NZXT Kraken X61 280mm Liquid Cooling Solution Review
By Julian Duque
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by NZXT.
Last week we took a look at the NZXT Kraken X41, and we were impressed. Today NZXT, a company that we most commonly associate with cases, has allowed Benchmark Reviews to test the X41’s bigger brother, the X61. The Kraken X61 features 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 when they first showcased both of these coolers.
Aside from the inclusion of a variable speed pump, the NZXT Kraken X61 improves from it’s predecessor by including a massive 280 mm radiator with a denser fin array which accounts for 36% more surface area. NZXT has also given the Kraken X61 extended tubing to ensure compatibility with all installation environments. Included with the Kraken X61 are two FX140 V2 PWM fans which according to NZXT are more powerful, quite, and durable than the inclusions of it’s predecessor. Most importantly, the Kraken X61 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|
|Dimensions||140 (W) x 280 (H) x 27mm (D)|
|Fan Air Pressure||0.36-1.97mmH2O|
|Fan Bearing||Nano Bearing|
|Motor Speed||2400-3600 ± 150 RPM|
|Fan Connector||4 Pin PWM|
|Motor Voltage||12V DC|
|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|
|Fan Current||12V DC|
|Fan Model||NZXT FX V2 140mm Performance PWM Fan|
|LED Color||Hue Controlled Color Changing Lights|