in Coolers

Antec Kuhler H20 920

Testing and Overclocking

Test Rig

CPU: AMD Phenom II 1090T
GPU: ASUS Reference 5870
Memory: 4GB G Skill Ripjaw 1600MHz 7-7-7-24 DDR3
Storage: Crucial C300 128GB
PSU: Coolermaster Silent Pro 850W
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Methodology

To ensure the results were consistent, the heatsink was mounted 3 times and idle and load tests run each time. An average of the results is shown on the results page.

For Idle testing Windows 7 was allowed to run with no programs running for 5 minutes.

For load testing I used Prime 95 Small FFT’s and temperatures were taken after 20 minutes.

The standard thermal paste, provided with the cooler was used.

A Corsair 700D equipped with many fans was used for testing.

Ambient temperature was 17 degrees c.

Overclocking

The settings we used for our stock and overclocked tests are:

Stock – CPU 3200MHz Auto voltage
Overclocked – CPU 4000MHz 1.456v

Results

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The Kuhler 920 did very well in both the Silent and Extreme settings.

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When it came to overclocking, the Kuhler 920 did very well again, only reaching 36C in extreme mode and 46C in Silent mode which along with beating every air cooler I’ve tested was also far quieter. The fans both stayed at only 600RPM which made for a very quiet system and not far from silent. When in extreme mode the maximum temperature 36C is brilliant for having some fun overclocking your CPU even past the 4GHz mark. I found with the same voltage, I was able to increase my CPUs frequency to 4.3GHz and temperatures topped out at a very respectable 40C.

Conclusion

The testing results were extremely impressive. Having the options to be able to run your PC in different modes such as silent, extreme and custom modes means you can set your system to run as you like it. Say you want very low CPU temperatures, just flip the mode to extreme and have some fun. Want to play some games, watch a movie, the silent mode will still keep your CPU cool while staying quieter than most coolers available.

The mounting system has been used on many similar self-contained liquid cooling systems. It works fine on both Intel and AMD systems. The idea that the bracket is installed before the actual pump/water block is great and allows you to focus on making sure you get a good mount. The mounts are very firm and won’t go anywhere once tightened down.
In the Antec Solo II case that I am using for testing I found the top of the radiator slightly too thick and that it puts pressure against the PSU when fitted but luckily this is only a slight issue and on other slightly larger cases, especially cases where the PSU is mounted at the bottom of the case, this will not be an issue.

The thermal paste is already applied to the bottom the pump/water block. This makes installing for a first timer much easier and takes the guess work out of how much you should be applying. The amount applied is good and after loosening the screws, I saw very even coverage. The issue with only having the pre-applied paste is that as both Antec and I recommend, will only last one mount as you should change your thermal paste every time you re-mount the cooler.

The base of the waterblock was very flat and was machined to a high quality finish.

At the price of £74.99 I see it for online, it does seem like a large jump over the £44.99 you can get the Kuhler 620 for. However the Kuhler 920 has a much larger feature set and the performance too. If you’re simply looking for a CPU cooler, the 920 is likely more than you’re looking to spend but for a more expensive build, the 920 will fit right in.

Pros

  • Excellent performance in both Silent and Extreme modes
  • Dual fans
  • Very quiet operation in silent mode
  • High quality thermal paste
  • Overall quality of the product is excellent

Cons

  • Only one mount of thermal paste included
  • Cost could be slightly high if you’re only looking for a simple CPU cooler
  • Very noisy in Extreme mode.