|Antec Kühler H2O 920 Liquid Cooler|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cooling|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Tuesday, 12 April 2011|
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Antec Kühler H2O Conclusion
Please remember that these test results reflect our experience with each cooler on a specific motherboard, with a specific processor, BIOS revision, BCLK and voltage settings, and test programs. The results of this test cannot be directly compared to other tests since many factors will have changed.
Installing the Kühler 920 is easier than most other compact liquid coolers due to the flexibility and length of its soft rubber hoses. The "universal" Intel backplate (on AMD systems, the stock motherboard backplate is used) keeps the parts count (and price) down, and while I prefer the more robust mounting system design of Asetek's original systems, the current mounting system certainly doesn't seem to affect the performance.
The performance of the Antec Kühler H20 920 was excellent, exceeding that of every other cooler I've tested. This level of performance does come with a rather high level of noise, although judicious use of the custom fan control settings can keep the noise in check for all but the most extreme situations.
The stock fans appear to be standard 4-pin PWM units. It's not clear if they can be replaced with other PWM fans; I suspect the cooler's software is calibrated only for the included fans. Also, higher-performance fans might draw more current than the pump's fan controller can provide.
The construction quality of the Kühler was similar to that of other Asetek-sourced water coolers, which is to say that everything fit and worked correctly and the swivel mountings for the hoses pivoted freely. Antec's adjustable-color backlit logo on the pump adds a nice bit of visual interest.
The value part of the equation is where the Kühler H2O 920 comes up short, because as of February 2012 it costs $97.99 (Newegg). Despite its amazing performance, its high price means that the Antec 920 simply isn't a very good value relative to other, less expensive coolers that perform very nearly as well. But as I discussed above, "value" isn't necessarily a determining factor in this part of the market. If you want the very best, this is it... at least until the next great cooler comes along.
+ Best performing cooler I've ever tested
- Very expensive product
Final Score: 8.85 out of 10.
Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.
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