Pump and Cold Plate:
The sleek, low profile cooling head of the Kuhler H20 920 allows incredibly even cooling across the cpu while not dominating the surrounding space like the huge tower and down-flow coolers of today. As shown in the right image, the thermal paste comes pre-applied and only requires a protective cap be removed before mounting. The copper base is machined to be very smooth and flat, and is bolted by ten screws around the perimeter of the unit. The perpendicular swivel fittings allow the tubes to manipulated easily, which will especially come in handy in a tight building space.
As we often do with high-end coolers with pre-applied thermal paste, we wonder what percentage of users will get their coffee filters and rubbing alcohol out and clean it off first thing. It seems safe to say that the average consumer buying into a Kuhler 920 is an overclocker or enthusiast who will likely want to use a high-end thermal paste of their liking. The base has the Kuhler h2O 920 branding cleanly laid along the bottom, and an illuminated Antec logo on the center right which may also be set to a variety of colors as we'll show later.
And although I didn't take a picture which captures this, the 13-inch hoses have a vast reach and will provide flexible mounting for large cases, and the USB wire (for power and fan/LED control via included software) and fan headers are a gratuitous 12-inches long, so you'll have some flexibility to run the fan cable to the headers on the motherboard. A fan header goes to the motherboard, and the other fan header uses a splitter for the fans so only a single fan header is needed, which helps keep things clean and tidy.
The radiator, finished in a nice all-black color scheme, consists of folted metal strips which make up a radiator assembly similar to those seen in cars. The folted plates create a large amount of surface area for the waterpipes to dump their heat to, where it will be rapidly exhausted out of the case by the two push-pull fans. 120mm fans may be mounted to the screwholes on the four corners of the radiator. the finish is semi-glossy and looks great in all-black or black and white builds. The tubing is composed of a soft, flexible rubber which allows a fairly tight bend radius, but they are not prone to kinking. The radiator is approximately 2-inches thick, and with both fans coming in at 1-inch, the assembly is 4-inches thick in a push-pull configuration.
The included 120mm fans have 9 blades and a swooping blade geometry seen on many fans nowadays because they are able to push a lot of air at relatively low noise levels. They operate from 700-2400rpm, and the bearings are smooth and exhibit low vibration. Things are looking good at this point, although the deep draw of the blades, which are capable of pushing 110cfm, will make these bad-boys roar, as we'll discuss more in the testing portion of the review.