NZXT Kraken X41 CPU Cooler Review
By Julian Duque
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by NZXT.
Although the NZXT Kraken X41 and X61 All-In-One CPU Coolers were released last year, Benchmark Reviews still believes that they deserve a chance to be added to our increasing list of performance coolers. NZXT, a company that we most commonly associate with cases, has actually been releasing cooling components for quite a long time thanks to their relationship with the cooling giant Asetek. Both of this week’s contestants feature Asetek’s newest Gen 4.5 design which brings support for variable speed pumps through software, a feature which NZXT claimed as one of a kind in the All-In-One cooler market back in 2014.
Aside from the inclusion of a variable speed pump, the NZXT Kraken X41 improves from it’s predecessor, the Kraken X40, by adding a thicker radiator with a more dense fin array which accounts for 36% more surface area. NZXT has also given the Kraken X41 extended tubing to ensure compatibility with all installation environments. Included with the Kraken X41 is a FX140 V2 PWM fan which according to NZXT is more powerful, quite, and durable than it’s predecessor. Most importantly, the Kraken X41 has a 6 year warranty, which just goes to prove how confident NZXT is of the Kraken line.
Air-Cooling VS Water-Cooling
There are several misconceptions when it comes to the ordeal of choosing a cooler for your processor. It is true that Water-Cooling may yield better cooling results, mostly due to water’s higher thermal conductivity when compared to the ethanol and ammonia mixture found in most heat-pipes based coolers. But that does not mean that air coolers should not be considered as an option for enthusiasts. Unlike water-coolers, air-coolers do not need a pump, and can be “Passively Cooled” for quieter operation. Although pumps have become more silent and reliable, they should still be considered as another moving part inside your system that may be subject to failure, as well as being a source of noise. Another important factor to take into consideration when choosing the right CPU cooler is compatibility, Most heatsinks require certain parameters to be met including the CPU cooler height limit of your case, and motherboard clearance compatibility. In contrast, water-coolers only require a place to mount the radiator inside your case, as most CPU blocks are small enough to not interfere with important components near the CPU socket.
Features & Specifications
Courtesy of NZXT.com
|Fan Air Flow||42.4-106.1 CFM|
|Fan Air Pressure||0.36-1.97mmH2O|
|Fan Bearing||Nano Bearing|
|Motor Speed||2400-3600 ± 150 RPM|
|Fan Connector||4 Pin PWM|
|Motor Connector||3 Pin|
|Compatibility||Intel LGA 2011-3, 1366, 1156, 1155, 1150 CPUs
AMD FM2, FM1, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2 CPUs
|Fan Dimensions||140 x 140 x 25mm|
|Radiator Dimensions||140 x 172.5 x 36mm|
|Fan Model||NZXT FX V2 140mm Performance PWM Fan|
|Fan Noise Level||20-37 dBA|
|LED Color||Hue Controlled Color Changing Lights|