One of Corsair’s fortes is making excellent peripherals and accessories for your desktop PC. Corsair makes some of the best all-in-one liquid CPU coolers on the market. Although, not so much when it comes to CPU air coolers. Today, we’ll be checking out the iCUE H100i Elite Capellix liquid CPU cooler, featuring Corsair’s Capellix LEDs. If you’re in the market for a liquid CPU cooler and you like RGB lighting as well, please continue reading our H100i Elite Capellix review below.
Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix 240mm AIO Liquid CPU Review
Packaging and Closer Look
The iCUE H100i Elite Capellix’s packaging has a similar theme to Corsair’s other peripherals. It’s a black box with triangle patterns and yellow highlights. You can see a photo of the AIO cooler at the front, and on the backside are some specifications and measurements of the H100i.
Corsair offers several sizes of the H1xx Elite Capellix AIO cooler series. The H100i has a 240mm-sized radiator, while the H115i has a 280mm-sized radiator. And Corsair also has the H150i with a 360mm-sized radiator, or equivalent to three 120mm fans. The H150i is best suited for CPUs that have higher TDP.
Inside the box, you get all the necessary tools and parts, including some reading materials. There’s also a spare Elite Capellix pump cap with a white or translucent surface, aside from the black one. The H100i Elite Capellix supports most of Intel’s motherboard sockets, including LGA 1200 used on Z490 and Z590. It also has parts for AMD’s AM4 and includes support for HEDT platforms like AMD’s TR4 and Intel’s 2066.
You’ll also get the Commander Core RGB and PWM fan controller. Although there are only two fans included in the package, you can connect up to 6 Corsair fans using this controller. You’ll only need to install the iCUE software to control all the fans and RGB lighting, including the RGB lighting on the water block.
The included fans are Corsair’s ML120 RGB Magnetic Levitation fans. The ML120 has a maximum fan speed of 2400 RPM, a fan airflow of 75 CFM, and static pressure of 4.2 mm-H2O. These fans can be silent when running at around 500-1,500 RPM. Unfortunately, I find them loud when running at 2,000-2,400 RPM.
Water Block and Radiator
Corsair, usually, doesn’t disappoint when it comes to quality. And I find the overall build quality and material used on the H100i Elite Capellix is of excellent caliber. The CPU water block has a cube-like shape, but it’s actually an octagon. Thermal paste is pre-applied right out of the box and there’s a plastic cover protecting it. There’s no extra thermal paste or tube included, so you’ll have to be careful not to waste the pre-applied.
The H100i Elite Capellix’s radiator has a dimension of 277mm x 120mm x 27mm, and it can accommodate two 120mm fans. There’s a small Corsair logo on the center-side portion of the radiator.
By the way, going back to the CPU water block, two cables are sticking out of the water block. The first one is a thick flat cable that needs to be connected to the Commander Core controller. The second cable is a tiny, 1 strand wire, that I think is for the pump. The cable is (so) thin that it may break easily when pulled (hard).
I also think that it doesn’t look good that there is a thick flat cable and a thin cable sticking out of the water block. It doesn’t look aesthetically pleasing in my opinion. I hope this would be revised in a future iteration or design. Well, that’s just me nitpicking and based on my experience installing the H100i Elite when I tested it.
Corsair H100i Elite Capellix Specifications
|Cold Plate Material||Copper|
|Cooling Socket Support||Intel 1200, 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2066
AMD AM4, AM3, AM2, sTRX4, sTR4
|AMD Processors Supported||Ryzen Threadripper, Ryzen, Phenom II, Athlon II, FX, A-Series, Opteron, Sempron, Athlon 64|
|Intel Processors Supported||Core i9, i7, i5, i3, Pentium, Celeron|
|Coldplate Dimensions||56 x 56mm|
|Tubing Material||Black Sleeved Low-Permeation Rubber|
|Radiator Dimensions||277mm x 120mm x 27mm|
|Number of Fans||2|
|Fan Model||ML RGB Series|
|Fan Dimensions||120mm x 25mm|
|Fan Control Method||PWM|
|Fan Speed||2400 RPM|
|Fan Airflow||75 CFM|
|Fan Static Pressure||4.2 mm-H2O|
|Noise Level||10 - 37 dBA|
|Cooling Warranty||Five Year|
Corsair iCUE Software
Corsair’s iCUE software is an excellent all-in-one utility for controlling and customizing Corsair’s components and peripherals. Although you can use the H100i Elite Capellix without installing the iCUE software, you won’t be able to control and customize the RGB lighting and set the fan profile without it.
With the Corsair iCUE, you can customize the RGB lighting on the CPU water block and the fans. There are several presets to choose from, but you can also customize the color of each LED. I don’t mess up with the customization as it’s time-consuming. Usually, I just use the included preset or leave it at default.
But if you want to sync all the RGB lighting and effects on your desktop PC, the iCUE software is the way to go with Corsair components and peripherals. Although, I can’t guarantee that it will work flawlessly with every system or motherboard and peripherals. It may not properly sync or work well with non-Corsair products.
