[Review] Antec KÜHLER H2O 920

Introduction

There have been many discussions on the interwebs of whether or not traditional air cooling is efficient enough and if it can provide enough performance or if water cooling can supersede it and offer things that air cooling just can’t. Noise, power draw, reliability, performance and pure price are among common categories mentioned in these discussions. The camps are still divided but the manufacturers aim at the middle and hopefully will change that. A few years ago we started seeing hybrid all-in-one liquid cooling kits showing up on the market. The first models where still very closely related to traditional water cooling; however, soon after we started seeing more complete and pre-assembled kits taking over. And the benchmarking wars began.

Testing liquid and water cooling devices is rather different from testing air cooling devices. There are different things to consider and focus on. As we primarily focused on air cooling in this section, devices like the Antec KÜHLER H2O 920 are difficult to pin against traditional water cooling or air cooling as it is very difficult to accomplish a level playing field. However, we would like to like to see how well they perform and how well they perform compared to air coolers.

Antec explored the opportunity in a new market as well and developed the Antec KÜHLER H2O 920. The cooler was released January 2011 and is what we will be reviewing today. The Antec KÜHLER H₂O 620 is the little brother of the Antec KÜHLER H2O 920. The Antec KÜHLER H₂O 620 was released in April 2011 and we will also be reviewing it soon.

Antec KÜHLER H2O 920 Profile

This type of hybrid cooler, if you even can call it that, has gained interest in the enthusiast market and grabbed a foothold quickly. They resemble a water cooling system much more then a air cooling system but they are less complex from a user standpoint. Because of the size and simplicity they usually resemble the performance of an air cooler much closer, So far.

The Antec KÜHLER H2O 920 separates itself from the field with a rich feature set. We will get into more detail about those features along the way but for now, lets get started with a little into who Antec is and hear what they say about the KÜHLER H₂O 920:

About Antec

Antec, Inc. is the global leader in high-performance computer components and accessories for the gaming, PC upgrade and Do-It-Yourself markets. Founded in 1986, Antec is recognized as a pioneer in the industry and has maintained its position as a worldwide market leader and international provider of quiet, efficient and innovative products. Antec has also achieved great success in the distribution channel, meeting the demands of quality-conscious system builders, VARs and integrators.

The Antec KÜHLER H2O 920 provides maximum-performance liquid cooling for your CPU in a quick, easy-to-install package. Unlike traditional liquid cooling systems, this self-contained unit comes prefilled and requires zero maintenance. The dual 120 mm Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) fans and 3rd generation copper coldplate ensure quiet, efficient cooling, while the 49 mm thick radiator is equipped to handle the highest performing CPUs on the market. Lastly, the included software helps you monitor and control the KÜHLER H₂O 920’s performance and allows you to customize its stylish RGB LED. Designed to unlock the maximum potential of your CPU, the Antec KÜHLER H2O 920 delivers exceptional cooling when you need it the most.

Features:

  • Included software provides essential tools to control and monitor the KÜHLER H₂O 920
  • Non-corrugated easy-bend tubes for maximum flexibility in radiator positioning
  • Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) radiator fans
  • Customizable RGB LED creates brilliant illumination
  • Cooling Liquid – Safe, environmentally-friendly, anti-corrosive
  • Copper Micro-Channel cold plate
  • 25,000 hours (MTTF)
  • LGA 2011 compatible

Supported Sockets:

Intel 775 / 1156 / 1155 / 1366/ 2011*
AMD AM2 / AM2+ / AM3 / AM3+

*Intel LGA 2011 Mounting bracket is now included

 

Next: Unboxing, Packaging and Accessories

The Verdict

8Great