Author Topic: NZXT Kraken X60 Liquid CPU Cooler  (Read 4125 times)

Offline Fujitsu

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NZXT Kraken X60 Liquid CPU Cooler
« on: January 02, 2013, 12:42:01 PM »
Product(s): NZXT Kraken X60 Liquid CPU Cooler
   Provided By: NZXT
   Price: ~$139.99 USD

Introduction:

A couple days ago we were introduced to NZXT's line of Kraken coolers and we took a look at the Kraken X40 liquid CPU Cooler (our full review of the Kraken X40 can be found here). The Kraken lineup of coolers is NZXT's first attempt at liquid cooling and they've based both of these coolers on the Asetek Gen4 platform of coolers which is a very well-known and established cooling platform.

Today we are going to be taking a look at the larger Kraken X60 which features a much larger 280mm radiator and features two 140mm fans to help keep the radiator cool. We were very happy with the performance of the Kraken X40 and I would have to assume the Kraken X60 will improve on that already great performance.

In the next section we will take a closer look at the Kraken X60.

   First Impressions:   The differences between the Kraken X60 and Kraken X40 are pretty minor, other than the fact that the X60 has a radiator over twice the size as the X40. The installation and software operation of both Kraken coolers is much the same.   
                                                                         NZXT Kraken X60 - Packaging                                                                                     NZXT Kraken X60 - Top View            
       As you can see in the pictures so far, the 280mm radiator is huge. I'm pretty sure I've seen cars with smaller radiators than this which should be a good sign that this thing can perform like a champ. The biggest thing to consider when considering purchasing this cooler is that you'll have the room inside your case for it. NZXT now offers cases that this cooler will fit into, however not all case manufacturers do so you will want to be sure it will fit (of make sure you want to tackle the job of making it fit).   
   
   The Kraken X60 also features the ability to change the color that glows on the top of the water block. Though the Kraken Control software you can easily change the color that glows and set it up so the color changes if temperatures get out of control.   
                                                                                                                                             NZXT Kraken X60 - 280mm Radiator                                                                                                                                                         NZXT Kraken X60 - Water Block            
       As you can see in the pictures below (right), the Kraken X60 comes with a bunch of hardware that will get this cooler installed on pretty much any recent AMD or Intel CPU. The Kraken X60 comes with 2 140mm fans (NZXT FX-140 fans), although the radiator does have room for 4 fans (two on the front, two on the back for a push/pull configuration), you will have to purchase a couple more if you want the maximum airflow possible.   
   Also pictured below (left), you can see that there are a ton of connectors that come with the Kraken X60. There are 4 connectors that allow you to plug 4 fans into the system, 1 SATA power connector to power all of those fans, one fan connector that plugs into your motherboard, and one USB header connector to allow the Kraken Control software to control everything from your desktop. In total there are 7 plugs connected to the Kraken X60.   
                                                                                                                                             NZXT Kraken X60 - Fan and Power Connectors                                                                                     NZXT Kraken X60 - Accessories            
       So there we have it, the Kraken X60 Liquid CPU Cooler. Let's move onto the next section.       NZXT Kraken X60 Liquid CPU Cooler Specifications:    All specifications taken from NZXT.com

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
Specifications:

            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

NZXT Kraken X60 Liquid CPU Cooler - Installation:

Installation of the Kraken X60 is much the same as the Kraken X40 that I took a look at a couple days ago so I'm not going to go into too much details (if you would like a more detailed review of the installation process, please refer to our review of the Kraken X40).

I will quickly recap my findings while installing both the Kraken X40 and Kraken X60:

[list=1]   
  •       Read the instructions, it will save you a bunch of time. If you are embarrassed to have someone see you reading the instructions, distract the person watching you and quickly read the instructions before they come back.   
  •       Thanks to the long radiator hoses installation is really easy and allows you to position the radiator in places that other liquid cooling systems cannot.   
  •       The connectors that connect the hoses to the water block are able to move and that makes installation and cable/hose management really easy.   
  •       If you follow the instructions and have your motherboard already out of your case the entire installation process should take no longer than 30 minutes.
                                 
