PC Components

Corsair A115 test – Monster cooler in a simple guise

The manufacturer behind the name Corsair no longer needs to be explained to hardware enthusiasts. Nevertheless, I would like to say a few words by way of introduction. Corsair was founded in the USA in 1994 and is a world-renowned manufacturer of PC hardware. Initially, the main focus was on high-performance memory modules, but Corsair has since made a name for itself in many other areas. However, Corsair has so far been less successful in the CPU cooler segment when it comes to pure air coolers. This is set to change with the new Corsair A115, which we are testing today.

Alongside the A50, A70 (both 2010) and the A500 (2020), the A115 is only Corsair’s fourth new development in the air cooler segment. Corsair describes the A115’s features as high cooling performance, which is achieved by 90 black nickel-plated aluminum fins as a double tower, six 6 mm heapipes and the two CORSAIR AF140 ELITE fans. Added to this are factory-applied thermal paste and a simple mounting system to make installation as easy as possible

However, the fan mounting rails, which have already been used in a similar form on the A500, are said to be particularly innovative. The rails replace the usual metal brackets and facilitate the variable positioning of the fans, for example with high RAM modules. The rail system has also been implemented much more compactly in the A115. Corsair quotes an RRP of €114.90 for the A115. This puts it in a similar range to the Noctua NH-D15, the DeepCool Assassin IV or the be quiet! Dark Rock Elite, for example.

Corsair A115 review: Technical details

General specifications

Dimensions (with fan): 153 x 164.8 x 155 mm (W x H x D)
Weight (with fan): 1.59 kg
Material: Copper (heatpipes and base plate, nickel-plated), aluminum (cooling fins, black nickel-plated)
Heatpipes: 6x Ø 6 mm
Cooling capacity: 250W
Compatibility AMD: AM5, AM4
Intel compatibility: LGA,1700, LGA1200, LGA115x
Price: € 103.79 *

Fan specifications

Fan Designation: Corsair AF140 Elite
Bearing type: Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB)
Dimensions: 140 x 140 x 25 mm
Number of fans: 2
Speed: 400 – 1600 rpm
Noise level: 5 – 33.9 db(A)
Delivery volume: 26 – 143.6 m³/h
static pressure: 0.1 – 1.73 mmH2O
Operating voltage: 12 V
Voltage range: 0,39 A
Power consumption: 4,68 W
Connection: 4-pin PWM

Packaging & scope of delivery

Typical for a Corsair product, the A115 is packaged in a generously sized and rather strikingly designed box. This is mainly due to the choice of the color yellow on the outside of the box, which is framed by some black elements. In addition to the product name, the box also features a few product images, a short list of the most important features and a table with all the relevant technical data.

The inside of the packaging can be accessed by opening the top flap of the box. Underneath we find two protective molds made of soft foam, in which Corsair wraps the heatsink, the fan and the mounting accessories. The individual components are also wrapped in cardboard packaging. The Corsair A115 is supplied with the heat sink including the two fans, all mounting material for all current Intel and AMD mainstream sockets, a Y-splitter cable for the fans and the factory-applied thermal paste. Assembly instructions are only available in digital form via QR code.

Design & workmanship

With the A115, Corsair focuses more on cooling performance and less on looks. However, this does not mean that we have to be satisfied with silver aluminum fins. These are simply black nickel-plated. The only thing the Corsair A115 has to do without is RGB. With a total weight of almost 1.6 kilograms and dimensions of 153 x 164.8 x 155 millimeters, the Corsair A115 is massive. The height of 164.8 millimeters in particular definitely limits the choice of a suitable case.

The heat sink consists of two cooling towers, each with 45 horizontal aluminum fins, which have been nickel-plated black to improve their appearance. The fins also have serrations which, according to the manufacturer, are intended to minimize air turbulence. Heat is transferred from the CPU heatspreader to the fins via a nickel-plated copper base plate and six black nickel-plated heatpipes, each with a diameter of six millimetres. Corsair does not hide the ends of the heatpipes with a cover plate. Instead, an inconspicuous manufacturer’s logo can be seen on the rear cooling tower.

Corsair uses two black AF140 Elite fans, each of which has a frame width of 140 millimeters and can rotate between 400 and 1600 revolutions. Each is connected to the mainboard via a 4-pin PWM connector and a suitable Y-splitter is included with the mounting accessories. The rotor blade has nine black fan blades and Corsair has placed a rubber element at each corner of the frame for decoupling.

Another particularly interesting feature of the Corsair A115 is the fan mounting system. Unlike many other manufacturers, Corsair does not use the typical metal clips. Instead, both fans have screwed-on steel rails with which the fans can be pushed into the guide rails on the heat sink from above. The guide rails are made of sturdy plastic and are screwed to the heat sink. The fans are locked in place using small steel clips on the inside of the retaining brackets.

Corsair A115 Test: Assembly

A test system is used for the review, which is mounted on a benchtable. This allows us to rule out factors such as heat build-up in the case. The test system consists of the following components.

Corsair uses the newly developed Corsair Holdfast 2.0 mounting system for the A115. The extension “2.0” makes it easy to recognize that this must be an extension of the Holdfast system of the Corsair A500. As is now standard practice, a backplate is used on the rear of the mainboard and a mounting frame consisting of two brackets is used on the front, to which the heat sink can be screwed.

With an AMD socket, the first step is to remove the plastic brackets of the AMD retention module. These are then replaced with four spacers, which have different threads on both sides. Then place the matching AMD brackets on the spacers and screw them in place with the four corresponding screws.

The Corsair A115 also eliminates the step of applying thermal paste, as this has already been applied at the factory. Therefore, you simply place the CPU cooler on the CPU and screw it in place. The central fan may need to be removed first, as it covers the spring-loaded screws on the mounting bracket. However, this is no problem at all thanks to the practical rail system.

