Antec KUHLER HO 920 CPU Water Cooler Review @ [H]

FrgMstr

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Antec KUHLER H₂O 920 CPU Water Cooler Review - Antec has been getting more serious about its cooling solutions lately and earlier this year Antec introduced its KUHLER 920 model. If you don't need extreme water cooling, these types of coolers are definitely the way to go in terms of noise and ease of installation.
 
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DooKey

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Results look good. When I build another system I'll seriously consider this rather than custom watercooling.
 

FrgMstr

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I just asked for a second unit from Antec to put in my personal box! :D
 

Topaz

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Many thanks for this review. I have certainly been looking hard at this cooler, but what I am currently more interested in is the Corsair H100, which supposedly releases tomorrow. Can we expect a similar review for it soon?

Also:

Overall, there is plenty of space around the block and air flow is key here. Antec suggests you orient the fans so that they exhaust out of the case. (Editor's Note: This has been one of our pet peeves with Corsair's water cooling units which instruct you to mount the fan to pull air from outside the case to the inside. Effectively exhausting all the CPU heat to the inside of your chassis. Yes, this will give you better CPU temps if you already have airflow issues in your chassis, but this is also going to go a long ways to making your rig overall hotter and possibly less stable. We like that Antec has you exhaust the CPU heat outside of the chassis. This is just a good practice to follow and truly one of the things that this type of water cooling can deliver that normal air coolers cannot.) This means the radiator will be using the internal air to cool the processors and if you have poor airflow in your chassis then the performance of the 920 will suffer.

Thanks for saying this. Fan orientation is something I've long been debating with myself, but when the [H] puts it like that, I really found myself agreeing. I now know how I'll be mounting my radiator fans when the time comes.
 

Bordak

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Many thanks for this review. I have certainly been looking hard at this cooler, but what I am currently more interested in is the Corsair H100, which supposedly releases tomorrow. Can we expect a similar review for it soon?


Took the words right out of my mouth, I'll wait to see the H100 results before dropping some cash as well.
 

XpediencY

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Indeed, I'm definitely interested in the H100 as well... I hope they have enough of those in stock if it turns out to be an excellent product.
 

FrgMstr

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I do not think that Corsair has sent us a review unit. Usually not a good sign. I will ping those guys and ask what is going on though.
 

Deusfaux

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are there any "quiet" (ie, on the level of air cooling) water kits?

I'm under the impression even with good fans, the pump system will always be noticeable/noisy and not as quiet as fans/air cooling alone.
 

Teenyman45

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There are enough CPU coolers on the market now that at this point I'd like a good all-in-one GPU water cooler other than the super-expensive Coolit Omni
 

Trimlock

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Its amazing the H50, the original (somewhat old) cheapest encolsed loop still rocks compared to these upgraded units.

God I want to buy that 920 so bad though, those OC results were amazing.
 

FearTheCow

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You guy's list the H60 as being $79.99, yet Fry's sell's it for $59.99 thus putting it inline with the H50 in dollar/performance.
 

FrgMstr

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You guy's list the H60 as being $79.99, yet Fry's sell's it for $59.99 thus putting it inline with the H50 in dollar/performance.


We do not refer to Fry's pricing. Newegg or Amazon or TigerDirect usually.
 

Juddog

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Looks like a nice unit; I just wish these guys would release a 240mm radiator version to take advantage of some of the newer cases with 2 x 120mm fan setups.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Like others have said, I will be waiting for reviews of the Corsair H80 and H100 before deciding on what to replace my H50 with.

I have a sneaky suspicion the H80 will perform at about parity with the Kuhler 920, and the H100 will have the edge.

The benefit the Kuhler has is that the chillcontrol function is built in, whereas for corsair this will be a separate "Corsair Link" module for another $100.

Also, we have all seen how amazing Corsairs warranty people have been with replacing the few systems that have been wrecked from leaks in their coolers. I have yet to see how Antec handles something like this. This will be a major factor in which one I get as well...
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Thanks for saying this. Fan orientation is something I've long been debating with myself, but when the [H] puts it like that, I really found myself agreeing. I now know how I'll be mounting my radiator fans when the time comes.

Good point.

I have an H50 in my Raven RV03 case currently. I decided to install it so it pulls cold air in through the front drive bay covers based on darkstarcow's experiences in the RV03 thread. He found that when sucking cold air in his CPU temps were 2C colder and the fans were quieter. That, and the RV03 can hardly be accused of having poor airflow...

So i mounted it the same way. I drilled custom holes in the drive cage in order to screw the fan mounting brackets as close to the front mesh as possible.

I used a three way PWM splitter to sync the two fans (push-pull) on the H50 and the exhaust fan at the top of the case in speed off of the CPU connector on the motherboard. I have it set to auto mode, targeting 55C, with the lowest speed as 12.5%.

