NZXT Kraken X62 CPU Cooler Review
It would appear that the All In One (AIO) liquid CPU Cooler is here to stay, with most manufacturers now offering more AIO solutions than their air based counterparts. But it’s been some time since we’ve really had to worry about CPU temperatures, with most modern CPUs peaking at around 70 degrees when under full load. So what’s next for the AIO liquid CPU Cooler? Well NZXT think they may have the answer…
This is the new NZXT Kraken X62 the successor to the popular and well received X61 that we took a look at back in May 2015. The Kraken X62 features a 280mm radiator that’s 30mm thick, while at the other end we find a 2,800 RPM pump. But the new feature here that’s grabbed our attention is the RGB and infinite mirror pump head; now that does sound interesting. Included with the Kraken X62 there are two new 140mm NZXT AER P fans. The X62 also supports the following CPU Sockets: Intel Socket 1151, 1150, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2011-3 & AMD Socket FM2+, FM2, FM1, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2.
The NZXT Kraken X62 arrived at pcG in a large smart box sporting that purple NZXT colour. The front of the box features a large image of the Kraken X62. On the right side of the box NZXT provides a detailed specifications table (see Specifications/Features below) as well as providing some further detail regarding the performance.
Looking at the back of the box we can see an image of the Kraken X62 installed in an NZXT S340 Case as well as further information regarding the pump, fans and tubing. To the right of this is a screenshot of NZXT’s CAM software that’s required for full operation of this AIO CPU Cooler.
On opening the box we are greeted with the familiar (for water coolers) recycled packaging and as you can see this is best described as adequately packaged and presented. All parts were found to be present and correct and in good order.
Within the box other than the Kraken X62 itself and the two fans we find a small plastic bag containing the Intel and AMD back plates, mounting hardware and a simple installation guide.
At the time of writing the NZXT Kraken X62 is retailing at Overclockers UK for approximately £150 and comes with an impressive 6 year warranty.
courtesy of NZXT
|Dimensions||Radiator: 315 x 143 x 30mm
Pump: 80 x 80 x 52.9mm
|Material||Aluminum, copper, plastic, ultra-low evaporation rubber, nylon sleeving|
|CPU Socket Support||Intel Socket 1151, 1150, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2011-3
AMD Socket FM2+, FM2, FM1, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2
|Control Modes||Fan: Silent / Performance / Custom / Manual
Pump: Silent / Performance / Custom / Manual
|Control Method||Software with CAM|
|LED Modes||Preset Modes: Fixed, Breathing, Fading, Marquee, Covering Marquee, Pulse, Spectrum Wave, Alternating, Tai Chi, Water Cooler, Loading
Reactive Modes: Smart and Audio
|Pump Speed||1,000~2,800 +/- 300RPM|
|Fan Model||Aer P140|
|Number of Fans||2|
|Fan Speed||500~1,800 +/- 300RPM|
|Fan Noise Level||21-38dBA|
First impresses of the NZXT Kraken X62 are along the lines of, oh another water cooler then, but wait what’s this. The first thing you’ll notice is the mirror finish on the pump head, that when covered in plastic and while the pump is not powered up looks odd to say the least. Other than that what we have here is a well made AIO liquid CPU Cooler from what I can see. So, let’s take a closer look shall we…
The radiator is made from aluminium and copper and measures in at 315mm x 143mm x 30mm. The hoses are approximately 400mm long and as you can see from the images above they are also braided which is a nice touch. In addition to this we can also see that the X62 is effectively a sealed unit as the adapters themselves are fixed. On both sides of the radiator we also find a smart embossed NZXT logo.
The pump head itself is quite large and obviously features a mirrored top, covered by plastic in the image above. There are two sockets aboard the pump head, one multi-connection connects powers, the pump and fans, while the other is a Mini USB socket for monitoring and control purposes via the NZXT CAM software. The two adapters at the pump head also feature a swivel mechanism allowing the hoses to swivel easily left/right or up/down. Note the warning label: ‘Connect all cables before turning on!’. Ok I promise… 😉
Looking at the base of the pump head we can see a polished copper cold plate that already has thermal paste applied. We will use the Kraken with this paste in place as that’s what most of you guys will also do, I think. Let me know if I’m wrong eh…
Two PWM controlled fans are supplied with the NZXT Kraken X62. These two fans are 140mm NZXT AER P140 fans with a maximum rotational speed of 1,800 rpm and a claimed maximum noise output of 38dBA.
