Now with better fans and more things that glow. Read our Corsair iCUE H100i Elite LCD XT Review.
Corsair’s venerable H100i series of AIO CPU coolers gets another iterative upgrade with the new LCD XT model. As the name suggests, one of the new features is indeed a new pump cap with a bright and sharp LCD screen. Via the iCue app it can be customised in many ways, with the outer and inner ring independently configurable for colours and patterns, and many options for what the screen displays, and the graphics style. You can of course add your own images. The most practical setting is CPU temp and load. The LCD head attaches magnetically, and once you’ve built your rig it’s all nice and solid, but it did get knocked loose a few times during assembly. It’s also sold separately if you’d like to add the LCD pump cap to earlier versions of the Elite Capellix.
“It is very quiet, and that’s a huge plus. The pump noise is virtually imperceptible, even at the highest RPM setting.”
That’s not the only upgrade. This new H100i model also gets an RGB version of Corsair’s AF Elite fan, which the company claims are the best performing fan it makes. Better quality XTM70 thermal paste is also included as part of the evolution of this cooler.
We tested a Ryzen 9 7900 at its stock TDP of 65w, which ran at 90w under Prime 95 with all cores at 100 percent, and saw an average of 58 degrees with the two fans and pump set to Quiet mode (~1400rpm). Changing the fans and pump to Balanced (~2150rpm) reduced the temps to 56 degrees -showing that the Quiet mode is absolutely fine for all but the hottest CPUs. We then enabled PBO to see how it handled the extra heat, pushing the wattage to 185w while running at 100 percent all-core load,
and the temps went straight to 95 degrees (the Ryzen 7000’s maximum by design), where it stayed regardless of fan or pump speed, and prevented the CPU from reaching its peak Turbo frequency. This means – in its 240mm configuration at least – that it’s not a good choice for a high TDP CPU.
But, it is very quiet, and that’s a huge plus. The pump noise is virtually imperceptible, even at the highest RPM setting. The twin fans do make themselves known at the top speed setting, and as we’ve seen with testing this cooler, running them at top speed might be a necessity, depending on your CPU. It’s a very capable design though, and long-term use in the Quiet mode is definitely achievable as long as your CPU isn’t bumping up against its own thermal throttling limit. If silence is a priority, there’s a Zero RPM mode which turns the fans off completely if the CPU isn’t loaded.
Assembly and installation went well. Credit to Corsair for a generous tubing length. You won’t likely be constrained by this and should be able to place the cooler in any part of your case and still have it reach the CPU comfortably.
The H100i Elite LCD XT improves on a well-proven design, adding loads of fancy lighting and very capable fans. Perhaps consider the 360mm version, though, if you’re running a hot Intel i9 CPU.
A thermally and visually attractive option for mid-range CPUs.