corsair h170i review

Corsair iCUE H170i Elite Capellix CPU Cooler Review

When it comes to AIO coolers, 360mm radiator-based systems were the biggest you could get, that is, until recently. Since the appearance of the 420mm H170i Elite Capellix, it confirms that this type of radiator can provide optimised cooling. So today, we’re going to focus on this product here in our Corsair iCUE H170i Elite Capellix CPU Cooler review. 

The H170i Elite Capellix is similar to the H150i Elite Capellix from last year. But the difference is the H170i has a bigger radiator with a boost in its overall surface area. It’s perfect for those who want to cool their top-notch chips from each camp.

Corsair iCUE H170i Elite Capellix CPU Cooler Packaging

Let’s start off our Corsair iCUE H170i Elite Capellix CPU Cooler review by looking at this CPU cooler’s packaging. We’re also going to check out what Corsair included with it. 

The packaging for this product is similar to that of the H150i which also sports a bright yellow theme. To know how it looks, an image of the product is on the box’s front, at the centre.

Corsair H170i Review 01 Corsair H170i Review 02

On the left and right sides of the package, there’s another image of the product. However, it is set on a bright yellow background instead. 

Flipping the box, the rear provides you with more details on the unit. These include its features, specifications, and some illustrations to show the overall dimensions of the CPU cooler.

The top panel of the box is where you’ll find the supported sockets. You’ll even see a list with images featuring different hardware that’s included in the package. To note, these are the mounting hardware, RGB/fan controller, and more. 

Box’s Contents

Inside the box, you’ll find the H170i Elite Capellix kept securely in place. It’s to avoid any possible damages that it may incur while in transit. 

Corsair also supplied the necessary parts for mounting such as 24 washers, 24 fan screws, and 12 radiator screws. In addition, the company included four Intel 115x standoffs, four Intel LGA-20XX standoffs, and four AMD s-TR4 standoffs. 

Corsair H170i Review 03 Corsair H170i Review 04

Other items include four thumbscrews, two AMD screw clips, an Intel backplate, an Allen wrench, and an alternative pump cap. You’ll even find a set of AMD, AMD s-TR4, and Intel mounting brackets present. 

Lastly, there are three 140mm ML-series ARGB fans, a Commander CORE RGB/fan controller, and a couple of paperwork. 

Now, we can talk about the cooler’s design and functions in our Corsair iCUE H170i Elite Capellix CPU Cooler review. 

Corsair iCUE H170i Elite Capellix CPU Cooler Review – Design and Functionality

The H170i Elite Capellix from Corsair is their biggest ever AIO. It features a huge 420mm radiator as well as a Corsair pump that’s controlled via the iCUE system. The pump can also be controlled using the stand-alone Commander CORE.

Aside from these, the cooler also features three ML-140 RGN fans.

Just as expected, the craftsmanship of all the components in this product is first-class. So of course, we couldn’t find anything to criticise the H170i Elite Capellix. The choice of materials used for this CPU cooler is excellent, so you can expect a premium product like usual. 

Although the radiator doesn’t appear intimidating, it is still considerably bigger than the usual 360mm type. Its size is the limiting factor for your build since a lot of chassis still don’t support this radiator’s size.

When it comes to the aluminium heat exchanger, it looks and feels like that of the unit from the H150i. The only exception is its size. 

Corsair H170i Review 06 Corsair H170i Review 07 Corsair H170i Review 09 Corsair H170i Review 08 Corsair H170i Review 11 Corsair H170i Review 10 Corsair H170i Review 12

At the centre of the H170i Elite Capellix is the current generation pump from Corsair. It’s designed for monitoring and lighting to be controlled via the Commander CORE controller. However, it’s also good to note that a 3-pin tach header is present for controlling the pump’s speed. 

The Intel mount brackets are pre-installed, but they easily slide off if you prefer using AM4 or s-TRX4/TR4 brackets. There are also a pair of 90-degree fittings (swivel) that allows tube adjustments. As for the tubing itself, they’re covered using braided nylon sleeves. 

The pump block features an octagonal form with four long and short sides. We think it’s more visually appealing compared to most AOIs around. And if you’re someone who prefers boxier shapes, then the H170i Elite Capellix is ideal for your tastes. 

