Sound Level Testing

While we were testing cooling capabilities, as outlined in our recent introduction article, we were also tracking the sound level of each of the coolers using a Risepro SPL meter attached to a boom arm pointed directly at the fans of the radiator at a distance of 12 inches. We recorded the dB(A) level for each fan and pump speed tested. The ambient room sound level measured 33 decibels. Displayed below are the results of our Stock Clock Testing.

100% Fans – 100% Pump

ASUS Ryujin 240 Sound Level Testing at 100% Fans

At maximum fan levels, the Corsair H115i Platinum hit 49.4 dB(A). The ASUS Ryujin 240 was right behind it along with the SilverStone PF240-ARGB at 49.8 dB(A). The Enermax AQUAFUSION 240, our other 240mm cooler, hit 53.4 dB(A). From a subjective perspective, all of these coolers sounded loud but not high pitched. However, the ASUS ROG Ryujin 240 did seem to produce less pump noise than other units we have had to test. Another unique feature that impacts the noise levels here is the fan on the water-block. It was set to 30% (in all tests) because any higher than that and the fan on the water-block sounded like a hairdryer trying to achieve low earth orbit. For the rest of the coolers, we suspect the difference in sound is, mostly, related to the maximum RPM of each fan (SilverStone/Enermax and Corsair units at ~2200 RPM and ~1800 RPM respectively with the ASUS Ryujin 240 splitting the difference at ~2000 RPM).

1500 RPM Fans – 100% Pump

ASUS Ryujin 240 Sound Level Testing at 1500RPM Fans

Dropping down to 1500 RPM, the SilverStone PF240-ARGB took the lead at 40.9 dB(A) and the ASUS ROG Ryujin 240 was just 1.7 dB(A) behind it at 42.6 dB(A). The PF240-ARGB is getting into the comfortable range at this point, but the ASUS ROG Ryujin 240 was still giving us a bit of a droning sound here. It was firmly in the middle of the pack though and that is with an extra, tiny, fan.

1000 RPM Fans – 100% Pump

ASUS Ryujin 240 Sound Level Testing at 1000RPM Fans

When we lowered the fans down to 1000 RPM, the ASUS ROG Ryujin 240 went toe to toe with the Enermax AQUAFUSION 240 at a value of 37.4 dB(A). The SilverStone PF240-RGB was a touch louder at 38.7 dB(A).

600 RPM Fans – 100% Pump

ASUS Ryujin 240 Sound Level Testing at 600RPM Fans

Lowering the fans to 600 RPM (the lowest level we could keep them spinning at), the ASUS ROG Ryujin 240 joins the Enermax AQUAFUSION 240 to post a value of 35.8 dB(A). The SilverStone SilverStone PF240-ARGB came in at 37.4 dB(A). At this fan level, the whirr of the pump was louder than the fans and there was no real difference between the sound here and at 1000 RPM for the ASUS ROG Ryujin 240.

600 RPM Fans – 50% Pump

ASUS Ryujin 240 Sound Level Testing at 600RPM Fans and 50% pump

Finally, reducing the pump speed to 50% caused all of our review units to tie at 35.8 dB(A) except for the Enermax AQUAFUSION 240 which did marginally better. We could not ascertain a difference between ambient noise in the room (measuring 33 dB(A)) and the AIOs running.

Overall, the ASUS ROG Ryujin 240 mm was consistently one of, if not the, quietest coolers we have tested to date. In reality, it has been a dog fight among our 240mm coolers so far in this regard. Thus, it was not that surprising to see another 240mm unit do well here. However, coming from a brand that we don’t see quite as many cooling solutions from, ASUS, and including an extra, tiny, fan on the pump, this is an impressive result. With that said, let’s move on and recap all of this for you today!

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David Schroth

David is a computer hardware enthusiast that has been tinkering with computer hardware for the past 25 years.

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7 Comments

  1. David, did you see the video by GN on AIO Setups and things to avoid?

    Air in the system will always travel to the highest portion of the system. Having the inlet/outlet of the radiator in the orientation that you have, will lead to weaker water-flow to the block.

  2. I’ve always wondered how AIOs deal with air. I had assumed they just vacuum filled them to eliminate all the air, and the hoses were flexible enough to handle the thermal expansion. Any air that gets in afterwards would have been either from a leak or suspended in the coolant and come out of solution, and would pretty much kill the AIO.

    Any air in a closed loop system is bad no matter where it collects – in a pump it will kill the pump, in a line it will kill flow, in a rad it will kill cooling, and anywhere in the flow path and it makes noise. That’s half the reason why you have a tank in a custom loop – so the air can collect there and stay out of your lines, pumps, and rads.

  3. Steve’s rational on air though made sense, in that if you place it on portion of the tank where the water migrates from hot to cool, it’s the least impactful.
  4. David, did you see the video by GN on AIO Setups and things to avoid?

    Air in the system will always travel to the highest portion of the system. Having the inlet/outlet of the radiator in the orientation that you have, will lead to weaker water-flow to the block.

    Yeah.. saw it. Couple of issues with changing the orientation though….

    1. Radiator tubes are not long enough on any aio tested so far to flip it over on the current rig.
    2. Would have to redo all testing for comparison data across all coolers.

    So, maybe when I’m in the market for a new case I’ll change it out, but at this point, less than perfect will be the way we have to do it

  5. Yeah.. saw it. Couple of issues with changing the orientation though….

    1. Radiator tubes are not long enough on any aio tested so far to flip it over on the current rig.
    2. Would have to redo all testing for comparison data across all coolers.

    So, maybe when I’m in the market for a new case I’ll change it out, but at this point, less than perfect will be the way we have to do it

    Thank you for the explanation! Keep up the great work on the reviews!

  6. Thank you for the explanation! Keep up the great work on the reviews!

    Just flipped through the video a second time. Overall, the main reason we would have issues in the current orientation is more related to bubbles getting sucked into the tubes – it seems to be the "best" of the "wrong" ways to mount it… So that’s something, right?

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