ReviewsCoolersCORSAIR A115 CPU Air Cooler Review - NH-D15 Killer?

CORSAIR A115 CPU Air Cooler Review – NH-D15 Killer?

I have finished my testing of the CORSAIR A115 to bring you an in-depth look at the cooler's design, installation, and thermal performance with benchmarks.

Top Performance!

Review Summary

Corsair’s new A115 air cooler, an improvement over the A500, features a dual tower design with two AF140 Elite PWM fans, notable for their user-friendly, slim slide-and-lock installation system. It boasts 6x 6mm heat pipes, 90 nickel-plated fins, and a HoldFast 2.0 retention system, complemented by pre-applied XTM70 thermal paste. Compact in design, the A115, at 1.59kg, is slightly heavier than its competitor, the Noctua NH-D15, and comes with a 5-year warranty. Designed for high performance and ease of use, it supports various Intel and AMD sockets, making it a strong contender in the high-end CPU air cooler market.

Hours Tested: 5

Tech4Gamers Recommended Award

Overall
8.8/10
8.8/10
  • Quality - 9/10
    9/10
  • Design - 9/10
    9/10
  • Performance - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Features - 9/10
    9/10
  • Value - 8.5/10
    8.5/10

Pros

  • Thermal Performance
  • Stylish Black Color Theme
  • AF140 Elite PWM Fans
  • Fan Rail Mount System
  • Convenient Installation
  • Competitive Price
  • 5-Year Warranty

Cons

  • Somewhat Loud fans at full speed

Corsair has released a new high-performance air cooler named A115. This cooler has an improved design compared to the A500. The A115 has a dual tower configuration and comes with two Corsair AF140 Elite PWM fans. The best thing about these fans is the installation method which uses a slim slide-and-lock design. It is a rail mount system, and all that you need is to slide the fan upward/downward, making fan handling quite convenient. Make sure to read my Noctua NH-D15 review, as I will be comparing it to the CORSAIR A115. Salient features are:

  • 6x 6mm Heat Pipes
  • Slim Slide-and-lock Fan Mounts
  • Corsair AF140 Elite PWM Fans
  • 90 Nickel-Plated Fins
  • HoldFast 2.0 Retention System
  • XTM70 Pre-Applied Thermal Paste
  • Compact Tower Design
  • 5-Year Warranty

Key Takeaways

  • The CORSAIR A115 CPU Air Cooler features a dual-tower design, easy-install AF140 Elite PWM fans, and advanced cooling with 6 heat pipes and 90 fins. During our thermal testing, it beat the NH-D15 by 1°C at full load.
  • You should get the CORSAIR A115 CPU Air Cooler if you prefer top-notch performance with black aesthetics and easy installation.
  • You should not get the CORSAIR A115 CPU Air Cooler if you are on an LGA20xx socket.

Here are the specifications

Dimension 153x155x164.8mm
Weight 1.59Kg
Heatpipe 6x 6mm Sintered Copper
Baseplate Soldered, Convex Copper
Fan Dimension 140x140x25mm
Bearings FDB
Socket Compatibility Intel 1700/1200/115x, AMD AM4 and AM5
Warranty 5-Years

This cooler has a relatively compact profile compared to the Noctua NH-D15 though the A115 is a bit wider. This cooler uses sintered copper heat pipes, and there is a copper base with a nickel-plated chrome finish. The cooler has a weight of 1.59 kg, which is slightly more than the NH-D15 (1.320 kg).

Packaging and Unboxing

CORSAIR A115 CPU Air Cooler — Packing Box 1024x93
Packing Box (Image By Tech4Gamers)

The Corsair A115 comes inside a cardboard-made shipping box with a yellow and black theme. Corsair has provided the following:

  • 1x Heatsink
  • 2x AF140 Elite PWM Fans
  • 1x Intel Backplate
  • 4x Intel LGA1700 Standoff Screws
  • 4x Intel LGA1200/115x Standoff Screws
  • 2x Intel Mounting Brackets
  • 4x Thumb Nuts
  • 2x AMD Mounting Brackets
  • 4x AMD Standoff Screws
  • 1x Fan Rail Kit
  • 1x Y-Splitter Cable for Fans
  • 1x Warranty Guide
  • 1x Safety Information Guide

Design

CORSAIR A115 CPU Air Cooler — Main 1024x77
The Cooler (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Corsair A115 is a new high-performance CPU air cooler that is designed to handle the most demanding CPUs on the market. Corsair has addressed many things in this design, making this cooler user-friendly option with ease of mounting and handling the fans. Plus it is compatible with leading consumer sockets, including Intel LGA1700 and AMD AM5. Let’s take a look at the design of this cooler.

