CORSAIR iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT Liquid CPU Cooler Review

Manufacturer: CORSAIR CORSAIR iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT Liquid CPU Cooler Review

CORSAIR’ H100 was a landmark of the self-contained liquid CPU cooler revolution, and after nearly a decade we have seen numerous changes as the model has evolved and improved. Most recently, the Hydro Series H100i PRO RGB had been the premium 240 mm offering, with this new iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT providing enhanced RGB lighting effects (and a lower list price).

Beyond improved iCUE software-powered RGB lighting customization, enabled via 16 individually-addressable RGB LEDs on the pump head, CORSAIR’s PRO XT liquid cooler lineup (introduced at this year’s CES) offers their “best performing liquid cooler yet” in the H150i RGB PRO XT – though we are going to focus on the 240 mm version here today.

As mentioned above, the new 240 mm PRO XT model carries a lower $119.99 price at introduction, with its predecessor, the H100i PRO RGB, launching at $139.99. As this new cooler sports nearly identical specs, including a pair of magnetic levitation (ML) fans, the price looks pretty good right off the bat – especially considering the new cooler’s inclusion of AMD TR4 and sTRX4 support (along with improved RGB lighting, if you like that sort of thing).

CORSAIR iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT Liquid CPU Cooler Review - Cases and Cooling  1
Product Specifications
  • Model: CW-9060043-WW
  • Cooling Socket Support:
    • Intel 1150/1151/1155/1156/2011/2011-3/2066
    • AMD: AM2/AM3/AM4/sTR4/sTRX4
  • Radiator Size: 240mm
  • Radiator Material: Aluminum
  • Cold Plate Material: Copper
  • Tubing Material: Black Sleeved Low-Permeation Rubber
  • Radiator Dimensions: 277 x 120 x 27 mm
  • Coldplate Dimensions: 56 x 56mm
  • Tubing Length: 380mm
  • Fan Model: ML Series
  • Number of Fans: 2
  • Fan Dimensions: 120 x 120 x 25 mm
  • Fan Speed: 2400 RPM
  • PWM: Yes
  • Fan Airflow: 75 CFM
  • Fan Static Pressure: 4.2 mm-H2O
  • Noise Level: 37 dBA
  • Lighting: RGB
  • CORSAIR iCUE Compatibility: Yes
  • Cooling Warranty: Five years
Pricing

$119.99 USD

Manufacturer Description

“The CORSAIR iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT is an all-in-one liquid CPU cooler built for both low noise operation and extreme CPU cooling, with a 240mm radiator, two CORSAIR ML120 PWM fans, and 16 RGB LEDs.”

Design and Installation

The iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT cooler is a standard all-in-one design from CORSAIR, with the water block/pump unit connected to a 240 mm radiator with sleeved low-permeation rubber hoses.

The aluminum radiator is 27 mm thick, with a 380 mm tubing length to the pump assembly. The copper coldplate offers a 56 x 56 mm surface area (more square this time, rather than the round shape of the H100i PRO RGB), and the usual pre-applied thermal compound.

CORSAIR iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT Liquid CPU Cooler Review - Cases and Cooling  2

The included ML series fans feature magnetic levitation bearings, and in our experience are inaudible over normal room noise at idle. The fans can spin at up to 2400 RPM, and – as with the previous iteration – there is a “Zero-RPM” preset to eliminate fan noise entirely at low CPU temps, though pump noise masked any idle fan noise at both “Quiet” and “Balanced” presets on our open test bed.

CORSAIR iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT Liquid CPU Cooler Review - Cases and Cooling  3

Mounting the iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT is an identical process to any recent CORSAIR liquid cooler, and I won’t cover the process step-by-step here. For this Intel system, once the metal backplate, standoffs, and pump/block were attached it was a simple matter to connect the attached fan and SATA power cables and begin testing.

CORSAIR iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT Liquid CPU Cooler Review - Cases and Cooling  4

Next up, the results from our testing with a toasty Intel Core i9-9900KS processor.

Performance

With its $119.99 price tag the H100i RGB PRO XT (and its larger siblings) are clearly targeting high-end CPU cooling, and for this we returned to the Intel’s Core i9-9900KS test setup from our recently reviewed A500 Dual Fan CPU Cooler, CORSAIR’s first air cooler in a decade.

Why not use, say, a Ryzen 9 3950X? In part due to the difficulty in effectively cooling the i9-9900KS. Consider this: our Core i9-9900KS system pulls 289W from the wall under a full CPU load, vs. just 201W from the Ryzen 9 3950X in our testing. Thus we again went with this (increasingly rare) pre-overclocked to 5.0 GHz all-core CPU to create our stressful loads.

