Cinebench Test Results
When testing Cinebench, limited to a 200W CPU power limit, the H100i Elite averaged 67 degrees Celsius over ambient. This result is better than the air coolers we’ve tested on Alder Lake, but behind the other liquid coolers we’ve tested thus far.
That said, this performance isn’t bad, especially when you consider that this is an extremely silent cooler. In comparison, it performs only one degree C behind Cooler Master’s PL360 Flux, which is a larger, louder, and more expensive cooler.
OCCT Test Results
I usually like to run OCCT's small set stress testing for stability when overclocking, but on Alder Lake I haven't found a cooler that's capable of handling OCCT without throttling unless power limits are enforced. I prefer to test OCCT at 200W to demonstrate a thermally demanding load, but also with a 140W power limit enforced to show how these coolers might perform with a CPU that's easier to cool, like Intel's i5-12600K or AMD's Ryzen 5800X.
With a 200W power limit imposed, the H100i Elite ran a little toasty, at 70 degrees C over ambient. That's better than the air coolers we’ve tested, but warmer than other liquid coolers we’ve tested. This is actually a very good result if you keep in mind that Corsair’s H100i runs much quieter than the other coolers (results further below). With a lower 140W power limit imposed, it performs similarly to Cooler Master’s PL360 Flux and DeepCool’s AK620.
Low Wattage Results
I’ve also tested Corsair’s H100i Elite in OCCT while limiting CPU power consumption at 95w to emulate lower TDP CPUs like AMD’s Ryzen 5600X or Intel’s i5-12400.
While limiting the 12900K to a lower 95W TDP, the Corsair H100i Elite outperforms DeepCool’s AK620 and Cougar’s Forza 85 by a few degrees. While limited to 50% fan speeds, the H100i Elite technically falls behind by 1c - but I would consider a 1c difference to be within a margin of error.
Noise Levels and Acoustics
To test noise levels, I used the SLM25TK Sound Level Meter positioned 18 inches behind the rear of the Be Quiet Silent Base 802 PC case, and recorded early in the morning to achieve the lowest noise floor possible. The chart below shows averaged results, measured over the course of five minutes, to account for sudden spikes in measurements.
While it wasn’t the strongest in thermal performance when it comes to noise levels Corsair’s iCUE H100i Elite is the quietest cooler I have tested thus far, and sets a new standard for silence.
While running at full speed, the H100i Elite and its included AF Elite FDB PWM 120mm fans run quieter than all other coolers we tested it against – even if the competitor’s fans were reduced to 50% speeds. When the fans are reduced to 50% speeds, they’re so silent you could forget they’re spinning.
Corsair’s iCUE H100i Elite is the quietest cooler I have tested thus far, and it passes my Tier 2 Cooler Tests, meaning it's capable of cooling up to 200W when paired with Alder Lake CPUs. The iCUE software used to control fan configurations and lighting has an impressive amount of customization features. This cooler would be best paired with mid-range CPUs like Intel’s i5-12600K or Ryzen 5 5600X, but it can also handle the i9-12900K in most loads.
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