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

Manufacturer: Antec

Conclusion

Performance

The Antec Kuhler H2O 1250 liquid cooler has many innovative features, but does not really differentiate itself performance-wise from the competition. I was surprised at the lack of performance of the unit using stock setup and settings, expecting superior performance because of the increased coolant flow rate from the dual integrated pumps.

Pricing

As of February 20, the Antec Kuhler H2O 1250 liquid cooler was available at Newegg.com for $94.99 after $10 mail-in rebate, as well as Amazon.com for $184.99 with Prime shipping.

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Conclusion

Before continuing with our parting sentiments on the Kuhler H2O 1250 liquid cooler, we would like to take this opportunity to give our friends at Antec a hearty "Thank You" for giving us the pleasure and opportunity to review such an innovative liquid cooling solution. After initial unboxing of the unit, I was impressed by the size and looks of the cooler. Antec put some thought into the design of the cooler with the dual-pump design and the temperature-based LED effects integrated into the CPU block. The unit is designed solidly, built to last.

I had several challenges with using the unit, centered on the design and implementation of the mounting cage. The use of a plastic-based universal baseplate does alleviate specific conductive-related issues with the motherboard, but the hex nut channels can be easily warped, allowing for the mounting nuts for free spin. Once the channels in the baseplate are warped, it becomes very challenging to install or remove the screw springs from the baseplate. The other mounting related challenge was trying to lineup the spring screw with the hex nut sticking through the mounting holes of the motherboard. You have to exert some amount downward force while attempting to screw in the spring screw while keeping the block flat and square on the CPU. Once two spring screws have been fixed in place, this becomes much easier however. My only other reservation with the cooler was with its performance. With the dual pump design, I expected the Kuhler H2O 1250 to perform on par or better than the lead cooler across the board at stock settings. However, this was not the case. Performance approached that of the other tested coolers only with fans running at full speed.

Strengths

  • Manual quality
  • Innovative dual pump design
  • Build and machining quality of the cooler
  • Antec Grid monitoring software

Weaknesses

  • Mounting mechanism hard to use and fragile
  • Use of plastic baseplate
  • Use of 1/4 tubing hurt performance
  • Possibility of galvanic corrosion because of mixed metals between copper block and aluminum radiator
  • Use of aluminum radiator

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February 26, 2014 | 05:52 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 | 04:23 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 | 03:10 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

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

February 28, 2014 | 09:38 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.

January 21, 2017 | 11:00 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Have one of these coming in the mail now. Going to replace my push/pull FX cooling. Hoping I get some improvement on my 8120 Black Edition.

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