The acoustic performance of all our testing participants was measured in their entire fan rotation speed range following our testing methodology described above. The results are summed up in the diagram below:
Unlike cooling efficiency, Corsair’s acoustic performance wasn’t the best. The difference between Corsair H100 and Thermalright Archon in the produced noise is tremendous and obviously not in favor of the liquid-cooling system. For example, the lowest noise from Corsair H100 with two fans rotating at their minimal speed is equal to the highest noise from Thermalright Archon. And the next two comparison points even farther apart. Therefore, going back to the results chart we can conclude that at about the same level of noise the best air cooler is 14°C more efficient than the new Corsair H100. At the same time, we have to note that unlike the pretty noisy fans, the pump of the H100 system is very quiet and is just above the subjective acoustic comfort threshold.
Despite high level of noise we saw by Corsair’s new H100 liquid-cooling system, it left a very positive overall impression. And this comes not only from Corsair H100 being a great product, but also from the fact that this product symbolizes a new step forward in the development of affordable compact liquid-cooling systems. As we all remember, systems like that used to be barely as good as mainstream air-coolers, but now they are as efficient as high-end super-coolers, even though their acoustic performance still leave much to be desired.
This is actually one thing where Corsair has a lot of room for action. Since the efficiency of this cooling system depends a lot on the radiator, replacing it with a copper one, like Black Ice GT Stealth 240, for example, could seriously improve the cooling efficiency of this product. It will most likely affect the price of the H100 (or the new H120), but we are sure that a lot of users would be very excited about it. Moreover, this could also help reduce the level of noise a lot. Since we mentioned the noise, I also have to add that fan rotation speed control system in Corsair H100 is not perfect yet and needs to be modified to allow more speed choices. Hopefully, Corsair won’t stop at that and will continue improving the product with great potential.