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Corsair’s new CPU cooler is looking to steal Noctua’s NH-D15 crown

With its pair of 140mm fans, six heatpipes and two massive stacks of cooling fins, Corsair is claiming the new A115 will beat the NH-D15.

Corsair A115 01

Corsair has just unveiled its latest air CPU cooler, the Corsair A115, and is claiming it’s capable enough to outclass the current king of the hill, the Noctua NH-D15. The gargantuan cooler houses six heatpipes leading to two heatsink stacks cooled by two 140mm fans.

Suffice to say, if this colossal Corsair cooler can live up to its claims it’s in with a strong chance of taking a place on our best CPU cooler guide. While the cooler is being officially unveiled today – and is available to order right now – it was also on show at CES, where I got some hands-on time with the unit.

If there’s one thing the Corsair A115 has in common with the Noctua NH-D15, it’s that both these coolers are massive. With two stacks of cooling fins and two 140mm fans, the whole unit is basically a 140mm (roughly 5-inch) cube sitting above your CPU.

Corsair A115 05 installed in 2500X case

It’s when you see coolers like this that you really appreciate why AIO liquid CPU coolers are so popular – they let you see the rest of your hardware without obstruction, and they’re often much easier to install. That said, the new cooler fits quite comfortably in Corsair’s new 2500X micro-ATX case, so it’s not only huge cases that will accommodate this cooler.

Where the A115 has the Noctua NH-D15 soundly beaten is in styling, as the new cooler has the fans and heatsinks sitting almost perfectly aligned, making for a cleaner look. Both coolers are available in all-black – as well as the default Noctua brown – but the Corsair retains a sleeker look.

Corsair A115 04 installed

Helping with installation, the A115 has fans that slide onto the heatsinks, and they can actually be left in position sitting slightly higher than default. This means you can accommodate extra tall memory sticks, for instance.

As for the performance of the fans, they’re Corsair’s AF140 Elite models with “AirGuide” technology. They have a set of anti-vortex vanes that counteract the rotation of the air coming off the fan, in order to direct it more cleanly through the cooling fins. Thanks also to fluid dynamic bearings these fans can hit just 33.9dB while spinning at their peak speed of 1,600rpm.

Compatible with all recent AMD and Intel CPU sockets, and coming with pre-applied Corsair XTM70 thermal paste, Corsair told us that the A115 competes with the Noctua NH-D15 on AMD sockets, and actually beats it on Intel sockets. Corsair explained to us that this is because the contact plate is ever so slightly convex, creating an even greater pressure that benefits cooling Intel CPUs in particular.

Corsair A115 02 baseplate

Available now, the Corsair A115 price is $99, which is $20 cheaper than the MSRP for the standard NH-D15, and $30 cheaper than the black version. We’ve got a unit in ready to review, so watch out for that appearing very shortly. For more of our thoughts on CPU coolers, check out our best CPU coolers guide.