Note: As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Trying out the Corsair H100x RGB Elite Liquid Cooler Black (2024)

My thoughts on the CORSAIR H100x RGB ELITE: easy install, efficiency, aesthetics, and iCUE integration.
Jason Young



December 27, 2023


I recently installed the CORSAIR H100x RGB Elite Liquid Cooler in a new pc build. The experience was mostly positive with a few hiccups. From compatibility with various CPU sockets to the finer details of RGB lighting and software integration, I’ll go over what stood out to me, both good and bad.


Property Value Property Value
Product Dimensions 10.91”L x 4.72”W x 1.06”H Brand Corsair
Voltage 5 Volts Cooling Method Water
Compatible Devices Desktop Noise Level 28 dB
Material Copper Maximum Rotational Speed 1.5 RPM


Installation and Compatibility

A top-down view of the corsair h100x rgb elite cooler with a focus on the pump head and the attached fans

When I got my hands on the CORSAIR H100x RGB Elite Liquid Cooler, I was pretty stoked to get it installed. Having been through a fair share of builds, I could tell this one had promise. My experience piecing it together was, for the most part, straightforward, but let’s break it down a bit.

Here’s what stood out to me:

  • Compatibility across a range of sockets: Whether you’re team Intel or AMD, this cooler is ready to play ball with the likes of LGA 1700, 1200, AM5, AM4, and more.

  • Modular mounting system: The tool-free bracket is a dream. It’s great to skip the hassle of screws and bolts when you’re itching to see your system come to life.

Sounds pretty good, right? Well, yes, but I did hit a couple of snags:

  • No physical manual included: Everything’s online these days, which isn’t bad, but when you’re mid-build with thermal paste on your hands, flipping through PDFs isn’t ideal.

  • Extra purchases required for full control: If you want to dive into the CORSAIR iCUE software for all the nitty-gritty controls, you’ll need to fork out for an iCUE controller.

Despite these drawbacks, I was pretty impressed with the user-friendliness of the setup. Thermally optimized and with pre-applied thermal paste, it’s a blessing not to worry about applying the perfect pea-sized amount. Plus, the inclusion of a 5V ARGB connector simplifies the lighting setup, which is always a plus in my book.

When it came to mounting the pump and radiator, I appreciated the flexibility. I could orient the pump head to make the CORSAIR logo upright, and fitting the radiator into my case was no sweat with the multiple mounting points provided. And those SP120 RGB ELITE fans? They’re pretty quiet even when my CPU’s hard at work.

Sure, I could nitpick about the lack of a printed manual or needing extra gear for the full iCUE experience, but these are minor inconveniences. The overall installation process didn’t detract from my positive experience. The thing is, even if you’re not into RGB lighting, it’s easy enough to plug in and forget. However, if you love a good light show, the additional investment can make your setup shine - both literally and figuratively.

In conclusion, I’d say the CORSAIR H100x RGB Elite is solid on installation and compatibility. It hits a sweet spot for users looking for a mix of efficiency, quiet operation, and sleek looks. Just make sure to keep your phone or tablet handy during the build for that online manual.

Performance and Cooling Efficiency

A thermal image of a cpu with the temperature gradient shown while using the corsair h100x rgb elite cooler

When it comes to keeping your CPU cool, performance and efficiency are key, and that’s exactly what I was looking for with the CORSAIR H100x RGB Elite Liquid Cooler. Here’s a quick rundown of how this cooler stacked up:


  • Reliable temperature management under typical loads.

  • Straightforward installation with modular, tool-free mounting.

  • PWM-controlled fans offer a balance between performance and noise.

  • Aesthetically pleasing with its RGB lighting.


  • Not the best option for overclocked or high heat-output CPUs.

  • Lack of a physical instruction manual can be a hiccup for some.

  • Potential additional expense for full software functionality (i.e., iCUE controller).

I’ve personally found the cooler to be a solid performer. It keeps my rig running smoothly during intense gaming sessions and heavy software use. The included SP120 RGB ELITE Series PWM fans maintain a good balance between airflow and noise, peaking at about 1500 RPM without sounding like a jet engine. I especially appreciate their AirGuide technology – seems to actually make a difference in directing the airflow.

The 5V ARGB connector and compatibility with CORSAIR iCUE software (though the controller is sold separately) make customization a breeze and syncs up my setup’s lighting flawlessly. The 240mm radiator appears to handle thermal regulation without breaking a sweat for my daily tasks, and the copper cold plate with pre-applied thermal compound ensured that I got up and running without any extra steps.

However, it’s not all cool breezes and RGB rainbows. When pushing my system with an overclocked CPU, the H100x struggles a bit to keep temperatures within my comfort zone. It’s workable, but I had to dial back my overclock, which was a bit of a letdown. Also, while I didn’t personally struggle with the setup, the lack of a printed manual could be a roadblock for some, especially for those who are tactile learners or don’t have immediate internet access for digital instructions.

