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Corsair H100 / H80 / H60 noise, grinding pump - *fix* + official Corsair response

post #1 of 1682
Thread Starter 
Hello!

UPDATE:
For official Corsair response start here and read on.

Official instructions on how to apply for a selective RMA (advanced RMA available per request) here.
This is no longer true, see here: clicky
Now you have to submit a standard RMA ticket.

Big thanks to CorsairGeorge for speaking up and out!

/update

I'm new here but I've heard from a long-time user s1rrah that there might be some people here interested in fixing their noisy Corsair Hydro coolers.

Some of those units make HDD-like grinding or rattling noise, if you have one you know what I'm talking about.

The simplest cure to that noise is to slow down the pump a bit so the impeller stops rattling. Mind you that this is only patching the symptom of an underlaying issue, one that neither me or you can address at present.

Update: check out the CorsairGeorge's posts in this thread, link at the beginning of this post. The cause has been confirmed to be a shaft/bearing issue which results in rattle under certain circumstances (which I will humbly mention that I have suggested some months ago here), one of them being the voltage to speed correlation, and that is why the diode adapter works - because it slows the pump and puts it out of that resonance/rattle RPM range, without impacting the cooling performance.

The issue had been fixed and the new, corrected units are being delivered to Corsair locations.
/update

There are several methods do fix that.
One is to use a big 4-pin Molex fan controller in case of H100 or H80, or motherboard's fan header in case of H60.

Another, that is my idea, is to use an adapter, dubbed the "voltage dropper" by the Corsair forum's community, to lower the voltage a little. This is equivalent to running the unit off of a fan controller set to about 90%.
How is it done? Plain and simple - a rectifying diode soldered in series with +12V line, encased as a male Molex to female Molex pass-through. Or as a 4-pin Molex to 3-pin fan header for H60. Just mind the diode's polarity!

The thing looks like this:

http://i39.tinypic.com/72vvns.jpg

(ed: or more recently like this: http://cdn.overclock.net/e/e1/e12e487e_9.jpeg)

and is smaller and easier to conceal than a fan controller. And you can sleeve it etc. Also, unlike transistor-based fan controller or a resistor-based adapter, there is no heat generated from this one.
That is the very first I made, later revisions had the +5V and one GND wires removed so they can be easily told apart from any other adapters.
One diode handles up to 1A forward current, so if you have H100 with 4 strong fans, you might need two diodes in parallel.

The only question left is - what diode one should use?
The simple answer is: any one from the 1N4001 to 1N4007 range. I'm using 1N4001 and it's working in about 90% of the cases or more, hard to keep track of all the droppers I've already sent and those that people made themselves to my guidance.
I also tried Schottky diodes, 1N5817 and 1N5819, but they didn't work with the H100 I had. Fine without fans, still grinding when 2 fans were attached. That's because the forward voltage of those diodes is lower.

I've already made and sent tens of those all over the world (North and South America, Australia, Japan, France, Germany, UK and Italy just to name a few) including s1rrah, and like I've said already, they work in >90% of the cases.
When this will not work is if your cooler is one of the somewhat rarer units that will keep on grinding unless slowed down to 1700RPM and below (from original ~2000RPM). If you combine such a unit with a common 12,3V PSU, one diode is simply not enough. And although there are positive reports, I generally do not encourage running the unit at speeds lower than 1800RPM, and some will keep grinding even below 1700RPM.

So go ahead and try that if you have a noisy Hydro cooler.
If you can't or don't want to make it yourself, you can contact me. I've been sending them for weeks every week now, and when I gather 5-10 people and send a batch away.

The discussion started on Corsair's support forum here:
http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=97733

I chimed in around page 15 with my findings and solution. As of now it has 32 pages, 467 posts, 57,000 views (update: over 100,000 now, the thread has been closed) and there are numerous cases where people have been RMAing their noisy units 3 or 4 times in a row to no avail, and the mod worked for them and they could finally enjoy their cooler.

If you need more in-depth guidance, feel free to ask.
You can find a detailed photo step-by-step guide in my albums and my sig.