Both the outlet and inlet fittings are the swivel types and have a good degree of rotation. For its wiring, it’s positioned along the top portion, allowing you to better and easily route your cables. 

These can be replaced with another facelet that’s included in the package. This is, if you’re searching for a varying visual aesthetic or additional ARGB lighting. 

One is the glossy-black type, while the other appears more transparent. The latter lets lighting effects appear through the opaque pump face. This displays 33 separate LEDs according to your preferred design pattern. 

Even after the cooler’s installed, you can remove then swap the Allen head screws easily. Just make sure that you don’t misplace the provided wrench. 

And just like the H150i, the H170i Elite Capellix features the same pump. So, it comes with 3 Capellix ARGBs for better illumination. 

The H170i Elite Capellix utilises a copper block plate that’s applied with a thermal compound. It’s actually more than enough for Intel CPU and AMD AM4 applications. However, better thermal paste is needed for Threadripper installs to guarantee complete coverage. 

Corsair H170i Review 05

This product comes with three ML-140 RGB fans from Corsair. These are equipped with magnetic bearings that produce noise levels of 10 to 26 dBA. 

These have a span feed of 400 to 2000 RPM, and each of the fans have eight addressable LEDs. These are installed right at the centre of each fan. These are linked to the available Commander fan controller. 

You’ll get a black-clad design with hints of grey, making it a product that’s highly appealing to the eyes. Thirty-three RGB LED lights are present in the pump which can be addressed individually for awesome effects. 

Its LED system can be as subtle or loud based on your preferences since everything can be properly configured. If you’re someone who isn’t into RGBs, you can choose not to activate or set a subtle static colour instead. 

Commander CORE Control Unit

Corsair H170i Review 13

This control unit offers proper management and control over the pump, fans, and lighting of the H170i Elite Capellix. Not only that, but it can even manage extra 3 or 4-pin cooling fans and other devices. Just make sure that these are compatible with the iCUE system of Corsair. 

The Commander CORE is powered by one SATA 12V plug, and it directly interfaces to a 9-pin motherboard USB header. Plus, it has adequate length for tucking and fitting the control modules away for a cleaner and neater look. 

Be sure to remember that for lighting, only Corsair-branded LED strips or fans can be used and connected here. 

Our Corsair iCUE H170i Elite Capellix CPU Cooler review will now focus on the different features of this CPU cooler. 

Key Features of the Corsair iCUE H170i Elite Capellix CPU Cooler

High-performance RGB Pump Head

The H170i Elite Capellix’s pump head features 33 Capellix RGB LEDs along with the ML RGB fans. These ultra-bright RGB LEDs add to your system’s aesthetic value and make it look better than ever.

Split-flow Cold Copper Plate

The H170i Elite Capellix has a cold copper plate with a high-density fins-per-inch that are micro-skived. These offer optimal cooling at all loads.

Low-noise Centrifugal Pump

The centrifugal pump has a 0.82L/min flow rate and operates quietly with less than 20 dBA noise. That means, this CPU cooler keeps your system cool with low noise.

Multiple Looks

Elite Cappelix CPU coolers come with two separate pump caps. The pre-installed one is glossy black, while the alternate cap is more transparent. With that, you can easily install what suits your system’s aesthetics best.

Transform Your Case into a Smart Case

The H170i Elite Capellix comes with the iCUE Commander CORE. Using this, you can manage your system’s fan speed, as well as the lighting of the included ML RGB fans. The iCUE Commander CORE allows you to install up to six fans.


The Corsair Magnetic Levitation RGB series PWM fans offer adequate airflow for optimal CPU cooling performance. Each fan has eight RGB LEDs.

Zero RPM Mode

Zero RPM is a cooling profile that you’ll find in the Corsair iCUE software. This mode entirely stops fans from spinning at low temperatures to eliminate fan noise.

Installation with Ease

The modular and tool-free mounting bracket lets you enjoy quick and painless installation.

Corsair iCUE Software – Powerful Control and Management

Through the iCUE software, you can adjust the CPU cooler’s fan and pump speeds. Plus, you can keep track of your CPU and coolant’s temperatures.