The installation of the Corsair is very well thought out and can be carried out quickly and easily. Thanks to the ingenious rail system for fan mounting, there is no need to fiddle around with the typical fan clips and the fans can be mounted quickly and positioned variably. As already mentioned, the Corsair A115 is very expansive. In our case, it protrudes over all four RAM slots as well as over the first PCIe slot, making it unusable. However, the latter always depends on the layout of the mainboard. With high RAM modules, the front fan can be moved upwards, but then protrudes over the heat sink.

Volume and cooling performance

As already shown in the previous chapter, we use an AM4 system based on the Ryzen 5 1400 and the ASUS TUF Gaming B550M-Plus as test hardware. The Ryzen runs at 3.8 GHz at 1.175 V. To heat up the processor, it was loaded with Prime95 for 30 minutes. The temperature of the CPU was then read out with the CPUID hardware monitor. The room temperature was always around 20 °C during the measurements.

wdt_ID CPU-Kühler Temperatur 50% PWM (in °C) Temperatur 100% PWM (in °C) Minimale Lüftergeschwindigkeit (in U/min) Lüftergeschwindigkeit bei 50% PWM (in U/min) Lüftergeschwindigkeit bei 100% PWM (in U/min) Minimale Pumpengeschwindigkeit (in U/min) Pumpengeschwindigkeit bei 50% PWM (in U/min) Pumpengeschwindigkeit bei 100% PWM (in U/min)
123 Thermaltake TH280 V2 ARGB 46,60 45,90 550 1.200 1.800 680 2.100 3.200
124 Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 Atmos ARGB 50,40 46,50 560 1.340 2.270 1.965 6.620 10.230
125 be quiet! Pure Loop 2 240mm 50,70 46,70 800 1.070 2.080 4.150 4.700 5.530
126 Alpenföhn Panorama 2 76,00 66,80 450 1.450 2.720
127 Alpenföhn Brocken 4 53,60 49,60 410 870 1.610
128 AMD Wraith Stealth 95,00 76,00 800 1.430 2.630
129 Corsair A115 49,40 46,90 190 920 1.560
130 Thermalright Peerless Assassin 120 SE 49,50 47,50 350 1.050 1.680
131 Thermalright Assassin X 120 SE 53,60 50,60 340 1.070 1.690
132 DeepCool Assassin IV (Silent) 51,40 48,70 500 860 1.330
CPU-Kühler Temperatur 50% PWM (in °C) Temperatur 100% PWM (in °C) Minimale Lüftergeschwindigkeit (in U/min) Lüftergeschwindigkeit bei 50% PWM (in U/min) Lüftergeschwindigkeit bei 100% PWM (in U/min) Minimale Pumpengeschwindigkeit (in U/min) Pumpengeschwindigkeit bei 50% PWM (in U/min) Pumpengeschwindigkeit bei 100% PWM (in U/min)

As can be seen in the table and diagram, the CPU of our test system reaches a maximum of 49.40 °C (at 50% PWM fan speed) and 46.90 °C (at 100% fan speed) under full load. This means that the Corsair A115 achieves very high values for an air cooler and is only beaten in our results table by an AiO water cooling system with a 280 mm radiator. The AiO water coolers we tested with 240 mm radiators were all beaten. The cooling performance shown can therefore be rated as excellent from our point of view. The omission of the front fan increases the maximum temperatures by around 2 to 3 degrees.

In terms of noise, the Corsair A115 leaves a very good impression. We were unable to detect any background noise with the AF140 Elite and the fans are definitely silent-capable below 1000 rpm. Added to this is an impressive minimum speed of just 190 revolutions per minute. Above 1200 rpm, the AF140 Elite is clearly audible and, depending on sensitivity, perhaps even annoying.

Conclusion of the Corsair A115 test

Now we come to the conclusion of the Corsair A115. From our point of view, Corsair has done a lot of things right with the development of the A115. The CPU cooler is suitable for many gaming systems thanks to its sleek black design. In addition, the Holdfast 2.0 is an excellent mounting system that makes it very easy to attach the large heat sink. Practical features such as the pre-applied thermal paste, the innovative mounting system for the fans and their quiet running in lower speed ranges and their wide speed spectrum are also included. Finally, the Corsair A115 scored points in our test system with its first-class cooling performance and easily outperformed even smaller AiO water cooling systems.

However, the excellent cooling performance is probably mainly due to the massive dimensions of the A115. These quickly lead to all RAM slots being covered and even the first PCIe slot being protruding. As the front fan is also a 140 mm version, it cannot be positioned right at the bottom, even with normal height RAM modules. As a result, it protrudes beyond the cooler, which doesn’t look very attractive and further increases the height of the cooling tower. However, almost all high-end air coolers with two fans have to contend with these problems.

With an RRP of €114.90, the Corsair A115 is, with a few exceptions, slightly above other popular high-end air coolers, which in some cases look a little more appealing and perform similarly in terms of cooling performance. However, if you are looking for a simple and very powerful air cooler, you can buy the Corsair A115 with a clear conscience. However, the bulky dimensions and the slightly higher price should be kept in mind when buying.

Corsair A115

Design
Workmanship
Mounting
Performance
Value for money

92/100

The Corsair A115 is an excellently manufactured air cooler with a sleek look, a very good mounting system and excellent cooling performance. However, the bulky dimensions could quickly lead to compatibility problems.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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The manufacturer behind the name Corsair no longer needs to be explained to hardware enthusiasts. Nevertheless, I would like to say a few words by way of introduction. Corsair was founded in the USA in 1994 and is a world-renowned manufacturer of PC hardware. Initially, the main focus was on high-performance memory modules, but Corsair … (Weiterlesen...)

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