ED: update #3
Edited by wlw wl - 9/27/12 at 12:48pm
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post #2 of 1682
If the impeller is rattling it could very well be a death rattle. I'm surprised Corsair is continuing to sell these units if they know they have an issue? They stopped selling SSDs for awhile until they sorted out some of the issues with them.
post #3 of 1682
Thread Starter 
Well they say the fault rate on these is below 1% so... they don't care that much. They will replace the unit without questions, but you pay for the shipping to them, and that can be pricey for non-US folks.
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post #4 of 1682
Quote:
Originally Posted by wlw wl View Post

Well they say the fault rate on these is below 1% so... they don't care that much. They will replace the unit without questions, but you pay for the shipping to them, and that can be pricey for non-US folks.

That sucks. They said the SSD failures were low too but public pressure forced them to pay for the return. I guess Corsair is becoming just a marketing company these days, which is sad IMO.
post #5 of 1682
Thread Starter 
I don't know what's the situation on the SSDs, but as far as Hydro series goes, they are in retail partnership with CoolIt.
CoolIt makes the Hydro units, Corsair just sells them. So you could very well say that they are just a marketing company in this case.
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post #6 of 1682
Quote:
Originally Posted by wlw wl View Post

I don't know what's the situation on the SSDs, but as far as Hydro series goes, they are in retail partnership with CoolIt.
CoolIt makes the Hydro units, Corsair just sells them. So you could very well say that they are just a marketing company in this case.

Yeah, I know. Corsair doesn't make their PSUs or most of their products...
post #7 of 1682
This issue was on my first H100. I have another one, and it's happening too. Off topic, the fan controller on the 600T burnt out as well.

Never buying anything but Corsair memory ever again. That and to RMA a H100 costs €72. A new H100 is €95. Gotta love the way it works out.

ANYWAY, this fixed worked, thanks!
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post #8 of 1682
Quote:
Originally Posted by PathOfTheRighteousMan View Post

This issue was on my first H100. I have another one, and it's happening too. Off topic, the fan controller on the 600T burnt out as well.
Never buying anything but Corsair memory ever again. That and to RMA a H100 costs €72. A new H100 is €95. Gotta love the way it works out.
ANYWAY, this fixed worked, thanks!

That's not good and very frustrating to say the least.
post #9 of 1682
Quote:
Originally Posted by wlw wl View Post

Well they say the fault rate on these is below 1% so... they don't care that much. They will replace the unit without questions, but you pay for the shipping to them, and that can be pricey for non-US folks.

I doubt the fault rate is 1% considering I got 2 H100s and 1 H80 for different builds and they all had the grind noise.
Fixed it temporarily by running it off a fan controller but it eventually came back a few weeks later.

I'm surprised they make anyone pay shipping considering it's within the first month of use. QC fell off since demand went up,
my previous H50 lasted for years with no issues/ noise.
post #10 of 1682
Thread Starter 
That's the number they gave. Corsair rep said "below 2%" at first, then it changed to "below 1%".
What makes me wonder is that some people RMA their units 3 or 4 times in a row and still get the noise.
And "new" Hydro units (H60, H80, H100) have very much different internal design compared to the old ones with tall blocks, which were the same as Antec Kuhlers. The new Hydro has a flat BLDC + impeller assembly that allows for the lower profile of the unit, but also is the source of all the problems with noise.
I tried contacting CoolIt directly, but they told me to direct all inquiries to Corsair, as expected.

PathOfTheRighteousMan - glad to hear it worked for you. And yes, even the once rock-solid Corsair PSUs have degraded in quality a lot. Even the very high priced HX and AX series have issues common among cheap, low-quality PSUs, something that should never happen with this price tag. I had to replace an HX850 myself, because when switching it on, it was triggering a 10A circuit breaker on 230V... And both the old one and the replacement whine like little b***es on standby. These are made by Seasonic, I believe. My old-ish OCZ for a quarter of that price is 10 times better in almost every way.


I'll make the note that if anyone is willing to donate a (faulty) H60, H80 or H100 to science and well-being of others, I will gladly investigate the cause and find a fix for the problem.
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