Noise Testing and Fitment
Now cooling performance is always important. But other aspects play a part as well. Specifically, noise performance is huge depending on how and where you are using your PC at least for some people. Other people would be okay with it sounding like a Harley Davison next to their desk if it got them an extra 100MHz. For noise testing, I used our standard decibel test which is 18 inches away from the PC, and ran three tests. Once at 50% fan speed, again at 100% fan speed, and then when I had the 3900X installed with the stock fan profile on the CPU workload I tested the noise level after things were warm. This is why I think the fan profile for the “balanced” setting is more aggressive than what I ran all fo the air coolers on. The H100i RGB PRO XT was loud in all three tests, but the under load result is noticeably higher compared to the other coolers when you look at the 50% fan speed result alongside of the load result. But again, overall the water cooling in this situation wasn’t as quiet as you might expect. Pumps make noise and frankly comparing anything against options from Noctua and Be Quiet! is throwing the AIO into the deep end, both of those companies focus on the noise more than anything.
The last thing I take a look at it overall fitment and this applies more to air coolers but it is still important here. With air coolers, the largest coolers aren’t going to fit in a lot of cases but the smallest coolers aren’t going to cool the builds you may put in mid or larger cases. So you have to fit your cooler and your build to your case. With water cooling, with it now being so popular most cases will tell you if it can fit and exactly what size radiator you need. The 2x120mm configuration fits most cases so the H100i RGB PRO XT shouldn’t have much to worry about. The pump is about the same thickness as even the smallest air coolers so even some of the SFF cases that can’t fit a large air cooler can fit an AIO. Then of course with the pump being integrated and everything basically in the footprint of your CPU socket memory fitment is a non-issue all together which is nice!