Corsair is the latest firm to jump on the integrated display bandwagon, with its latest iCUE H100i Elite LCD cooler sporting a screen on the waterblock/pump unit. What’s more, you can also buy this feature as an optional upgrade kit for the Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix we’re reviewing here, giving you room to upgrade at a later date.
At Custom PC, we’ve been reviewing the latest PC hardware since 2003, and we run a number of tests in order to gauge performance. We use Prime95’s smallest FFT test with AVX instructions disabled to load the CPU and take the temperature reading after ten minutes.
When testing CPU coolers, we use CoreTemp to measure the CPU temperature, before subtracting the ambient air temperature from this figure to give us a delta T result, which enables us to test in a lab that isn’t temperature controlled. For more information, see our How we test page.
The Corsair Capellix RGB LEDs occupy the fans and waterblock/pump unit, making for an exceptionally vivid lighting display, while the pump speed is slightly faster than the pumps on Corsair’s previous 240mm models, and the fans are extremely powerful too, peaking at 2,400rpm.
The fans and pump are also controlled according to the coolant temperature (rather than the CPU temperature), ensuring they only spin up after sustained heavy loads. At temperatures below 40°C, they can stop spinning completely, and there are several presets available to fine-tune the pump and fans to your own liking, although all eventually spin up to maximum speed.
A Corsair iCUE Commander Core hub is also included, which offers six individual fan channels and Corsair 4-pin RGB ports, which you can use to control up to six RGB fans directly using a USB header and Corsair’s iCUE software. The latter can control most motherboard RGB headers, so while Corsair still mostly uses its own RGB connectors, it’s still possible to use standard 3-pin or 4-pin lighting hardware with iCUE using your motherboard.
You have to deal with plenty of cable spaghetti with the H100i Elite Capellix, unlike the ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240 RGB, but most of it trails from the fans to the hub, as the pump has a single cable to control speed and lighting. Two pump tops are included too, with one allowing the inner logo plus two outer rings to be illuminated, while the other flips the lighting, and has the logo and rings in black, but allows the lighting to spread over a much larger area.
Installation is simple, especially on Socket AM4 motherboards, where the standard mounting brackets are used, although you’ll need to invest in an LGA1700 mounting kit if you want to use an Intel 12th-gen CPU. There’s also a second set of fan screws, allowing you to add a second row of fans, but sadly no extra thermal paste with the supplied paste pre-applied to the contact plate.
Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix temperature
When dealing with our Intel Core i9-12900K, only the Sapphire Nitro S240 and Phanteks Glacier One 240 T30 were cooler (and noisier), with the H100i Elite Capellix otherwise comfortably bettering the ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240 RGB and Lian Li Galahad SL 240, although they were also much quieter.
The Corsair was nearly on par with the Sapphire Nitro S240, Phanteks Glacier One 240 T30 and NZXT Kraken Z53 RGB in our AMD system too, shaving 5°C off the ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240’s temperature, but was only a degree cooler than the much cheaper EK EK-AIO 240 Basic.
Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix pros and cons
- Powerful software
- Detailed fan, light and pump control
- Excellent cooling
- Noisy at full speed
- No extra thermal paste
- Still a bit pricey
Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix specs
The Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix specs list is:
|Intel compatibility||LGA1700 (with optional kit), LGA1200, LGA115x, LGA2066, LGA2011|
|AMD compatibility||Socket AM4, AM3, TR4/X|
|Radiator size with fans (mm)||120 x 277 x 52 (W x D x H)|
|Fans||2 x 120mm|
Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix price
The price of the Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix is quite high for a 240mm AIO liquid cooler, but it’s still good value for the cooling performance and quality of the lighting.
Price: Expect to pay $115 (£110).
Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix review conclusion
If you want all the bells and whistles, Corsair’s H100i Elite Capellix has them, and it’s a powerful cooler. It lacks the ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240’s out-of-the-box readiness, and it’s still a bit pricey, but it’s a great AIO liquid cooler that also looks the business.
If this CPU cooler isn’t right for you, we’ve reviewed plenty of other alternative 240mm AIO liquid cooler models, including the EK Nucleus AIO CR240 Lux D-RGB, as well as the Lian Li Galahad 240mm. If you’re looking to upgrade your CPU, make sure you also check out our full guide to the best CPU for gaming, where we outline the very best options at a range of prices.
Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix review rating
There are better-value options available, but this is still a seriously powerful, well-equipped and great-looking cooler.