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Friday, 16 February 2018

Corsair K68 RGB review

Corsair K68 Gaming Keyboard - You won't regret if it spills out this time!


Corsair is a brand name that needs no introduction, every PC gamer or enthusiast has come across the brand in one way or the other be it through their famous Hydro series CPU liquid coolers, Power Supply Units, Chassis or even the very reliable Memory kits.
Corsair has been constantly innovating and upgrading their keyboard lineup mainly courtesy to their partnership with Cherry, a global leader in manufacturing keyboard mechanical switches. Talking about innovation what do you do when you've done almost everything in the field of gaming keyboards by launching the likes of the K70 and even the uber premium K95 Platinum? Well it simple you make them spill and dust proof! Why? Because you can and most of the people these days need it especially who tend to use their gaming stations as their lunch stations aswell!
The Corsair K68 RGB Gaming Keyboard aims to do just that and much more with its new RGB flavor taking the story ahead where its predecessor the K68 left the ball with its all red backlit LEDs. Thanks to Corsair India I'm having one on my table right now for review.

The Corsair K68 RGB is a standard sized gaming keyboard with identical features under the hood like the older K68 like a 1000Hz polling rate, 100% anti-ghosting, media keys, per-key LED lighting and even mechanical keys, the CherryMX Red to be precise. The added RGB lights are customizable using the CUE software and can be controlled in multiple fashions. Its rated for IP32 protection to earn it that 'spill and dust proof' tag and we'll discuss it later on on how just that really is.
Priced in at $120 the K68 RGB is around $30 over than the basic K68 while both are backed up by a solid 2 years Corsair domestic warranty.

What's in the Box!?


Corsair brings the K68 RGB in their now signature black and yellow packing. The Corsair logo is at the top left corner followed by the product name, with a boxed RGB, and Cherry MX switch glimpse at the bottom right corner. A large glossy picture of the keyboard occupies most of the front side along with streaks of RGB hues in the backdrop to signify its RGB nature.

Flip the box and at the back you see that Corsair has clearly mentioned the spill and dust free function along with basic details about the keyboard and its layout via a marked diagram. Yes, its CherryMX Red we get that by now but yet again its mentioned all over again.
All in all the outer packing is brilliant and goes perfectly with the theme of the board.

Inside the box there is another thin black box that contains the contents in a tight and organized manner. The packing is neat and organized to avoid any damage while transit to this product which is a good move in my view.

Open the black box and you'll find the K68 RGB keyboard, a detachable wrist rest, a user manual and warranty card. The accessories with this keyboard are bare minimum and even lack the Corsair signature contorted textured keys that come with most of their keyboards now. The only possible reason can be the cost cutting factor here but a few plastic caps wouldn't have hurt that much and moreover would've given the RGB variant of this keyboard a much more desirability factor over the non RGB version of the K68.

The K68 RGB Keyboard! 


Looking at the keyboard itself you realize immediately that its similar to the K series keyboards from Corsair and is quite boxy in terms of looks. The Corsair K68 RGB clearly seems to bridge the gap between the K63 and the Corsair STRAFE with a bit more features and keys than the former but lesser number of colors than the latter. Look closer and you'll find that its identical to the K68 in terms of physical appearance.

This 1.12Kg matte black keyboard is basically all plastic and no metal, not even to the least of bits. This is primarily done to save cost aswell as to avoid any accidental shocks in case of a liquid spillage. The layout is pretty basic and you get the standard Corsair keys with the space-bar key being textured.
An interesting thing I noticed about this keyboard is that that Windows keys are really slim in comparison to the CTRL or ALT keys. This is strategically done to ease the access of Space-bar and CTRL keys together minimizing the distance between the two to make it a more 'gamer friendly' design.

At the back nothing much is going on and we find five rubber feet to securely hold the keyboard in place once placed on a surface to avoid slipping and unnecessary budging. These feet do their job quite well for a keyboard of this size and weight plus you get two stand offs to tilt your keyboard a bit if you like to. So nothing much to discuss or complain about over here.

