It’s only as garish as you want it to be.
Water cooling a high-performance PC used to be a fairly terrifying experience. There were lots of complicated bits, and if you didn’t know what you were doing, squirting liquid all over your expensive hardware could ruin your day. Also, sometimes the coolers leaked.
The advent of the all-in-one or AIO cooler has made modern water systems not much more complicated to install than a, well, complicated fan and heatsink.
The H115i is Corsair’s dual-fan, 280mm radiator kit. It’s a big and bold system for running a sustained overclock (i.e. for months, set and forget), but the real benefit here is acoustic.
The H115i uses Corsair’s magnetic levitation fans. That’s right, just like Elon Musk’s Hyperloop. Impressively, they are silent up to 900rpm, and on a big radiator like this, 900rpm is plenty fast enough.
The pump in the water block is audible at default settings. But this cooler comes with a USB interface. Hook it up to the motherboard, and Corsair’s LINK software allows the user to put the pump in “silent mode” (and mess with the LEDs). The CPU will run about two degrees hotter, but the cooler becomes almost completely silent.
Quirks? Well, connecting LINK means either sacrificing an entire USB header on the motherboard to your CPU cooler, or awkwardly passing a USB cable out the back of the PC to plug into a regular USB port on the rear panel.
Also, unless you set up LINK, the RGB LEDs in the pump head cycle endlessly through default colours - there’s no hardware switch to change them.
But really, this is a new level of plug-and-play for a water cooler. You need a big case to fit the radiator without it obscuring anything, but otherwise it’s just really, really easy to set up. There’s mounting hardware for Intel and AMD included, and clever rear plate design means a single plate for each CPU manufacturer suits multiple socket types.
It’s not quite as capable as Corsair’s “extreme performance” H110i GT, but the H115i PRO is quieter. For most gamers, this makes it a more sensible choice.