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Antec Kühler H2O 920 - Stock paste removal and replacement - An interesting discovery

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Hi there everyone,

I thought to create a new thread for this, simply because I have been appalled by what Antec are offering with their 920 Kühler.

I've always wondered why my temps were so high, and more so at the clock speed and voltage that I'm at, couldn't quite correlate the two together.

I thus got some Arctic Silver cleaner:
http://www.arcticsilver.com/arcticlean.htm

And had a 2 year old tube of Arctic MX-2 lying around:
http://www.arctic.ac/en/p/detail?sArticle=82.%3F

I have to say the installation of the Antec 920 is an absolute pain - for a guide on that go here:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1330317/antec-k-hler-h2o-920-a-full-installation-guide

I again got frustrated mounting the Antec 920 back on.

Anyway, with that aside, here are the results, and pictures:

First of all the temps of an IBT run whilst having the stock antec paste (expected results):




Secondly, the temps of an IBT run, whilst having the ARCTIC MX-2 paste:



As you can see there is a difference between the two - that might not seem like a huge difference for some, but for me that's a huge difference, as I'm not hitting the 90's.

My processor is the I7 3770K (in the UK that's a £255 processor).
Why I'm I telling you this?
Simple - the antec wasn't smooth and because of it, it has chipped the IHS of my I7 3770K. Now I don't think it is something to be greatly worried about, as even the IHS could do with some sanding, and not affect performance. But why should a liquid cooler, design for processors, CHIP my darn £255 CPU!?

The antec 920 seems to have been "laced" with no smooth surface. There is an actual ENGRAVED mark on the Antec 920 cooler.
Something I would have NEVER noticed, simply due to the thermal paste being over it. This, alongside the pressure it is pressed against the CPU, is what has caused the chip.

Here's the dried up paste on the cooler:





A cleaned Antec cooler unit - notice the scratch on it:




Here's my CPU - with no paste on it - no I haven't cleaned at this point, just lifted the Antec off it. Almost non-existent thermal paste!





A nice and clean CPU, but notice the chip on the IHS:





Putting the Arctic cleaning to apply paste to the CPU:



MX-2 thermal paste - line method used - vertical line down the die:




After a lot of struggle, the Antec 920 seated back in:





Conclusion:
BEWARE and make sure you check the surface of the Antec 920.
I'm no pro, nor someone with a heck load of experience, but I know my way around a few things, and hope this post has given some insight, to what's regarded as one of the best liquid coolers on the market.
In all honesty, I now regret not spending an extra few pounds and getting the Corsair H100i (I have a LOT of corsair parts in my computer lol)
Edited by Totally Dubbed - 1/19/13 at 7:04am
post #2 of 30
That had you "steaming"? Overreact much? I don't see what the big deal is. It's a tiny cosmetic flaw on something you never see.
    
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post #3 of 30
well that kinda surface flaw is a *****, but unless its causing the antec to sit too far from the IHS you probably don't need to worry about it.

you actually want as little thermal interface material in there as possible. it should be literally just enough to cover the die and thin as ****. its a poorer thermal conductor than metal, but because the metal has a "rough surface" the TIM just fills the gaps where there's no actualy contact.
http://koolance.com/image/content_pages/cooling101/surface_gaps.gif
these air gaps, and they are microscopic.

looking at the antec, i'd say there was probably too much paste on there from stock.
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Thermaltake/V1/images/ttv1-27.jpg
this is about the amount of spread you actually need on a cpu, not the caked on layer you had.
 
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post #4 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aroc91 View Post

That had you "steaming"? Overreact much? I don't see what the big deal is. It's a tiny cosmetic flaw on something you never see.

How do you want me to reply to this?
Yeah I was steaming as it has damaged something I bought.
Would you like buying a brand new car, then finding out the wheels are being damaged by a sticking out arch?

Do as you please, in that respect - each to their own thumb.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by YowZ View Post

well that kinda surface flaw is a *****, but unless its causing the antec to sit too far from the IHS you probably don't need to worry about it.

you actually want as little thermal interface material in there as possible. it should be literally just enough to cover the die and thin as ****. its a poorer thermal conductor than metal, but because the metal has a "rough surface" the TIM just fills the gaps where there's no actualy contact.
http://koolance.com/image/content_pages/cooling101/surface_gaps.gif
these air gaps, and they are microscopic.

looking at the antec, i'd say there was probably too much paste on there from stock.
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Thermaltake/V1/images/ttv1-27.jpg
this is about the amount of spread you actually need on a cpu, not the caked on layer you had.

Cheers for the reply man! smile.gif
I might get it out soon again anyway, to see how it spread.

I was suggested the "dot method" by a few, and the line method by others.
Seeing as Arctic suggested the line method, that's what I followed for my re-application smile.gif!
post #5 of 30
when my temps start getting worse i will check it out
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post #6 of 30
The difference is if a wheel well was tearing up my tire, I would see it and it would warrant fixing as it could cause a blowout or a leak. This is equivalent to a flawed paint job on a brake caliper.
    
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Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
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post #7 of 30
Thanks for this dubbed!!! I was JUST about to pick this thing up, your Facebook post saved me biggrin.gif I will go with the corsiair h100i, few quid more expensive but well worth it. You are not the only person to experience such a thing. I googled this and it seems that it isn't rare, corsair all the way xD thanks again even though a tiny chip won't harm performance or the CPU its self, I don't want a £240 CPU with a damn chip...
post #8 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by paintball23456 View Post

Thanks for this dubbed!!! I was JUST about to pick this thing up, your Facebook post saved me biggrin.gif I will go with the corsiair h100i, few quid more expensive but well worth it. You are not the only person to experience such a thing. I googled this and it seems that it isn't rare, corsair all the way xD thanks again even though a tiny chip won't harm performance or the CPU its self, I don't want a £240 CPU with a damn chip...

Amen George!
Enjoy your Corsair H100i!

And yeah this is pretty rare - thus why i thought to put it.
Some people seem to be defending Antec a bit too much though rolleyes.gif
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Totally Dubbed View Post

Amen George!
Enjoy your Corsair H100i!

And yeah this is pretty rare - thus why i thought to put it.
Some people seem to be defending Antec a bit too much though rolleyes.gif
. HOW U KNOW MY NAME XDDD sometimes its just better to spend a bit extra and get a much better cooler. Antec coolers aren't really closs to the best, the best is custom. But second to that are corsiars coolers. And just for around £10 extra you could of got a better cooler smile.gif but hey, we all make mistakes. biggrin.gif
post #10 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by paintball23456 View Post

. HOW U KNOW MY NAME XDDD sometimes its just better to spend a bit extra and get a much better cooler. Antec coolers aren't really closs to the best, the best is custom. But second to that are corsiars coolers. And just for around £10 extra you could of got a better cooler smile.gif but hey, we all make mistakes. biggrin.gif

haha biggrin.gif!
Well the Antec is very good, don't get me wrong - if it wasn't I would have sold it/returned it long ago.
It is just this, has put me off it.
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