|Antec Kühler H2O 620 Liquid Cooling System|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cooling|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Wednesday, 09 February 2011|
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Antec Kühler Detailed Features
The Antec Kühler H2O 620's pump is the standard Asetek design: a small, flat pump with notched edges and swivel connectors for the hoses. But there are two differences: the pump has an extra three-pin connector to control the cooler's fan, and the swivel mounts and hoses are significantly larger than the ones used on other Asetek-sourced coolers. This image shows the Antec Kühler pump on the left and the pump used by the Corsair Hydro Series H70 on the right.
The Antec's hoses are soft and flexible, unlike the stiff, springy hoses used on other coolers. At about 13" long, they're also 1"-3" longer than the hoses I've seen on other coolers. The flexibility of the hoses makes installing the cooler easier, but the big news is not their flexibility, it's their size: the outside diameter of the Kühler's hoses is about 10.8mm, as compared to the 8.7mm of the hoses (measured at the narrowest point) on the H70's pump. Larger hoses can flow more water, assuming the pump can handle the extra load. I suspect the hose diameter is really 10.5 or 11mm; it's hard to accurately measure soft rubber items to the fractional millimeter!
The base of the Kühler H2O 620's pump comes with pre-applied thermal compound, but our testing regimen requires that we use the same thermal compound for all heat sinks. The base is a copper plate with a fine "satin" finish, rather than the grained finish seen on similar coolers.
The standard-thickness radiator with its 25mm-thick fan is exactly two inches thick, and will fit easily into any case. Antec recommends that you install the fan between the radiator and the case so that case air is sucked through the radiator and expelled from the rear of the case. Adding another standard 25x120mm fan would increase the thickness to 3", but the added fan would not have the benefit of the pump's speed control.
There are no specifications (air flow or noise) for the included fan, only that it will spin at 1,450 to 2,000 RPM. The fan plugs into a lead from the pump, and its speed is controlled by electronics in the pump. You'd expect an RPM-controlled fan to be a PWM version with a standard four-pin connector, but Antec's fan uses a three-pin connector with only two wires (presumably power and ground). There is no tachometer lead and no PWM lead. Notice that the fan has "tunnels" for the screws (i.e. the screw that passes through the fan to secure it to the radiator is completely covered); this means you can't attach the fan to the pump with machine screws and then attach the assembly to the case with standard fan screws.
Installing the Antec Kühler H2O 620 has the same slightly clumsy aspect of many water coolers: you must thread a long screw through the back of your case, through the fan, and into a hard-to-see hole in the radiator shroud. However, the flexible rubber hoses mean that you can let the lightweight pump dangle (carefully) while you do this, and it's easy to install the pump in the loosened mounting bracket after the radiator/fan assembly is secured. The flexibility of the hoses means you can mount the radiator and pump in any orientation you wish.
Now that the cooler is installed, it's time to start the testing.