Antec KUHLER H2O 1250 Review

👤by David Mitchelson Comments 📅28-11-13

It’s been a while since we last reviewed anything from Antec, and especially from their cooling range but today we’ve jumped straight in at the deep end with a high-end offering from Antec’s new KUHLER H2O range.

The 1250 breaks out of conventional AIO design by having not only have two water pumps but also having them mounted directly onto the cooling fans. This combination of dual pump operation and 2400RPM cooling fans presented some excellent results in our benchmark tests with Intel’s demanding Core i7-3930K. The 1250 demonstrated great thermal control by being consistently good – the stock and overclocked results were both admirable results.

Having software to manage fan speeds is a great idea, although in our experience we found it to be quite buggy. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. When it did work, it allowed us to tweak the RGB LED lighting on the 1250 CPU block – this is a novel idea since hardware enthusiasts are very keen nowadays to coordinate hardware and create specific colour-schemes. Having one set colour would lock this down but Antec have thought outside of the box with this feature.

Unfortunately we had problems mounting 1250 inside our Corsair 500R because the cooling fans/pumps were obstructed by the heatsinks on our test motherboard - GIGABYTE X79-UP4. The mounting holes could not be aligned properly due to this problem and so we were forced to tie the radiator into place to complete the testing stage of the review. What is surprising is that the heatsinks on our GIGABYTE motherboard are not by any means oversized. (Some LGA1155 motherboards do not have heatsinks at the top of the board so this particular issue can be forgotten about.)

For the moment, Antec have said that the cooling fans cannot be swapped out – therefore if the cooling fans fail the whole unit will need to be RMA’d. Future versions hope to allow for an exchange of cooling fans.

Coming in at a cost of £95, 1250 is a price just underneath the highly revered Corsair H100i. Although the performance difference is very similar, 1250 is let down by installation niggles and unreliable software.

Antec’s new H2O 1250 performs brilliantly, showing that it can consistently keep temperatures under control even with a substantial overclock in place. Unfortunately this success is short-lived by poor software and a cumbersome installation (dependant on motherboard).

+ Excellent performance
+ RGB customisation
+ Software allows fan speed management
+ 3 years warranty

- Poor memory clearance
- Conflict with motherboard heatsinks (top)
- Buggy software
- Lots of cabling
- Cannot swap out cooling fans

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