I own the Corsair H80 cooler, and while I don't currently suffer from the "really bad noise" issue I have a slight issue with the noise the pump makes as "normal".
Note I did experience the "really bad noise" when I first got the cooler - I tried it outside of the case just running off a MOLEX connector and when horizontal I got awful noise - a really loud screech noise, rotating to vertical cured this as did tapping and generally moving about the hoses.
Anyway, while I think that is a significant issue with the system it's not the reason for this post.
The pump I believe is working correctly for me, but I can still clearly hear the pump operating over all the other noises my computer makes.
The rest is by no means silent, I'm running the standard Corsair H80 two fan setup and my case also has another 120mm fan mounted at the front. The PSU also has a large fan. The graphics card has two fans on it. So in total I have 6 spinning fans in my case.
Even with that I can clearly her the drone noise of the pump in the system, it is a very clear sound, much higher pitched than the fan noise.
From monitoring I can see the pump is running at 2083 RPM.
As a test I made a cable to run a molex off an adjustable fan controller and got the following results.
Voltage was measured using a multimeter, RPM was from ASUS AI Suite II monitoring.
11.42v 1890 (Maximum voltage fan controller could output)
12.18v 2083 (Connected directly to PSU Molex)
At 9.5v (1376) the pump was essentially silent even with my head in the case.
At 10v (1513) the pump was noticeable over the rest of the case components, but when the case side was on it was not detectable
at 10.5v (1634) you could just about here the noise
at 11v (1781) the pump was clearly audible when sitting normally, but not a nuisance noise - i.e. if you listened for it you could hear it.
at 11.42v (1890) the pump was a nuisance noise - the drone was annoying
at 12.18v (2083) the pump was not much louder (perception) than at 11.42 - it was still annoying and by far the loudest perceived component in the case.
My computer was build to be quiet, but not silent - I've got standard fans as provided by the case, PSU and graphics card manufacturers, yet the pump is clearly the loudest component of all.
I guess I'm asking is this normal - reviews seem to describe the pump as silent with the fans being the loudest part of the H80, but on low setting and idle the fans for me are pretty silent.
Thanks in advance!