PRODUCT INFO NZXT Kraken X62 280mm Manufacturer NZXT Available at View at Amazon
We got our hands on the NZXT Kraken X62 and decided to give it a spin. The NZXT Kraken X62 is a 280mm liquid cooler based on Asetek design and featuring their fifth generation pump with in-house designed PCB for maximum performance. This cooler was the first of its kind to feature the infinity mirror design on top of the pump block with some packed stunning RGB LED lighting effects.
This is our first CPU Cooler on the test bench but for comparison, we will include the Corsair H100i V2 test results as well. Let’s get started.
Last update on 2018-08-16 at 03:14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Packaging and ContentsThe cooler comes in a cardboard box in NZXT colors. The front side of the box has a white color background. Kraken X62 280mm liquid cooler is printed on the top side in the black color font. There is a picture of the unit on the main section on this side. The backside also has a white color background. NZXT is printed on the top left side followed by Kraken. Features highlight is printed under the picture of the installed unit. The right side shows the CAM interface to control the vivid lighting effect on this cooler. This cooler comes with AER P140 fans which are designed for the water cooling radiators. This cooler has fine nylon sleeves added to the rubber tubing. Tubing is flexible to my liking. The left side of the box shows the bulleted format printed features of the cooler in 11 different languages. The model of this unit is RL-KRX62-02. Serial no sticker is pasted on the bottom side followed by the EAN and UPC info labels. The right side of the box has the specifications of the unit printed on it. NZXT has provided a base comparison of this cooler with the Intel Stock Cooler on an overclocked i7 4770k (4.4GHz). This cooler was doing 63°C vs Stock cooler’s 89°C. It is surprising that stock cooler managed 89°C and did not throttle. Anyhow, that is not the topic of debate here. As compared to the 240mm radiator this 280mm radiator has 36% more surface area which means better heat dissipation yet at less sound level. The top side of the box has NZXT printed in enlarged font size on the bottom. Kraken X62 280mm Liquid Cooler is printed on the top right side. The contents of the cooler are shipped inside the egged box packing which is a plus.
Here is a list of what is included in the box:
- Kraken X62 280mm radiator
- 1x Intel Retention Bracket [Pre-installed]
- 1x AMD Retention Bracket
- 1x Intel Backplate
- 4x Intel Socket 115x/1366 standoffs
- 4x Intel Socket 2011/2066 standoffs
- 4x AMD AM4 standoffs
- 4x AMD other sockets standoffs
- 4x Thumb Nuts
- 16x 30mm UNC 6-32 Fan Screws
- 8x 5mm UNC 6-32 Screws
- 16x Washers
- 2x AER P Fans
- 1x Power Cable Set
- 1x Mini-USB Cable
Closer LookThe NZXT Kraken X62 is a 280mm liquid cooling solution for the CPU. This cooler has compatibility with almost every Intel and AMD sockets out there including the AMD’s TR4 and AM4 sockets and Intel’s 2066 socket. Here is what the NZXT is saying about this series of the coolers, “The all-new Kraken Series features the most advanced controls ever to be included in an all-in-one liquid cooler. Through CAM’s software interface, users can fine-tune settings to ensure an optimal performance, even in the most intense gaming sessions. Everything, including the pump, radiator, and the fans, have been redesigned to bring you the greatest experience in liquid cooling, all backed by an industry-leading 6-year warranty.”
Let’s take a closer look at the unit. The radiator is made of aluminum. Its dimension is 315x413x30mm with the thickness of 30mm. Adding fans with 25mm of thickness will make the total thickness of the unit to 55mm. This is Asetek design in case you are looking for this information. The blocks on both ends of the radiator are not rectangular and have rounded edges. The radiator has 16 FPI count making it less dense and it has total 12 channels for water flow. The left chamber is inlet and the right chamber is outlet. Hot water flows in from inlet and passes through the corresponding channels. Heat is blown away through the fins by the fans and cold or normal temperature water flows out of the radiator through the outlet port. The spacing between the fan mounting holes is 120mm. Please, note that there are no protective covering under the mounting holes, hence it is suggested to use the radiator screws provided with the unit. Using longer screws could damage the fins that would affect the cooling performance. The unit comes with pre-applied thermal paste. There is no refill port on the radiator or the block. This design is not following latest trend in the AIOs with the refill port that is a handy feature. The tubing are made of ultra-low evaporation rubber material and have been nylon sleeved for reinforcement and better looks. The length of the tubing is approximately 380mm and it is flexible which is plus on the part of their design team.