Doing this I have found that there is little to no impact on case temps from the CPU even if its sucking in. Case temps (according to my Aerocool Easywatch) are only marginally affected when the CPU goes from idle to full load in Prime 95 at 4Ghz.

This is likely - in part - due to the huge 180mm fans sucking air in the bottom, and in part due to the top exhaust fan being synced to CPU fan speeds, and located right above the H50, sucking a good portion of that air right out the top again.
 
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For people who are using these kinds of waterblocks. What's the maintenance required to maintain a setup like this? How often does the coolant need to be changed, etc.?
 

Wingless92

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Great review as always [H]!

I have the H50 and I am very happy with it. Ordered a H60 for a new MicroATX build that I am doing. After reading both reviews of the H60 and the 620. I based it on the Water Block layout. The H60 gets the nod for better looking. Also looking at price they are pretty even. Glad to see these getting more and more attention in the market. More is always better.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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For people who are using these kinds of waterblocks. What's the maintenance required to maintain a setup like this? How often does the coolant need to be changed, etc.?

No maintenance ever (unless you need to clear dust from the radiator or something).

The systems are completely sealed. You couldn't replace the coolant even if you wanted to without chopping something off and violating warranty. The downside to this is that you can't add anything to the loop either.

They claim the lines are made of a special low permeability material, so evaporation over time is not a concern.
 
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Zarathustra[H];1037429623 said:
No maintenance ever (unless you need to clear dust from the radiator or something).

The systems are completely sealed. You couldn't replace the coolant even if you wanted to without chopping something off and violating warranty. The downside to this is that you can't add anything to the loop either.

They claim the lines are made of a special low permeability material, so evaporation over time is not a concern.

Thank you.. :)
 

tubular

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I won one of these for FREE from Antec during the gaming marathon they held a couple months back. I've been absolutely loving it!!!!!!
 

XBLiNKX

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Quick question. I just bought a 620 and I was wondering if I need to get my own thermal paste of if whats already on the cooler is good enough.
 

Antec_Jessie

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Quick question. I just bought a 620 and I was wondering if I need to get my own thermal paste of if whats already on the cooler is good enough.

You're more than welcome to use whatever thermal paste you like, but the paste on there is a variant of Shin Etsu thermal paste that will perform well enough for the majority of users.
 

XBLiNKX

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You're more than welcome to use whatever thermal paste you like, but the paste on there is a variant of Shin Etsu thermal paste that will perform well enough for the majority of users.

Thank you :) its coming in the mail monday and I just wanted to be ready. Can't wait to see the improvement over my retail intel HSF lol.
 

v0rtic3s

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Well, since Kyle is actually nailing one for his personal rig, I certainly trust his opinion, to the hell with it... just snagged one to try it out.

Just hope the temp difference I see is at least around the 10C cooler mark.

I think Antec could make a killing doing something like this, making a simply "layman's" watercooling unit that is easy for the casual PC builder to install. If it works great and lasts, it offers an easy solution for better cooling to a large crowd, to those who aren't comfortable with doing a custom watercooling set-up, potentially phasing-out a lot of air cooling.

As a business move and what it (hopefully) offers to PC gamers, it's about as smart a move as they could make.

I've been building rigs for around twelve years, but would never touch watercooling. This will hopefully be a great solution, that I could see going over really big for both Antec and PC gamers who want better cooling with something right out of the box.

I'm going to change-out the fans, though, and just use the software to change the color of the LED, maybe to every-so-often see what the coolant temp is, but will be able to tell easily enough with HWMonitor what my temps are and whether or not it's really doing a great job.
 

Topaz

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Zarathustra[H];1037429606 said:
Good point.

I have an H50 in my Raven RV03 case currently. I decided to install it so it pulls cold air in through the front drive bay covers based on darkstarcow's experiences in the RV03 thread. He found that when sucking cold air in his CPU temps were 2C colder and the fans were quieter. That, and the RV03 can hardly be accused of having poor airflow...

So i mounted it the same way. I drilled custom holes in the drive cage in order to screw the fan mounting brackets as close to the front mesh as possible.

I used a three way PWM splitter to sync the two fans (push-pull) on the H50 and the exhaust fan at the top of the case in speed off of the CPU connector on the motherboard. I have it set to auto mode, targeting 55C, with the lowest speed as 12.5%.

Doing this I have found that there is little to no impact on case temps from the CPU even if its sucking in. Case temps (according to my Aerocool Easywatch) are only marginally affected when the CPU goes from idle to full load in Prime 95 at 4Ghz.

This is likely - in part - due to the huge 180mm fans sucking air in the bottom, and in part due to the top exhaust fan being synced to CPU fan speeds, and located right above the H50, sucking a good portion of that air right out the top again.

