Knowing that Haswell is already a hot processor and the stock Intel cooler is just horrible, did we get what we expected out of these NZXT Kraken sealed CPU water cooling kits? You bet! These both performed very well, even when the fans were whisper quiet.
In the looks department, I think NZXT hit their goals right on the head: Keep it simple; keep it sexy. The entire kit is a flat black, which will match anyone’s configurations. The sexy part comes in with the LED light system on the pump. Some of you may have a case with no window, but for those who do, the LED system adds a little extra coolness factor to your system.
Both of the Kraken kits were pretty easy to work with. The only tedious part that I noticed was connecting the plastic inserts onto the retention ring and then snapping everything into place. I kind of wished this were already done for me, but it isn’t like it was difficult or time consuming.
Installation was a breeze, but I’m not sure why NZXT’s instructions recommend mounting a pull configuration over a push, since a push would be easier to work with. Never fear, you can always install it how you want, or if you want, both radiators allow for a push/pull configuration if you wish to invest into more fans.
Speaking of push/pull configurations, I was quite impressed with how well the x40 performed with a push/pull config. But then you have to ask yourself, is it worth it to invest into another fan? Well, I guess you’ll probably only be asking yourself this if your case can’t handle a 280mm radiator. My simple answer is: NO. If you have the room, buy the x60! Why? It’s currently a whole ten bucks more than the x40 and is well worth it! There is even more potential waiting for you!
NZXT’s Kraken Control software was a snap to learn and use. You can set up your own custom fan ramp-up configuration based on temperature, which is a handy little tool. Unfortunately with Haswell, I was unable to monitor my CPU temperature from the software, so I had to utilize other means.
So, if you have the room in your case to support a 280mm radiator, I would strongly recommend sticking with the x60 over the x40. The x40 still did quite well and if you’re in the market for a 140mm radiator, because your case doesn’t support anything larger, this one did pretty well and just blows away the performance of the stock Intel cooler.
Legit Bottom Line: The NZXT Kraken x40 is a great cooler if you only have 140mm of space to work with, and investing into another fan for it might be worth your while. If you have the room for a 280mm radiator, the x60 is absolutely the way you can go due to its superior cooling performance and potential, should you decide to do a push/pull configuration.