Before you do anything with your H150i PRO you will want to navigate over to http://www.corsair.com/en-us/downloads and get yourself the latest version of Corsair Link. This is their system management software and it puts you right in the pilot’s seat with full control over your whole setup. It even has a mode called Zero RPM which much like modern GPUs, completely turns off the fans when they are not required. Let’s check out some of the other settings beyond the main screen which reports the full system status in one place.
Under the Configure tab you will find all the settings that you can change for each of the items listed to the left of the screen. Select from your fans, pump, or LED and drill down to set things up the way you like them. For fans you can select a profile or create a custom curve.
Selecting the pump in the configure screen allows you to change the speed mode the pump will operate in.
Finally selecting LED in configure allows you to change all the available settings for the pump LEDs. Dropping the tab for Mode gives you a selection between Static, Blink, Color Pulse, Color Shift, Rainbow, and Temperature.
With one of the static color modes selected you are then given the option to adjust the specific color of the LED. We messed around with this quite a bit and found that the options are really mostly limited to the basic colors and not quite the whole RGB spectrum. You can select any color in the full palette but the LED has trouble properly displaying them.
We also messed around with choosing a black from different color selections and the result was a subdued diffused output. We were also able to get both a pure white and turn off the LED completely by selecting a pure black.
In addition to the individual fan and pump controls you can also simply select a preset profile from Quiet, Balanced (default), and Performance. Under options there are some different interface selections to explore including different skins. Lastly clicking on graphing will open up a detachable side panel that has a graph for all monitored items.
With Corsair Link set to Performance mode lets head over to do some testing.
The test rig consists of the following parts:
Processor: Intel Core i7 3770K
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z77X-UD4H
Video Card: Zotac 560 Ti
Memory: Samsung Green MV-3V4G3D/US – 16GB
Power Supply: Corsair TX950
Storage: Mushkin ECO2 240GB Running Windows 7 64bit
Cooling: Corsair H150i Pro
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Luxe
As always testing was done using Intel Burn Test (IBT) with the AVX instruction set. The reason to use this instead of Prime95 with this setup is that it pushes our i7 3770K a whole lot harder. This gives us a better sense of extreme load temps. Most of the testing was done at the max memory setting for a single pass. While admittedly this in no way would qualify the chip as stable while overclocked, it gives us a realistic idea of what temperatures the CPU will be hitting. Additionally we are going to run 3DMARK Fire Strike Extreme to give you a realistic idea of performance while gaming.
Our baseline was established using a bequiet! Dark Rock Pro 2 with the 3770K on stock settings:
Ambient temps: 22.22C/72F
Idle temps: 38.75C/101.75F core average
IBT temps one pass max memory: 63.5C/146.3F core average
The first thing we did was to test the cooler with stock motherboard/CPU settings:
Ambient temps: 19.44°C/67°F
Idle temps: 32°C/89.6°F core average
IBT temps one pass max memory: 50.5°C/122.9°F core average
*Our ambient temperature is 2.78°C cooler than baseline, we’ll be adding that to all our results to adjust for the change.
Right off the bat the H150i PRO is crushing our baseline cooler. At idle it’s a little less than 3°C cooler and over 10°C cooler under load! That’s a pretty serious difference and not at all unexpected lead. Let’s get into some overclocking and see where this goes.
Here are our results for our i7 3770K @ 4.5ghz with 1.248V vCore:
Ambient temps: 19.44°C/67°F
IBT temps: 63.5°C/146.3°F with the single hottest core hitting 67°C
The .6ghz clock speed increase cost us 13°C under load. While this may seem like a pretty big hit when we compare this result with our past test units we find that the H150i PRO is solidly in first place by a whopping 3°C! That’s 3 degrees cooler than the awesome Reeven NAIA 240 we recently tested. Equipped with a new pump design and the largest radiator surface area Corsair has equipped an AiO with to date, this unit doles out a serious beat down on CPU heat. We could see taking this chip up to 4.8 maybe 4.9ghz under this cooler, on a really good day even 5.0ghz?
With that kind of success during a heavy thermal test it’s time to find out how well this 360 rad does in game. Here’s what we found.
Ambient temps: 19.44°C/67°F
3DMARK: 54°C/129.2°F with the hottest single core hitting 58°C
Not many words are needed other than the H150i Pro keeps our overclocked 3870K at a very comfortable lukewarm temp the entire time we benchmarked the rig. There is no risk of processor damage under load with this cooler.
Acoustically the H150i PRO is quite proficient as well. Maxed out at 1620 rpm neither the three fans nor the pump created anything that even edged into obnoxious noise. They are actually pretty quiet especially for 120mm fans and using headphones would eliminate all extra noise completely. Additionally you can enable Zero RPM mode and the fans will shut down when temps stay within the set range.