The wrist rest provided along with the K68 RGB is made out of plastic and a very thin one to be precise with the top textured area being made out of plastic only and not rubber. Its a uni-body design so the wrist mat is fixed and no swap-able. But it gets the job done and only poses discomfort during gaming marathons or while typing long reviews such as this since the textured plastic is hard with no cushioning.

Corsair oddly opted to use a non braided silicon coated USB wire to connect and power the K68 RGB, again! A move which is totally unfathomable since its not a cheap keyboard both in terms of price and feature set so a braided cable is the least one would expect. Thankfully this silicon material isn't too hard and I didn't face any problems in straightening the cable out before use. The cable is a standard Corsair cable with a large plastic head at the end with no USB Pass Through wire.

The Corsair logo this time is non-backlit and is a plain silver Corsair sails logo which is definitely not a finger print magnet and compliments the color scheme and design of this product. Sadly this keyboard doesn't have a USB port on board like the other K series boards and even the STRAFE which is basically done to seal out any open areas for liquid to seep in from. Guess spill proof has its own price.

Very much like the other gaming keyboards the K68 RGB even comes with on board multimedia buttons which are located to the top left corner just like the old one. These feel nice upon pressing and have a nice feel to them but sadly the volume control is done by three buttons rather than a dial which I'd thought would become a standard for all the budget/upper budget keyboards from Corsair after they implemented it successfully in their K95 Platinum.
Turn your gaze a bit to the left of the media keys and we find two dedicated buttons for two specific functions namely as Light brightness control & Windows lock key. The brightness control buttons lets you switch between three levels of brightness and even switch off the lights completely while the Windows lock key  simply locks both the Windows keys on the board to avoid irritating moments when you simply jump back to the desktop from the middle of a game by an accidental press of a button!
Also I don't think that the media keys nor these two keys discussed above are spill proof and I was wary to test it out myself so if you buy this keyboard make sure you don't go berserk with liquids just for the sake of fun.

For those of you not aware of the fact, mechanical keyboards are a great performer but at the same time noisy due to that clicking spring under each key but Corsair overcame this problem to quite an extent by putting a damping material right inside the switch housing, this patent and exclusive to Corsair key is known as Cherry MX and is present in all the new fleet of Corsair keyboards including the K68 RGB. Simple yet effective move I'd say!
Also these are Cherry MX Red switches which have a actuation force of 45g and 2mm depth. These are almost identical to the Speed Switches with just a difference of 0.8mm on paper and are used in the K63 and STRAFE aswell.

Take off the key caps and you'll find yourself the conventional CherryMX Red switches at the heart of the K68 RGB Gaming Keyboard. The only thing noticeable here is this translucent white colored silicon like protective material which is quite soft and reminds me of something more intimate! It prevents the liquid spilled on the board from entering inside and damaging the electronics and PCB underneath and hence making it spill proof. This is white in color on the K68 RGB contrary to the K68 which used a similar material but in red color since it was red backlit only but here due to the RGB nature this whit-ish layer doesn't hinder the RGB glow from the lights underneath.
Also this cover on the K68 RGB doesn't make contact with the keycaps and hence makes the sound a lot different from the original K68 to which I'll come later on.

One thing that is fairly noticeable here is that the LED lights are greatly defused in the K68 RGB with no bleeding issues. This has been achieved mainly by the lower cap height & the protective layer underneath which kind of contains the lights within allowing no bleed out.
Lower cap height also helps in tackling with dust accumulation in the long run so making it dust proof.






Nothing special just a bunch of photographs I managed to click with different lighting configurations and the new RGB flavor!

Corsair Utility Engine (CUE)


Corsair has brought out an entirely new software suite with the K68 RGB Gaming keyboard. CUE as Corsair likes to call it is a suite to bind all the three gears, namely as the Void Pro Wireless Headset, MM800 Mousepad and Glaive Mouse, together as one taking a more holistic approach. CUE can be downloaded from the Corsair official website for free.

