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Individual Component Testing

1) Hydro H150i PRO Pump

As we saw before, there is no control over the pump outside of CORSAIR Link which provides three discrete modes of operation. The driver also help measure the pump speed at these three steps, and I measured the pump noise in an anechoic chamber with the probe 6″ away (ambient noise level 19 dBA) with no other source of noise to help quantify the pump noise by itself at each of these three options.

The pump in quiet mode (~1110 RPM) is not audible to my ears, unless there is a rogue air bubble that runs through. Even in balanced mode (~2100 RPM), the pump was extremely quiet and I dare say again not audible inside a case. I will even extend this to the performance mode (~2850 RPM) and say, knowing that these pumps aren’t great performers and the radiator here is on the larger side, that you should just leave the pump on this mode and call it a day. For some context, here are how a few other CLC pumps fared:

Note that all three pumps have different designs, different max speeds and potentially different P-Q numbers as well resulting in different flow rates in a common loop if that was ever a thing. Given how these CLCs are all not meant to be expanded, the only useful metric here is pump noise and the Cooler Master pump is ever so slightly less audible.

2) ML120 fans (provided with the Hydro H150i PRO)

Testing was done with the fans mounted one at a time on the Hydro H150i PRO radiator, with the fan controlled using an Aquacomputer Aquaero 6 XT in PWM mode. The controller also enabled RPM readout. This was done to chart RPM vs PWM in the 3 modes available on the fan. After this, linear airflow was measured using an Extech 45158 Thermo-Anemometer 6″ away from the fans such that it measured the airflow in feet per minute through the radiator. Fan noise was measured in the same anechoic chamber of size 5′ x 8′ with ambient noise level ~19 dBA and a sound probe held 6″ away to measure the sound volume in dBA accordingly with the pump not powered on so the fans were the only source of noise. The results below are averaged for the three fans, with standard deviation shown as well.

The fans are as good as the rest of the CORSAIR ML fans I have tested, and this is great because for once we have an AIO that comes with fans that are not worth replacing at all from a performance and noise basis. The provided fans hit an average of 1576 RPM at 100% PWM duty cycle, and go down to 413 RPM at 23% PWM duty cycle before staying that way, unless you use the Zero RPM mode in CORSAIR Link which would just switch the fans off altogether. We also see that each fan is on the quieter side as well, to where everything we have seen bodes very well to making this a quiet CLC cooler which is not common at all. The low standard deviation, and linear behavior both are also nice to see here. For some context, here are how a few other CLC fans (those tested in push alone) tested:

They are all louder and also loud in the absolute sense! Some fans are of course rated for higher speeds, but even from a performance/noise aspect it is very hard to beat the ML120 fans that come with the Hydro H150i PRO. In the next page, we will see how all three fans fare together as they help cool CPUs in the thermal performance test.

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