In testing the iCUE H100i Elite Capellix AIO liquid CPU cooler, I am using MSI’s MEG Z490 Godlike motherboard powered by an Intel Core i7-10700K. I tested both stock speeds and overclocked settings. For the OC test, I overclocked the CPU to 5.1GHz all-core with a 1.35v applied to the CPU. Below are the rest of the system specs.
|Operating System||Windows 10 Pro 64bit|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-10700K|
|Motherboard||MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE|
|Memory||Crucial Ballistix MAX RGB DDR4-4000|
|Graphics Card||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition|
|OS Drive||WD Black SN750 with Heatsink|
|Power Supply||MSI MPG A850GF|
|Chassis||Thermaltake Core P3|
Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix Benchmark Results
Idle Temperatures – Stock and OC
With the H100i Elite Capellix CPU cooler, the Core i7-10700K’s temperature was hovering at around 33° Celsius during an idle state. Overclocking the CPU to 5.1GHz with a 1.35v increased the temperature to around 39° Celsius with occasional spikes.
By the way, the fan profile I used for testing is with the balanced cooling preset. During idle to light load, only one of the ML120 fans spins; the other one is not running. This cooler has a zero RPM mode (via iCUE software) if you want both fans to completely stop when in an idle state.
Full Load Temperature – Stock and OC
Up next, I stressed the CPU for at least 15 minutes using AIDA64’s CPU stress test. At stock settings, the CPU’s temperature was hovering around 48° Celsius, with a CPU load of 47W-50W. The pump was constantly running at around ~2275 RPM while the fans slightly increased to around 1500 RPM.
Meanwhile, with the overclocked speed, the CPU has an average load of 125W. The i7-10700K’s temps went up to ~70° Celsius, but the fans’ speed went up to 2200 RPM, which was loud and noisy. I don’t have an accurate sound meter, but the fan noise wasn’t pleasant to hear. It’s like the fans were trying real hard to cool or blow the heat away from the radiator.
Another thing that I observed is that, even though the temperature already dropped, the fans don’t adjust or lower their fan speed. Sometimes, it’s stuck to high RPM despite the CPU’s temp dropping to lower levels. I don’t think it’s the fans’ fault, instead, I think the software needs a little bit of tweaking or fine-tuning.
Here’s a summary of the results that I got for the H100i Elite Capellix. It’s a close match between the H100i Elite and Aorus’ WaterForxe X240. Although, MSI’s CoreLiquid C240 is not far behind either. The Noctua NH-D15 is the only air cooler in the chart and it is one of the best CPU air coolers in the market.
There’s only a degree of difference and I say they perform similarly at the end of the day. But the Aorus X240 is a more expensive AIO liquid CPU cooler since it has an LCD panel on the CPU water block. Although the H100i Elite Capellix came on top when it comes to performance, I was a bit disappointed with the fan noise of the ML120. There were loud, noisy, especially on full load.
When I tested the H100i with an AMD system (X570 + Ryzen 7 5800X), the fans were constantly spinning at high RPM during a gaming session. And it was noisy, not to mention the mounting for the AMD socket is somewhat arduous to install. The retention bracket would slide off easily before I can hook or screw the water block to the socket.
I hope Corsair would update and redesign its AMD mounting bracket. I have no problem with the Intel bracket though. But I can’t say the same for the HEDT platforms since I wasn’t able to test the CPU cooler on any of the HEDT platforms.
Pricing and Availability
The iCUE H100i Elite Capellix liquid CPU cooler has been available in the market for quite some time now. It comes with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $149.99 for the H100i Elite Capellix. It is also backed by a five-year warranty, alongside Corsair’s worldwide customer service and technical support network. For its latest pricing and availability, kindly follow the links below.
Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix Review Conclusion
All-in-one liquid CPU coolers are one of Corsair’s expertise and based on my testing, the H100i Elite Capellix didn’t disappoint when it comes to cooling performance. I think it can easily handle mid to high-end mainstream desktop processors without breaking a sweat. Although I can’t say the same for HEDT CPUs, like the Ryzen Threadripper 3990X. Perhaps a 360mm-sized radiator is more suited for those power-hungry CPUs.
When it comes to built quality, the H100i Elite won’t disappoint either. Generally, it looks clean and neat, well maybe except for the thin and thick cables sticking out of the CPU water block. It’s just me nitpicking but that thin cable may easily break if not handled properly or if pulled accidentally.
The H100i’s CPU water block features Corsair’s Capellix LEDs. This means that the RGB lights on the CPU water block are bright, vibrant, and saturated. I just wish they also extended the use of Capellix LEDs on the included fans.
Speaking of the fans, I guess my only concern with the H100i Elite is the included ML120 fans. Aesthetically speaking, they look nice and are functional. However, when they ran at maximum speed or at least near maximum speed, which is 2400 RPM, they tend to be (really) loud. And even in a closed case setup, like the Lian Li O11 Dynamic MINI, I can still hear the noise produced by the fans.
One way to get around this is to limit the fan speed and set it to run only below 2000 RPM. Although, depending on the CPU that is being cooled, you may see it running at higher temps. I hope Corsair will develop a silent running fan with RGB lighting in the future.
At the end of the day, the Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix is an excellent liquid CPU cooler overall. It has an excellent build quality and cooling performance. Not to mention the Capellix LED on the water block is aesthetically pleasing to look at.