|Antec Kühler H2O 920 Liquid Cooler|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cooling|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Tuesday, 12 April 2011|
Page 6 of 8
Testing and Results
For this test, I used the following heat sinks in addition to the Thermaltake Jing:
For heat sinks without a stock fan, I used a Thermalright TR-FDB-12-1600 fan, which puts out 63.7CFM at 28dBa according to Thermalright. This mid-range fan provides good air flow and reasonable noise levels. For "apples to apples" testing, where each heat sink is tested with the same fan, I used a Delta AFC1212D. This high-performance PWM fan is rated at 113CFM at a claimed 46.5dBa at full speed...which means that while it moves quite a bit of air, it's very loud.
The Intel Core i7-950 I used in this test runs much hotter than the Core i7-920 I'd used previously. At 1.35 volts, with a BCLK of 175Mhz, the 4,025Mhz CPU pumped out enough heat to stress the very best heat sinks. AIDA64 would report throttling once any single core reached 100 degrees Celsius; any throttling resulted in cancelling the test and recording a "FAIL". Although this overclocked and overvolted Core i7-950 represents an extreme, these are expensive, high-end heat sinks.
The chart below summarizes the results with the stock fans (hotter temperatures towards the top of the chart, and cooler temperatures towards the bottom). The twin-fan coolers (the Cooler Master V6 GT, Corsair H70, and the Kühler 920) have a real advantage here, since their dual fans move more air than the stock single fan of any of the other units. The Corsair H70's fans at their default 2,000RPM level move a lot of air together, but also generate a fair amount of noise. At the 1,600RPM level achieved with the in-line resistor cables, the noise level is much reduced, with a relatively minor performance hit.
Stock Fan Tests
And we have a new champion! With its twin fans howling away at full speed, the Kühler 920 jumps to the lead, beating the Cooler Master V6 GT by less than a degree. Following closely behind is the Thermalright Silver Arrow and Venomous X, and the Corsair H70 with its fans on high.
There's a 5.3-degree "break" between the Coolit Vantage A.L.C. and the Corsair H70, which neatly separates the coolers into "lower performance" and "higher performance" groups.
Delta High Speed Fan Tests
With the Delta high-speed fan, our lineup changes. Showing what a difference a change of fan can make, the Coolit ECO A.L.C. moves from the bottom to the chart to mid-pack, improving by almost 11 degrees. The Antec Kühler 620 improves by 7.2 degrees, putting it— amazingly— between the mighty Prolimatech Super Mega and the Thermalright Venomous X— and in fact with this fan, it beats its big brother.
The Kühler 920, though, drops far back in the pack. Although the 113CFM of the Delta high-speed fan is slightly more rated airflow than the 110CFM Antec rates the Kühler 920's stock fans at, temperatures actually rise slightly. Double-thick radiators simply don't do well with single-fan setups; you'll notice a similar performance drop with the Corsair H70 (as compared with its dual fans on high).