                                                           NZXT Kraken X60 - Installed            
                                                                                                                                             NZXT Kraken X60 - Installed            
          
   NZXT Kraken X60 - Installed
The Kraken X60 is now installed and ready to cool our system. Let's go to the next section and see how well it performs.

NZXT Kraken X60 Liquid CPU Cooler - Testing:

Test Setup:

For Intel (LGA1336) testing we will be using the Intel Core i7 920 CPU, which produces 130 Watts of heat. Most current CPU's produce considerably less heat than the Intel i7 920 but this should give you a very good idea what to expect performance-wise when compared to other coolers that we've reviewed.
   

For both AMD and Intel testing, we have taken all temperatures using CoreTemp v.0.99.4. CoreTemp takes a temperature from the CPU core, and allows for much more uniform results across different motherboard and CPU platforms. These temperatures may seem higher than other temperature recordings; because chances are they are taking temperature recordings using the diode underneath the CPU, which isn't able to be as accurate, and can really fluctuate between different brands of motherboards.

For all tests we are using the Highspeed PC Top Deck Tech Station , and we are using no additional cooling in our testing. All temperatures are recorded in a controlled environment that is set to 23 degrees Celsius (73.4 Fahrenheit) to provide fair results between coolers.

For all tests we use Arctic Cooling MX-2 High-Performance Thermal Compound (Paste), We use the same thermal paste in all our testing so that we can keep our results consistent. If a cooler is shipped with thermal paste pre-applied, it will be removed and we will re-apply it with Arctic Cooling MX-2 to provide fair results.
   
   

   Intel Test System:
  •       Intel Core i7 920 CPU - Provided by Intel    
  •       ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard - Provided by ASRock    
  •       ATI Radeon HD2600    
  •       3 GB Kit of Corsair XMS 3 DDR3 Memory    
  •       Western Digital 250 gig (16 MB Cache)    
  •       OCZ Modstream 520 Watt Power Supply
For all of our testing of the NZXT Kraken X60 we have manually turned the fan on the radiator up to 100% (2000 RPM).

       
          Ok, so we can see that the Kraken X60 is able to do a very good job and has given us some very low temperatures. Let's see how they stack up to all the other coolers we've reviewed in the next chart.                             Click on chart for larger view.               
         
   Well the chart pretty much says it all; the Kraken X60 is one of the best coolers we have ever reviewed at BCCHardware.
   

The only cooler that was able to beat the Kraken X60 (and only by 0.25 of a degree) was the Thermaltake Water 2.0 Extreme. The fact that both of these cooler are so close in performance isn't too surprising as both the Kraken X60 and the Water 2.0 Extreme are both based on the same Asetek Gen4 platform. Based on the very small difference between the two we could pretty much declare the performance between the two coolers a tie.
   

The Thermaltake Water 2.0 Extreme features a 240mm Radiator, while the Kraken X60 has a 280mm Radiator, which would make one think that the Kraken X60 might have the edge performance-wise but for whatever reason on our test system and in our test conditions the end result was almost identical between the two. The larger radiator could prove to perform better under certain test scenarios (hotter room, etc.) and in certain cases may be able to outperform the Thermaltake Water 2.0 Extreme.
   

Well that concludes the testing portion of this review. Let's move onto the next page for more on the included Kraken Control software that comes with the Kraken X60 cooler.


NZXT Kraken X60 Liquid CPU Cooler - Software

Normally the software of a CPU cooler doesn't get its own section, but the Kraken Control software that is included with the Kraken X60 is worthy of its own section.
   

Sometimes companies get carried away with their software and try to pack too much into them and end up just making the control software complicated to use. NZXT has done the opposite with Kraken Control. As you will see in the next few paragraphs, the Kraken Control software has a ton of features in it, yet it still manages to have a very smooth interface and is nice and easy to use. If you just want to see the temperatures of your cooler and the vital stats you can easily find them, but if you want more detailed information or to tweak your settings you can also easily do that with only a couple clicks of your mouse.
   

When you first fire up the Kraken Control software you will see the screen pictured below, the dashboard. From the dashboard you will be able to quickly see all the vital stats about your cooler and computer.