What’s New In The Heatsink?

CORSAIR A115 CPU Air Cooler — Heatsink Front View 1024x97
Heatsink Front View (Image By Tech4Gamers)

I am showing the front side of the main heatsink. The front and rear have an identical layout. There are a total of 45 fins on each tower, making a total count of 90 fins providing 1.69m² surface area.

These fin arrays are serrated and feature a sawtooth-like outlook which I sometimes mention as a triangular-shaped fin design. This design helps counter the noise generated by air turbulence.

Take note of the border frame. These are catchers or the rail on which the fan kit slides.

I am showing a side and top view of the heatsink. The fins have a full-length joint on the sides, making a complete single-unit outlook. There is no cutout to catch the arm of fan clips since this cooler does not use fan clips for the fans. The second tower has a CORSAIR branding over the top. You can see the terminating ends of the heat pipes over the top. This picture shows a better view of the sawtooth-like or cone-like fin design on the ends.

Each rail mount has L and R marked on the top showing the left and right sides on which the fan kit slides.

The mounting plates are pre-installed on the base using 4x Philips screws. There are two spring-loaded screws on the mounting plate. There is a fin design on the upper portion of the base, which is unlike the traditional design that we saw on many other coolers.

This cooler has 6x 6mm copper heat pipes. There is a step design on the heatsink with 3 fin rows having stepped in near the base. This would give a better RAM clearance to the heatsink. The heat pipes are designed to cover the maximum area inside the fin stack for effective heat dissipation.

CORSAIR A115 CPU Air Cooler — Heatsink Base 1024x101
Heatsink Base (Image By Tech4Gamers)

This cooler has a nickel-plated copper base with a dimension of 38x42mm. It is slightly convex in design to provide good contact with the CPU. Corsair has pre-applied XTM70 high-performance thermal paste over the base.

Corsair AF140 Elite PWM Fans

Corsair has provided two 140mm fans with this cooler. They use a slim slid-and-lock mounting system making our lives easier.

CORSAIR A115 CPU Air Cooler — Fan 1 1024x71
Fans (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Both fans are black, and each has 9x blades. There are cut-to-size anti-vibration pads on the mounting corners. The center has the CORSAIR brand logo. There are anti-vortex vanes on the backside that provide a focused or directed airflow through the fans. This reminds me of Noctua NF-F12 PWM fans.

 

There is a serial number label on one side of the frame along with two arrow markers. These provide the direction of airflow through the fan and the direction in which blades spin. The frame of these fans is quite sturdy and stylish. There is CORSAIR branding on one side. The mounting corners have AF ELITE branding.

CORSAIR A115 CPU Air Cooler — Fan 6 1024x90
Fan Back (Image By Tech4Gamers)

One of the fans comes pre-installed on the heatsink. It has a fan mount kit pre-installed as shown in the above picture. Corsair has retained the ratcheting mechanism from A500 but has reduced the bulk size.

CORSAIR A115 CPU Air Cooler — Fan 4 1024x76
Mounted Fans (Image By Tech4Gamers)

I have installed the fan mount kit on the second fan and shown both prepped fans in the above picture. The arrow markers on the kit show the side that will be on the top of the heatsink.

CORSAIR A115 CPU Air Cooler — Fan 5 e1705227676798 1024x59
4-pin PWM Connector (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Both fans are PWM controlled, for which there is a single cable per fan with a 4-pin PWM connector. These fans have a maximum of 84.5 CFM airflow at 12VDC using a static pressure of 1.73mmH₂O with a sound output of 33.9 dB(A). The maximum speed on these fans is 1600 RPM.

