Corsair H150i Elite LCD Liquid CPU Cooler Review
Fantastic looks; great performance at max RPM; reasonable noise levels; iCUE software
Price; Corsair still falls behind in dB-normalized benchmarks
Here at TBG, we have a thing for coolers. We’ve tested well over six dozen at this point, of all types, from low-profile to towers to big liquid models. In fact, we’ve conducted multiple shootouts for each of these categories, which we believe gives our audience a much better understanding of the market than one-off reviews do. But occasionally we’ll still do a single-product review if we think it will build on a recent shootout, and that brings us to Corsair’s H150i Elite LCD.
Back when we tested the Corsair H150i Pro RGB XT, we mentioned that if Corsair could tweak the fans a bit, it might be able to reestablish itself as a true leader in the liquid cooling market that it pioneered. And lo and behold, buried way down on the spec sheet for the Elite LCD are brand-new fans!
That, dear readers, is why we decided to test this cooler, not the snazzy LCD screen on the pump (which we will obviously be showing off). The Elite LCD is in fact the first cooler to feature the new ML120 RGB Elite fans, which are a major revision of the original ML120 and ML120 RGB fans. While the basic 7-blade design remains, the shape of those blades is slightly different, and more importantly, the frame has been completely redesigned. One other notable update: every Elite LCD includes an Intel Socket 1700 adapter, which will be music to the ears of Intel 12th-Gen early-adopters.
But how does the Elite LCD perform? Only testing will tell us, so let’s jump into it! As always, thanks to Corsair for providing a sample of the Corsair’s H150i Elite LCD for review.
Here’s the test bench we used for our review:
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
- MB: Asus X470 Crosshair XI Hero
- RAM: Corsair 4x8GB Vengeance SL DDR4-3200
- Case: be quiet! Silent Base 802, fans set to minimum RPM
- Thermal paste used for all coolers: Noctua NT-H2 10g
In addition to the H150i Elite LCD, which retails for $290, here are the coolers included in our benchmarks:
- Arctic Liquid Freezer II 360 ($125)
- Corsair iCUE H150i RGB Pro XT ($160)
- Deepcool Castle 360EX ($130)
- Thermaltake ToughLiquid 360 ($190)
- Noctua NH-D15 Chromax.black ($110)
- Scythe Fuma 2 ($60)
As with all of our reviews going forward, this review appears exclusively on YouTube, which you can see below. Not only do we provide details on what comes in the box and dive into some benchmarks, but we also show you what the Elite LCD looks like in action!
The H150i Elite LCD has a lot going for it, and we’d dare to call it Corsair’s best cooler ever. Of course, that’s to be expected given the price, but it’s also among the best coolers we’ve ever tested when the total package is taken into consideration. It has the best max-RPM performance (at reasonable noise levels), it has the best-looking fans, the only LCD screen we’ve tested (and it’s clearly a high-quality one), plus the Corsair iCUE software is second-to-none when it comes to complete, reliable control of your PC gear.
With that said, a few things stand in the way of total domination. First, of course, is the price. If you don’t want the snazzy screen, you probably shouldn’t be paying for it, right? We just hope that Corsair updates it’s other AIO coolers with the improved ML120 fans on the Elite LCD. Even then, the ML120 fan blade design still holds back the cooler slightly versus the best rad-specific fan designs, and the CoolIt pump is not quite as sublime as what Arctic provides (although it’s at least on par with Asetek designs). But the Elite LCD has enough going for it that other manufacturers can’t provide that we’ll give Corsair a pass on all that and bestow it with our recommended award!
As always, for all of our recommended coolers and fans, check out our CPU Cooler and Fan Buyer’s Guide, updated quarterly to bring you the most up-to-date buying advice!