This new version of the CUE is quite well laid out and has all the comprehensive and complex options hidden deep within. The demo devices listed on the starting page are actually a bunch of emulators that users can  use to get a feel of the lighting and various options available for the enlisted peripheral. The top has an advanced button for bringing down the more in depth options for the users & I personally advice that one uses the same as its required to reap the full potential of such a premium device!

Select the K68 RGB and you'll find three tabs on the left labeled as Actions, Lighting Effects and Performance. We'll be discussing all these three one by one so let's discuss the first one first that is the Actions sections.

Once entered this section provides a plethora of serious options to the users. Its a section that means serious business and nothing else. The options are Macro, Text, Remap, Media, App Launch, Timer, Disable and Profile Switching.
Macros as the name suggests is the place where you can program all your macros you want to any key you like! Aside from the keystrokes and delays, the CUE software can also record the relative mouse movements, clicks and scrolling. I was amazed to see that you can even set a particular sound to be played when a macro key is pressed along with the ability to assign follow up actions and even repeat rates of the macros.
Text as the name suggests can be used to assign any text message to a key which when pressed will insert the programmed text into the message box or wherever required. Since it actually types the text and doesn't copy paste it the uses of this function is limitless including insertion of cheats at a single key press in classic games like GTA San Andreas or the classic DOOM 3.
Remap Key is simple and is used to remap any key to any other key including mouse clicks! Also you can program a key for the time its held down or for the number of times is pressed a nifty little feature to make your pistol fire like an assault rifle in CS:GO with a single key stroke!
Rest of the options are fairly simple with the App Launch option allowing the user to launch any application through a dedicated key on the keyboard for quick switching.

Lightning Effects is the place where you want to be for customizing the lights and patterns across the board. One can assign different brightness, patters etc to individual keys along with the media keys and mute key! Since its a RGB keyboard so CUE offers similar options for this aswell like the other RGB gaming keyboards from Corsair and you cna choose the color of per key and even customize a particular shade from the color pallet.
These effects and lights once saved would stay on the K68 RGB keyboard even when CUE is not installed on the system via the 8MB onboard memory.

Third section called the Performance section which has some straightforward basic settings including disabling of Windows key and combinations such as ALT+F4 which might be an issue during gameplay. If you feel you can clear the onboard memory aswell of the keyboard to start afresh or update the CUE version too. Not too feature rich section but basic stuff can be found here.

Going to the settings sections you can tune basic settings including polling rate, keyboard layout format and even brightness. Settings for the MM800 Polaris and VOID are even present to give you a taste of these devices aswell. Great marketing from Corsair I'd say!

If you click on the Corsair sails logo on top you'll be greeted with the various profiles that you've created for the keyboard to select from. Its noticeable that you can link a created profile to a certain application on your system aswell so that the keyboard performs accordingly, for example you can make a custom profile for a particular game and link it to that so that the profile loads up when you launch that game or link it to Photoshop or any other content production application to use the created macros for that particular applications on the go without any hassle. This feature somewhat compensates for the absence of the profile switch button on the keyboard.

Performance - Time to put those keys to test!


Whenever I review a keyboard or mouse I like to use the device for atleast a week putting it through my daily usage varying across the week. My usage is obviously more inclined towards typing and I mean lot of typing with various keyboard shortcuts combinations, followed by casual gaming mainly racing, open world or FPS. So lets classify the K68 RGB Gaming Keyboard performance across two broad categories of daily use and gaming.

Daily Affairs

Corsair K68 RGB is a very competent keyboard when it comes to typing paragraphs swiftly and smoothly.  The CherryMX Red switches due to their quick response & lower actuation makes it really easy to type long paragraphs with great speed without hurting your fingertips. Though it does need a little getting used to since the keys are quick but with a few minutes into training your fingers you'll find yourself using it with no problem. Since my fingers are thick I did accidentally push the Caps Lock key at times since the key is quite big and at almost no separation from the main alphabetical keys, people with slimmer fingers might not come across this issue.
I didn't feel much difference between these and the CherryMX Speed switches when it came to typing or anything else & so won't most of the people since the difference is extremely minute. The keys are not slippery and the slim design makes them a good landing pad for the fingers imparting reasonable grip. Overall I loved how the keyboard performs in my daily use.

