NZXT Kraken X40 Liquid CPU Cooler Review



/ 1 year ago

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NZXT’s Kraken series is something we have been aware of at eTeknix for a while. We have been expecting these to hit the market for an absolute age and since we heard rumours that NZXT’s Kraken series was supposed to demolish the competition, we just couldn’t wait to take a look.

As much as everyone probably wanted us to start with the flagship Kraken X60, we are opting to review the Kraken X40 first since it is the most affordable of the two.

You may be wondering – “what is so special about the NZXT Kraken series?”. Well that is an easy one to answer. NZXT’s Kraken is using a 140mm design, compared to nearly every other all-in-one liquid cooler on the market which uses a 120mm design.

What we mean by this is that the NZXT Kraken X40 comes with a 140mm fan and 140mm radiator (the NZXT Kraken X60 comes with two 140mm fans and a 280mm radiator). This is in comparison to the rest of the market that is still predominantly using 120/240mm radiators and 120mm fans. NZXT are saying that due to this increased size there is more surface area to the radiator which means more cooling performance and better acoustics – but obviously this is going to come at an increased price. As always, we want to know if this increased price still makes this product good value for money.

Increased fan and radiator size aside, the NZXT Kraken appears to be more or less identical to every other current generation Asetek all-in-one liquid cooler I have seen. The pump is the same, the mounting kit is the same, the radiator is the same and the tubing is the same.

You can check out the specifications of the NZXT Kraken X40 here, but without any further ado, lets move on to the review.

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  • http://twitter.com/Skidmarksdeluxe Wayne

    Yep as you say it’s a little to dear. Corsair’s riposte will likely be cheaper because as far as I can tell it doesn’t come with software monitoring. I’m still a little nervous of these coolers for long term use because of the dissimilar metals used but having said that I’ve been running an Antec 620 H2O for nigh on 2 years now without any drama but I’d be a lot more comfortable if they used copper fins in the rad as well.
    Comparing this cooler to Corsair’s H55 in terms of performance, the two aren’t a million miles apart, in fact it’s a lot closer than I thought it would be.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Martin/1258108688 Ryan Martin

      Agreed. However, I think the problem we are facing is that Ivy Bridge, and Haswell, are setting a trend of producing less and less heat. So in effect, the CPU cooler is becoming more and more redundant. Today you can take an Ivy or Sandy CPU and get 4.2/4.3GHz out of it on the stock cooler. Go back 2 or 3 years ago, if you tried to get a similar % overclock with the stock CPU cooler you would of fried your chip!

      • http://twitter.com/Skidmarksdeluxe Wayne

        I couldn’t agree more but please don’t tell the cooling companies that. I don’t think they’ll take kindly to you telling them their coolers are becoming redundant.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Martin/1258108688 Ryan Martin

          Ha well for as long as AMD are in the market we will need them ;)

  • MLO

    Don’t know where you’re getting that Ivy Bridge is producing less heat. It runs appreciably hotter than Sandy Bridge. CPU coolers are going to stay just as important for a long time to come.

    • aruffell

      Hi MLO, if you check out page 5 with our testing methodology, you’ll see that our Ivybridge is slightly different, in the fact that it states the following:

      Intel Core i5 3570K with Gelid GC Extreme under the IHS

      You can see our article on our findings here – http://www.eteknix.com/reviews/processors/ivy-bridge-and-changing-the-thermal-interface-material/

      Thanks,

      Andy

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Martin/1258108688 Ryan Martin

      “Heat” refers to TDP, total heat output. “Temperatures” refer to at what temperature the cores on the CPU cores run. The “Heat” of Ivy Bridge is substantially lower than that of Sandy Bridge, though the “temperatures” are higher. This may seem like a Paradox but I can assure you it isn’t. Since in Kinetics it is possible to have more heat energy with lower temperatures. A househould radiator at 60 degrees will generate more heat than a candle at 120 degrees, etc.

      • Josh

        I didn’t understand that until the last sentence xD

  • Anthony Yu

    I’ve also had the problem where CPU temps aren’t showing up in Kraken control…