   
The next tab we see is the graph feature. This is a handy little utility that shows you how what the temperatures and fan speeds of your system have been doing over a period of time. This is more of a "Power User" feature, but it is also nice to be able to look at what your system has been doing while you weren't around.

   
And then we move to the Fan Setting tab. In this section you can set the fan speeds depending on what your CPU temperature is. As you can see below we have it set to "silent" which keeps our fan speeds pretty low unless the temperatures really get out of control. This section can be changed easily to the defaults (Extreme or Silent) or can be set to Custom where you can drag and drop the graph to whatever thresholds you want.

   
The next section is Light Settings. This section allows you to customize the color that the cooler glows to pretty much any color you can think of. You can also set it up so that it will glow a different color if temperatures start getting high.

   
And last but not least we have the General Setting tab. This section will let you change some of the more advanced settings of the cooler as well as how the software behaves. All of these settings are pretty easy to change and allow you to customize this cooler to your liking.

   
And that's the end of the software section. As you have probably been able to tell, the Kraken Control software is very useful, yet it still is very easy to use and makes changing your settings very quick and easy to do. I really like how simple the software is and found it super easy to get things setup in no time.

       NZXT Kraken X60 Liquid CPU Cooler Final Thoughts:   While NZXT might be new to the liquid cooling game with their Kraken series of coolers, they have partnered with Asetek and based the Kraken X40 and X60 on the Asetek Gen4 cooling platform which is very established and well-respected platform. The decision to use the Asetek Gen4 platform looks like it was a very good decision as the Kraken X60 was able to perform very well in all of our testing.
       The Kraken X60 did very well in our testing; in fact it came in 2nd all-time on our cooling chart and was only shy of the performance record by 0.25 degrees. The only cooler that was able to beat it was also based on the Asetek Gen4 cooling platform and chances are good that in other test environments the Kraken X60 might even be able to outperform the top cooler for a variety of reasons.
       The build quality of the Kraken X60 is very good (just like the Kraken X40). We found that both the X60 and X40 to be very sturdy and seem like they should be able to function for a very long time. NZXT is so confident of their workmanship that they've included a 2 year warranty with the Kraken X60. This is a nice extra as other liquid coolers based on the same Asetek Gen4 platform only come with a 1 year warranty. The extra year of warranty is a nice touch, especially on a more expensive cooler like the Kraken X60.      As far as value goes, the Kraken X60 isn't all that cheap, but if you want top performance, you have to pay extra to get it. The Kraken X60 has a MSRP of $139.99 USD which makes it one of the most expensive coolers on our charts, but it's also one of the best performing coolers we've tested so it's all relative.
       I will once again mention the software that comes bundled with the Kraken X60 which they've named Kraken Control. This software is very powerful and gives you a bunch of options to customize the performance and look of the Kraken X60, yet they've still managed to keep the interface very clean and easy to use. NZXT has done a great job of balancing features and functionality in the Kraken Control software and I was very impressed overall by it.   
   At the end of the day, thanks to performance which landed the NZXT Kraken X60 at the top of our cooling charts, we are very happy to award the Kraken X60 with our "Editor's Choice - Gold" award. The top notch performance offered by the Kraken X60 in conjunction with a great software control system and high quality construction make this liquid cooler a top choice here at BCCHardware.          Pros:
  •       Top Performance   
  •       Great Software Included   
  •       High Quality Construction   
  •       Customizable LED Lights   
  •       2 Year Warranty
Cons:
  •       More Expensive

   
   I'd like to thank NZXT for sending us their Kraken X60 cooler.  If you have any questions, comments, or general feedback, please leave it at the "Comments" link below.


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Offline Zenphic

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Re: NZXT Kraken X60 Liquid CPU Cooler
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2013, 01:40:37 PM »
Excellent cooling performance from the NZXT Kraken X60 (as well as the Kraken X40 in the other review). How was performance when the silent profile for the fan speed was selected? I personally would think that a 2000 RPM 140mm fan would be quite noisy and it wouldn't be something I'd use on a daily basis.