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Corsair

 

Hey hey what’s up guys, I am Ryan. It’s safe to say that 360mm AIOs have been really popular and practically offer a lot of the same cooling characteristics that a custom water cooling loop could offer. But I beg to ask, what’s the next step? Well being an avid water cooler myself, going custom water cooling is a bit of a different animal entirely. A CPU block, fittings, tubing, coolant, pump, reservoir, fans and any other odds and ends that usually pop up while constructing a custom water loop. So what does one do to mitigate that? Well that next step for watercooling noobs is to look at a box kit that includes everything needed to setup a CPU only water cooling loop, which is where Corsair’s XH305i RGB Pro steps in.

So a while ago, I checked out Corsair’s iCUE H150i ELITE LCD, check out that review here. In that review I ran a six core, twelve threaded Intel Core i5 11600K which has a TDP of around 125 watts. Well since then, I also reviewed the iCUE 5000T RGB, and I put the same iCUE H150i LCD in the roof to cool the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X I chose over the Intel Core i5 11600K, and it seems to be keep that animal under control pretty well. Thanks to Corsair, we have the XH305i RGB Pro here to play with. So I thought why not look at this bit of kit from an upgrader’s point of view? So can the XH305i RGB Pro do any better? Well that’s what we are gonna find out. But first let’s unbox this and see what’s inside, actually it’s right here on the back. Corsair literally has hand picked everything one would need to setup a CPU water cooling loop, using the latest tubing fun, hardline tubing. Don’t worry, I have done several hardline builds, including that ThreadRipper Beast right back there.

INCLUDED COMPONENTS

Kicking things off is the CPU block, which Corsair has chosen to include their XC7 RGB Pro CPU block. The XC7 is Corsair’s mid range CPU block, offering the most compatibility with current sockets including the newest Intel 1700 socket as well as AMD’s AM4. The other CPU water blocks that Corsair offers are the XC5, XC8 (JayzTwoCents Limited Edition) and the XC9 for HEDT CPUs. 

Next up is the XD5 RGB Pump Res, which features a D5 style PWM pump, which is a very high performer that has a very proven track record in the world of water cooling.

The reservoir is rated to hold 330ml of coolant.

     

The radiator, the XR5 360, which is an all copper 360mm radiator that’s 30mm thick, which shouldn’t have any issues keeping modern CPUs cool.

     

For fans Corsair opted to include three of their QL120 RGB fans, which are performance static pressure fans that are quite suited for a water cooling radiator application. 

Inside each QL120 fan are 34 RGB LEDs split across four light loops.

       

An included iCUE controller Command Pro module is included, which acts like a central command center for everything light and fan related.

     

Fittings are also included, some like the 90° fittings might not need to be used, depending on component placement. Six 10/14mm PMMA tubes at 1/2m each are included as well.

     

For coolant, Corsair has included 1000ml of their XL8 clear coolant, as well as a 250ml fill bottle.

     

And for some tube cutting and bending, an XT hardline bending toolkit is also provided. One tool that you will definitely need, unless you are doing straight tubing runs, is a good quality heat gun.

Corsair iCUE 5000T RGB Case Review

So why don’t I put the XH305i RGB Pro into my Corsair 5000T RGB, that I reviewed a while back, check that review out here.

The test system has an AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12 core 24 thread CPU, on an Aorus X570 Master motherboard. For memory, I have a 16GB kit of Team Group’s XCalibur DDR4-3600 that I had lying around. Storage, I opted to use Corsair’s MP600XT Pro 2TB NVME M.2 SSD, which rips things up at about 7k read and writes. The GPU is a Nvidia RTX 2080 Super FE, and the power is from the EVGA 750w P2 power supply. First I am gonna take a few temp numbers from the H150i Elite LCD, install the full XH305i RGB Pro kit, take a few more numbers, and I will see you back here for the results and my thoughts. 

