High-end Air Cooling Face Off – Featuring the Corsair A115


Conclusion – Which heatsink is the best?

All of the four heatsinks that we have tested today surpassed Noctua’s popular NH-D15 heatsink in all tests. The era of the D15 is well and truly over, and that makes all four of these heatsinks solid options for any air-cooled PC builds. That said, some coolers shine more brightly than others.

Today, Cooler Master’s MasterAir824 Stealth costs £79.98 at Scan UK. At the same retailer be quiet’s Dark Rock Elite costs £99.98, and DeepCool’s Assassin IV costs £84.98. In the UK, Corsair’s new A115 heatsink has an MSRP of £99.99.

If you want to run your heatsink maxed out with their fans running as fast as possible, the DeepCool Assassin IV is our clear winner. It kept our CPU four degrees cooler than its rivals, and it is attractively priced at around £85. This makes it one of the cheaper high-end air coolers in this face-off.

In our ultra-quiet 600 RPM test, Corsair’s A115 excelled, but at higher RPMs it was not the best performing heatsink of the bunch. The A115’s best option for ultra-quiet air cooled systems. That said, even at its highest RPMs this heatsink is fairly quiet. Gone are the days where Corsair strapped 2200 RPM fans on their heatsinks and AIOs. Thank God!

Cooler Master’s MA824 and be quiet’s Dark Rock Elite delivered strong results, but in most cases they offered middling results. The Dark Rock Elite did deliver the best thermals at 1,000 RPM, but it delivered the worst results of our quartet of heatsinks when maxed out.

Thoughts on the Corsair A115 

Corsair’s A115 is the only cooler in our face-off that we have not published a full review on, so we will talk about it a little more here. We like its industrial aesthetic, but if you want a cleaner looking heatsink, the DeepCool Assassin IV and Dark Rock Elite may better suit your preferences. That said, I like the A115’s more rugged vibe.

The A115’s mounting system is very similar to that of Noctua heatsinks. By that I mean that this heatsink has a great mounting system. This heatsink is easy to install, and its fan rails arguably make this heatsink easier to install and maintain than Noctua’s NH-D15.

Our only real criticism of Corsair’s A115 is that we think it should be a little cheaper. £89.99 or £84.99 would give this heatsink a stronger value proposition. After all, the DeepCool Assassin, Dark Rock Elite and Cooler Master MA824 exist. Even so, this heatsink is much cheaper than most all-in-one liquid coolers, and it can deliver better thermals than many of them.

In our testing, Corsair’s A115 excelled in our 600 RPM test. This is great news for those who value silence. Slow fans are quiet fans, and the A115 is a quiet heatsink. Even when its fans are maxed out this heatsink is fairly quiet, and it is a solid performer at lower RPMs for those who want the quietest PCs possible. That’s why we are giving Corsair’s A115 OC3D’s Silence Award.

You can join the discussion on our CPU air cooler showdown on the OC3D Forums.

Mark Campbell

Mark Campbell

A Northern Irish father, husband, and techie that works to turn tea and coffee into articles when he isn’t painting his extensive minis collection or using things to make other things.

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