Game On!

Gaming is the area where this keyboard really shined for me since I personally prefer the CherryMX Red switches for gaming purposes. The keys are just perfect and due to logical actuation force and distance its neither too sensitive nor too hard. I generally find CherryMX Speed switches a bit too quick and can't be used without some practice but these I'd say are a buy and go for most of the buyers out there. Still sometimes I found pressing a key accidentally as my finger was resting over it & managed to press it down just by a little, namely the spacebar.
Rapid key strokes is where the keyboard proves its metal as they keys offer high resistance with distance and hence reset quickly so rapid strokes are easy and swift making it easy in game like Rise of the Tomb Raider.
The keystrokes produce a good clicky sound much like what you expect from mechanical switches especially whose from CherryMX Red. The new white colored silicon mesh on the K68 RGB somewhat doesn't damp the sound unlike the red colored one on the K68 which can be a deciding factor for a few.

Let it Spill Out!


Since the Corsair K68 RGB is marketed as a 'spill proof and dust proof' keyboard I didn't hesitate to spill some water, ice and even coffee over this keyboard and it passed all these testes with flying colors be it while it was powered on or switched off. I was a bit apprehensive so as not to get electrocuted but the K68 RGB didn't pose any such danger due to its well sealed body and all plastic body frame.

Overall the keyboard is rated for IP32 protection and while water level 2 is pretty typical for spill resistant devices, dust level 3 is perhaps a bit more debatable. Dust level 3 means it is protected against objects larger than 2.5mm, which is actually quite large by dust standards. Practically speaking, it might be better to call the K68 crumb resistant, as dust will still be able to make it in tight spaces over time. So in short the Corsair K68 RGB is a snack proof gaming keyboard!

My Verdict 

Corsair did a splendid job with the K68 RGB gaming keyboard in almost every way possible. Its a robust and well build keyboard that oozes quality from every inch of it.
CUE software is more comprehensive and intuitive as ever before and the people at Corsair did a wonderful job at designing this utility keeping every needed feature right where one would like them to be. Thanks to this the K68 RGB gets a plethora of features embedded into it along with the new RGB lights adding some brownie points to it.
Build quality is surprisingly very good for a plastic keyboard which is mainly due to the fact that its all tight and seep proof to keep that IP32 tag intact. I do miss the volume knob and the USB pass through port on this keyboard, a price that one has to pay for a spill proof design. But the absence of a braided cable is something I didn't like at all. RGB LED lights diffuse nicely and don't hurt the eyes or distract one even when brightness is at its fullest.
Keystrokes are swift and feel good under the fingers once got perfectly used to. Gaming or typing a letter to your mom *wink* on the board is a delight making it a versatile keyboard without any restrictions. The silicon material underneath the caps keep them quite and add a nice sound to them when typing.
Coming in at $120 the K68 RGB finds itself in a land full of competitors but simplistic aesthetics and solid build quality along with the IP32 certificate can pave an easy path to success for this keyboard provided the user is ready to compromise USB pass through feature over the others that it offers. Its quite a polarizing product in its own right but with the addition of RGB the K68 RGB surely has made the decision a bit more easier for the potential buyers.
"Corsair has yet again improved and made the K68 RGB a near perfect gaming keyboard for a majority of gamers and content creators offering them something to stay at ease with while working or munching around all laced up nicely in a rich RGB coating!"
Pros -

  • CherryMX Red switches with damping material
  • Good typing and in game performance
  • Spill proof
  • Solid build quality
  • RGB lights are soft and customizable  
Cons -

  • Non Braided cable
  • No extra key caps for gaming 
I give it a 8/10 earning our Gold Award!

