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 Post subject: NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 5:00 pm 
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http://www.silentpcreview.com/NZXT_Kraken_X61/


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 Post subject: Re: NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 7:07 am 
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This is not something I do often -- start a discussion about one of our own articles -- but I find it inexplicable that after >6000 reads in <3 days, there's not a single comment from even a long term forum regular about a CPU cooler that's superseded all others on our recommended lists. :shock: :?: Is it not quiet enough? Too pricey? Too high performance? I -- and NZXT, too, I'm sure -- would really like to know what you all think!

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 Post subject: Re: NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 7:20 am 
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Well, i think this is the first AIO that i see SPCR give the silver award, this is something in my book, still not a big fan of AIO coolers but thats just a my personal preference. Personally i fear pump noise, and another thing that can fail over time.... im happy to see there are option if better cooling is needed, and ill keep it in mind if i do so, but for now air cooling in enough for my builds.

One thing that i would have liked is the pump to be PWM, personally i dont like running extra software, but i do like to control my fans on bios, and while i can control 3pin fan to some extent, is not nearly as good as i can the PWM fan headers, but from what i see the pump is 3pin and controlled by their software, not a huge draw back, and it does other things... like illumination... but i would have prefered a pump that i could control on pure bios.

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 Post subject: Re: NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:16 am 
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The speed range of the pump is narrow, and there's very little performance difference between max and min speed, so the logical quiet option is to set it at min speed & leave it there -- no need to vary the control. So whether via fan header on mobo or a direct resistor-loaded line to the PSU, it hardly matters imo. Fan speed control is far more important. No question the control app needs tweaking for SPCR to embrace.

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 Post subject: Re: NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:28 am 
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MikeC wrote:
would really like to know what you all think!

Mike, what should I say?
At first glance, providing that the current platform is representative of the hottest CPU, IN MY VERY HUMBLE OPINION the results are... almost unremarkable for the money.

How can I say? It bottoms at the noise-range 16-18dB (IMVHO a load value, for high end, low airflow air coolers): you always say that 1-2dB isn't that much difference, as well as 1-2°C.
Looking at the table, the first ten coolers are around 37-39°C, the first twenty (about) 37-41°C, a 25USD cooler like the 212 is 44°C.
Probably with a 40°C tropical ambient a 7°C gain will somehow matter, but set aside people in the rain forest "cui prodest"?

As a mere guess, maybe those AIOs should be tested in a different matter, maybe inside a cramped SFF enclosure (so where high end air cooling usually can't go).

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 Post subject: Re: NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:41 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
MikeC wrote:
would really like to know what you all think!

Mike, what should I say?... As a mere guess, maybe those AIOs should be tested in a different matter, maybe inside a cramped SFF enclosure.

Whatever you think, Luca! :lol:

Yup, it's pricey -- we called that, too.

As to testing in a different way... that would make results difficult to compare unless other heatsinks were done in the same way. (And no other liquid cooler we tested justifies this.) We spend tons of time doing these cooler reviews, so no need to add to the effort. Though it will change if ambient is dramatically changed (like over +10C), temp rise still gives a reasonable idea of the cooler's performance in hotter conditions... like in a multi-VGA card high power gaming rig.

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 Post subject: Re: NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:07 am 
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For me this product would only make sense for the cooling of an overclocked Haswell-E. And in this case I guess I would settle for
the X41 and a lower overclock instead of the X61, but I'm sure there are professional overclockers who would appreciate it.

However I'd like to propose an alternative / derived product: an AIO gfx cooler for 2 (or even 3!!!) GPUs, using this 2 x 140 mm radiator.
For those who don't want to build their own water-loop, I think it would make sense. The X61 should be able to cool 2 (or even 3) GTX 970 GPUs.


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 Post subject: Re: NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:31 am 
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Tzupy wrote:
For me this product would only make sense for the cooling of an overclocked Haswell-E. And in this case I guess I would settle for
the X41 and a lower overclock instead of the X61, but I'm sure there are professional overclockers who would appreciate it.

However I'd like to propose an alternative / derived product: an AIO gfx cooler for 2 (or even 3!!!) GPUs, using this 2 x 140 mm radiator.
For those who don't want to build their own water-loop, I think it would make sense. The X61 should be able to cool 2 (or even 3) GTX 970 GPUs.

