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NZXT Kraken X60 All-In-One Liquid CPU Cooler Review

NZXT labeled their AIO series the Kraken. If you have seen the movie “Clash of the Titans” or if you are up on your mythology, you know the Kraken were a very large octopus-looking sea monster that was able to destroy ships with ease. This is the angle in which NZXT is taking with their new water-cooler, maybe not the destroying ships part, but perhaps more a powerful water-based beast that destroys heat. NZXT currently offers the X40 and X60, the latter of which we will be looking at first. Speaking of first, this is the first AIO to take advantage of the larger 140mm cooling fan mounting, making this truly a “monster” double-radiator at 280mm. Let’s see if it’s up to the task shall we?

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NZXT labeled their AIO series the Kraken. If you have seen the movie “Clash of the Titans” or if you are up on your mythology, you know the Kraken were a very large octopus-looking sea monster that was able to destroy ships with ease. This is the angle in which NZXT is taking with their new water-cooler, maybe not the destroying ships part, but perhaps more a powerful water-based beast that destroys heat. NZXT currently offers the X40 and X60, the latter of which we will be looking at first. Speaking of first, this is the first AIO to take advantage of the larger 140mm cooling fan mounting, making this truly a “monster” double-radiator at 280mm. Let’s see if it’s up to the task shall we?

NZXT Kraken X60 All-In-One Liquid CPU Cooler Review

 

Introduction

NZXT always seems to surprise me whenever they bring a new product to market. It’s as if they are always thinking outside the box, take for example the Lexa and Switch 810 gaming towers, both totally different from the norm at their time of launch. NZXT is more than just cases though, they are also hitting CPU cooling in a big way. Remember, we reviewed both their Havik 120 and Havik 140 CPU air-coolers and each performed great.

NZXT have decided to take CPU cooling one step further. How so? Well, try and answer this question. What is it we have been seeing a lot of later when it comes to CPU cooling? You guessed it, all-in-one (AIO) coolers. We have seen then from many of the top names so far and they seem to just get better as time goes on.

NZXT labeled their AIO series the Kraken. If you have seen the movie “Clash of the Titans” or if you are up on your mythology, you know the Kraken were a very large octopus-looking sea monster that was able to destroy ships with ease. This is the angle in which NZXT is taking with their new water-cooler, maybe not the destroying ships part, but perhaps more a powerful water-based beast that destroys heat. NZXT currently offers the X40 and X60, the latter of which we will be looking at first. Speaking of first, this is the first AIO to take advantage of the larger 140mm cooling fan mounting, making this truly a “monster” double-radiator at 280mm. Let’s see if it’s up to the task shall we?

NZXT’s take on the X60

NZXT introduces the Kraken series, the first premium all-in-one water coolers for PC enthusiasts. The Kraken X60 is a high-end 280mm water cooling solution where ease of use meets functionality. Included are two NZXT FX-140 PWM fans, with capacity to install an additional 2 more fans in a push-pull configuration for unrivaled cooling performance. At the core of the cooler is a state-of-the-art pump attached to an all copper base. Bridging the radiator and pump is an extra-long 16” tubing and premium sleeved cables, easily installed into even in the largest chassis. We developed the Kraken series to be the best closed loop water coolers on the market, our customers should not settle for anything less.


Specifications

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Water Block

Material

Copper

Pump

Motor Speed

2900 + 150 RPM

Voltage

12V

Current

175 mA

Fan Control

Interactive Digital Fan Control

LED Color

Hue Controlled Color Changing Lights

Fan

Model

NZXT FX-140

Quantity

2

Dimension

140 x 140 x 25 mm

Bearing

Liquid State Bearing

Speed

800 – 2000 RPM + 10%

Noise

21 – 37dBA

Voltage

4.5 – 12V

Air Flow

54 – 98.3 CFM

Air Pressure

0.8 – 2.2 mm-H2O

Connector

4 Pin PWM

Radiator

Dimension

138.4 x 27.0 x 312.5mm

Material

Aluminum

Tube

Length

400 mm

Material

Rubber

Compatibility

Intel Socket 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011
Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3

AMD Socket AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1
Phenom II / Athlon II / Phenom / Athlon FX / Athlon X2 / Athlon / Sempron / Dual-Core Opteron / Opteron / Fusion

Warranty

2 Years

Features

• World’s first all-in-one 280mm cooler with capacity to mount up to four 140mm fans
• High performance pump and copper block with interactive digital fan control
• Integrated HUE controlled LED pump cap
• Large tower support with extended 16″ tubing and premium black sleeved cables for a clean look and improved airflow
• SATA power connector for easy installation and effortless cable management
• Completed sealed system backed by a 2 year warranty
 


Closer look

NZXT is not the first to bring us AIO coolers capable of supporting four cooling fans, but they are the first to bring to market an AIO that will support four 140mm cooling fans. Many of us knew it was just a matter of time before we saw a cooler like this but I am sure many are surprised to see it coming from NZXT, given the fact they had yet to even release an AIO cooling product up to this point.

