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XD3 pump/reservoir combo questions


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Hi People,

I have nearly got all the parts for my new build, i7 13700k arriving on Friday, so I need to pick up a water cooling solutions for the whole system (Corsair 3090 Reference block arriving today). 

I am building inside a Corsair 4000D Airflow and I have looked at both the 303i Pro and 305i as with a waterblock for the 3090 and raiser cable it fits despite the larger pump/res, also the 305i comes with slightly better looking fans (performance seems similar).

My problem is that the XD3 has trash reviews, it seems to be extremely loud and the reason I am water-cooling also the GPU and not buy a £200 AIO is to have a quiet system, 3090 was picked up at a bargain price second had so works out very well.

Can someone who owns the pump give me some indications on how it really is? It would just fit better in the 4000d on the back fan mount however if it s loud then it makes no sense, my current Deep Cool AIO is totally and completely silent @ 100% pump speed, well fans aside that is. I wonder if some reviews are with pump 100% as some mention the pump is virtually silent at 60%.

(May do 360 + 240 rads or just one 360 for now)


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A Corsair XD3 is a DDC pump. Like all DDC pumps it is loud at maximum 4800 rpm speed. As a crude analogy, DDC pumps are like a truck engine. They create good pressure and flow at lower speeds but will sound like a truck when maxed out.  Their compact design makes them good for build were you don’t need maximum possible flow at maximum speed. 1700 rpm is both relatively quiet and enough to push flow through a multi component, multi radiator build. Faster than that and you can hear it, but when the fans spin up it may not matter. No need to run the XD3 past ~3700 rpm. It has already reached 95% of its flow capability. Good pump for set it and forget it. 

If that does not sound like what you want, you need a D5 type pump like in the XD5 or XD7 pump/res units. D5 units are very quiet at low speeds, but don’t make nearly as much pressure/flow as a DDC. However, they are capable of very high flow at maximum. This is the “race car” pump with little power at low RPM but highly capable when you power it up. Requires management to shift between the low/high state. 

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Stay away from the XD3 - its trash.  Noise levels are fine if you only operate the pump around 25-30% which is what I do, which comes out to be around 1400RPM.  I would consider it mostly silent dependent upon where you PC case is located and how quiet your room is, and how high your fan RPMs are.  I try to for silent operation.  In a low noise environment and with the case on my desktop you can still hear a low level hum to it which I assume is normal.

The issue I have with it, is the pump failure.   Not more than a month after installing a brand new XD3 I noticed some sort of electronic smell coming from my PC case.  I was concerned but nothing seemed to be affected.  Shortly after the XD3 pump continues to have problems starting after its been shutdown for a bit.  It just sits there and you can hear the pump motor try and rev up over and over again.  Sometimes it takes 5-10 mins before it 'catches' and powers on.

When it does this iCUE software loses the visibility of the pump and to get it back you have to shutdown and restart.  I know I can RMA it, but I dont want to spend the time to drain the loop and replace the pump with what could be another failure in a few months.  Im not the only one to report this, if you look on places like reddit its happening to many people. 

Do yourself a favor and go with a vendor that has been doing this for a while and has reliable products like EK.  Im just waiting for it to fail to replace it but I wont be suing another XD3.

Edited by if_you_build_it
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