PC Perspective Cooler Test Platform
Processor Intel Core i9-9900KS
Motherboard ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X
Memory CORSAIR LPX 8GB (4GBx2) @ DDR4-2133
Storage Samsung SM961 256GB NVMe SSD
Power Supply Seasonic PRIME Titanium Fanless 600W
Operating System Windows 10 64-bit

A Blender ‘Classroom’ image render was used to generate load temps, with the highest recorded package temp noted for each test run. The Windows 10 system was configured with the “High Performance” power plan, which did result in some higher than average idle temps.

Temperatures
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The load temps with the iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT were excellent using the “Extreme” profile, coming in just behind the larger (280 mm) H115i RGB PLATINUM at the same performance preset. “Balanced” results were actually tied between these two liquid coolers, but the “Quiet” preset was not kind to the iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT here, as a more aggressive fan profile is needed with this CPU.

The 3.5 C improvement over the excellent Dark Rock Pro 4 demonstrates how effective liquid coolers like this can be in situations like this – with the i9-9900KS a problem for all but the largest air coolers. But how much additional noise did the iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT and its “Extreme” profile produce?

Noise Levels
CORSAIR iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT Liquid CPU Cooler Review - Cases and Cooling  6

While the larger H115i RGB PLATINUM did have a slight edge overall, the iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT was a very quiet cooler at both the “Quiet” and “Balanced” presets. Duration of sustained load will affect the noise output, with our test runs pushing things as far as 37.9 dBA at the “Extreme” preset. Anything under 40 dBA with loads this hot is really good, though it is very hard to beat very large air coolers in this department.

The noise levels from these 120 mm fans are quite low at lower RPMs, with the “Balanced” preset providing the best noise/performance balance (go figure) out of the box. Fan speeds can also be fully customized using the iCUE software (more on this shortly). And, as these are the same fans, it is possible to reach the lofty load noise of the A500 if the speeds are cranked up close to 100% (we actually recorded a slightly higher ~50-51 dBA at full manual speed with the iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT).

iCUE Software

True to its name, CORSAIR’s iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT is controlled via the iCUE sofware program. We are fans of this application, which offers a slick, intuative interface, and excellent customization of both RGB lighting effects and cooling performance/noise.

Various patterns for the 16-zone pump lighting are available, as well as individual LED customization if you prefer. In addition to the four default performance presets (Quiet, Balanced, Extreme, Zero-RPM), new profiles can easily be created with full control over fan curves.

Conclusion

CORSAIR’s iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT offers excellent cooling, controlled noise levels, and excellent customization with both lighting and fan speeds easily managed using the iCUE software.

The effectiveness of the cooler was particularly notable using its “Extreme” preset, with the fans spinning between 1500 – 1600 RPM under load in our testing. At this level the noise was around 38 dBA, and while this is slightly more noticeable than recently-tested air solutions (other than the A500) it provides a compelling performance/noise ratio at this highest preset.

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CORSAIR iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT: $119.99

With the iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT CORSAIR has further refined and enhanced what has been a winning formula for nearly a decade now: a well-engineered 240 mm all-in-one liquid CPU cooler providing easy installation and excellent performance.

Considering the enhanced compatibility (AMD TR4 and sTRX4 are supported) and improved 16-zone RGB lighting compared to its predecessor, the iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT is a worthy successor to the H100i PRO RGB, and its $119.99 price tag ($20 lower than the H100i PRO RGB) seems quite fair.

Review Disclosures

This disclosure statement covers the way the product being reviewed was obtained and the relationship between the product's manufacturer and PC Perspective.

How Product Was Obtained

The cooler is on loan from CORSAIR for the purpose of this review.

What Happens To Product After Review

The cooler remains the property of CORSAIR but will be on extended loan to PC Perspective for the purpose of future testing and product comparisons.

Company Involvement

CORSAIR provided the product sample and technical brief to PC Perspective but had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.

PC Perspective Compensation

Neither PC Perspective nor any of its staff were paid or compensated in any way by CORSAIR for this review.

Advertising Disclosure

CORSAIR has purchased advertising at PC Perspective during the past twelve months.

Affiliate Links

This article contains affiliate links to online retailers. PC Perspective may receive compensation for purchases made through those links.

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About The Author

Sebastian Peak

Editor-in-Chief at PC Perspective. Writer of computer stuff, vintage PC nerd, and full-time dad. Still in search of the perfect smartphone. In his nonexistent spare time Sebastian's hobbies include hi-fi audio, guitars, and road bikes. Currently investigating time travel.

1 Comment

  1. Tracy Bolte

    How about some test results for Threadripper? I’d love to see how it performs with a 3970x.

    Reply

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