Cooling Efficiency Tests
The table and diagram below show the results of our participants cooling efficiency tests:
First I have to say a few words about the results obtained when we tested the coolers in their default configurations. As we see, in quiet mode Corsair H100 loses 8°C to Thermalright Archon at 810 RPM, which is actually unacceptable for a liquid-cooling system. At the same time, at 2000 RPM Corsair H100 picks up in efficiency very rapidly and improves its performance by 13°C almost catching up with the Thermalright competitor. The system cooling efficiency continues to improve as the fans speed up even more – at 2600 RPM H100 cools the CPU another 4°C better and outperforms Archon by 3°C. Note that the noise at this point is not taken into consideration.
When Corsair H100 is tested with four 120 mm fans and Thermalright Archon – with two 140 mm fans, things do not change dramatically, but the liquid-cooling system seems to be much more confident. For example, it cools the CPU 11°C better at 1000 RPM already than it would at 1300 RPM with only two default fans. Then at 1500 RPM its performance is 4°C better than at 2000 RPM with two fans, and 1°C better at maximum rotation speeds for these configurations. Note that in the latter case the rotation speed difference makes about 600 RPM in favor of the two-fan configuration, but it still is less efficient. Thermalright Archon also improves its performance quite decently with a second TY-140 fan, but is not a performance leader (again without taking the acoustics into account).
Well, as we have just seen at the minimal fan speed of 1300 RPM Corsair H100 coped with a CPU overclocked to 4.375 GHz at 1.41875 V Vcore. However, since the efficiency of this cooling system rapidly increases at 2000 RPM of the same two default fans, we continued our overclocking experiments and pushed our processors as far as 4.5 GHz at 1.46875 V Vcore, which is the maximum frequency for our particular unit. The peak temperature of the hottest of the six cores reached 90°C. However, with four fans rotating at the same 2000 RPM speed and the CPU overclocked to the same maximum it was 10°C lower:
Corsair H100 (2000 RPM x2)
Corsair H100 (2000 RPM x4)
This is a very impressive result. Thermalright Archon in this case lost about 5°C to the leader:
However, the latter demonstrated significantly lower level of noise, which is the topic of our next discussion. But before we get to noise, I would like to add that with four fans at acoustically moderate 1000 RPM Corsair H100 coped well with a six-core processor overclocked to 4.475 GHz at 1.4625 V Vcore and maintained the peak temperature of 87°C, which was also great: