All in one watercooling units have become incredibly popular. The earlier low end models required a budget higher than that of the highest end air coolers, and due to the problems they had at the start, people were incredibly skeptical about swapping out their beloved heatsinks for a new option containing water. Now however, names like 'H100' and 'AIO Cooler' have become household names amongst computing enthusiasts. Despite various changes to the pumps and tubing in order to add LEDs or to make them more efficient, we've never seen an all in one cooler looking as unique as Antec's latest product, the Kuhler 1250.
RushKit takes a look at Antec's new AIO 240mm cooler.
-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
The Kuhler 1250, unlike most AIO coolers has dual pumps mounted to the back of the fans, meaning the pumps and fans share the same motor. As a concept, this sounds really good. Instead of having 3 motors powering three devices (pump and dual fans) like we see on most AIOs, the 1250 manages to power four devices (two pumps and two fans) with only two motors, which makes this a far more efficient product than anything else we've seen before.
However, this increase in efficiency is all well and good in conceptual terms, but in practice, it does have its flaws. The sight of Antec's new design immediately had people worried as stock fans on the AIO coolers are notoriously loud, and due to Antec's design, there's no way to change them for something else. However, on closer inspection, the fans do appear to be of high quality and so we're hoping this doesn't pose as an issue.
As there is no longer a pump on the waterblock itself, we are left with an incredibly low profile waterblock which we do think looks great. Antec provide software which allows you to change the colour of the built in LED so it can match whatever system you're running. Another feature of this, is the LED can automatically change colour from blue to red as the temperature increases which is a really cool feature. As you'd expect with most modern CPU coolers, it does support all Intel sockets since 775, and all AMD sockets since AM2.
The radiator itself is 280mm in length due to the dual end tanks, but in reality is still only 240mm in length, and 27mm thick. This is similar to most radiators we've seen such as the Corsair H100i, so the chances are that any performance differences we see will be down to how well the dual pumps perform.
We are excited to see how this unit performs. Having the pumps built into the fans is a very efficient design, even if in this instance it does lack certain practical applications. If the issues could be resolved though, then this design could prove very promising in the future. It is also worth noting that in a lot of cases this will be a tight fit, since the radiator plus fans is roughly 55mm. Adding the pump units onto this as well gives us an overall measurement of around 80mm in the centre, so if you have especially tall RAM or motherboard headsinks, you may run into difficulties. If you are able to fit this into a case that allows fans to be put above the case and under mesh, which we do see in a lot of popular cases, the Kuhler 1250 will allow for push/pull whilst other AIO coolers may not. Although this benefit will be very specific in your situation, it could lead to better performance than you may see with other alternatives.
We will have to wait to see how this cooler performs in review which will be live shortly. The dual pump design does look incredibly promising, and we do love the look of the low profile CPU block with the built in LED.
Thanks to Antec for providing the cooler. You can discuss your thoughts over on the OC3D Forums.