The kit is completed by the two cables provided. As I already mentioned one is a bespoke multi connect type connection while the other is a simple Mini USB cable. Both cables can be seen above right.
|Case||Cooler Master HAF XB||Power Supply||SilverStone Strider Platinum 750W|
|Motherboard||ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 GAMING K6||CPU||Intel Core i5-6600K|
|CPU Cooler||NZXT Kraken X62||RAM||G Skill Ripjaws 4 16GB|
|Graphics Card||EVGA GeForce GTX 980Ti Classified||SSD||Samsung SM951 512GB M.2|
After first establishing what parts were required for our socket 1151 install it was time to get the NZXT Kraken X62 installed. For installation we will require one Intel backplate, four threaded posts and four retaining nuts, that’s it! Well other than the radiator/fans associated screws, washers and cables that is. Note, the pump retaining ring for Intel is already pre-attached to the pump head.
The backplate was simply held in position on the back of the Motherboard, while the four threaded posts were screwed into position. Note the threaded posts can go either way around as they are universal. With that done, amazingly the motherboard is now ready to receive the pump head itself. But first I’ll attach the radiator and the associated fans to the front of our Cooler Master HAF XB Case.
For our setup the fans would sit on the outside of the Case while the radiator would sit on the inside. This meant threading the screws through the fans, through the holes in the Case and into the radiator. Note that I also used the washers for security and because the screws are actually rather long.
With the radiator and mounting hardware in place the pump head was fitted atop the CPU using the thermal paste NZXT pre-applied to the cold plate. The retaining ring simply slots over the four threaded posts and is secured with the four nuts. Note these are tightened a little bit (1 turn) on each corner to ensure that the cold plate sits flush to the top of the CPU. Once the nuts were finger tight all around they were tightened (gently!) with a screwdriver.
Final cabling saw the SATA power (nice to see SATA and not Molex) connected up, the PWM control plug connected up to the CPU fan header on the Motherboard and the twin fans connected up to the cables trailing from the pump.
|For CPU Cooler testing, we here at pcGameware run Prime95 for a 15 minute period. During this period the temperature is monitored via the NZXT CAM software and the maximum CPU temperature recorded. Between each stress test we allow a 15 minute cool-down to allow for more accurate results. To adjust the fan speed we simply used the NZXT CAM software. A close eye is also kept on the ambient temperature, with the maximum being recorded for each run, this allows us to calculate the Delta temperature (Core – Ambient = Delta). Each run was performed with the Intel Core i5-6600K CPU at the following frequencies: 3.9GHz (Stock) and 4.4GHz (using the ASRock OC Tweaker, shown in the images below).|
* Please note: To ascertain the maximum and minimum noise levels produced by our test CPU Coolers, the dBA is recorded at a distance of 1 metre from the cooler, with all case fans unplugged to isolate the sound in question.
Processor speed is set using the OC Tweaker tab within the UEFI, “Disabled” for stock speeds (3.9GHz) and “Turbo 4.4GHz” for the overclock tests. It should be noted that changing the OC settings resets the Fan Speeds, so these are checked on the next reboot and reset to “Full Speed” (see above right). All the fans installed in the system are set to 100% speed using the displayed settings, this was done via the NZXT CAM software.
As stated above, to make our performance tests easier to follow and to get the most accurate recordings, all of the following tests have been carried out with Case fans set at 100% and the two NZXT Kraken X62 fans also set at 100%.
- Intel Core i5-6600K – 3.9GHz (stock)
|CPU Cooler||Air/Liquid||Fan Speed||Ambient Temperature||Max CPU Temperature (core average)||Delta Temperature||Noise Level|
|NZXT Kraken X62||Liquid||100%||23.00||42.00||19.00||50dB|
|NZXT Kraken X31||Liquid||100%||22.00||43.00||21.00||39dB|
|be quiet! Dark Rock TF||Air||100%||22.00||48.00||26.00||38dB|
Above you can see a screenshot of the NZXT CAM software and you can also see the recorded temperature that we recorded after 15 minutes of Prime95 (Torture Test). A pretty good temperature it is too, but what happens if we add a little overclock in the form of 4.4GHz @ 1312v?
