|Antec Kühler H2O 920 Liquid Cooler|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cooling|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Tuesday, 12 April 2011|
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Antec Kühler Detailed Features
The Antec Kühler H2O 920's pump is the standard Asetek design: a small, flat pump with notched edges and swivel connectors for the hoses.
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 10.5mm, 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. Of course, in keeping with the All In One Water Cooler Technical Specifications Secrecy Act, Antec does not specify the interior diameter of the hoses.
The base of the Kühler H2O 920'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 double-thickness radiator is densely finned. While the similar Corsair Hydro H70 cooler installation instructions recommend that the fans be oriented to pull outside air into the case, Antec recommends the opposite ventilation strategy, with the push-pull fans oriented to blow air outside the case.
There are no specifications (air flow or noise) for the included fans, only that they will spin at 700 to 2,400 RPM. The fans plugs into PWM leads from the pump, and their speed is controlled by electronics in the pump, mediated by the included "ChillControl V" software. While the Kühler 620 used a strange 3-pin RPM-controlled fan, the Kühler 920's fans appear to be standard 4-pin PWM devices. The combined width of the radiator with both fans installed is the same 3 7/8" as the Corsair Hydro Series H70.
Installing the Antec Kühler H2O 920 has the same slightly clumsy aspect of many water coolers: you must thread a long screw through the back of your case, through the first 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. Once the radiator assembly and pump are secured, adding the second fan is easy. Be sure to pay attention to the direction and airflow arrows stamped into the fan frame so that it's blowing in the right direction. Once installed, the radiator and fan assembly protrudes far back into the interior of your case.
The last thing you'll do when installing the Kühler 920 is plug the USB cable from the pump into an open USB header on your motherboard, and the power cable into a fan header. Actually, considering that a single three-pin power header supplies power to the pump as well as two high-speed fans, it's probably best if you connect it directly to your power supply rather than to a motherboard fan header.
In the next section I'll discuss the installation and configuration of the ChillControl V software.