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Antec Mercury 240 AIO Review

To test all CPU coolers, we devised an easily repeatable test with no variables other than the coolers themselves. This ensures that figures from every cooler we test are comparable with each other.

Test rig

Using an open-air test bench, we deploy an Intel Core i7-4790K plugged into a Gigabyte Z97X-SOC Force motherboard. Alongside this is 16GB of 2400MHz Corsair Vengeance DDR3, as well as a 120GB OCZ Trion 150 SSD. Powering everything is a Corsair RM750x PSU.

The test process

Testing coolers involves taking a total of 4 temperature readings per cooler. First, we measure the idle temperature of the i7-4790K at stock speeds (turbo boost disabled), before measuring its temperature under load at stock speeds. Next, we overclock the CPU to 4.5GHz using a 1.3 Vcore, ensuring greater heat output. In its overclocked state we then measure the idle and load temperatures of the CPU again. The figures we present are temperature deltas – meaning we take each temperature reading and minus the ambient temperature from it. This allows us to test in an environment that is not temperature-controlled.

To ward off potential comments or questions, we know 4.5GHz using a 1.3 Vcore is not the ‘best’ overclock – this particular CPU could reach that frequency at closer to 1.25 on the Vcore, which is more efficient. That is not the point, however. We are trying to stress the coolers to see how they deal with excess heat … hence the higher than necessary Vcore.

Where possible, each cooler’s fans are plugged directly into the motherboard using the CPU_Fan or CPU_Opt headers. Some AIOs, however, ship with their own fan controllers or PWM hubs. If we are unable to plug the fans directly into the motherboard, it is specified in the performance section of the review.

An idle reading comes from leaving Windows on the desktop for 15 minutes. A load reading comes from running Prime95’s (version 26.6) Small FFTs test for 15 minutes – enough time for temperatures to plateau.

Noise output

Unfortunately I am unable to properly measure the sound output of CPU coolers using a digital sound meter. This is because I am based alongside a busy road (with high ambient noise levels). Using a sound meter is, as such, not possible as there are variables out of my control. However, I will try my best to subjectively describe the noise output in a helpful manner.

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  • Federico Barutto

    How the f!ck (sorry for the bad word, but in this case it’s appropriate) can a 240mm AIO perform so badly?
    Bad pump?
    Bad fans (not a lot of static pressure)?
    Air bubbles inside the rad/tubes/waterblock?

  • Billynolegs

    Few reasons:

    At a guess, it’s the god awful pump. From their site: https://www.antec.com/product.php?id=707259&pid=58&lan=nz

    Water pressure from the pump is less than half a d5 pump, and flow rate is utterly shocking at a mere 3.5L/Min. In comparison, a d5 pump does 1500L/H max, or 25L/min, about 7x the flow. Since it’s not an asetek pump like most AIO competitors, its likely the rad is sourced elsewhere too, so its fin density’s an unknown factor too.

  • Federico Barutto

    I didn’t see the Antec site. The pump situation explains everything

  • Varinder

    Hi all, just received my Antec M360 Mercury 360mm from Scan and I have to say that it is running very well. P95 for over 30 minutes as we speak with the highest core reaching 64 degrees. At idle it hovers around 21 to 26 degrees..british weather near London. System is a 6700K at 4.4Ghz on all cores…I am impressed and looking forward to Kit Guru’s updated revue on this. One problems though… the light does not change colour from Blue..It should go to Orange and the Red when it is at max load but always stays blue on mine…Not sure why. Temps are better than my Corsair H110i GTX especially at load and it is quieter.

  • Lee Bryan

    I found similiar results to you also. Not sure on how KG got such results.

  • Varinder

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f32c6742b2bc71418dd20a05c4b379a8e7807f0cb487e38c3dfac61cd74ef616.jpg I have now been using the Antec for nearly 3 months and as I look at my temps, which are currently idleing at 21 degrees whilst writing this and having VLC player running a movie in the background and at full load in Prime95, aida, Intel Burn has never topped 65 degrees…Do not understand those results at all, maybe its the 360 version that I am running but boy does it do a good job at keep my CPU running cool in all circumstances..

  • Varinder

    KG, I would also mention that the Antec does not change colour to Red at 41C as this has never happened on my one. I did get a response from Antec and this is what I was told, which after checking on my one is correct:

    From Antec – https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b4549f594c0da3013b78cce1d65b727e0fa4a1be9a238a6a830122d32a1e96f1.jpg Regarding to our Mercury 360, the heat dissipation is very good, if the CPU core temperature is 65 degrees, the CPU surface temperature is about 55 degrees, the cooling water and CPU temperature is about 20-25 degrees lower, so it doesn’t reach the heat temperature of change colour, ( our design has installed the thermistor inside the head of water cooling )
    If you want to test the water cooling head colour changes, you can try to unplug the power from the two water fans, afterwards the fan will stops and the heat cooling function ability will go down, and then CPU temperature will rise up, after a few minutes later you should see the cold head colour changes. But remember to plug the fan back in afterwards.