- Intel Core i5-6600K – 4.4GHz (OC Tweaker)
|CPU Cooler||Air/Liquid||Fan Speed||Ambient Temperature||Max CPU Temperature (core average)||Delta Temperature||Noise Level|
|NZXT Kraken X62||Liquid||100%||23.00||59.00||36.00||50dB|
|NZXT Kraken X31||Liquid||100%||22.00||61.00||39.00||39dB|
|be quiet! Dark Rock TF||Air||100%||21.00||63.00||42.00||38dB|
In our 4.4GHz test at a voltage of 1.312 volts the Kraken X62 really shows its cooling prowess by equaling the cooling performance of the Platinum award winning Cryorig A40. But due to the Delta performance the Cryorig still manages to hold on to the top spot so to speak. But what’s worth paying attention to is the fact that the NZXT X62 did this while remaining 4dB quieter than the rather noisy A40. Of course the fan speed/noise curve can be tweaked via the NZXT CAM software allowing total control over the noise levels while just dropping a degree or two in cooling potential.
But to be honest the most important aspect of this CPU Cooler for me is its LED illumination. Now before you rush off and accuse me of going mad, let’s just cover the fact that the X62 is already a great AIO CPU Cooler. So NZXT have got that part covered…
But that illumination though really is something to behold and no photo or video that I can show you will convey just how good it actually is. Hopefully the NZXT video left will help, but I can assure you that not even the video does it justice! It’s simply that good that you’re likely to pay the asking price alone for the illumination with a CPU Cooler thrown in for free… 😉
Not only is the NZXT Kraken X62 a cool CPU Cooler due to its cooling performance it’s also a cool looking CPU Cooler too. In fact it’s the best looking AIO CPU Cooler we’ve ever seen…
The NZXT X62 arrived at pcG in a large box with all of the contents well protected (if not presented) courtesy of that egg-carton styled eco friendly cardboard that seems to be the norm for AIO coolers. Within the box we find the standard fare with a single 280mm (30mm thick) radiator connected to a rather interesting looking pump head, a couple of 140mm fans and a range of installation hardware.
First impressions are also very good with the AIO unit itself appearing well made and manufactured to a high standard, that pump head of course also looks rather intriguing. The fans themselves (NZXT AER P140) are also well made and look good to boot. All of this is backed up by a very impressive 6 year warranty.
Installation is best described as ‘one of the easiest I’ve ever installed’, well it’s the same as the X31 actually, but in all honestly it really is that simple. Just a back-plate, 4 stand-offs and four nuts and the pump is installed. Other than attaching the fans to the radiator and the radiator to the Case (8 screws), it just leaves the cabling. Two further connections need to be made: one for the CAM Control software (USB) and a further multi-way cable to power the pump and to power up the dual 140mm fans.
As you can see from the results above the NZXT Krken X62 is quite the performer being in second position in both the stock and overclocked tests. But it’s worth noting that while it’s pipped to the top spot by the Cryorig A40 it is in fact 4dB quieter in both tests.
So the NZXT Kraken is well made and it performs extremely well too and with the fans at 100% it’s not too loud (subjective) either. But; yes that’s right there’s a but! The NZXT Kraken X62 has a trump card up its sleeve and that’s the illumination and its associated effects. The illumination offered up is simply stunning and in fact you’ll marvel for some time as to how NZXT have actually pulled this off. It is in fact so good that you and me are likely to buy this CPU Cooler for the illumination alone…
This then makes the potential purchase of this amazing AIO CPU Cooler a ‘no brainer’ in my mind. It is simply the best CPU Cooler on the market today in my opinion. It not only performs well, it’s also extremely easy to install, is accompanied by the excellent NZXT CAM software and then there’s that amazing RGB illumination. What more could you want; well it could be a little cheaper I guess (whinge, whinge)…
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Many thanks to NZXT for providing this sample for review