So having had a considerable amount of testing time with both the Antec Kuhler 650 and 1250 AIO solutions, how do they stand up to other solutions on the market; air and liquid? With 2 coolers on test at different ends of the spectrum, let’s get started…
Starting off with the performance of the coolers, it is no surprise that the 1250 beats the 650 in all of the thermal tests. Is it enough to justify the extra cost? Probably not but if you are like me, I like to opt for the best possible cooling and that is exactly what the 1250 gives you. That being said, the Antec Kuhler 650 is rather average and falls below the Enermax Liqtech 120X; although this particular cooler does have a dual thick radiator. Acoustic wise, both coolers massively fall short of the mark, especially when blasting at full. The 1250 with its extreme profile bellows out the air and although the performance is top, the noise is also meaning that it’s a case of damaged limitations in that regard. Overall, the 1250 does offer better performance than the 650 but obviously this comes at the cost of not just monetary value, but at space too.
Design wise, I really do love the black and white contrast of the latest Kuhler range; it doesn’t just look stylish but also clean and should fit with the majority of colour themed custom builds. With the pump being placed above the fans on the radiator, this should technically make a difference and even if it’s a 1c difference, that 1c has put the 1250 top of the pile on the 4.5GHz load testing, meaning that the design is a success in my opinion. One thing I am very disappointed in however, is the inability to change the fans; they can be very noisy at full load but the Antec Grid (1250 only) allows you to customise a profile to suit your requirements.
In terms of price, the Antec Kuhler 650 comes in at £43.99 and the 1250 at £94.99. This signifies a huge difference in price. In my opinion, the 650 represents better value for money but does lack some of the features of the 1250; mainly the Antec Grid software. Does that justify a good £50 price difference? Probably not, but when performance is the factor, then you are going to pay a premium to get the best and currently, the Antec Kuhler 1250 is technically the best cooler on test; in thermal performance of course.
Overall the Antec Kuhler 650 & 1250 both cover different sections of the cooling market and although the 1250 is a bit pricey, it is an enthusiast grade cooler and since when has anything for enthusiasts been cheap? Both coolers support all the major sockets from AMD/Intel and more importantly, they are affordable and reasonably priced when you take other brands competitive products into consideration. The 650 is a better buy, but the 1250 serves its purpose too as being top of our overclocked testing chart at load!
Big thanks to Antec for sending the Kuhler 650 & 1250 in for review and I look forward to seeing more innovative products in the future.
Antec Kuhler 650
Antec Kuhler 1250