Antec Kuhler H2O 1250 Review
The Kuhler 1250 comes bundled with a CD containing software that enables control and monitoring of the hardware. If like us you don't fit ODDs to your rigs, then not to worry as it can also be downloaded from the Antec Website. The Antec "Grid" as it is known is basic but seems to do the job fairly well. The screen shots below show that the colour of the interface back gound can be altered between a choice of four colours including the grey and orange shown.
accessing the LED settings page enables the user to set the colour of the LEDs manually using the sliders towards the right with the colour of the LEDs in the contact plate changing colour to reflect he change in the word "Antec" shown at the bottom of the screen shot. It's also possible to have the cold plate change colour to reflect the temperature changes occurring as a result of heat loading.
Fan speed can be set to either silent or extreme using the tabs at the top of the icon. The third icon up here, labelled "Custom" opens up a vertical slider making it possible for the user to dial in a custom fan speed. On the right we've dialled the fans up to their max speed (according to the software) of 2200rpm, although the digital counter resembling a cars milometer reports just under 2100rpm. It was also a bit of a concern that even when a specific fan speed is selected, once the system is under load the software will actually increase the fan speed by a few hundred RPM in order to compensate for the increased heat. While this might be helpful it does make a bit of a mockery of the concept of setting a custom locked in speed.
To help illustrate the above point we've taken some screen shots of the Grid software during the torture tests. The image below left shows the "Silent" profile selected, which when the system is at idle sees the fans turning at about 600RPM. As you can see loading the cores has upped the fan speed to the mid 1400s. The same thing happens when you attempt to lock in a specific speed using the "Custom" setting. Here we've selected 600RPM and applied the torture test. Yet again the software ignores what we've asked for and increases the fan speed to over 1400RPM.
Clicking the graphs icon opens up a graph (strange that). Here we're able to see a real time trace of either the fan speed or the coolant temp. On the left we've shown a record of the fan speed as we did our balanced speed runs. The major dip seen in the speed occurred as we opened up the graphs element of the program, and was coincident with an audible skip in speed from the fans. Do bear in mind that we opened this program up right in the middle of the torture test. on the right we've shown the steppings as a result of altering the fan speed manually with the custom option.