Articles: Cooling

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Noise Level

We described the noise parameters of the pumps in the first part of this review and today’s products are no different in this respect. So, we will proceed to measuring the noise level of each cooler’s fans throughout the entire speed range. The results are shown below:

We don’t find much difference from the previous test session. The liquid cooling systems are all comparable in terms of noisiness. The single fan of the Zalman LQ320 is the quietest overall but the two fans of the Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer are close to it in noise level. Interestingly, the latter is quieter than its elder cousin Thermaltake Water 2.0 Pro although has the same fans. The two coolers from Corsair are similar in their noisiness, too, yet the H100i is quieter than the H80i. The latter’s fans were rattling at speeds below 1100 RPM, causing some discomfort. The H100i has the same fans but no rattle at any speed.

With noise level data on our hands, we can compare the efficiency of the Phanteks PH-TC14P? and the Corsair Hydro H100i Extreme Performance correctly. At the maximum speed of two fans (1280 RPM) the air cooler is as noisy as 47.7 dBA according to our measurements. The liquid cooling system reaches that noise level at about 1630 RPM. Returning to the first performance diagram, we can see that the Corsair Hydro H100i Extreme Performance is 2°C better than the Phanteks PH-TC14P? if their noise level is the same. And the gap grows to 4°C when the CPU is overclocked to 4.5 GHz. You can compare the other coolers in the same way using their noise level data.

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