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H100i v2 Pump RPM questions


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I've been using the H100i v2 for a little over a month now. It's been working great and initially I just tossed it in my case and let it run it's course with no tweaking. Recently I've started to tweak some settings, creating a custom profile and setting a fan curve since I felt my fans were running at far higher RPMs than what I needed some times with any of the three profiles the program already comes with.


My questions right now are this:


If I go in to my custom profile and change the pump itself to performance mode so it runs at a higher RPM....


1) Will it actually help cool the CPU better/more?


2) If it does actually make a difference and I left it on that setting is there any concern for the pump running at a constant 2900-3000RPM?


3) Would it just be ideal to have separate profiles to swap between depending on if I'm gaming or just using my computer for non-heavy load activities? Essentially so fans and the pump are not running at high RPM's when they certainly don't need to be.


Thanks for any feedback.

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1) Most likely not. A faster flow rate (higher pump speed) means each unit of water can make more trips from cold plate (heat pickup) to radiator (drop off) and back in a given interval of time. However, that also means it spends less in the radiator channels where the heat is released. There is a connection between pump speed and the surface area of a radiator. A small 120x25 radiator likely needs a higher flow rate to offset the relatively small heat release area. At more than twice that surface area, it becomes less of a factor on a 240mm H100i, and would likely be irrelevant on a 360mm long radiator.I have done most of my testing on 280mm radiators for this, which minimizes the differences even more, but for me there are typically none to be found.


The counter variable for pump speed is fan speed. Theoretically, you may be able to use lower fan speed and higher pump speed and get the same results as lower pump speed, with a slightly higher fan speed. Kind of a toss up there between noise types and case and build unique characteristics may be the determining factor. For example, one of those cases with a semi-closed dome top to suppress noise might be overall more pleasing with a higher pump speed and slightly less on the fans, but subjective and far from certain. You can run benchmarks and try different settings, but ultimately the only one that matters is for your actual usage. Watch the H100i v2 Temp (coolant temperature). This is the only meaningful variable in this instance. The delta from initial to peak value is what you compare.


2) Not as far as the warranty is concerned. However, even without a specific Mean Time Before Failure for the pump, common sense will tell you a unit that turns 2 billion revolutions is probably less likely to wear out than one that has turned 3 billion.


3) Absolutely. Most people cite 3000 rpm as being a bit loud for the desktop and if I had to choose one permanently, it would always be the Quiet lower setting. If you want to throw it into high gear for gaming/load, by all means do so. You may have different fan parameters for that situation anyway, so one more pump setting makes no difference. One thing to keep in mind is GPU waste heat can dominate the case atmosphere, if you have a big watt GPU. Your normal CPU coolant delta may be +6C or so, but if you raise the case temp by +10C, that in turn is passed on to the entire radiator and cooling system (depending on installation and location). You can't out cycle the environment and many people often see their highest coolant temp levels when gaming, not when running a dedicated CPU stress test.


The questions are all good, but don't get too obsessed with finding differences. Until 2 years ago, every person using an AIO had one speed and it was lower than the Quiet setting you have now. There was not an enormous generational leap at that moment and time will tell if manufacturers continue to use higher speed pumps in broad market applications. My X62 (1500-3000)rpm has nothing in terms of performance over my tried and tested Corsair H110 (1500 rpm).

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1) Definitely not. I've run extended stress tests on my H100i V2 at both "Performance" and "Quiet" on the pump speed and I saw no differences whatsoever in both CPU temperatures and coolant temperatures. None.

3) You can if you want. I have a custom fan curve that I keep active all the time. It starts out very low (30%/30C) and climbs to 100% at 40C. Even under load, I've not seen the coolant temp actually hit 40C. I also control my case fans based on the internal, ambient temperature of the case (which is the air used to cool the radiator as it is currently set up as exhaust) rather than CPU or anything else. Keep in mind that the lowest possible temperature for the coolant is the temperature of the air that's used to cool it (which is why intake is ideal). One additional note: I am using ML-120's rather than the stock fans, which are a good deal quieter.

Another thought ... when gaming, your big thermal source is not the CPU, it's the GPU. If your radiator is set up as exhaust, that GPU will heat up the air cooling the radiator - and quite a bit, too, if you don't manage it. Asus ROG RealBench will stress both CPU and GPU at the same time so it's a good test (IMHO) for your overall thermal performance.

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