Corsair H100i + Antec Nineteen Hundred = Annoying buzzing noise - Help?

RazorWind

Supreme [H]ardness
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Feb 11, 2001
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The title pretty much says it all. I've recently done a major upgrade to the following setup:

Core i7 5280K (Stock clock speed for now)
Gigabyte GA-X99-SLI
Sapphire R9 290X graphics card with the Tri-X cooler
Corsair RM1000i Power supply
Corsair H100i v2 AIO cpu cooler

This is all installed in my Antec Nineteen Hundred case. I really like this case, and had no problem with it before. Now, however, I've noticed that the combination of the two relatively heavy, powerful fans that came with the H100 and the plastic piece that covers the radiator on the top of the case causes an annoying buzzing noise when the fans go above the minimum duty cycle. If I remove the cover, the noise mostly goes a way, but then the radiator is susceptible to damage, and also looks ugly. My OCD won't allow that.

Noisy fans seems to be common complaint with Corsair's AIO coolers, and the general remedy seems to be to replace them a specific Noctua fan that I gather is specifically suited to use on a heatsink or radiator. (Model NF-F12PWM) I'm hesitant to do that however, because most people just seem to think the fans themselves are loud (mine aren't, on their own), and not that they're making the case to vibrate. Also, those Noctua fans are pretty pricy, at $20 apiece. I'd hate to spend that much and discover I still have the same problem.

I did some troubleshooting, and determined that it is both of the Corsair fans that are causing the vibration, and not just one of them. I also tried a few other things, like mounting the fans to the radiator with little o-rings between them and the rad. Finally, I tried swapping them out, and using the Antec case fans that came with the case instead. This fixed the noise, but I think they don't flow enough air to cool the radiator under hard use.

I guess my question here is: Is there a way to re-balance the Corsair fans, so they don't vibrate, and if not, is there any particular model I could replace them with where vibration due to balance is really carefully accounted for during manufacturing? Alternately, is there something else I should try that I'm not aware of?
 

KingRaptor

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Jul 24, 2012
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I just bought 2 Cooler Master Silence FP 120s to replace the stock Corsair fans from my H100. The fan noise has been reduced but now I notice the H100 pump noise...
 

Rav3n

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Jul 24, 2014
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These pumps are known for having noise and issues.... I rma'd 2 already.
 

KingRaptor

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I'm going to try living with the pump noise until I can budget a new AIO. This dead video card fan has set me back a bit when trying to look for an exact replacement.
 

RazorWind

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I haven't noticed any pump noise. It's definitely just the fans that are the problem.

I had little more time to mess with it on Friday, and tried swapping out the corsair fans for the Antec ones that came with my case in the radiator spot. I haven't done a many-hour gaming binge yet, but so far, they seem to be working OK. The CPU temperature gets up to about 50 or 55 during the most intense gaming I can come up with. At least for now, I think I can live with that. I'm not even sure that the Corsair fans got it that much cooler, if I'm honest.
 

Koween

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May 24, 2012
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Some fan designs seem to produce more noise if there is something in frony of them (or behind them). In such case, the only option is to try and flip them or move to another spot on the radiator. For instance: I have BitFenix spectre pro fans on a radiator. If they are configured in push - there is barely any noise. If I put them in pull - they start making a very annoying buzzing sound. So, either replace the fans or put them on the other side of the radiator and flip them (if possible).
 

RazorWind

Supreme [H]ardness
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Interesting. I wonder if the corsair fans are meant to be used in a pull configuration.

At any rate, the actually buzzing is not the fans themselves, but vibration of the plastic cover that makes up the top of the case. I'll have to try rearranging the fans at some point, but it seems the ideal solution to the problem is to use fans that have lighter rotating assemblies.
 

KingRaptor

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I have an H60 in the HTPC. In the manual for the H60, I remember reading specifically from Corsair that they recommended the fans be set for intake mode. Perhaps it's more than just cooler air over radiator and might actually have to do with fan acoustics.
 

Koween

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May 24, 2012
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Well, it's better for temps. You can do intake in either push or pull, so intake/exhaust only matters for temperatures, as acoustics are more of a result of whether the fan is in push or pull config. I have tested this with around 5 different fans, some 60mm, 120mm, 140mm and 200mm. For some fans (like EK Vardar, if I remember correctly) push or pull does not make a difference in noise tone or loudness. For other fans (like the BitFenix spectre pro) it does matter and the noise is worse if fans are configured for pull (the intake side of the fan is facing towards the radiator) - it becomes buzzy. I have not found any fans where the noise is worse if they are configured in push, but my sample size is small and those may exist. However, I find that unlikely, as the motor mounts are usually on the exhaust side and they would cause constant buzzing noise on such fans.
 

KingRaptor

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Well, it's better for temps. You can do intake in either push or pull, so intake/exhaust only matters for temperatures, as acoustics are more of a result of whether the fan is in push or pull config.

Oh that's a good point. I never thought about doing pull intake and comparing against push intake. FWIW, I have push intake on the H60 in one machine and push exhaust in the H100 in the second machine. The H60 is 100% quiet with no buzzes but the H100 makes noise. I'm thinking its pump noise because it's still there after switching from Corsair to Cooler Master fans.
 
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