First up is the radiation of the X60. The rad measures 12.3” long, 5.44” wide and 1.06” thick. Using just the length and width the X60 is larger than any other AIO on the market at the time of this writing. The unit is made of all aluminum.

The tubing used to connect the rad and the head of the unit is made of high quality rubber and is very flexible, allowing it to turn and twist in several different ways within tearing or kinking. At 15.7” long it should easy support some of the larger full-sized tower out there.

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The pump and the water block are all one unit allowing for a very clean install. Obviously, the top half of the assembly is where the pump is stored. It has a rotation of 2900 RPM operating at 12 volts. Protecting the pump is a plastic shroud that displays a color changing display when powered.

In the case of the X60 the whole water block can be disassembled and it begins with the screws that attach the copper cooling plate to the pump base, but we are not going to venture in that direction. (Sorry!) The Kraken comes with thermal compound pre-applied. The entire cooling system is powered off a 15-pin SATA connector by way of an included pigtail, making it one less Molex needing to be installed.

The black framed, white bladed fans are a pair of NZXT’s 140mm FX 140LB models. The speed range of the 140LB is very respectable at 800-2000 RPM, capable moving 54 to 98 CFM of air at a pressure of 0.56-2.2 mm-H2O. Reasonably quiet at 21 – 37 dBA. These two fans plug directly into a splitter connected to the head/pump, with room for two additional fans should you want to run a 140mm Push-Pull config.

If you are running a system ranging from Intel’s 775 socket and forward or AMD’s AM2 and forward, you should have no issues mounting the Kraken to your rig.


Mounting Images

 


Kraken software

The monitoring software that comes with the Kraken X60 is about on the level of that which  comes with the Water2.0 Extreme from Thermaltake, allowing you to monitor and control only what has to do with the cooler. Where the Corsair software monitors GPU, drives and other components. But what I like about this software over the one Tt uses is the legibility.

 

You cannot control the speed of the fans based on RPM, it’s based off the temp of the processor.

 

You can even control different aspects of the LED illuminated logo on the pump.


Testing Methodology

For our testing we will be using the following procedures and parameters to acquire the necessary data:

  1. Thermal compound used is Arctic Silver 5
  2. Idle temperatures are recorded after the system has been allowed to idle for thirty minutes from the point Windows has finished loading.
  3. Load temperatures are recorded by running OCCT for twenty minutes on all available threads.
  4. Real Temp is used for the recording of all temperature sensor reading.
  5. PWM function is disabled via BIOS to allow the fans to run at full speed.
  6. CPU model and overclock speed used for testing are outlined below in “Test Hardware”.
  7. Each cooler is first tested with one fan supplied from the manufacturer.
  8. Each cooler is then tested again with a second fan attached if provided by the manufacturer.
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Test Hardware:

1. ASUS X79 Deluxe Motherboard
2. Intel Core i7 3930K Processor
3. Kingston HyperX 1866 DDR3 16GB
4. Kingston V+ 200 120GB Solid State Drive
5. ASUS BC12B1LT BD-Rom Drive
6. Thermaltake Frio Extreme CPU Cooler
7. Microcool Banchetto 101 Open Air Test Bench
8. Silverstone Strider Gold Evolution 850W Power Supply
9. ASUS Nvidia GTX 560Ti 448 Graphic Card

Results

 

 

Overclocked results:


Conclusion

The best way I can start this conclusion off is by saying that we have a new king of all-in-one water-cooling units! The NZXT Kraken X60 has proven here today that is able to top the likes of the very strong Thermaltake Water 2.0 Extreme, as well as the ever popular Corsair H100i. When we talked to the people at NZXT about this Kraken series, we were warned that we would be surprised on how well the cooler did. And we were.

NZXT has brought to market a water-cooling setup that I would have figured to be out by now. The dual 140mm (280mm) radiator has proven to be a big help in the fight to cool today’s higher performance processors. The extra cooling surface along with the larger fans has propelled this new cooler to the top of the list.

To top it off NZXT managed to keep the noise level at a decent level as well as keep all the cabling looking neat with the excellent sleeving job.

Often when it comes to a product with great performance there are usually a negative or two that will have to be mention. I will point these out here, but I must warn you I am nitpicking. First, the installation is simple and straightforward but not as simple as the Corsair H100i. The Kraken and the Water 2.0 Extreme share the same mounting as there are two rings that must be applied to the head/pump, where as the H100i has a square mount that screws into the motherboard or a motherboard back plate.

The second thing is you must have room for dual 140mm fans to take advantage of this great cooler. Or you can opt for some type of adapters to mount to 120mm locations but I don’t know how well it will perform. All in all we have to take out hats off to NZXT for the Kraken X60’s performance. The future is indeed bright for all-in-one water cooling!

 

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ProClockers was founded in 2004, and since then we have reviewed thousands of tech products, including motherboards, CPUs, graphics cards, PC cases, cooling solutions and more. Whilst many of the original products we reviewed back then have long bit the dust, we continue working hard to provide unbiased PC hardware and tech reviews.

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