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Antec KUHLER H20 1250 All-in-One Liquid Cooler Review

Manufacturer: Antec

Features and Cooler Design

Features

Courtesy of Antec

  • Copper cold plate is optimized for thermal conduction
  • Extra large pump and integrated fan were engineered to cool the radiator efficiently
  • Two Integrated PWM fans automatically adjust fan speed based on temperature. Built-in directional blades focus airflow through the radiator
  • RGB LED illuminates your case and changes color to indicate CPU temperature
  • Included software provides essential tools to control and monitor the KÜHLER H2O 950
  • Dual pump operation for maximum performance

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The Antec designed the Kuhler H2O 1250 all-in-one liquid cooler as a fully enclosed water cooling loop with a dual pump system integrated into the two 120mm fans sitting atop the aluminum 240mm radiator. The pumps feed the coolant through a plastic capped water block with a copper base plate. Antec chose to use . The radiator and water block are connected with highly flexible black rubber tubing with 1/4" inner and 3/8" outer diameter. The fans integrated into the pump assemblies are rated for up to 2400 RPM speed and have 11 fins each for providing increased airflow and fan pressure.

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The Kuhler H2O 1250's radiator is a 240mm long by 120mm wide by 25mm deep, all aluminum unit with the ability to support up to four fans in a push-pull configuration. The radiator has a total of four 1/4" barbs integrated into the front top and front bottom of the unit. The top right barb is the inlet from the block with the lower fan pulling coolant through the radiator and out the lower right barb. The lower pump then pushes the coolant back into the radiator through the lower left barb with the upper pump pulling it up the radiator though the upper left barb. The coolant then pushes the coolant out to the CPU water block. The radiator has a fin density of 16 FPI (fins per inch), giving it good airflow characteristics using either slower and faster fans with the unit.

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From the side view of the radiator, you can easily see the thickness of the unit. The radiator is about 25mm thick, matching the thickness of a standard 120mm fan.

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The Kuhler H2O 1250's CPU block is constructed of a copper base plate with a plastic cap and barbs. Just under the plastic top cap is the units PCB control board, routing power to the pump and fans as well as data to a USB 2.0 header for use with the Antec Grid monitoring software. The unit's PCB can control up to four fans through the 4-pin PWM connections from the the block. The white Antec logo also hides and RGB LED that changes color based on temperature, going from blue to red as the units temperature increases. The fan and pump speeds, as well as the block's LED color, can be custom controlled through the Windows Antec Grid monitoring software as well. Along the side of the unit are a total of six channels for securing the CPU aluminum mounting ring. The nubs on the mount ring slides into the vertical channels and twists counter-clockwise to secure it in place. The 1/4" inlet and outlet barbs sit directly above the Antec logo in the center of the block's side. The barbs rotate a full 360 degrees and are angled at 90 degrees to alleviate any space concerns with mounting to the board.

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The CPU block's copper base plate is held to the upper portion of the block by 12 bottom-mounted hex screws. The screws are counter-sunk and sit below the layer of the base to avoid any contact-related issues with the CPU or CPU socket hardware. The base plate itself is machined flat and polished smooth with no visible machining marks or surface defects, making for an optimal mating surface with the CPU.

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There are a total of four cables coming from the CPU block - two fan cables, a power cable, an USB cable. The fan cables have two 4-pin PWM male connectors, supporting two fans per cable. The power cable has a 3-pin female fan connector for interfacing with a motherboard fan header or a fan cable directly powered from your system PSU. The USB cable has a USB 2.0 female connector, connecting to one of the systems USB 2.0 headers for cooling unit monitoring and control purposes.

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Mounted to an ATX-based Z87-style board, the Kuhler H2O 1250's water block fit the socket perfectly with no tight fitting areas to the front, rear or sides of the socket. Because of the 90 degree rotary barbs used in the water block, the barbs do not stick out much further than the arms of the mounting ring.

February 26, 2014 | 02:52 PM - Posted by pdjblum

Nice review. Thanks for not caving and giving it an unwarranted award. Now I know I can trust when you, Morry, give an award, it is warranted. Unfortunately, I cannot say that about many reviews on the site, though I generally think the reviews are excellent, nonetheless.

February 27, 2014 | 01:23 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

a small mistake on final page of the review. under pricing you guys talk about pricing of silverstone tundra aio rather than the antec unit reviewed here. please correct that. a good thorough review as usual.

February 27, 2014 | 12:10 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Thanks for the feedback, this has been corrected...

February 28, 2014 | 06:38 AM - Posted by Pholostan

When I first saw this design, I thought it was pretty clever. Then later, I've been thinking about it and now I'm not so sure. Having the fans locked to the pumps isn't really an advantage, you can't regulate the fans alone, you can't switch fans, really bulky etc. Not having the pump in the CPU block, you actually loose head pressure at the critical part of the system, the CPU block. I think this is the biggest part of it having worse performance compared to the Corsair unit. I haven't seen the pumps taken apart (hint hint) but I suspect that they have had to take some short-cuts in the design there. For example, are they using a common axle for the pump and fan? Or are they compartmentalized (using permanent magnets) to prevent leaking seals? Pretty big in considering the longevity of the unit.

And the mounting thing is just poorly done on such an expensive unit. Inexcusable.

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