I'm a bit confused. Even though you said "good point", you seem to be advocating the opposite stance, that of installing radiator fans as intake rather than exhaust. Am I misunderstanding?

(That's not to say your post wasn't educational, it certainly was and I thank you for another opinion...even if I'm now once again uncertain as to which direction to take...)
 

verteron

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So, this cooler is better than the Corsair H70, but maybe not the H80 or H100? These things cost a bit north of $100, compared to $70 or so for a good Noctua HSF. I see plenty of comparisons between apples, and plenty of comparisons between oranges, but nothing showing me why to make the $30 jump in price from one fruit to another. I have read reviews of CPU's running over 4GHz on air, and silent fans in both camps, but the price difference and complexity, and negligible risk of leakage make apples seem to be of little actual advantage. I like my orange juice, I drink it every day. It looks like oranges can do all I need for less bread. So I am wondering, how do you like them apples? :D

No really, how do you like something that is not as good? Yes Pat, I'd like to buy a vowel. Yea, give me a "clue" please.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I'm a bit confused. Even though you said "good point", you seem to be advocating the opposite stance, that of installing radiator fans as intake rather than exhaust. Am I misunderstanding?

(That's not to say your post wasn't educational, it certainly was and I thank you for another opinion...even if I'm now once again uncertain as to which direction to take...)

I was saying good point cause I learned from it :p

I don't claim to know the best way to do this, but I chose the option I wrote about.

I think ideally it depends on what your priority is.

CPU overclock (or low CPU fan noise)? Then suck air in.

GPU overclock (or low GPU fan noise)? The blow out.
 

amaru

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Jul 4, 2006
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52
I bought one because I was tired of the cruise ship boat anchor hogging my damn case. I bought this and love it. SIMPLE install.
i7 920 @ 4ghtz
P6T Deluxe
 

Gnasher

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One thing I don't know about this cooler. Will it mount and be functional using the outside water cooler mount on the Antec Lanboy Air?
 

Antec_Jessie

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One thing I don't know about this cooler. Will it mount and be functional using the outside water cooler mount on the Antec Lanboy Air?

This would not be possible. There's no way to disconnect the tubing in order to get the radiator on top of the chassis.
 

DeFex

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Ikea makes coolers?

Actually looks quite good. Are all of these things made in the same place, they seem very similar.
 

Johnathonm

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Hi there,

I was wondering if anyone else owned a 920 Kuhler. I am trying to locate the 1.0 driver/chill control v that came with the unit as I don't have my disc anymore. Additionally, the drivers on Antecs site are not digitally signed and won't install properly. If anyone could help I'd greatly appreciate it.

Thank you in advance.
 
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Many thanks for this review. I have certainly been looking hard at this cooler, but what I am currently more interested in is the Corsair H100, which supposedly releases tomorrow. Can we expect a similar review for it soon?

Also:



Thanks for saying this. Fan orientation is something I've long been debating with myself, but when the [H] puts it like that, I really found myself agreeing. I now know how I'll be mounting my radiator fans when the time comes.

According to FrozenCPU.com, the ETA on their CorsairH100 shipment is the end of July:(
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/1...6_1366_2011_AM2_AM2_AM3_ETA_End_Of_July_.html
 
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Topaz

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That sucks...on the other hand, that may also explain the reason Kyle hasn't yet received a review model. Let's hope so...
 

Antec_Jessie

Official Antec Representative
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Hi there,

I was wondering if anyone else owned a 920 Kuhler. I am trying to locate the 1.0 driver/chill control v that came with the unit as I don't have my disc anymore. Additionally, the drivers on Antecs site are not digitally signed and won't install properly. If anyone could help I'd greatly appreciate it.

Thank you in advance.

Shoot me an email at VIP@ANTEC.COM and we can get them to you.

=-> Jessie
 
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at 100 dollars i don't know if I will replace my H50 with it
 

ioric18

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Anyone knows if I can switch the 120mm fan? I'm planning on a m-atx build but the case (thermaltake A30) I'm looking at has some non-regular fans -- two 60mm on rear.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Anyone knows if I can switch the 120mm fan? I'm planning on a m-atx build but the case (thermaltake A30) I'm looking at has some non-regular fans -- two 60mm on rear.

If its anything like the Corsairs the fan is fully switchable without impacting warranty.
 

webdev511

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Self-contained water cooders don't get enough credit. I had a Cooler-Master Aquagate mini in my Socket 939 (Opteron 185) rig and couldn't get that thing to overheat if I tried.

Many thanks for this review. I have certainly been looking hard at this cooler, but what I am currently more interested in is the Corsair H100, which supposedly releases tomorrow. Can we expect a similar review for it soon?

Same here although I don't have ANY room for a 240mm radiator, so what I'm really interested in is the H80, which should be the same pump & block as the H100 but with the 120mm radiator.
 
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