Using data collected from performance testing on our test bench running an i7-5930k (4.20 Ghz @ 1.20v), MSI X99S XPower AC, 16GB of Crucial Ballistix DDR4-2400 and nestled within our Corsair Graphite 760T, we can evaluate the Corsair H110i RGB PRO XT with other 240mm AIO coolers. We’ll compare with the Corsair H100i Pro, Cougar Aqua 240 and Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R RGB.
Straight away, we’re seeing the Corsair H100i RGB PRO XT nudge out its predecessor at 100% fan speeds in our thermal load test, although all of the coolers in the comparison group are fairly close to one another.
Recorded fan and pump speeds of both Corsair H100i models align closely, and we can easily see that all of the 240mm performance AIOs are paired with fan speeds either approaching or exceeding 2000 RPM. As with most liquid-cooling solutions, thermal performance gains originate from overall radiator volume, airflow through the radiator or both.
Elevated fan speeds often lead to measured increases in noise levels, which is often seen on high-performance liquid coolers. Fan blade design, RPM and the ability to move air well through a moderately restrictive radiator all make a difference in how audible or silent a cooler is.
Acoustic efficiency evaluates thermal load performance when compared to measured noise levels produced. All four coolers of the comparison group perform relatively similar to one another under load, creating an amplified chart based mostly on registered decibel levels.
Our performance value chart takes the acoustic efficiency evaluation one step further by also considering unit pricing of each cooler in comparison to the average price of the entire group.
The Corsair H100i RGB PRO XT is currently priced at $120, slightly under the average cost of the comparison group, including its own sibling, the H100i Pro. While the budget-performing Cougar Aqua 240 retails lower at $100, it lacks software management, requiring users to set up fan curves with motherboard BIOS settings or by making use of a stand-alone fan controller. Conversely, the Cooler Master ML240R RGB costs a bit more than average and measured a few degrees warmer. But its fans do offer a larger drop in acoustics to balance the equation in its favor.
Thermal imaging from our FLIR ONE Pro camera shows a noticeable difference in heat soak throughout the radiator and coolant lines at 50% fan speed while fan hubs at 100% speed indicate larger heat blooms due to friction and power draw at increased fan RPM.
The Corsair H100i RGB PRO XT takes over where the H100i Pro left off by providing enthusiast levels of thermal load management from a 240mm AIO and making use of Corsair’s iCUE software suite for RGB lighting control, fan curve configuration and pump performance settings. Paring the capability of the cooler with a set of user-friendly software tools provides a great deal of value for system builders of any technical proficiency, in real time.
In some regards, the new H100i seems much like a copy/paste of the previous generation, albeit with a slightly more attractive price tag. Imitation can be the best form of flattery -- especially when you happen to be copying yourself.