Being an Asetek design, we would not be seeing another latest trend in which there is a flow indicator or reservoir on top of the pump housing as we have seen on the Reeven’s Naia, Raijintek Orcus, Deepcool’s Captain EX RGB to name a few. None of the above mentioned are Asetek design. I like the flow indicator concept as it gives visual aid to the users letting them know if the coolant is actually flowing or not and helps in troubleshooting. NZXT has taken their own take and man, anyone would fall in love with what they have done with their new Kraken series units. The pump housing is totally in a rounded circle shape. It is a two chamber design with pump housing on the bottom chamber and the top chamber is where all the magic is done by the NZXT. This unit features Infinity Mirror design on the top chamber of the block. InWin is known for the Infinity Mirror design on their famous PC Chassis and this creates stunning yet 3D kinda look and you can imagine what sort of effects we have on this unit. The LEDs are addressable and can be controlled using their CAM software. These two ingredients i.e Infinite Mirror and Addressable LEDs are what make this unit stand out of the competition in the category of RGB coolers. Not that I am talking about the performance here but the looks and the aesthetics alone. We will see how this units performs in our testing section. The dimension of the pump housing is 80x80x52.9mm. The block size seems bit larger and with 90° rotary fittings on the pump housing, the DIMM clearance could be an issue. The pump housing is made of the plastic material however, the top chamber design gives a hint of the brushed aluminum around the border. The top side is a reflective mirror with addressable RGB LEDs underneath it.
The overall design is symmetrical and build quality is top notch. There are two headers on the side of the pump housing. One is the Mini-USB header with which the supplied USB cable’s mini end is connected. The other end of the USB cable has 9-pin connector that is connected to the motherboard’s USB 2.0 header. Towards the left side of the Mini-USB header, there is another 9-pin header with which the supplied power cable is connected. This power cable is a set of 3 cables which are: one 3-pin fan power cable that is supposed to be connected on to the CPU Fan header, one SATA power cable to be connected to the PSU to power on the pump and the lighting, and four 4-pin fan headers to connect up to 4 fans with the unit. The power cable set is flat to my liking. The pump has a rated speed of 1600 ~ 2800 ± 300 RPM at 12V. This is Asetek’s fifth generation pump which is being marketed for quitter and capable of displacing more liquid than the previous generations. The aim here is to improve upon the cooling efficiency yet at better sound level. There is a warning sticker pasted on the top mirror side informing the user to connect all the cables before powering on the unit.
Let’s take a look at the base of the block. The base has a size of 53x53mm. The base is implemented in a polished finish cooper. Please, note that it is not fully polished to give mirror effect. It is in a rounded circle shape to go with the overall symmetry of the design. It seems to be a plain surface. Thermal paste is pre-applied though we did not use the pre-applied thermal paste for the testing. The Intel’s mounting bracket is pre-installed on the pump housing and it is a typical Asetek mounting design. There are cutouts with holding tabs on the pump housing where the bracket is slided in to lock it to the housing. For AMD sockets, the user would need to remove the Intel’ bracket and mount the AMD bracket.
NZXT has provided two AER P 140mm fans with the unit. The AER P high static pressure fan is designed for liquid-cooling perfection. Engineered to maximize the cooling potential of radiators, it features a chamfered intake and exhaust for high-performance airflow and winglet-designed blades to improve drag efficiency. The AER P uses fluid dynamic bearing to provide silent operations, long-term durability, and achieves powerful cooling performance. Looking at the fan from the front side would show the two tone color design. The frame of the fan is in the black color whereas the interior is of the gray color. It is apparent that there is inlet downward slope on the corners whereas there is straight line design on the center portion of the frame. This is what NZXT is referring to as chamfered intake and exhaust to ensure the high airflow. In addition to this design element, the tips of the blades are winglets to help reduce the drag and enhance the performance. There are 7 blades. The motor hub has a sticker pasted on it with NZXT printed on it. Each mounting corner has a rubber pad between the frame sides. This design reminds me of the Noiseblocker fans. The backside of the fan shows a 4-arms assembly. There is sticker pasted on the motor hub with NZXT printed in the white color font in the middle. These fans are using Fluid Dynamic Bearings made of copper, the life span of the Aer P is made to last over six years. FDB are designed to maintain consistent lubrication reducing bearing noise. Their rated speed is 500 ~ 1800 ± 300 RPM. The rated sound level is 21-38 dBA. Fan operate on 12V DC and draws 0.35A with input power of 4.20W. These fans are PWM design with 4-pin PWM power connector. The length of the power cable is approximately 415mm.
