Top critical review
2 Faulty Products In A Row, Do I Risk a Third?
Reviewed in the United States on October 16, 2019
-this cooler looks awesome. It's exactly what I wanted in terms of aesthetics. The USB control of the lighting means you can use it with almost any build, even older Motherboards. The software allows you to link multiple Corsair devices so they all have the same color scheme, or provide functionality like showing specific colors based on temperatures. The large radiator surface area provides tons of cooling even at low fan speeds. Good mounting hardware provided for Intel and AMD.
-First one I received worked for 2 days before it began having issues with USB connectivity (device disappeared from iCUE software and USB in Device manager gave Error message). I updated drivers, updated firmware, uninstalled iCUE, cleaned registry and AppData before reinstalling, tried different USB headers, a new PSU, dedicated SATA power (no other peripherals on it's line), and a thousand other things from various videos and forum posts. I finally break down and contact Corsair. Wasted a week troubleshooting with Corsair Reps (who didn't bother reading emails and just would give me generic troubleshooting tips from their website) before I finally gave up and started a return through Amazon. My replacement arrived yesterday. The pump itself on this one is noisy, making gurgling noises at high RPM, and grinding noises at low RPM. Quick troubleshooting, tried all recommendations with no luck. Tilting the PC and changing RPM to try and force out bubbles, removing the pump and shaking it (yay more Thermal paste), bending hoses, another dedicated SATA line, putting fans on different headers so only the pump is drawing SATA power. Nothing helps. I will not be dealing with Corsair Reps to troubleshoot again, they'll just have me try the same things I already tried. On the off chance it is the worlds most stubborn bubble I will be waiting another couple days to see if the noise clears up. Last critique is the choice of cabling. This is an all white look, so why do you ruin it with ugly flat black cabling? Clean it up, nice braided round cable would look a million times better. Plus the cable for the CPU fan header is so poorly placed as part of the SATA cable I wanted to cut it off and solder a new one on. The USB connection should also be an integral part of the system, not added as an afterthought that you need to plug into the side of the pump, it looks cheap. Honestly, a single thicker cable out that splits after 6"-8" inches so I can hide it all with good cable management would improve the looks by a huge margin.
-I have to say, both of these have kept my CPU really cool, and look great. But receiving two faulty products in a row has ruined my opinion of Corsair, and I will be looking elsewhere when I replace this pump. Both of these faults may seem nitpicky, but for the cost of the cooler and the ratings it has received, for a pump to lose USB Connectivity (removing ability to monitor RPM, coolant temps, and change lighting) and for another to be loud at idle RPMs is extremely concerning. Any of these issues could compound or worsen, resulting in total pump failure and a cooked CPU. I'm not comfortable trusting an expensive CPU to anything that displays these kind of faults out of the box, it's just an indicator of things to come. If you are ok with risking a $400-$800 investment in a CPU, go ahead, this cooler looks amazing. But I'd rather have a plain looking build that protects my investment instead some RGB lighting that could fail any second and cook my CPU.