NZXT Kraken X40 & X60 CPU Coolers Review

Author: SKYMTL
Date: February 10, 2013
Product Name: Kraken X40 and Kraken X60
Part Number: RL-KRX60-01 & RL-KRX40-01
Warranty: 2 Years
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Closer Look at the X40

Much like any serious All In Once cooling device the X40’s shipping container is both informative and eye catching. The internal protection scheme is very similar to that of the competition as well. A sturdy cardboard tray with foam topper is the de-facto standard for AIO’s and while the cardboard box may be slightly bigger – to accommodated the larger radiator – it is the same as you would find inside any Asetek built AIO cooler.

The list of accessories which accompanies this model is both complete and contains almost no surprises. There is enough included equipment to mount the X40 to nearly any Intel or AMD system and NZXT has also included adapters to mound a second fan to the unit. This second fan may not be included but unlike the Corsair H55 you need not worry about how you will mount it.

With Asetek being the X40’s primary OEM, the only things which distinguish it from previous units is the included white-bladed fan and the oversized water block. Past that, NZXT’s latest single bay unit would pass for any other AiO device.

The X40 uses a fairly low profile waterblock / pump combination which is circular in shape and uses Asetek’s latest generation copper block design. It also utilizes a distinctive tongue and groove universal mounting configuration which gives the circular water block its distinctive “saw tooth” appearance. Meanwhile, the base itself comes equipped with pre-applied thermal compound and a beautifully mirror-like finish.

NZXT has added 90° connectors to mate the tubing to the water block, making for an easier installation process. This is a great feature which will reduce connector pressure and thus increase longevity. We can also see that NZXT added a trio of hard-wired cables extending from the waterblock: a USB internal header, a 3 pin power cable and a double headed 4 pin fan controller wire which allows for up to two fans to be powered and connected to the X40.

Instead of using rather stiff 3/8” OD ribbed tubing from previous Asetek designs, NZXT’s special rubber-type compound provides a highly flexible and yet durable finish.

Speaking of the tubing, its 3/8 size is rather small compared to Corsair’s latest design but that’s understandable since the X40’s pump targets low noise output rather than maximizing water flow speed through larger diameter openings.

Moving on we come to what is easily the most distinctive and obvious feature which separates the X40 from its competitors: the radiator. As noted in the introduction the X40 uses a 140mm radiator which dwarfs other units, giving it 36% more surface area but additional installation hassles.

This 27mm thick radiator not only has a drastically increased surface area but also has an increased number of water channels. In the typical Asetek 120mm radiator there are 11, whereas the X40 has 13 longer channels which should increase the radiator’s efficiency.

Unfortunately, there is one major issue with opting for a larger form factor is the limited number of high static pressure 140mm fans. For the time being most 140mm fan designs are built with case intake and exhaust duties in mind rather than not heatsink/radiator scenarios. To help minimize the static pressure requirements of the X40s radiator NZXT has opted for a thickness of 27mm instead of 38mm or greater.

To help further alleviate the limitations of the larger radiator, NZXT also released a specialized fan for it. The so-called FX 140LB is an in-house design which can spin as low as 800 RPM or as high as 2000 RPM. At its maximum speed this 4 pin, PWM capable fan can move 98.3 CFM of air and do so with 2.2mm of static pressure. Even at its slowest speed of 800rpm it still is rated for 0.8mm of static pressure which is quite impressive.

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