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Corsair H105 loud buzzing while playing games


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Hi everyone,


I upgraded my gaming rig a month ago and went for Corsair H105 as my CPU cooling. I noticed that the pump makes a loud buzzing noise, which only happens when playing games. It is barely audible when browsing the web or doing other tasks. I'm aware that these pumps are not the most quiet pumps on the market, but when I start up a game the buzzing becomes distracting. I replaced the stock fans with two Noctua NF-F12 fans, so I'm sure the pump is the culprit here.


As far as I know the pump should get a constant 12V to run at 1850RPM all the time. I checked the readings in BIOS and the pump is, in fact, running at that speed. The pump is plugged into CPU_PUMP header on the motherboard. I tried CPU_FAN and CHA_FAN headers as well, but it didn't make any difference. It seems that, for some reason, whenever a game is running, the pump gets over-volted causing the loud buzzing. I haven't tried plugging it directly to a PSU yet, but I'm not sure it would help anyway. Has any of you ever experienced a similar issue? I don't know if this is normal and whether or not I should RMA it.


Another problem is that one of the tubes seems a bit loose. It's not leaking or anything, but I can pull it out slightly, whereas the other one won't budge. Is the pump designed this way?


Unfortunately since I'm away from home right now, I'm not able to provide you with pictures/ recordings to further explain the issues I'm experiencing.


I'd appreciate any advice you can give me. I'd rather avoid RMA-ing the cooler, but if there's no other solution, I'll do it.



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Pump buzz from a brand new unit is not unheard of. However, as you mentioned the power supply is a constant 12v resulting in a constant speed and the buzzing should not increase or decrease with load or really anything else. Most people that experience this have a constant source of irritation, perceived to be worse some days more than others, but not situation dependent and often load brings fan noise to cover the buzz.


While in the BIOS, pop the door off and cut a small amount of power to the pump in Q-fan (set it to 80-85%). Turn all your other fans down temporarily. If the pump is the source of the buzz, the voltage cut usually stops it momentarily. Unfortunately, this really isn't a solution but a troubleshooting exercise. Running at lower voltages will shorten its lifespan and usually this method becomes less effective in time, forcing further voltage reductions. It would be best to RMA the cooler is the pump is the source. It won't get better.


However, I have some doubts. The increase in volume while gaming sounds more like fan behavior. It is possible one of the fans is has developed a harmonic relationship with the pump. I am assuming you currently have the H105 on the water pump header and you probably don't have any other wires in the channel between the block, memory, and top of the board. Still, it may be worth a shot to run the lead the other way and down to a molex/SATA connection to PSU as an alternative to see if the buzz disappears.


Do you have any LED fans in the systems? Still the AF140L LED fans on the front?

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Thanks for the suggestion,


I tried what you suggested once before. I turned down all the fans and connected the pump via voltage reducer. As a result, the buzzing lessened, however it was still faintly audible. The funny thing is, when I launched prime95 to test the CPU, the buzzing didn't increase, even though the CPU was running at 100%. The increase only appears whenever a 3D application is running, such as a video game. I also noticed that while scrolling a webpage, the buzzing momentarily increases in short bursts. I think it's safe to say that it's not a coil whine from a GPU as it was never an issue before.


As for the fans and wires, I have two Noctua fans connected to a CPU_FAN header via a splitter, which is right next to a CPU_PUMP header. I'll try to plug it in to a header farther away from the pump header. I've got 2 LED fans at the front (stock ones), but I don't see how they could affect the pump.


Also, I don't think the pump can be controlled via Q-fan. I remember trying to lower the pump's RPM, but nothing changed. I even connected it to CHA_FAN, but to no avail.


I probably shouldn't have posted this thread so early, since I'll have no way of trying out all the suggestions until September. It's just that the issue has been bugging me ever since I built my new rig. I'm trying to collect as many possible solutions as I can, so that when I finally get to my PC, I'll be able to decide whether or not it's worth RMA-ing the cooler.

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You should be able to reduce the speed of the pump through Q-fan, simply by lowering the speed (%). However, it is possible the new Water Pump headers on Z170 and X99-II boards do not have the same properties as the other headers or maybe permanently "disabled" in Q-Fan.


If the amplitude of the "buzz" rises and falls with game loads, it is more likely related to other electric devices in the system with operational speeds/voltage based on the game load. Your GPU fans and case fans speed up while gaming. LED fans always have a very faint hum to them as a byproduct of the LED and their higher current draw creates a stronger field. I don't know the R9-280X, but the VRM power or the fans themselves could have a buzz like sound to them. It could be one device individually. It could overlapping fields between devices. The pump itself will always have a soft hum or buzz to it. That's the motor at work. However, you should not be able to hear it through the door and certainly not over the fans while gaming. You need to make sure the pump is really the cause by isolating as many components as you can. Given the circumstances, I am more suspicious of the GPU.

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