When set to its Silent profile, the H2O 920 impressed us with its LGA1155 cooling, keeping our overclocked Intel Core i5-2500K at 52˚C above room temperature at full load. However, this is 1˚C higher than the Thermaltake Frio at its low fan speed, and saw the H2O 920’s cooling fans spin up to a quiet, though not inaudible, speed of 1,500rpm.
It was a different story when we set the H2O 920 to its Extreme profile, though, with the cooler producing a chart-topping delta T of 46˚C under load, 3˚C lower than the Frio in the same test. At this setting, the fans spun at a very noisy 2,500rpm, though, which would be intolerable during everyday use.
NOTE: We've removed the AMD cooling figures, as we've since found an irregularity with the AMD thermal test system. Bit-tech prides itself on being accurate first and foremost so we don't want to publish possibly inaccurate information for a second longer than necessary. We will update the situation as soon as possible.
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With its excellent cooling, customisable lighting and option to configure fan speeds from the desktop, the Antec Kühler H2O 920 certainly goes further than any liquid cooler we’ve ever seen towards justifying its price premium.
However, £80 for a CPU cooler is still a little galling; that’s double the price of the Frio, which performs similarly on LGA1155 systems – and at ear-friendly fan speeds.
For many, the price will be too high, and for cooling CPUs at stock or mildly overclocked frequencies, a conventional air cooler makes more sense.
However, for those wanting to push their CPU to its limit, the H2O 920 is a well-made, easily configurable cooler with bags of performance, offering a welcome halfway house between air cooling and bespoke water cooling.