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Cooling Efficiency Tests

Before we get to the cooling efficiency of our today’s hero, Corsair H70 liquid-cooling system, we have to say that in all of the fan speed modes we didn’t reveal any differences in CPU temperature between the external and internal air intake in our testing conditions (here we primarily mean the room temperature and the use of a system case with well-organized ventilation). At the same time, it is important to understand that this difference may take place under other circumstances, so it is definitely more reliable to have the air pulled into the cooling system’s radiator from the outside and not after it has gone through all other internal system components. However, we still believe that only experiments can help find the most optimal installation for Corsair H70 in each particular case.

So, the diagram and detailed table below show the obtained results:

As we see, the cooling efficiency of Corsair H70, just like the cooling efficiency of its predecessor, depends a lot on the fan rotation speeds and the quality of radiator cooling. By increasing the fans speed from 810 to 1940 RPM, we lower the peak temperature of the hottest CPU core by 21°C! And the lion’s share of this temperature drop occurs in the interval between 810 and 1400 RPM, where we improve the CPU temp by 14 degrees. In the interval between 1400 and 1940 RPM the temperature drops by only 6°C, which is not bad, but obviously not as impressive as the first -16°C. So, we believe it may have been more than enough to equip Corsair H70 with two PWM-controlled fans supporting 800-1600 RPM rotation speed range.

However, it would be even better to replace the default fans with the ones that boast higher static pressure. The results obtained using Thermalright TR-FDB fans show that this modification clearly worked to Corsair’s benefit. The difference is most impressive at 810 RPM: it hits 5°C! At 1200 RPM the advantage is only 1°C in favor of alternative fans, and at maximum fan speed it is no longer there at all. But most importantly, we see that the results obtained in quiet mode at low rotation speed clearly call for fan replacement on Corsair H70 system.

As for the comparison between the Corsair H70 liquid-cooling system and the best air cooler from Thermalright, we didn’t see any wonders take place: Silver Arrow proved to be more efficient than Corsair H70. And if we also take into consideration the noise, then we will be able to state that the air cooler turned out much more efficient, since tin this case the difference in CPU peak temperature exceeds 10°C. Nevertheless, Corsair H70 can in fact compete against Silver Arrow at maximum fan rotation speed.

In conclusion to our cooling efficiency discussion, let’s check out how well Corsair H70 can overclock the processor in two fan speed modes: at 1200 and 1940 RPM (the results of Thermalright Silver Arrow cooler at the same CPU frequency and Vcore are right next to Corsair for a more illustrative comparison):

Corsair H70
(2 x 1200 RPM)

Thermalright Silver Arrow
(TY-140, 2 x 810 RPM)

When we overclocked our processor to 4.46 GHz with 1.46125 V Vcore and the fan rotating at not very quiet 1200 RPM, Corsair H70 loses as much as 6 degrees to Thermalright Silver Arrow cooler with its practically noiseless TY-140 fans at 810 RPM. At maximum fan rotation speeds we managed to overclock our CPU a bit higher to 4.51 GHz with 1.46875 V core voltage:

Corsair H70
(2 x 1940 RPM)

Thermalright Silver Arrow
(TY-140, 2 x 1270 RPM)

In this case the advantage of the air cooler drops down to 3°C, but the noise levels are simply incomparable. So, let’s check out the coolers’ acoustic performance next.

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