Monday, 12 February 2018

AMD launches the new Ryzen desktop CPUs with RX Vega Graphics

New Quad-Core Ryzen™ 5 2400G and Ryzen™ 3 2200G Desktop Processors Combine
High-performance Radeon “Vega” Architecture with Revolutionary “Zen” CPU Cores on a Single Chip 

AMD Ryzen Desktop APUs Deliver Superior Console-Class HD Gaming Performance on Your Desktop, and Give Discrete Graphics Some Serious Competition Starting from $99

 
NEW DELHI, India — February 12, 2018 — AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) today introduced the world’s most powerful graphics on a desktop processor with the release of two Ryzen™ Desktop processor with built-in Radeon™ Vega graphics models.1 Now available, AMD Ryzen™ 5 2400G and AMD Ryzen™ 3 2200G processors combine four of the latest “Zen” CPU cores with advanced Radeon “Vega” architecture on a single chip, offering leadership levels of system and graphics performance at their respective $169 USD SEP and $99 USD SEP price points.

“When we launched our first Ryzen processors a year ago, we began driving innovation and competition across the PC market. We remain dedicated to this mission throughout 2018, as we further strengthen our Ryzen portfolio by adding two leadership APUs designed to meet the varying needs of today’s PC users,” said Jim Anderson, senior vice president and general manager, Computing and Graphics Business Group, AMD. "AMD Ryzen Desktop APUs are a perfect example of the innovation we bring to market for consumer and commercial PC users. Combining our high-performance CPU and GPU architectures, this new category of Ryzen desktop processors is designed to deliver a smooth overall computing experience, as well as the ability to enjoy true 1080p HD gaming, eSports or advanced display features through the visual fidelity of the built-in Radeon Vega graphics."

An advanced feature set further enhances the performance of Ryzen desktop APUs. Improved AMD SenseMI technology enables lower power usage at higher frequencies and reduced memory latencies. The new APUs also support Precision Boost 2, a multi-core boost algorithm that enables higher frequencies in gaming and real-world applications. And, with their built-in graphics, these new processors are compatible with Radeon™ FreeSync technology and compatible displays for effortlessly smooth gameplay.

HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPUTING

The Ryzen 5 2400G processor delivers

  • The same graphics performance in a single processor as combining the $199 USD Intel Core i5-8400 with an $89 USD NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 discrete gaming GPU
  • Up to 156% more graphics performance than the Intel Core i5-8400
  • Up to 21% more system performance than the Intel Core i5-8400
  • Up to 39% faster graphics performance when overclocked

DROP-IN COMPATIBILITY

Continuing the commitment to long-term stability with an exemplary customer experience in mind, Ryzen Desktop APUs support the same Socket AM4 infrastructure as Ryzen™ Desktop CPUs. Therefore, the new processors are compatible with the existing AM4 ecosystem of 120+ motherboards, requiring only a simple BIOS update.

UNLOCKED PERFORMANCE

Like all AMD Ryzen Desktop processors, Ryzen Desktop APUs are unlocked for performance tuning of CPU, DRAM, and GPU settings through the AMD Ryzen™ Master overclocking utility to enable even more performance for users who appreciate the freedom to overclock.

AVAILABILITY

Ryzen Desktop Processors with Radeon Vega Graphics are globally available today through etailers and retailers for use with the wide selection of AM4 motherboards currently in market. Exciting OEM systems with Ryzen Desktop Processors with Radeon Vega Graphics are expected in market in the coming months. Customers can get the latest product pricing and purchase information of AMD Ryzen Desktop APUs at AMD.com today.