In my view, the CORSAIR H100x RGB Elite is a solid choice for those with moderate cooling needs who value a mix of performance and aesthetics. It’s a great mid-tier option, especially for builders who are already invested in the CORSAIR ecosystem. For those with extreme performance needs, however, it might be worth looking at beefier options, especially if you’re aiming to overclock to the moon.

Design Aesthetics and Build Quality

A close-up of the radiator showing the rgb lighting effects in a darkened room to accentuate the colors

The CORSAIR H100x RGB ELITE ticks quite a few boxes on the aesthetics and build quality front. First off, the inclusion of dual CORSAIR SP120 RGB ELITE Series PWM fans really appeals to my inner enthusiast. Not only do they offer an advanced AirGuide technology, but the RGB lighting is a cherry on top that brings life to any setup. It’s that extra bit of personality we all crave for our rigs.

Here’s a quick rundown of the design features that caught my eye:

  • Modern pump head design that’s sleek and aligns well with contemporary builds.

  • Stunning RGB lighting effects are sure to grab attention.

  • Thermally optimized copper cold plate that shouts durability and superior performance.

  • A build that supports a 5V ARGB connector, providing flexibility in terms of motherboard compatibility.

On the flip side, while the aesthetics are on-point, I did notice a couple of drawbacks worth mentioning. The lack of written instructions was a minor hiccup; sure, they are available online, but including a simple guide wouldn’t hurt. Also, the RGB connectivity could be a bit perplexing – it requires an addressable Gen2 header and isn’t just a straightforward RGB header.

Build quality rarely feels compromised with Corsair products, and the H100x is no exception. From the sturdy copper cold plate to the robust radiator, everything screams premium. Plus, with pre-applied thermal paste, you can tell careful thought has been put into minimizing the setup hassle for superior cooling right out of the box.

However, when you put the spotlight on practical usage, I did encounter some noise issues. It wasn’t anything major, but worth noting if you’re after a whisper-quiet operation – this isn’t the quietest AIO on the block. And, while the product dimensions and noise level are precisely detailed, they don’t always paint the full picture regarding the acoustics during peak performance.

Overall, the CORSAIR H100x RGB ELITE is a well-built piece of cooling tech that manages to walk a fine line between form and function. Its design elements blend seamlessly into a modern PC build aesthetic, and the quality of materials used ensures that this cooler is not just a pretty face; it’s built to last. Sure, it’s not perfect – what is? – but for those who prioritize a good-looking build and value the Corsair brand, this cooler should hit the mark.

Software Integration and Lighting Control

A screenshot of the corsair icue software interface displaying the lighting control options for the cooler

In wrapping up my thoughts on the CORSAIR H100x RGB ELITE Liquid Cooler, a notable aspect to discuss is its software integration and lighting control. While I’m leaning more towards the positive side, it’s vital to address both the positives and drawbacks that I’ve encountered. Here’s a quick rundown:


  • iCUE Software: Allows for comprehensive system monitoring and RGB customization.

  • Ease of Use: Direct ARGB motherboard with 5V control or iCUE for a centralized ecosystem.

  • Aesthetics: The RGB lighting is eye-catching, adding flair to any build.


  • Requires a separate CORSAIR iCUE controller, which is an additional purchase.

  • Non-intuitive: The absence of an RGB header might confuse some users.

  • No provided manual makes initial integration more challenging than necessary.

I appreciate the tuneable aspects provided by the iCUE software, which makes the customization of lighting effects convenient, allowing for an immersive and synchronized gaming environment. The ability to control the RGB via the 5V ARGB connector on the motherboard ensures versatility in build compatibility, which is a significant plus for those not deep into the CORSAIR ecosystem.

However, the dependence on a separate iCUE controller for software control of the RGB lighting is a bit of a letdown. This necessity could be better communicated to buyers, as it’s an additional cost and an essential component for full functionality.

Straightforward operation becomes somewhat muddled without written instructions. It feels like an overlooked detail that could make the initial setup process quite puzzling, especially for less experienced builders. Nevertheless, with a little patience and some online resourcefulness, I managed to navigate through the process.

The cooler itself performs admirably with its mesmerizing lighting—but as an enthusiast, I couldn’t help but feel that integration with the iCUE software should be more straightforward. Not including a hard copy of the manual in today’s digital age is one thing, but a lack of clear guidance on the CORSAIR website can make for a frustrating experience when trying to unleash the cooler’s full potential.

Despite these hiccups, once set up, the control of lighting via the motherboard was painless. The inclusion of an ARGB adapter cable for the motherboard was thoughtful and ensured that lighting worked seamlessly through my ASUS motherboard’s native software.

All in all, the CORSAIR H100x RGB ELITE offers a solid cooling solution married with an aesthetic charm that could elevate any rig, provided you’re ready to navigate the initial setup quirks. If its RGB lighting and advanced controls don’t entice you, rest assured the cooler’s performance stands firmly on its own.