Corsair just refreshed its line of liquid CPU coolers with improved fans and bright, 600-nit LCD screens. We were sent the H150i Elite LCD XT to test out. Coming from the original H150i Elite LCD, this new XT model is a noticeable improvement, and one of the most practically useful components in our test bench. If you have the funds and a high-powered CPU in need of a chill, it’s definitely worth considering.
- Current Price:
- H100i Elite LCD XT: $259.99 (Amazon)
- H150i Elite LCD XT: $289.99 (Amazon)
- H170i Elite LCD XT: $309.99 (Amazon)
- Cooling Warranty: 5 Year
- Radiator Material: Aluminum
- CORSAIR iCUE Compatibility: Yes
- Tubing Length: 450mm
- Coldplate Dimensions: 56x56mm
- Tubing Material: Black Sleeved Low-Permeation Rubber
- Cooling Socket Support
- Intel: 1700, 1200, 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2066
- AMD: AM5, AM4, AM3, sTRX4, sTR4
- Screen Size: 2.1"
- Native Resolution: 480x480
- Max Resolution: 480x480
- Refresh Rate: 30Hz
- Peak Brightness: 600 Nit
- Display Colors: 16.7M (8-bit RGB)
- Display Technology: IPS
- Display Surface: Glossy
- Number of Fans: 3
- Radiator Size: 360mm
- Fan Model: AF RGB ELITE
- Fan Dimensions: 120mm x 25mm
- Fan Speed: 550 - 2100 RPM ±10%
- Fan Airflow 13.8 - 65.57 CFM
- Fan Static Pressure 0.17 - 2.68 mm-H2O
- Weight: 1.1
Corsair H150i Elite LCD XT - What Is It?
The H150i Elite LCD XT is the latest flagship all-in-one CPU cooler from the engineers at Corsair. Its AIO line-up has been one of the premiere options for years, (going as far back before I began work in the tech press) and have been frequent fliers on recommendations list for virtually the entirety of the time. The LCD XT takes the latest version of its core design and upgrades it with a bright IPS screen on the pump head, improved high performance RGB fans, and an included Commander CORE smart fan hub to integrate it all with Corsair’s iCUE software suite.
This year’s model is an iteration on the Corsair Elite LCD we first took a look at in late 2021 in our review of the Intel Core i9-12900K. It’s available in three sizes: 240mm with the H100i Elite LCD XT, 360mm with the H150i Elite LCD XT we’re looking at today, and 420mm with the H170i Elite LCD XT. These models retail for $259.99, $289.99, and $309.99 respectively.
The Elite LCD XT line-up makes its name on its gorgeous, ultra-bright LCD screen. It measures 2.1 inches, has a full-color resolution of 480x480 pixels, and shines up to 600-nits. It immediately becomes the centerpiece of your PC, displaying custom images, GIFs and animations, or system information as set through iCUE. If you think it’s just for show, think again. As I’ll explain in the Performance section, this screen is one of the most practically useful accessories in my test bench and my personal machine.
This model has also been updated with new, higher performance AF RGB Elite fans. These fans utilize a Corsair’s new AirGuide technology, specialized vanes that help concentrate airflow for better performance on heatsinks and radiators, as well as traditional intake and exhaust fans. The fans are also quieter this generation, though are still in line with traditional case fans on Balanced mode (pro tip: set the fans to Quiet unless you’re running benchmarks; there’s enough headroom to use them in Quiet mode almost all of the time).
The kit also comes with Corsair’s Command CORE RGB fan hub, which also brings us to the assembly portion of the review. The fan hub is an integral part of the setup and is how the LCD screen and RGB fans integrate with Corsair’s iCUE customization software. The Commander CORE provides six power and six RGB headers (the two cables on all of Corsair’s customizable RGB fans), which is enough for the cooler, as well as three case fans. The CORE then connects to the system and the pump head with a split USB cable.
Installation isn’t difficult, per se, but it does take longer than most other AIOs I’ve tested and has significantly more cable management thanks to the two cables from each fan and the USB cables for the system and head. If you’re also using Corsair RGB fans for intake or exhaust, you’ll probably also want to re-route those to the Commander Core for easier integration.
The end result is worth it, however. iCUE allows you to re-order the fans, so you don’t need to worry about the order you’ve plugged them in. From there, you can set preset or custom lighting effects that flow naturally across all of the fans. The RGB and display of the pump head has its own tab but can easily be set to match or compliment the rest of your case lighting.
iCUE also allows you to set the cooling behavior of the pump. You have Quiet, Balanced, or Performance Modes or can set your own fan curve based on system temperatures. It’s easy to get up and running with, and I would encourage anyone who hasn’t tried it in a couple years to take a fresh look. iCUE is stable, well integrated with the rest of your system, and offers outstanding customization potential.