TEMPERATURES – IDLE/LOAD

Well alright guys, this was close, which is what I thought it would be. The H150i Elite LCD does pretty well for the most part, a very easy installation, with a lot of cooling capacity, coming in at a cool 33C at idle and 76C at full load. Not bad at all for an AIO, an AIO that has a LCD screen to give you a real time readout of what’s going on with your system, which is a pretty handy feature. The H150i ELITE LCD on the other hand, is still an AIO, which offers no expandability to cool any additional components like your GPU. Now the XH305i RGB Pro, which is an open water-cooling loop, pretty much matched the H150i ELITE LCD in temps, coming in at 34C idle and 74C load, which I would consider to be with the margin of error, considering the ambient temperature difference between the two setups.

Now personally, I am a water cooler through and through, so it’s no surprise that the XH305i RGB Pro kit really appeals to me more. The value proposition from a AIO to a custom water cooling kit is kinda slanted to give the AIO a price to performance advantage. But that’s not why we water cool is it? We water cool because we chase every last bit of performance from the rigs we build.  We water cool because people envy it. We water cool to be that guy when someone sees our PC, like a few days ago when the Spectrum guy was at my house for a modem malfunction, he literally said, “HOLY SH$T! That’s wicked cool!” He was looking right at the 5000T with the XH305i RGB Pro kit that I installed the night prior. Let’s face it, water cooling is an attention getter. Stepping it up to hardline tubing adds another layer of x factor, which is exactly what the Corsair iCUE XH305i RGB Pro does.

Now the last thing I want to address is pricing, like I traditionally like to do, is by doing a price breakdown of the included components to give a little more clarification. So here is a list I made just from going to Corsair’s “Design Your Loop” configurator, which came to $713.88 before shipping. The iCUE XH305i RGB Pro is priced at $599.99, which is over a $100 discount for literally the same parts. Now compared to the H150i ELITE LCD, the XH305i RGB Pro is twice the price for close to the same performance, but again it can’t be expanded to cool other components, it has soft tubing, and to be frank, you would lose the experience of designing and building your own custom water cooling loop.

CONCLUSION/CLOSING THOUGHTS

So what are my thoughts on Corsair’s iCUE XH305i RGB Pro hardline water cooling kit? For the most part, yeah it makes complete sense to buy all your water cooling parts this way. Only a few small things that I found odd and could be improved in later revisions. First, as someone who has never worked with PMMA tubing before, I think that it’s WAY more brittle than normal PETG tubing. I must have broken at least 3 or 4 tubes while bending, or should I say after I removed the tube from heat and applied a bit too much pressure. Plus those PMMA tubes are only a half a meter long, so long runs are going to be a bit of a hassle. That’s a bit of a learning curve that I had to adjust for.  The XD5 pump is really quiet, and has enough power to add additional radiators and a GPU waterblock, but was only wired with a MOLEX connector as opposed to a SATA connection, which meant I had to go hunt for the correct cable in my PSU box. Also something to note, you HAVE to use the included Commander Pro iCUE controller that comes with the XH305i RGB Pro kit if you want iCUE to control all the RGB.  I opted initially to try and use the Commander Core XT iCUE controller, which worked for the most part, but I had to use the included adaptors to use my two motherboard’s aRGB headers to control those devices’ lighting.

When it comes down to it, watercooling ain’t cheap, but its hella fun. The Corsair iCUE XH305i RGB Pro is really pretty to look at with all the RGB from the three QL 120mm fans, XC7 CPU water block, and XD5 Pump Res combo. This kit has everything you need to get your water cooling loop up and running. I should also tell you that Corsair offers a few different hardline water cooling kits, like the XH303i RGB and Pro versions, as well as the non pro version of the XH305i RGB, all of which are at different price points.  If you want to check those out, links below.

Alright guys, that is gonna do it for my look at Corsair’s iCUE XH305i RGB Pro. If you guys haven’t liked and subscribed by now, please consider doing so to help ExtremeHW grow. Thanks for reading, I will see you in the next one.

Pro'sCon's
Everything you need for a custom CPU water cooling loop in a box.Can be a bit of a learning curve.
Lots of RGB to look at.Pricey compared to the H150i ELITE LCD.
$100 discount opposed to purchasing each component separately. PMMA Tubing at .5m is a tad short for longer runs.
Can add an additional Radiator, GPU block for added cooling. XD5 Pump was wired with Molex connection.

 

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