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Drewstre
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Swapped Corsair H115i for Noctua NH-D15 (i7-6700k)

Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:26 am

Quick(ish) post... So a coupla years ago, I splashed for the Corsair H115i liquid cooler when I got my new rig:

CPU: i7-6700k
Mobo: Gigabyte Z170X-Gaming 7
Case: Fractal Define R5
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws V 16GB DDR4 3000

From the get go, I was unhappy with the cooling of the H115i, as alluded to in an earlier thread:

https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=118357&p=1319048#p1318814

It was like the liquid cooling loop just didn't react quickly enough to temperature changes.

I originally bought this gear with the intention of overclocking the i7. I started with 4.4 GHz, but that was too hot. Backed down to 4.2 GHz. Still much warmer than I thought my (then) high-end kit was capable of. It was hitting 80°c during a background virus scan. I scoured the interwebs for more effective cooling curve info to experiment with in Corsair Link. Nothing I tried worked, short of cranking the fans to top spin, which was VERY loud. The pump was set on the high setting in Corsair Link. I was very, very close to going the delidding route. After a few frustrating and fruitless attempts at re-applying the thermal paste, I decided to try the Noctua NH-D15. Glad I did.

Unfortunately, I didn't do any extensive testing before the swap, but here are a few numbers... all the same settings before and after the swap. The i7-6700k is at 4.2 GHz, the RAM at XMP 1 (DDR4 3000). (All temps Celsius):

Idle temp, H115i: 43°
Idle temp, NH-D15: 31°

Gaming-Overload temp, H115i: max 83°
Gaming-Overload temp, NH-D15: max 55°

Gaming-Doom16 temp, H115i: max 81°
Gaming-Doom16 temp, NH-D15: max 60°

Those gaming numbers are for the games Overload and DOOM (2016), my two latest indulgences. Not quite an extensive benchmarking suite, but indicative, nonetheless.

I oriented the Noctua for rear exhaust, and replaced all the top plates on the Fractal case upon installation of the Noctua (since the H115i rad was top-mounted). My system is much quieter and and much cooler. Probably gonna try to get back up to 4.4 GHz, see what happens.

(By the way, if you were a fan of the old Descent games, you, _really_ oughta check out Overload.)

I definitely respect Corsair and their products (my RM750i PSU is perfect), but I thought I should share.

Anybody wanna buy a gently used H115i? :^)
 
SkyWarrior
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Re: Swapped Corsair H115i for Noctua NH-D15 (i7-6700k)

Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:42 am

Good riddance. I did a similar thing for 7900X and I am speechless.
RMA that H115i and get a H115i pro and sell it to profit. H115i's are defective.
Rare is common where I work...
 
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Re: Swapped Corsair H115i for Noctua NH-D15 (i7-6700k)

Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:10 am

Quick check and my 1950X is idling at 35° C using a H115i.

Gaming-Doom16 temp, H115i: max 44° C in quiet mode. 42° C in performance mode.
 
Voldenuit
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Re: Swapped Corsair H115i for Noctua NH-D15 (i7-6700k)

Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:23 am

Interesting results, that H115i performance does look terrible. Were you running a flat 12V to it? I've heard the Corsair 'i' series coolers don't like being PWM or voltage regulated, and prefer being fed a constant 12V from the motherboard header.

I'm using a H100i v2 (240mm rad). Running a custom fan curve that's equivalent to the 'Quiet' setting.

CPU: i7 8700K, delidded and repasted w Liquid Ultra
Clock settings: 4.6 GHz all core boost, 'Normal' voltage w +0.040 V offset
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z370 Gaming 3
RAM: 2x16 GB G-Skill 3200 MHz 16-18-18-38 T2 (running at T1)
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX (2x 140mm intake, 1x 140mm rear exhaust, 2x 120 mm H100i fans exhaust)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i v2, modified 'Quiet' Profile, Pump @ 1900 rpm, Fans 1000-1500 rpm (pump-controlled)

Idle: 20-25 C
Load Prime95 small FFTs: 67 C
Load Gaming: ~50-60 C, typ. closer to 50 C
Wind, Sand and Stars.
 
ptsant
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Re: Swapped Corsair H115i for Noctua NH-D15 (i7-6700k)

Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:55 am

Voldenuit wrote:
Interesting results, that H115i performance does look terrible. Were you running a flat 12V to it? I've heard the Corsair 'i' series coolers don't like being PWM or voltage regulated, and prefer being fed a constant 12V from the motherboard header.


The pump should not be voltage regulated. High-end ASUS motherboards have a separate AiO header on the motherboard that is not subject to any kind of regulation.

I suspect the pump was not working properly. The 115i is a high end cooler that should at least be comparable to (if not beat) any air cooler.
Image
 
Drewstre
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Re: Swapped Corsair H115i for Noctua NH-D15 (i7-6700k)

Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:42 pm

My apologies for the delayed response. Yup, the Corsair was being fed a constant 12v from the CPU_OPT fan header.

For my next build, I'll likely get one of the Intel chips with a soldered IHS and a liquid cooler to keep it cool; I might just have a bad H115i pump. I'm willing to give water cooling another shot.

Since these are closed-loop coolers, would it be even possible to swap out just the pump? Would it even be worth it?

Thanks to all,
Drewstre
 
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Re: Swapped Corsair H115i for Noctua NH-D15 (i7-6700k)

Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:49 pm

I've got a Noctua NH-D15 here to replace my under-performing Corsair Hydro H100i. I'm going to give a thermal paste re-application a last try one of these weekends. The air coming out of the radiator is not warm. If it's not bad contact between the CPU and the water block, it's that the pump is not providing enough flow (even when plugged into a dedicated header and set at 100%).
i7-9700K, H100i v2, Z390M Pro4, 32 GiB, RX Vega64, Define Mini-C, SSR-850PX, C32HG70, RK-9000BR, MX518
 
Drewstre
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Re: Swapped Corsair H115i for Noctua NH-D15 (i7-6700k)

Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:48 pm

Same symptom I had, exhaust was not warm, even under load. I painstakingly reseated the pump twice after initial install, no change. Used different TIM pastes, including Arctic Silver and some Noctua paste I had from an earlier build. No improvement. I would blame the stupid non-soldered IHS on the CPU, if I hadn't gotten such better results from the air cooler.

I'd be interested to know if you get better results from the Noctua, if you go that route.

Thanks

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