The diagram below shows the noise readings taken off the today’s cooling solutions tested with default fans:
Obviously, the noise from Corsair’s two default fans is beyond all criticism. Even at 4 V and minimal 890 RPM, their noise level is above the subjective comfort zone of 36 dBA and way above the noise from the super-cooler fans. If we didn’t take the noise into account, then Corsair H70 could somehow compete against Thermalright, but in terms of acoustics, the defeat is overwhelming.
However, there are a few really great things we can say about Corsair H70 system. Its pump is so quiet that you can only hear it at night outside the system case and without any other noise sources around. You can hear the air bubbles move inside the pump when you turn it on, but it calms down in 2-3 minutes and becomes extremely quiet. I only wish the fans did a better job…
Corsair H70 failed to destroy the stereotype that compact liquid-cooling systems are not as efficient as super air-coolers. Again a cooling system like that proved to be less efficient than the best CPU air-cooler. To be fair we have to admit that the super-cooler has also grown stronger: Thermalright Silver Arrow is a little better than Noctua NH-D14, and the latter is a little better than Thermalright IFX-14, which we used as opponents to compact liquid-cooling systems before. At the same time, Corsair H70 can successfully compete against super-cooler in pure efficiency, even though its poor noise readings are the sole responsibility of the default fans. They need to be replaced with some other quiet models featuring high static pressure, supporting manual or PWM adjustment of their rotation speed in 700-1600 RPM interval, equipped with longer cables and possibly LEDs. Besides, we would love to see Corsair make their retention a little bit more robust and their tubing a little less firm and possibly a little longer. As for the pump, it is of excellent quality already. So, I guess we will have to wait for the next model, Corsair H90, won’t we? :)