Corsair H150i Elite LCD XT - Performance
The H150i Elite LCD XT is a very effective choice for high performance, high temperature processors. My current test bench consists of a Ryzen 9 7950X3D CPU, which can get quite hot. Before the release of this XT model, I had used the prior H150i Elite LCD on both the 5950X and original 7950X. The differences between the models are relatively small, but reinforce that the H150i Elite line-up is an excellent choice when heat is a major concern.
Under load, my system spikes up to 95C. That’s expected behavior from the 7950X; it’s designed to get that warm. The real test is how it performs when it’s not under full utilization, such as gaming, tasks like video rendering, photo editing. There, the results are quite good in both therms and acoustics.
Note that for this review, I do not have other all-in-one coolers to test against as I am in the process of rebuilding my data with the new Ryzen test bench. I think that’s fine here, and here’s why: this particular model is as much about looks as it is about visual flair. You’re paying extra for the LCD screen and RGB fans. Opting for this model, it’s about striking a balance between looks and functionality, and clearly, the Elite LCD XT performs well enough that cooling demanding processors isn’t an issue.
On the balanced preset, the H150i kept my 7950X3D hovering around 68C while gaming. Video editing in Premiere Pro puts more pressure on the processor, and it extends into the mid-70s, peaking at 81C in a short spike. For this CPU in particular, those are very safe temps that stave off any thermal throttling whatsoever.
Safe enough, in fact, that I now run the Elite LCD XT on the Quiet preset. The difference in temperatures is noticeable (5-6C) but there’s enough headroom in normal tasks that it makes no difference whatsoever. For benchmarks, I turn it up to its highest cooling mode, but for everything but the most intensive tasks, it has performance to spare and can easily trade on that to run the fans at a lower speed.
The screen, which is the biggest reason why you would choose this model over the Elite Capellix XT, is fantastic. It’s brighter than the original, which makes it pop more. And while it might seem extravagant to pay an additional $70 for a 2.1-inch screen, it has actually turned out to be one of the most practically useful accessories in my entire system.
While it’s fun to upload your own images and animations, the biggest benefit I’ve found is using it as an active system monitor. There are a number of preset options within the iCUE to do exactly this, but I found the most useful to be monitoring the CPU temperature itself. At a glance, I can see exactly how hot my processor is and how well the Elite LCD XT is able to keep up with it. I can see how different apps and tasks impact it. By seeing sudden rises in temperature, I can be clued into tasks running in the background, even when I’m running mid-match. It has, without exaggeration, been one of the most useful tools for helping me understand exactly what my system is doing at any time without ever needing to alt-tab to get there.
Over the years, I’ve used different monitors. Screens built into my keyboards, for example. On-screen display monitors provided by my monitor. And yet, the Elite LCD has proven itself to be the best of the bunch. It’s not because it provides a massive amount of information (though you can program it to keep an eye on much more than just your CPU); it’s because it’s non-obtrustive, eye-catching, and when positioned on a desk, eye level. That really does make a difference.
All of this goes double if you’re over-clocking or benchmarking, by the way. The original Elite LCD was one of the biggest factors in my deciding to disable the built-in overclocking modes on my prior motherboard: I could see an instant temperature spike and repeated bumps whenever my system would do, well, anything. If you’re manually overclocking, you’ll have real time feedback on how changes to voltage are impacting performance.
Of course, if you don’t want to do any of this, the screen looks fantastic just as a centerpiece for your rig. You can set custom graphics or colorful presets that instantly add flair to your PC. If you’ve put time into making your PC look good, it can be the bow that ties everything together, and it looks better than ever thanks to the added brightness of this generation. If you’ve ever spent time customizing the color of your RGB fans and enjoyed the process of making your system look “just so,” you’re going to find a lot to love here while also being confident that your CPU will run cool enough to reach its potential.
The Corsair H150i Elite LCD XT is an excellent CPU cooler. I’ve put it up against the beastly 7950X and 7950X3D processors and it handled each with stylish aplomb. If you’re looking to save a few bucks and don’t need the screen, the Elite Capellix XT is a great alternative that looks great in its own right. For my part, the original Elite LCD made a believer out of me and the XT has only made that more true. After getting used to having a readout front and center on my motherboard, I couldn’t imagine going back, and with such effective cooling, I don’t see any reason to move my personal build to anything but.
The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.