###

About AMD
For more than 45 years, AMD has driven innovation in high-performance computing, graphics, and visualization technologies ― the building blocks for gaming, immersive platforms, and the datacenter. Hundreds of millions of consumers, leading Fortune 500 businesses, and cutting-edge scientific research facilities around the world rely on AMD technology daily to improve how they live, work, and play. AMD employees around the world are focused on building great products that push the boundaries of what is possible. For more information about how AMD is enabling today and inspiring tomorrow, visit the AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) website, blog, Facebook and Twitter pages.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Corsair H150i Pro RGB Review

Corsair H150i Pro RGB - When great performance meets RGB goodness!!


Last year at COMPUTEX Corsair dropped a hint that it is working on an entirely new series of AIO coolers which would not only be different in looks but also mark Corsair's entry into a new realm of CPU Liquid coolers. And here we are today with Corsair dropping two new coolers in the market namely as the Corsair H115i Pro RGB and the Corsair H150i Pro RGB which are not only in the much needed RGB flavor that Corsair AIO were lacking behind in but the H150i Pro RGB marks the first ever 360mm AIO cooling unit from the house of Corsair which with the current generations of Threadripper and Skylake X processors are a must for high end builds!
Thanks to Corsair India today I have with me the flag-bearer of this new lineup, the Corsair H150i Pro RGB CPU Liquid Cooler for review and I can't be any more excited than this to test this beautiful yet massive unit.

With a price tag of $170 the Corsair H150i Pro RGB is the first of the two to initiate the Pro series of coolers from Corsair and is equipped with three 120mm ML120 Quiet edition high static pressure magnetic levitation fans making it a 360mm unit with an entirely new pump design which boasts RGB lighting and support for Corsair Link software, hence the 'i' in the name, for a bunch of features and customization. The cooler comes backed up with the Corsair 5 years warranty.

What's in the Box!?


Corsair has packed the H150i Pro RGB in a thick and heavy cardboard box just like all of its coolers and the color scheme of black and yellow is also there that we are used to now from them with all their products but this time we also see a hue of colors in the backdrop of the image of the cooler imprinted on the front that signify the RGB nature of the cooler. All the features are neatly printed on the front itself such as compatibility, use of ML120 fans, RGB pump header and the 5 years warranty support.


Inside we find the cooler & all its components packed safely inside a molded cardboard frame which is good enough to cushion a unit of this size and weight.
Content wise the package includes the H150i Pro RGB cooling unit, three 120mm ML120 Quiet edition PWM fans, a Corsair Link cable, AMD bracket, Intel backplate, stand-offs, washer and screws for installing the cooler and fans along with the warranty leaflet and installation guide.

A thing worth noticing here is that Corsair has not provided a separate backplate for AMD platforms which is a wise move since they already come with a metal backplate on the motherboards, also the AMD bracket has a different installation process now which is more simple and quicker to which I will come later on.

Let's take a Closer Look


Corsair H150i Pro RGB is a completely different from any of its predecessors in terms of almost everything, at-least from the outside. The pump and cold plate unit on the H150i, which is an Asetek design,  is quite sleek and made out of premium quality glossy plastic. The top has the Corsair logo which is RGB LED backlit along with the whole outer lining of the black portion.
Also the Intel bracket comes installed out of the box and can be easily swapped with the AMD one by a turn and pull method to simplify the process. The micro-USB port on one side is for connecting the Corsair Link cable that the cooler comes with.

The cold plate comes pre-applied with a thermal paste and looking closely we can see that the copper base plate is not perfectly smooth but has some machine marks on it which shouldn't be an issue in cooling as almost all Corsair AIOs that I've used so far had the same finish but delivered nicely in cooling.

Corsair has used a 350mm long Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) braided tube on the H150i Pro RGB which is thinner than the ones which we are used to from Corsair but are extremely flexible and not too hard like the ones on the H100i GTX that caused issues when routing them inside tight spaces! I'm happy that Corsair made these braided tubes flexible and they can even rotate to a full 90° to the pump unit for easy installation and routing.