This time, our Corsair iCUE H170i Elite Capellix CPU Cooler review will focus on and discuss its specifications. 


The H170i Elite Capellix supports both Intel and AMD sockets. For Intel processors, it supports the LGA-1200, LGA-1151, LGA-1156, LGA-1150, LGA-2011, LGA-2011-3, and LGA-2066. While for AMD, it’s good with the AM4, sTRX-4, and s-TR4.

The base material for its CPU block is copper. For its pump, it is made from aluminium and measures 457 x 140 x 27mm.

This CPU cooler makes use of ML RGB 140mm fans that measure 140 x 140 x 25mm. The fans’ speed ranges from 400 to 2,000 RPM while the airflow is 97 CFM. When it comes to fan noise, it’s at 10 to 36 dBA. 

To note, the company covers this CPU cooler with a 5-year warranty which is good. 

This is where things get interesting. Our Corsair iCUE H170i Elite Capellix CPU Cooler review will now discuss how this cooler performed. We’ll also show you how it fared during our tests. 

Hands-on with the Corsair iCUE H170i Elite Capellix CPU Cooler 

As mentioned, the iCUE software is a universal software where you can monitor and manage the H170i Elite Capellix CPU cooler. It provides settings for the fan curve, RGB lighting, and other customisation needs.

This utility suite is currently at its fourth update with a more finished visual appearance and added features. It now comes with the whole-system ecosystem integration with other iCUE devices. This new version also lets you coordinate in-game lighting for RGB immersion.

iCUE software lets you monitor variables like temperatures, RPM, and more. Also, you can configure the RPM of each fan and the colours of the RGB LEDs. Other customisable features include graphing and custom performance fan and pump curves.

The default layout displays the Corsair devices connected to your system. Aside from these, you’ll also see the LED control, fan and pump control, as well as monitoring details.

Selecting LED control brings you to the programmable RGB-lit Corsair logo and ring section. The effects include static, blink, colour shift, colour pulse, rainbow, and temperature. Of course, there’s an option to disable the RGB.

Each fan can be individually programmed. Select from Quiet, Balanced, Zero RPM, and Extreme, or create your own fan profile.

Continuing our Corsair iCUE H170i Elite Capellix CPU Cooler review, the installation process is what we’re focusing on next.


Like the other Elite Capellix CPU coolers, this unit was easy to install. Everything was straightforward since it already came with a coolant in a closed loop. All we had to do was install the backplate, the standoff screws, then position the cooler before securing it.

No advanced skills were needed to install this CPU cooler. Since Corsair also included the mounting hardware in the packaging, the whole installation process was quick and simple. 

We liked the overall look of our system when we installed the H170i Elite Capellix CPU cooler. Its design was excellent, and we were able to easily change the pump caps to alter the cooler’s appearance.

Thermal Performance

We tested the Corsair iCUE H170i Elite Capellix using a Ryzen 9 5900X CPU

2021 09 06 12 05 34 Untitled chart Infogram 2021 09 06 12 06 27 Untitled chart Infogram

Corsair iCUE H170i Elite Capellix CPU Cooler Review Summary

The H170i Elite Capellix CPU cooler is another impressive product under Corsair’s iCUE series. Like its predecessors, this new and larger model delivered excellent cooling performance. In fact, its size allows it to offer a higher cooling capacity.

Despite its size, this CPU cooler was easy to install. Everything worked well and flawlessly, including the iCUE software. We also liked the Zero RPM Mode for the fans that allowed for complete silence during operation.

The Command CORE control was another useful feature of this CPU cooler. It was another convenient way to manage and control the fans, pump, and lighting of the fans. 

Aside from its excellent performance, quick installation, and easy management, the H170i Elite Capellix comes with great aesthetics. Its stylish design makes it easy to suit any build. Plus, it comes with two pump caps for changing your system’s look.

Overall, we highly recommend the Corsair iCUE H170i Elite Capellix. This superior CPU cooler is one of the largest AIOs today. Of course, it’s best for large builds that need highly efficient cooling performance. So, be sure that you have adequate space in your system to install this cooler with no problems.

To purchase the Corsair iCUE H170i Elite Capellix CPU cooler, it’s available for online purchase from the company’s official website.