If you’re in the market for an all-in-one (AIO) liquid cooler to chill your new CPU, then you most likely know that Corsair is one of the best brands for the task – especially give how they have gained immense popularity with their ‘Hydro Series’ CPU coolers. Not only do these products perform, thermally and acoustically, at both stock and overclocked loads, keeping the processor at optimal temperatures while maintaining sound pressure at a minimum, but they also look incredibly stylish while doing so.
Two of the more popular models at the $160 to $200 range are the Corsair H150i Pro RGB and the Corsair H115i RGB Platinum. The main differences between these two options, in terms of there physical appearance, are the radiator sizes – the H150i Pro has a 360 mm radiator that is cooled by three 120 mm fans, while the H115i Platinum has a 280 mm radiator with two 140 mm fans – and the fact that the H150i Pro has an illuminated pump head, while the H115i Platinum also has RGB-lit fans with translucent blades.
Of course, their size will also play a role in how well they function in their primary purpose, which is keeping the CPU from reaching temperatures that could damage it in the long run. Also, keeping noise levels low is paramount, especially for cases with tempered glass panels that tend to allow the more unwanted sound to escape. Additionally, since the H150i Pro is currently priced $20 more than the H115i Platinum, the comparison should aim at determine whether or not it earns this extra cost. To find out, we will analyze the manufacturer specifications, as well as real world benchmarks, and come to a conclusion on which cooler better earns its asking price.
|MODEL||Corsair H150i Pro RGB||Corsair H115i Platinum RGB|
|Radiator Size||360 mm||280 mm|
|Fan Model & Size||ML120 PRO PWM 120 mm||ML140 PRO RGB PWM 140 mm|
|RGB Compatibility||Pump Head||Pump Head & Fans|
|Number of Fans||3||2|
|Bearings||Magnetic Levitation||Magnetic Levitation|
|Airflow||47.3 CFM||55.4 CFM|
|Static Pressure||1.78 mmH2O||1.27 mmH2O|
|Fan Speed||400 – 1,600 RPM||400 – 1,200 RPM|
|Tubing Length||380 mm||380 mm|
|Tubing Material||Black Sleeved Low-Permeation Rubber||Black Sleeved Low-Permeation Rubber|
|Cold Plate Material||Copper||Copper|
|Noise Levels||10 – 25 dBA||10 – 36 dBA|
|Dimensions||396 mm (L) x 120 mm (W) x 27 mm (H)||322 mm (L) x 137 mm (W) x 27 mm (H)|
|Warranty||5 years||5 years|
According to the manufacturer specifications, the ML120 fans of the H150i Pro are able to output far more static pressure than the ML140 RGB fans of the H115i Platinum – though the latter fans have RGB lighting that can increase the temperature of the fans and thus throttle their speeds. The ML120 do have the potential to spin at 25% faster rotations per minute, which will also affect their performance at high loads. Both fan models use magnetic levitation bearings, so their noise production should be relatively low, with Corsair stating that the H150i Pro performs better in this aspect by up to 11 dB (30% lower).
In terms of quality of materials used, both have identical copper cold plates, aluminum radiators, and 380 mm rubber tubing. Both models are also backed by the same 5-year warranty.
Price wise, the H150i Pro is 12% more expensive than the H115i Platinum RGB, and only real-world benchmarks can tell whether or not this price difference is justified.
|Model||Corsair H150i PRO||Corsair H115i Platinum|
|Stock Load PWM Fan||58.25 C||56.5 C||55 C||55.75 C||54.25 C||52.5 C|
|OC Load PWM Fan||76.75 C||73.5 C||71.75 C||72.5 C||70.5 C||68.75 C|
|Stock PWM Noise Levels||23 dB||25 dB||28 dB||26 dB||28 dB||50 dB|
|OC PWM Noise Levels||24 dB||27 dB||32 dB||27 dB||31 dB||56 dB|
In stock CPU loads, we see that the Corsair H115i RGB Platinum does succeed in maintaining lower temperatures than the H15i PRO at all three pump modes – Quiet Balanced and Extreme – by 2.5 degrees, 2.25 degrees, and 2.5 degrees respectively. However, it does so at the cost of being noisier, especially at its Extreme mode, where it reached 50 decibels of noise emissions – roughly the sound of a refrigerator running. At Quiet and Balanced there is only a difference of just 3 decibels.
Similarly, however, when overclocking the CPU, the H115i Platinum reached 56 decibels of noise on the Extreme setting, which is close to the sound levels of a running dishwasher. It does keep the CPU temperature below 70 degrees, which is by all means impressive, but it is way too loud while doing so. Give that the temperature difference is just a couple of degrees lower than the Balanced mode, where it reaches only 31 decibels of noise production, there really is no reason to use the Extreme mode. At OC loads, the H150i Pro again trails the H115i RGB Platinum, and this time by a larger margin: 4.25 degrees on Quiet, 3 degrees on Balanced, and 3 degrees on Extreme/Performance. That being said, keeping the H150i Pro on the Performance setting will produce the same amount of noise as the H115i Platinum, with only a temperature increase of 1.25 degrees.
So, is the H150i Pro worth the extra 12% over the H115i Platinum? Not really. The two CPU coolers perform almost equally, with the H115i Platinum on Balanced achieving lower temperatures than the H150i Pro on its Performance setting. This means that you can simply ignore the Extreme(ly loud) mode, and the H115i Platinum still outperforms the H150i Pro in thermals, while maintaining the same acoustic levels.
That being said, Corsair has also come out with the H150i Pro XT cooler, which allows the ML120 fans to reach their full 2,400 RPM potential, outputting 75 CFM of airflow and 4.2 mmH2O of static pressure. This, however, does increase the noise output to levels that are identical – and in some cases higher – than the Corsair H115i RGB Platinum. Benchmarks show that the H150i Pro XT maintains lower CPU temperatures than the H150i Pro, but the noise levels are exceedingly higher. That being said, if you are looking to use an AIO cooler in a PC case that has noise dampening panels, like a Fractal Design Define series, or even a Corsair Silencio, then the current $150 price of the H150i Pro XT is an excellent deal.
But, for this comparison, the Corsair H115i Platinum must be declared the better cooler, as it keeps both temperatures and noise levels at a minimum, while also possessing RGB flare on both the head pump, as well as its very stylish ML140 Pro RGB fans. The fact that it costs $20 dollars cheaper is just icing on the cake.