SoftwareNZXT has provided CAM software to control every aspect of their Kraken series coolers. Software can be downloaded from their website and has approximately 73MB size. Installation is simple but it was surprising that user would have to create an account and login to the software. Besides helping users database this is a pretty much needless requirement. We did not see any such requirement from Corsair iCUE. Let’s walk through the software interface. Interface is simple and convenient to use. There is a row of icons on the top to control the certain aspects of the software and a column of icons on the left side to control the attached device. The main interface has a Dashboard design showing the CPU Frequency, Load, Fan Speed and temperature on the top side. The middle row shows the critical info pertaining to the graphics card and the bottom row shows the RAM and Storage devices info. User can switch to the Graphical format from this speedometer design.
Clicking on the second Icon starting from the top one on the left side will show the summary of the PC. Third Icon will let the user to enable the CAM Overlay which is an intuitive design to display variables like FPS, Temperature etc during gaming sessions. User can decide where the overlay will display on the screen as well as the color of the text. The fourth Icon will show the Graphics card information like Core Clock Speed, Temperature, Voltage, VRAM speed. User can enable the Overclocking option that would enable the disabled sliders to control the power factor, core clock speed, memory speed etc. Also, there are prebuilt fan profiles that user can select subject to the requirement. The fifth Icon will let the user define and control the speed of the fans and the pump independently as well as syncing them. There are pre-defined profiles for the fans and the pump like Silent, Fixed, Performance, and Custom. User can define Custom fan curve as per their requirement. The unit also displays the Liquid Temperature here. The sixth Icon displays the control for the RGB Lighting effects. User can configure lighting of the NZXT logo and the Ring independently or jointly. The last Icon displays the attached NZXT devices information. The camera icon on the top lets the user to take snapshot of the current interface. Next Icon switches between the day and night modes. In day mode there is white color background of the software. The bell icon displays the notifications from NZXT/software. Next is a settings icon. User can switch to the Mini Cam that would reduce the size of the display window and will show the critical information of the CPU, Graphics Card, RAM, and Storage devices.
RGB LightingUsing CAM, the addressable RGB lighting on the NZXT Kraken x62 can be configured. Let’s take a look at the software part where these effects can be configured. There are two lighting zones on the block. One is the NZXT logo in the center of the mirror and the other one is the rings under the infinite mirror. Both portions can be synced or controlled independently. Please, note that in case of the sync lighting, certain modes for the ring lighting will not be available unless it is configured independently. Preset modes include:
- Covering Marquee
- Spectrum Wave
- Tai Chi
- Water Cooling
In addition to above, there are two reactive modes:
Color palette is available to the users to select or define the colors of their preference. In certain modes, the direction of effect can be configured from Forward to Backward and vice versa. Interval of the lighting effect can also be selected from pre-defined levels like Slow, Normal, Fast etc. User has the option to create custom profile. In certain modes, user has the option to add more colors in the pattern. In Smart mode user can create color indicators for different temperature ranges for the CPU and GPU as well as for the FPS count.
The color effects on this cooler are vivid, sublime and infinite mirror creates stunning visuals. Here are some pictures of the lighting effects of this unit.
InstallationI have tested the cooler on the X99 platform using 2011-3 socket using the Asus ROG Rampage V Edition 10 motherboard. Installation mechanism is straight forward on this socket as backplate is pre-installed on this socket with pre-drilled mounting holes on the plate. Mount the fans on the radiator in the desired configuration. Use the 4x LGA 2011-3/2066 standoffs and mount them on the holes around the socket. Apply the thermal paste on the IHS of the CPU. Connect the mini-USB and power cable set to the pump housing. Place the block on the CPU by aligning the mounting holes on the Intel bracket with the standoffs threads and secure it by 4x metal nuts. Connect the 3-pin cable to the CPU Fan Header. Connect the fans to the 4-pin headers available on the power cable set and connect the SATA connector to the power source. Last step is to connect the other end of the mini-USB cable to the USB 2.0 header of the motherboard. Cooler is ready to put in some action. In terms of clearance, there is no issue with respect to the first PCIe slot. Due to 90° mounting of the tubing on the block, the clearance with respect to the first DIMM slot could be an issue. NZXT has mentioned the RAM clearance of 35mm.
Testing MethodologyOur test bench setup is as under
Following software were used for the testing and monitoring.
- Asus Real Bench v 2.44
- Real Temp GT v 3.70
We will be using the Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste for coolers testing on our test bench. The use of a same thermal paste for all coolers will ensure the standardization and eliminates any performance benefit that may come using the supplied thermal paste. For testing, we put the CPU to 3.6GHz at 1.140v VCore. CPU was stressed test for an hour using Asus RealBench software. Next, the chip was overclocked to 4.3GHz using 1.350V Vcore. Same procedure was repeated for its testing. We will be using the delta temperatures that are calculated by subtracting the ambient temp reading from the average of all cores’ temps. This approach comes handy for the uncontrolled environment. The pump and the fans were set to run at their 100% speeds.