Installation

I have tested the cooler on an Intel LGA1700 socket. Here are the steps:

  • Place the backplate on the backside of the motherboard.
  • Use the LGA1700 standoff screws to secure the backplate.
  • Install the Intel mounting brackets using thumb nuts.
  • Remove the middle fan from the heatsink.
  • Remove the protective cover from the base of the cooler.
  • Place the cooler on the CPU by aligning the spring-loaded screws with the standoffs on mounting bracket.
  • Tighten the screws to install the heatsink.
  • Install a fan kit on the second fan. In case of any confusion, get help from the already installed fan.
  • Slide the fans on the rail and connect the cables. Installation is completed.

Clearance

The Corsair A115 has a stock dimension of 153x155x164.8mm (WxDxH). Let’s take a look at the clearance of this cooler.

As per my measurement, the clearance for the RAM from the heatsink is 48mm and 55mm from the stepped design. However, installing the 140mm fan actually reduces the overall height clearance. I have used a low profile kit from Sabrent and the fan was above the 164.8mm height. Since you can adjust the height of the front fan, RAM clearance should not be an issue until there is enough clearance in the PC Case.

There is no PCIe slot clearance issue over the GIGABYTE Z790 AORUS ELITE AX motherboard.

CORSAIR A115 CPU Air Cooler — Motherboard Top Clearance
Motherboard Top Clearance (Image By Tech4Gamers)

The heatsink is not obstructed by the large size cover on the rear of the motherboard. The top area of the motherboard remains available for use after the cooler’s installation.

You would need a PC Case with a minimum of 170mm CPU cooler height clearance.

Testing

I have used the mentioned configuration to test the performance of this cooler: –

Here is the settings table for testing:

All Cores 5.4GHz on P-Cores, 4.2GHz on E-Cores
VCore (V) Auto
Power Limits Removed
Thermal Paste Pre-applied
Test Run Time 30 minutes CINEBENCH R23.2
Idle Time 10 minutes
Fan/Pump Speed 100% PWM Duty Cycle
Monitoring Software HWInfo64
CORSAIR A115 CPU Air Cooler — Test Build 919x102
Test Build (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Let’s go over the results.

CORSAIR A115 CPU Air Cooler — Thermal Performance
Thermal Performance (Image By Tech4Gamers)

The Corsair A115 has performed well, but it is at a 1ᵒC difference from the Noctua NH-D15. The fans are a bit loud at full speed. I can’t say this cooler is a Noctua killer, but it has raised the bar to give a competitive performance.

Should You Buy It?

Buy It If

✅You are looking for a black, high-performance cooler: The Corsair A115 has a stealthy outlook, and it is a high-performance cooler designed for demanding CPUs.

✅You are looking for a cooler with easy handling: Corsair A115 uses a HoldFast 2.0 retention system with a Fan Rail Mount design which makes the installation of this convenient and user-friendly.

Don’t Buy It If

❌You already own a beefy cooler: Skip this cooler if you already have a beefy cooler serving your requirements well.

❌You are on Intel LGA20xx Socket: This cooler does not support Intel LGA20xx sockets. Don’t buy this cooler if you are on an LGA20xx socket.

Final Words

Corsair is back in the game of the high-end CPU air coolers market. This time they have released A115 which is their flagship air cooler taking the game from A500 onward. Corsair has gone back to the drawing board and has come up with a new design with fine refinements.

The A115 is a compact dual tower that bodes well, given today’s flagship coolers from other manufacturers. Each tower has 45 fins designed in a step layout for better RAM clearance. The complete assembly is black color coated and is soldered.

Each tower has 6x sintered copper heat pipes with a 6mm thickness. The base of this cooler is slightly convex to make better contact with the CPU. The base is nickel-plated in a chrome finish. This cooler is rated for 250W TDP, making it competitive in the market.

Corsair has used a fan rail mount system with a better execution than be quiet! Dark Rock Elite. The fans are slid on the pre-installed rails on the side frame. Corsair uses a HoldFast 2.0 retention system making the overall installation convenient. They have provided a PWM Y-Splitter cable which allows both fans to be connected to a single fan header.

Speaking of fans, there are two AF140 Elite PWM fans which are rated for 1600 RPM speed at 12VDC generating 84.5CFM airfow with a mediocre static pressure rating of 1.73mmH₂O with a sound output level of 33 dB(A). This cooler is compatible with Intel LGA1700/1200/115x and AMD AM4/AM5 sockets.

This cooler has an MSRP of USD 99.99. Corsair is offering a 5-year warranty on this cooler, and I know that you can count on Corsair’s customer service from my personal experience.

 

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