

10 hours ago, c-attack said:

2) What sets the Elite series apart from the XT is RGB fans, OLED pump face, and an included combination RGB and PWM controller.  There is a lot in the box, so the XT needs to be significantly less expensive to make it a more compelling offer  -- or you hate RGB anything and have no need for a PWM fan controller for the whole system.  That controller can handle up to 6 PWM fans, RGB or not.  It can make everything controllable through the software.

Next step after choosing AIO is to adress case airflow. this will probably mean buying a lot of new shiny RGB case fans but that will be my next forum thread.

 

10 hours ago, c-attack said:

3) Given your requirements, I would recommend the H150i Elite because of your interest in RGB, the 10900K, and the natural fit of the case.  If this really is an either or kind of thing, I likely would choose the XT and upgrade the fans to RGB versions at some point.  However, some people really like the OLED on the Elite pump.  This is something you'll have to decide.  Neither cooler will be a limitation to your overclocking.  That will be the CPU itself and voltage/power.  A 2C difference is not going to matter for that.  

 I briefly thought about buying the H150i Elite and sell my two other AIOs for if H150i Elite would outpeform the H150i PRO XT (i even considerd buying the new 7000D+H170i Elite but ultimatly decided for new case fans). But if the performance and noise difference would be marginal then perhaps keeping the H150i PRO XT and buying new RGB-fans would be the best option.

Edited by Dierks
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OK, I get it.  You have all this hardware already. 

 

"Natural fit" - A lot of cases were designed for 120mm fans, but then get the extra mounting rail for 140mm fans.  It depends on the case, but often this involves blocking a portion of the 140mm fan with the mounting rail for the 120mm size.  This is effectively a metal bar blocking 15% of the fan.  Aside from any performance loss, the moving blades really close to the metal rail usually produces a hum that is unpleasant.  The second aspect is flexibility.  You have the 5000D and the 280mm radiator already and you've mounted it in the top.  That was likely the only choice as it won't fit the side and if front mounted blocks the side fan position and may have less desirable visual qualities.  A 360mm radiator can be mounted in any of the three panels making it more versatile.  

 

Now that I understand where things stand, the nitty gritty details.  Elite series has a slightly denser fin arrangement on the block.  Some people I know with large watt CPUs said they saw several degrees difference when upgrading from thee Platinum/XT to the Elite.  I would say the 10900K fits that category.  However, unless you are going to run the 140mm fans flat out at 1600-2000 rpm, you probably give up 2C in coolant temp (heat dissipation) vs the 360mm radiator.  So I would say that makes performance a tie and you decide on other factors.  

 

Both units are capable of working with any PWM fan.  You don't have to use the ML-Elite fans from the AIO kit.  They can be replaced with QL, LL., or whatever.  On the 360mm radiator, fan choice is going to be irrelevant.  I just finished doing some work with my thicker 360mm rads and ML vs QL with no visible difference in performance for actual use.  However, from past experience I would say the 140mm version of the LL/QL suffer a bit more on a 280mm.  My prior build was a dual 280mm radiator system (CPU+GPU).  I needed to go push-pull on LL fans to keep pace or else loose 2C.  A lot of this comes down to watts in the cooling system.  If you are running a 3600X that peaks out at 75W, none of this matters and almost any cooler can do the job with similar levels of performance.  If you combine a 3090 with a 500W VBIOS and an overclocked 10900K, now you have a lot of watts to deal with.  Most of these differences can only be teased out at the 250-300W level.  That is effectively maximum load with all safeties off and running some type of synthetic program or professional software.  If your load situations are most gaming and mixed purpose uses, then the power is going to stay below 150W almost all the time and fan choice and 280 vs 360 won't matter.  

 

Now the 7000D and H170i is an interesting idea and I know some people are doing this.  A 420mm is a small step up from a 360mm in the same way as the 360mm is to the 280.   If you run long duration heavy loads, a 420mm could save your 4-5C over a 280mm.  That is a pretty significant difference when it comes to this stuff.  If you do mostly gaming and lower loads, it allows you to float the 3x140 and 750 rpm all day long and they never need to do anything else.  Adding more radiators or larger radiators permits the luxury of running relaxed fan speeds for equal performance.  Now all that said, even 4-5C is not likely to be relevant to your ability to overclock the 10900K, except at the last tenth.  I might only be relevant for those trying to push into the 5.3x10 range where the temp vs voltage scale gets really steep and this keeps you at 90C vs 95C.  

Edited by c-attack
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Fascinating.

Damn i miss those days when we were a few geeks in our early 20s having a few beers and an in depth discussion about thermals, voltage and components in general. Most people i know dont really care about the specifics anymore. One of my most computer geeky friends who is a editor in chief for PC Gamer here in Sweden just answered (and after 10 seconds ended) my open case/fan-question formulation with "a few fans in and a few fans out, the rest is irrelevant"

hrrm... Anyway, thank you so much for you time and knowledge. You answered my other thread as well (about my fan setup)

 

So to sum it all up.

I am a low-level overclocker so a top mounted 360mm H150i PRO XT with 3 QL120 fans would suffice? 

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Absolutely.  Either cooler will do the job in pretty much equal measure, unless you are running the 10900K at full maximum for lengthy periods of time.  That definitely does not apply to gaming.  I push my 10900K hard, but it is still under 150W in every game.  

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