A Closer Look at the NZXT Kraken X41 CPU Cooler
The packaging of the NZXT Kraken X41 is far from exciting, mostly made from cardboard which not only protects the heatsink, but keeps the accessories organized. In a measure to keep the review interesting we always omit boring stuff, so without further due lets get into detail of what came inside the box. In this section I will give my first impressions of the Kraken X41 as well as go over the exterior details that Cooler Master has added to this cooler.
NZXT provides virtually all the necessary hardware to install the Kraken X41 in any recent enthusiast motherboard from Intel and AMD. Each different mounting system is separated by plastic bags, with the AMD bag clearly labeled. The included manual is far from exciting and prompts users to follow a link to access the full version of the manual. There is two included brackets, one for AMD systems, and one for Intel systems which comes installed.
Enclosed by a plastic outer shell, the new Asetek Gen 4.5 design has support for RGB LEDs that illuminate the engraved NZXT logo at the top of the core. The Kraken X41 also supports full software control through USB using NZXT’s own CAM software. Aside from the USB 2.0 header cable, there is also a 3-pin connector to provide power for the pump, an improvement over the X40’s sata connector, and a cable with two 4-pin headers to power a maximum of two fans for a push-pull configuration.
I usually rant a lot about not perfectly machined base plates on high-end CPU coolers, specially at the price point the NZXT Kraken line is aiming for. Although our sample of the NZXT Kraken X41 came with pre-applied thermal paste, there were no notorious mistakes on the overall finish of it’s copper base plate. Having a perfectly machined base plate with no errors should yield better performance as there will be no place for air pockets to form between the TIM and the base of the cooler.
One of the biggest improvements of the NZXT Kraken x41 over the Kraken X40 is the inclusion of a thicker and denser radiator and larger tubing to give install the radiator at the top, back and even front of cases that support 140 mm radiators. The rubber tubing extends for 400 mm, and most importantly is really hard to kink which should allow it to be bent in really tight spaces. The tubing enters the radiator midway between the middle and the top / bottom of the radiator to allow for better clearance. There is also appropriate spacing between the mounting holes and the radiator fins to prevent fins and channels from being damaged during installation.