ResultsLet’s take a look at the graphs. On stock clocks, the CPU was idling at 1.67°C. 22.23°C was the temperature under stress testing. This is first cooler being tested on our test bench. For comparison, we have included the Corsair H100i V2. The NZXT Kraken X62 has a lead of 3.77°C. Keep in mind that Kraken X62 is a 280mm cooling solution as compared to the 240mm cooling solution of the Corsair H100i V2.
With overclocked 6850k to 4.3GHz at 1.350V, the CPU was idling at 1.99°C. 38.83°C was the temperature under the stress test. The NZXT Kraken X62 has a lead of 2.33°C.
We could not measure the sound level of the unit as the summer season here and there are certain environmental sounds that are beyond our control. These fans at full load are noisy which can tease the user if sitting close. Custom fan curve would be handy to cover this issue.
ConclusionThe NZXT Kraken X62 is the first cooler that has been tested on our test bench. This cooler is a premium solution from the NZXT featuring the 280mm radiator and Asetek fifth generation of the pump. The dimension of the radiator is 315x143x30mm. The thickness of the radiator is 30mm. It has 16 FPI count with 12 channels. The fins are made of the aluminum hence it is light weight. There is a spacing of 120mm between the mounting holes. There is no protective covering under the mounting holes and using the larger screws could damage the fins affecting the cooling performance of the unit. The tubing are made of ultra-low evaporation rubber material with nylon sleeves to reinforce the tubing and to give better looks. Tubing is flexible. Length of the tubing is 380mm approximately.
The block has a two chamber design with the bottom chamber having the Asetek fifth generation pump that is designed for better cooling performance at lower sound levels. The top chamber has the magic part. It has an infinite mirror design with addressable RGB lightings to create some stunning, vivid and 3D like effects which look damn good in person. The pump housing has the dimension of 80x80x52.9mm. The tubing are connected to the pump housing in 90° that could create clearance issue with respect to the first DIMM slot. The lower chamber has mini-USB header and a power cable header. As is the case with many other Asetek design AIOs, the user has some cable management work at hand with this cooler. The power cable set is flat which is a plus. Power cable set includes 3-pin fan cable, SATA Connector, 4x 4-pin PWM headers all in one cable set. NZXT has provided a comprehensive software to control each and every aspect of the cooler. Unfortunately, CAM is needed to regulate the speed of the pump without which the performance will not be optimal as per our testing. CAM seems to be still buggy as it was not reporting the fan speeds. After several attempts, it shows the fan speed but it was momentarily. NZXT needs to work out the flawless software for better user experience. The requirement to logon is needless.
NZXT has provided two AER P fans which are 140x140x25mm size. These are custom designed for the water cooling radiators and have a chamfered intake and exhaust design for better airflow. The blades are winglets on their tips to reduce the drag. These fans are using Fluid Dynamic Bearings made of copper, the life span of the Aer P is made to last over six years. FDB are designed to maintain consistent lubrication reducing bearing noise. Their rated speed is 500 ~ 1800 ± 300 RPM. The rated sound level is 21-38 dBA. Fan operate on 12V DC and draws 0.35A with an input power of 4.20W. These fans are PWM design with 4-pin PWM power connector. NZXT is giving 6 years of warranty on this cooler which speaks of their confidence in the product and this is by far the lengthy warranty period on any AIO in my knowledge.
|Infinite Mirror with addressable RGB LEDs||Noisy|
|Good thermal performance||CAM has bugs|
|Compatible with AMD AM4 and TR4 sockets||Cable Management is challenging|
|6 years warranty|
|Customization at user|
The cooler is priced $159.99 at the time of the review. This is a premium price tag but worth it given what NZXT has offered in the bundle. Powerful fans with better performing pump and infinite mirror with addressable RGB LEDs.
In our testing, this cooler has performed very well though the noise level of the fan was way higher to my liking. On stock clocks of 3.6GHz, the unit has a lead over the Corsair H100i V2 with a margin of 3.77°C. On overclocked i7 6850k to 4.3GHz this cooler was doing 2.33°C below the Corsair H100i V2.
Keep in mind that the NZXT Kraken X62 is a 280mm cooling solution as compared to the 240mm cooling solution on the Corsair H100i V2. The NZXT Kraken X62 comes recommended by us.
If you are in the market looking for a cooling solution with good performance levels and infinite mirror with addressable RGB lighting on it, there is no other choice than the NZXT Kraken X62. This cooler packs quite a performance punch with stunning and vivid lighting effects that we have yet to see on any other such cooler.