Date: Wednesday, October 31, 2018
The box of the H115i RGB Platinum screams "premium," excuse us, "platinum." With beautifully printed glossy images printed atop a matte black background, with a metallic silver "Platinum," one look and you know you’ve gotten something special. The top of the box goes into more details about Corsair iCue software in multiple languages. The small sides are mirrored with an image of the cooler, as well as some marketing information. The bottom is where you will find another section detailing the iCue software, socket compatibility, as well as the contents in multiple languages. Finally the back of the box gives us some more marketing, tech specs, as well as the dimensions of the radiator both with and without fans.
The H115i RGB Platinum arrived to us in great condition, with only a couple of minor bent fins, as well as some dust on the unit that looks like it came from the pressed fiberboard insert where everything is nestled.
Dimensions: (L)322mm x(W)137mm x(H)27mm(without fans)
Material: Aluminum radiator and copper coldplate
Recommended TDP: Unlisted
Opening the box you are first greeted with the instruction manual, warranty booklet, and a small warranty leaflet resting atop a foam pad. Removing the foam pad reveals everything included, protected in either plastic bags or sleeves, or In the case of the mounting brackets, a foam sleeve.
Like other all-in-one coolers we have tested from Corsair, the H115i RGB Platinum does not come with a lot of accessories in the box. You get the cooler itself, a pair of 140mm ML PRO Series RGB magnetic levitation PWM fans, the hardware required for installation on all the supported sockets, and the right angle micro USB to internal USB 2.0 header cable for connecting the pump to the motherboard. Thermal interface material is pre-applied to the copper baseplate and looked to be of high quality, but will not be used during testing.
The fit and finish on the H115i RGB Platinum is very similar to what we have seen from other premium Corsair coolers this year. Very smooth paint finish on the radiator with a raised chrome Corsair logo. Tight, smooth sleeving on the tubing, as well as the unsleeved, but very thin wires on both the pump head as well as the fans.
The finish on the baseplate is honestly the best we have seen on a Corsair cooler to date, with only the finest machining marks present, small scratches from the paper towel used to remove the pre-applied thermal interface material could be seen. Corsair is calling this a "Thermally optimized cold plate" and it is quite a step up from what we saw on the "Pro" series. One interesting thing of note is the box of the H115i does say it is TR4 compatible, however the cold plate would be a little small for Threadripper in our opinion. The cold plate also has a very slight convex curve, it will be seen if this affects performance. The pump head itself, while visually extremely similar to that of the "Pro" series, is different, with the wires coming from the "top" of the pump head, rather than between the tubing, and the glossy center section, while still a potentially easily scratched fingerprint magnet, is less raised from the silver metallic bezel so it does not stick out as much.
Similar to other coolers we have tested from Corsair, installation hardware for the fans and radiator have a very nice matte black coating, and do come with washers for the case side of the radiator, something we have wished for multiple times over. In another step up from the "Pro" series, the H115i RGB Platinum comes with a new design of tool-less mounting brackets, that have a much better, smooth chrome finish than we last saw, and the backplate for Intel systems is now metal instead of plastic.
The ML series Magnetic Levitation fans are still some of the nicest we have ever had in our hands. With the same very stiff reinforced frame as before, the fans included with the H115i RGB Platinum have gotten the RGB treatment. Instead of the grey blades on the standard ML series fans we have in the "Pro" series, these blades are a frosted, translucent white to disperse the light provided from the four RGB LEDs in the fan’s hub. One thing to note is while Corsair does provide enough screws to do push/pull if you pick up an additional pair of 140mm ML PRO Series RGB magnetic levitation PWM fans, they do not provide a PWM or RGB splitter, which could be problematic since the lighting, as well as the fans themselves run off of the pump head, which only has accommodations for two.
Installation on our AM4 system was once again very simple. We first mounted the fans to the radiator using the supplied hardware. The holes were well threaded, and free of any paint buildup that may have hindered the process. The screws do make contact with the radiator fins when fully tightened, but the mounting locations are clear of any channels that may get damaged so there is no fear of causing a leak. One thing to note is the "ears" of the 140mm ML RGB fans did bend slightly upon fully tightening the screws, causing a small gap to appear between the casing and the rubber vibration damper. This is likely caused by the way the rubber vibration damper protrudes from the fan.
The H115i RGB Platinum uses the stock AM4 backplate as well as the stock hold downs. First, the pre-applied thermal paste was cleaned from the cooler. The H115i RGB Platinum comes with the brackets for installation on Intel systems pre-installed, these are simply removed by firmly pulling outward from the slots in the pump head, then sliding the AMD mounting brackets in. A reassuring click is heard and felt when fully engaged past the detents, which is a good thing since this is a tool-less installation. Next the loops that go over the stock AM4 mounting clips are installed onto the brackets using thumb nuts. After applying our Prolimatech PK-3 Thermal Interface Material to the heat spreader of our CPU, it is simply a matter of hooking the loops over the stock AM4 mounting tabs and tightening the nuts. These nuts have accommodation for using a Phillips head screwdriver to tighten, however we found it unnecessary and hand tightening these was more than sufficient.
The radiator is then mounted to the top of the case, again using the included hardware. Being the first AIO cooler we have tested that uses 140mm fans, the rubber grommets in the the top of our Corsair 750D Airflow Edition had to be moved to the different mounting points. The threads on this side of the radiator were not quite as clean as the other, and some resistance getting the screws in was felt, but nothing alarming. One very nice addition is that Corsair does supply slightly longer screws for mounting the radiator to the case, as well as washers, making this one of the most secure coolers we have mounted.
Unlike other RGB heavy all-in-one coolers we have tested, wiring for the H115i RGB Platinum is very simple as well. From the pump you have a wire that has both the SATA power connector, as well as a 1 wire tachometer wire to connect to the motherboard’s CPU fan header, a wire that splits into two 4-pin PWM fan connectors, and a wire that splits into two RGB connectors. On the left side of the pump head is the USB Micro-B port for connecting the H115i RGB Platinum to an internal USB 2.0 header. Everything was very straightforward, we did need to separate the tachometer wire from the SATA power wire to make it reach back around to the front of the motherboard. As stated in our reviews of the "Pro" series of coolers, the SATA power connector could be quite a bit longer. Our HX100i power supply has quite long cables, and our 750D Airflow Edition case is a very standard full tower chassis, and the very last SATA connector on the wire from the PSU had to be used, and reached with very little to spare. If you have a larger case, or a power supply with shorter cables, plan on ordering a SATA power extension.
The mate was excellent, showing that the very slight convex nature of the cold plate had no real effect on performance. It is interesting that our mate was slightly off center of the baseplate. While still within the screws on the perimeter of the cooler, we doubt it made any impact on the performance during our testing.