A bunch of wires vine out from the pump unit namely as a SATA cable to power the pump, a PWM fan connector to power the installed fans and a Y-splitter to connect the two provided fans. It can surely give a few a hard time to manage so many cables protruding out near the tight CPU area but this is a good arrangement as it sheds the additional load off the motherboard fan header to power the pump and fans all together hence there is no compromise upon the performance.

The fans that comes with the Corsair H150i Pro RGB are the Corsair ML120 Quiet edition magnetic levitation fans that are 120mm in size and are rated at 1600 a rpm max which can move up to 47.3CFM of air at a sound pressure rating of only 25dB. Since this is a RGB lighting oriented cooler its a bit sad that the fans are non RGB since Corsair already has ML120 Pro RGB fans in their catalog which not only look great but would've been an apt addition to his cooler.

Corsair has used a aluminum radiator on the H150i Pro RGB which measure in at 396x120x27 mm and has a high fin density of 20FPI (Fin per Inch) which should be there for a product of this stature. The build quality of this unit is solid and doesn't feel light or flimsy from any angle, support for upto six 120mm fans making a push pull configuration for which the fan screws are provided by default inside the package earning it a few brownie points. As for the aesthetics Corsair has done nothing odd or out of the box here but just put their logo at one end creating a minimalist design rather than the usual plastic strip with logo that runs on both sides of the radiator like that on their previous models.

Time for the fun part - Installation!


Over here I'm going to test the Corsair H150i Pro RGB with my Gigabyte X99 Gaming 5P motherboard which is an Intel Haswell-E/Broadwell-E platform and also can get really hot at times.
We basically need the LGA2011-3 stand offs along with the retention screws for holding the pump in place. The ML120 fans provided with the unit are the simple ones and not the ones with a rubber grommet at the edges so using the provided washers is a good idea to secure the fans nicely upon the radiator. Also the Corsair Link cable is optional and is only needed to control the RGB lights or to set fan profiles otherwise if not used the cooler would work with the LEDs on and programmed to a breathing mode changing color each time.
Its worth mentioning that Corsair has simplified the AMD platform installation with the H150i/H115i Pro RGB to a great extent which no other AIO manufacturer has done so far. To use it on an AMD platform one just has to use the AMD bracket and tighten the cooler upon the default plastic standoffs that the AMD motherboards come with making the installation extremely simple especially for users like me who use the Asus X370 Crosshait VI Hero that needs to have an extra plate removed from its back to install any other after market cooler that has its own backplate!

Once installed and ready I'm very happy with the outcomes as the installation is very simple for this cooler on any platform whatsoever. Since the radiator is thin measuring in at around 27mm the total thickness of this unit even with the ML120fans on is just over 50mm making it widely compatible with most of the chassis that support a 360mm radiator unit. The tubes are flexible and can be turned and twisted in the desired fashion which eases the installation process manifolds even inside a closed chassis such as the Corsair SPEC Omega which I've used here. Even though there are a lot of wires going in and coming out of the pump area tucking them in is not big of an issue and can be done skillfully with patience.

Let's put it to Test!

For testing the performance of the Corsair H150i Pro RGB we'll be using the following test bench -

CPU: Intel Core i7 5930K
Motherboard: Gigabyte X99 Gaming 5P
RAM: Kingston HyperX Predator 16GB DDR4 3000Mhz
Cooler: Corsair H150i Pro RGB
Graphics Card: MSI R9 380 Gaming 4G
Storage: Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB
Power Supply: Cooler Master MasterWatt Lite 700
Case: Corsair Carbide SPEC Omega
OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

Before I move on any further its noteworthy that the Zero RPM mode, which is a new addition and exclusive to the Pro series coolers, is only available if you install and use the Corsair LINK software and cannot be accessed otherwise. This feature turns off the fans completely till the coolant temperature doesn't exceed 40°C and I repeat that its the coolant temperature and not the CPU temperature so be vary. Overall its a welcome addition as not only it eliminated the unnecessary noise production for idle systems but it also brings these coolers in sync with Corsair's PSUs that boast a similar feature such as the AXi series.

