NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler

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NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler

September 20, 2014 by Lawrence Lee

NZXT Kraken X61
AIO Liquid CPU Cooler
Street Price

While many PC enthusiasts have deemed closed-loop liquid cooling solutions to be the defacto standard for premium builds, we at SPCR are far from convinced. It's a neat idea use forced flowing liquid for heat extraction, but thus far most water cooling units we've reviewed have underperformed. We haven't tested that many but it's still telling that in the past four years, we've recommended only one: The NZXT Kraken X41 — and that was just last month.

Both the Kraken X31 and X41 are notable for having an excellent base, a reasonably quiet pump, and a superb-sounding stock fan. The X31 proved to be an average performer, but the X41 was miles ahead, putting it into contention against some of the very best tower heatsinks. As the two coolers' base/pump mechanism are essentially the same, the difference came down to the X41's larger 14 cm radiator and fan. Size, or rather surface area, turned out to be the key factor. The X61 we're examining today is even bigger, so hopes are high that it can do some serious cooling damage. Nothing less is acceptable considering its US$140 price, which some people wouldn't pay even for a processor, let along a cooling solution.

The X61 box.

NZXT Kraken X61: Specifications
(from the product web page)
Model Number RL-KRX61-01
CPU Compatibility Intel LGA 2011-3, 1366, 1156, 1155, 1150
AMD FM2, FM1, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2
Material Copper
Dimensions 40 (W) x 280 (H) x 27mm (D)
Tube Length 400mm
LED Color Hue Controlled Color Changing Lights
Control Method Kraken+ Software Module
Warranty 6 Years
Speed 2400-3600 ± 150 RPM
Voltage 12V DC
Current 325mA
Connector 3-Pin
Model NZXT FX V2 140mm Performance PWM Fan
Dimensions 140 x 140 x 25mm
Speed 800~2000 RPM ± 10%
Air Flow 42.4-106.1 CFM
Air Pressure 0.36-1.97 mmH20
Bearing Nano
Voltage 12V DC
Connector 4-Pin PWM

The X61 is essentially a dual X41, with the radiator enlarged to fit two 14 cm fans instead of one (though it is thinner). The smaller 12/14 cm units can be installed in just about any fan placement in a case, but the larger X61 radiator is best mounted on the top panel, though front or bottom positioning is possible if the case size and layout is suitable. The rest of the unit is the same as the X31/X41 as far as we can tell, with an identically sized pump/base structure and the same length/thickness of tubing. The pump runs 3600 RPM at top speed, as with the other Krakens, and two of the X41's pleasant 14 cm stock fans are included. Once again, there are adjustable lighting effects on the base and a software utility to control and monitor everything. We didn't get pump speed control working with our previous Kraken samples but hopefully the X61 doesn't suffer from this issue.



The X61 uses packaging similar to other closed-loop water cooler on the market. The cooler is spread out in a paper carton inside the outer box with the fans and accessories segregated in a small compartment at the center. The X61 ships with the cooler itself, a pair of 14 cm fans, an assembly guide, and the necessary mounting hardware including a plastic backplate and AMD mounting frame (the Intel frame is attached by default). The usual tube of thermal compound is absent as it is pre-applied, and there's no fan adapter as all the necessary connectors are wired direclty to the base.

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