Corsair H70 Water Cooler Performance Testing

Last time around with the Corsair H70 we compared it to its elder H50. This time we stock the field of comparison with a couple more heavy hitters from both the water cooling and air cooling categories while conducting all tests in-chassis, just like you would see in a real world build.

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Results: Temperatures

For our stock testing our i7 920 will be kept at 2.66 GHz with a minimal 1.25v. For overclocked CPU testing we will be running our i7 920 at 3.6GHz with 1.45v. Idle temperatures will be recorded after a fifteen minute period of inactivity. Any fluctuation during the last sixty seconds will reset the timer for an additional five minutes. Load temperatures will be recorded after a fifteen minute period of 100% load. To obtain this load we will be using Prime95 v25.3. Any fluctuation during the last sixty seconds will reset the timer for an additional five minutes.

Please note the following scores are normalized to the ambient temperature. This will show you visually the rise above ambient temperature as well as the overall temperature. Since we are dealing with water cooling it is physically impossible for the temps to be less than ambient. This is why we start our charts at 25C.

The ambient temperature was kept at the same level as in previous tests but the temperature inside the case was measured to be between 27C and 29C during our testing. The chassis we are using is very well exhausted, as yours should be.

The CoolIT unit is using a four fan setup where two fans are set to pull air through the radiator while the other two fans push air through the radiator. This is a more expensive option as the standard unit comes with two fans. As you’ll see though even this wasn’t enough to take the crown.

The Venemous X is using the Thermaltake Thunderblade fan. The specs are 78 C.F.M. @ 2000 RPM. Since Corsair provides an adapter to lower the speed of the fans on the H70 we will test it two times. Once at full speed (2000 RPM) and once at the lower speed (1600 RPM).

Stock Settings

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CoreTemp Idle: 36/34/36/33

CoreTemp Load: 55/53/55/52

By far the most impressive thing is the single length radiator H70 besting the dual length radiator ECO-240. The design of the H70 being more compact would be the easier choice as well since not every case has space at the top to mount a 240mm radiator.

Overclock Settings

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Core Temp Idle: 41/38/40/37

Core Temp Load: 75/71/74/69

Overclocking the CPU gives us more of the same. In a surprising twist though the TRUE Spirit moves up one spot ahead of the H50 and continues to flex it muscles. We also see our CoolIT unit fall down below both H70 comparisons.

Sound

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The biggest producer of sound comes from the two fans attached to the radiator of the H70. There is so much turbulence that the noise is quite noticeable even with the case closed. It is loud and hard to ignore. I would recommend against using them in this fashion unless you are using headphones. It really is just that annoying.

With the fans unplugged the unit is whisper quiet which is great but not practical. This tells me that at least there is some wiggle room to use your own fans to adjust noise level or use a fan controller for more precise control. We have seen some folks complain of pump gurgle as well.

When we set the fans to the lower speed the noise drop was pretty dramatic. It was still noticeable but much more tolerable. And given the minor drop in cooling performance this would be my recommended configuration.