Coming back to the testing of the cooler firstly, the CPU is kept at stock speeds with boost enabled and temperatures are measured both at idle and at full load. Then we overclock our Intel i7 5930K to 4.5Ghz at 1.75v which is a bit more than what my chip requires to reach that frequency but I had to add some extra heat to it, the same process as that for the stock speed testing is repeated. Temperature is measured using HW monitor with an average being taken of the temperatures recorded on all six cores. MSI Kombuster utility is what I prefer to stress test the CPU at all twelve threads, I run it for a good 15 minutes before recording the temperatures since by then the temperatures reach a saturation point.
Secondly, the pump is plugged directly into the SATA connector while the fans are plugged into the motherboard fan header via the provided fan extension cable. Fan profile was kept at default from the BIOS itself to rule out any discrepancy whatsoever.
The readings would be shown in delta temperature that is after subtracting the ambient temperature of the room while noise levels are recorded from a distance of three feet from the cooler which is a reasonable and practical distance for such tests.

Temperature wise we can see that the Corsair H150i Pro RGB does a fabulous job for a 360mm AIO cooler especially at overclocked frequencies where it beats similar sized 360mm AIO coolers which is a direct compliment to the improvement in design by Corsair with the pump on this unit. Its noteworthy that the Corsair H115i Pro RGB is near identical in performance to the H150i Pro RGB which is because the H115i Pro RGB uses higher static fans in comparison and the difference between these two units can only be substantially felt once the coolant really heats up and the need for the third 120mm fan on the H150i Pro RGB really comes into play to cool everything down which is only bound to happen under extreme prolonged load on the CPU or while working in a hot room such as in peak summers. Considering my ambient temperature is high and the fan profiles are set to default I'm sure if you set the fan speeds to full or to performance in a cooler environment the results would be even better.

The cooler is a bit noisy I'd say when the system is under full load but at idle state the units is barely audible. Considering its size and the two 140mm fans that come into play the cooler is one of the quietest coolers in its category if not the quietest. This is an improvement over the previous AIO designs from Corsair which tend to be noisy hence the use of ML120 silent edition fans did the job for Corsair offering quieter performance for this unit if not RGB rich.

My Verdict 

Corsair has always brought out some unique AIOs over the year most of them improving over where their predecessor fell short and the same can be said for the Corsair H150i Pro RGB. The H150i Pro RGB has some welcome features that easily outweigh its cons.
The radiator and pump are all solid in build and look elegant from every possible corner with no unnecessary gimmicks! Sleeved tubing is really robust and flexible which is something I love as I've always felt that Corsair tubing has been a bit too rigid but not over here. Cooling performance is really good for a cooler of this category, probably the best amongst the widely available AIOs, and its true power is seen when the processor is overclocked so yet again its proven that this cooler is only meant for people who plan to run really hot/overclocked systems as at stock you'll be better off with a smaller unit. Corsair H150i Pro RGB is one of the quietest 360mm AIOs out there today and that is all because of the improved pump design along with the use of ML120 quiet edition fans. They've compromised raw performance at the cost of silence but you can always swap them with aftermarket fans including Corsair's own ML120 Pro RGB fans to not only reap the full benefits of this cooler in terms of performance but also to complete the whole RGB look that the unit is aimed at.
The RGB lighting on the pump is really soothing and well balanced while the Zero RPM feature is something that every other brand should be taking notes from, a very simple but highly effective move.
"Corsair H150i Pro RGB is a Pro in terms of balance between much needed features, distinctive yet elegant looks and to the point pricing. Highly recommended for someone who's looking at building  a high end system or just want a cooler to make his rig stand out from the crowd!"
Pros - 

  • Solid Build Quality 
  • Excellent Cooling Performance 
  • Easy to install especially with AMD platforms
  • Zero RPM profile
  • Corsair Link support
  • Silent
Cons - 
  • Included fans are non RGB
  • Not compatible with AMD Threadripper 
I give it a 8/10 earning our Gold Award!