NZXT Kraken X40 & X60 CPU Water Cooler Reviews

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NZXT Kraken x40 and x60 Benchmarking

In the benchmarks that I will be running, I used an Intel 4770k clocked at 3.5GHz with Turbo Boost and the low power state enabled.  Turbo Boost allows the 4770k to hit up to 3.9GHz.  To record temperatures, I used Core Temp, logged the temperatures while each program was active, and averaged all 4 cores.

Benchmark wise, I will be using several synthetic and real-world benchmarks to perform normal, heavy, and extreme load.  The benchmarks that I’m going to use today include:  Prime95, x264, 3DMark 2013 (Firestrike test only), Metro Last Light, and Sleeping Dogs.  Prime 95 will peg all four cores and eight threads to 100%, which will help us to understand exactly how hot this CPU can get with each cooler.

Ambient temperature during all testing was 74 degrees Fahrenheit.

Just for grins, and strictly with the x40, I wanted to see if adding another fan for a push/pull configuration could beat the x60.  Read on to find out what I discovered!


NZXT Temperature Testing - Idle


NZXT Temperature Testing - Prime95


NZXT Temperature Testing - x264

3D Mark 2013

NZXT Temperature Testing - 3DMark 2013

Metro Last Light

NZXT Temperature Testing - Metro Last Light

Sleeping Dogs

NZXT Temperature Testing - Sleeping Dogs

Overall Results:  As you can see, the Kraken x60 was the king of the hill on the Extreme fan setting.  I have to be honest, the noise made from these fans is quite obnoxious at full blast, so unless you’re doing gaming with headphones and have a good noise canceling microphone for voice chat, you probably won’t like this setting.  If your PC is a good distance away from your head, you just might not care.

What was very interesting is how well the x40 did in a push/pull configuration.  It actually beat the x60 in several tests, but I did have to put it into the Extreme fan setting just to beat out the Silent fan setting on the x60.  Is it worth the noise increase?  I’ll say, probably not!  But that all changes if your system can’t handle a 280mm radiator, in which you’d have to ask yourself the same question.  Maybe you could invest into a different high flow fan that won’t be as loud, or you could just utilize the custom setting in the Kraken Control software and make sure they don’t ramp up all the way.

The x40 is even a great improvement over the horrid stock Intel cooler while on its silent setting.

This wraps up the testing portion, so I am going to conclude this review up next.


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  • Mike

    Just a word of warning, Please please please don’t believe what is written in the compatibility guide online. They aren’t tested in any of the cases bar their own like they have you believe, and the product is not compatible with the majority for rear placement (only top placement where larger Rads should be going).

    NZXT Tech Support Manager (Eric Henry) recommend you cut your case up to accommodate the non compatible (but apparently compatible) product.

    As they refuse to accept any responsibility, I am now taking it upon myself to warn others before they make a similar mistake. Although its a nice product, the support is terrible, and it is only really compatible with their own cases for the majority.

  • Guest

    Hi, i run a crossfire with the x40 on each GPU. i noticed i can only control one of the pumps/fans. Any idea why?

    Thank You

    • Paul Margettas

      The software is probably only designed to control one pump at a time.

  • David

    Hi, I noticed that you installed your x60 backwards (hoses on the right, resulting in the nzxt logo being upside down) and left in the rear 140mm fan. Most builds I’ve seen pictures of floating around remove the 140mm fan from the rear and install the x60 (hoses on the left) resulting in the logo being right side up. 2 questions 1) do you recommend installing it the way you installed yours (leaving in the rear 140 mm fan) and 2) is there a reason you installed it upside down in terms of the logo?

    • BuzzFuzz

      David, it doesn’t matter in which way.. they turned that way coz of pipe maybe looks better this way. cheers