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Antec Kühler Vs. Corsair Hydro: Sealed Liquid CPU Coolers Compared

Antec Kühler H₂O 920

With two times the fans and a radiator nearly twice as thick, the Kühler H₂O 920 is designed to be a big step up from its little brother. A push-pull orientation for the fans helps to overcome the reduced air velocity normally caused by a thicker radiator without a noticeable increase in fan speed.

The same CPU mounting hardware is used by both the 920 and 620 versions of Antec’s Kühler H₂O. Extra mounting thickness prevents us from reaching the motherboard’s EPS12V power connector, but we still had more than enough room to reach other motherboard connectors.

While dual fans and extra radiator thickness give the Kühler H₂O 920 its performance edge, the most interesting installation difference is the presence of a USB cable for controlling performance profiles. Users can select a wide range, from near-silence to stellar cooling from the Kühler H₂O 920’s software interface.

Antec Dashboard shows a coolant temperature that’s far below our processor’s internal thermal reading, along with the estimated noise level and speed of its fans and pump.

Graphing shows a brief history of liquid temperature and fan speed.

Default fan controls target a maximum coolant temperature of 50° Celsius. Evaluating the system’s maximum cooling potential requires setting the software's minimum selectable coolant temperatures of 20° to start and 25° max.

  • compton
    You would have a hard time convincing me that my Noctua NH-U12P SE2 was anything but quiet and effective, but I know that many prefer sealed water solutions. My opinion is that for 1155 SB processors, even overclocked ones, you're better off with a high end air cooler.
    Reply
  • soccerdocks
    comptonYou would have a hard time convincing me that my Noctua NH-U12P SE2 was anything but quiet and effective, but I know that many prefer sealed water solutions. My opinion is that for 1155 SB processors, even overclocked ones, you're better off with a high end air cooler.
    I completely agree. Pretty much the only reason to go with these sealed water coolers is to say that you water cooled your PC.
    Reply
  • gmcizzle
    Yes for SB processors, air is fine because they don't really get that hot. Now SBE, on the other hand, gets extremely hot and you need the best cooling you can get.
    Reply
  • cmcghee358
    soccerdocksI completely agree. Pretty much the only reason to go with these sealed water coolers is to say that you water cooled your PC.
    I agree 100%. And I do, in fact have an H70. And when I'm at work describing the epic beast of computers I build, and I show off some pics of mine; I always point to the H70 and go "Theres the radiator for the water cooler" /gasp!
    Reply
  • joytech22
    I still have my H50 so reading this bummed me out a little. Haha.
    Reply
  • drumsrule786
    High end air is probably better than most sealed liquid coolers except for the H100. My H50 is alright but not nearly as good as I thought it was going to be when I first got it. Next build im definitely gonna go full custom water cooling though :D
    Reply
  • aznshinobi
    These coolers are terrible cooling/value, it's sad that consumers see "Water-cooling" (IMO this is "fake" water cooling in that it's all in a closed loop) and they think it'll cool the best. However the temps speak for itself, a $50 air cooler can practically, if not beat, a $80 closed-loop WC solution with the dBA being similar. Sad.
    Reply
  • Lutfij
    did anyone else notice that the author as well as manufacturer's of these pseudo WC loops rerfer to the cpu contact plate as a cold plate...last time i checked a cold plate is what is used in a Peltier unit...:/
    Reply
  • compton
    cmcghee358I agree 100%. And I do, in fact have an H70. And when I'm at work describing the epic beast of computers I build, and I show off some pics of mine; I always point to the H70 and go "Theres the radiator for the water cooler" /gasp!
    I think that's a perfectly good reason to buy any product. I like that I have a choice. But Noctua's tower coolers look pretty sexy too.
    Reply
  • Darkerson
    Was thinking about getting the 620 for a future SB/IB build, but now Im not so sure. Anyway, thanks for the reviews!
    Reply