TDP of GTX970 = 145W :!:

Maybe it could cool 2 of these, tops, at a not-quiet volume. 3? I doubt it very much.

NZXT does offer an adapter to use their WC units on gfx cards: http://www.nzxt.com/product/detail/138- ... acket.html We just received one & will be testing the X41 and X61 on various cards.

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 Post subject: Re: NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:42 am 
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Tzupy wrote:
However I'd like to propose an alternative / derived product: an AIO gfx cooler for 2 (or even 3!!!) GPUs, using this 2 x 140 mm radiator.
For those who don't want to build their own water-loop, I think it would make sense. The X61 should be able to cool 2 (or even 3) GTX 970 GPUs.
The Kraken G10 would at least allow it for one card, I would like this performance in a 240mm AIO radiator made by Asetek (since the G10 only support those). It would be perfect for the Ncase M1 with one of the new Maxwell cards.


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 Post subject: Re: NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:53 am 
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MikeC wrote:
NZXT does offer an adapter to use their WC units on gfx cards: http://www.nzxt.com/product/detail/138- ... acket.html We just received one & will be testing the X41 and X61 on various cards.
Sorry didn't read that last bit of your post... but the Ncase needs something good - the Corsair Hydro Series H105 is probably the one to get right now...


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 Post subject: Re: NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:02 am 
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MikeC wrote:
The speed range of the pump is narrow, and there's very little performance difference between max and min speed
Mike or Lawrance, did you guys tested the pump on a FanXpert2? just wondering what would it establish as the lowest operational rpms, although not sure if its safe =)

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 Post subject: Re: NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:04 am 
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Bradshaw wrote:
Sorry didn't read that last bit of your post... but the Ncase needs something good - the Corsair Hydro Series H105 is probably the one to get right now...

No sure if most SPCR fans would agree with you. The Corsair sounds like it needs a lot of airflow to work well, much like most of the other water coolers we tested.
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Corsair/Hydro_Series_H105/7.html wrote:
Cooling performance, while amazing, comes at a great cost in terms of noise. At 100% fan speed, the H105 hits 54 dBA, which is very loud. With a dBA reading of 43 at 50%, the H105 is already as loud as enthusiast-level air coolers at full speed. While performance is fine at 50% fan speed, the H105 loses the allure of its raw cooling performance to its high noise output.

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 Post subject: Re: NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:09 am 
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MikeC wrote:
TDP of GTX970 = 145W :!:

180W, actually.

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 Post subject: Re: NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:32 am 
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Abula wrote:
Mike or Lawrance, did you guys tested the pump on a FanXpert2? just wondering what would it establish as the lowest operational rpms, although not sure if its safe =)

No... but it's a pump, not a fan; we didn't feel confident about using FanXpert, a fan utility, to control it. I'm sure the pump can be slowed a bit further, with some improvement in noise & loss in cooling performance. It's a large radiator, and I'd guess a certain minimum pump speed -- torque or pressure -- is needed to push the water through steadily. We'll try playing with this when the G10 VGA attachment is tested.
quest_for_silence wrote:
180W, actually.

That suggests a single GTX970 is the most this cooler could handle.

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 Post subject: Re: NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:36 am 
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Interesting, I'd previously rejected this cooler for a Linux system I'm working on because of the lack of PWM control for the pump, but if it only effective adds 1 dBA, I could deal with that (looking for quiet, not truly silent and in case that wouldn't allow for a tower cooler).

Regarding the reviews, I'd definitely looking foraward to Kraken G10 w/ GPU's along with other parts like Arctic Cooling's kits. The Scythe Kotetsu is so effective that it's often hard to justify better coolers on the CPU . Retail GPU coolers still seem to suck though...


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 Post subject: Re: NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 11:17 am 
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MikeC wrote:
...
quest_for_silence wrote:
180W, actually.

That suggests a single GTX970 is the most this cooler could handle.


I believe the X41 can handle one GTX 970, this X61 should be able to handle 2 (if it had 2 bases and tubing for them).
I am not sure if it's possible for example to mount 2 X41's (with G10) in the top of a FD Define R4 and run watercooled GTX 970 SLI.


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 Post subject: Re: NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 11:35 am 
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How much power does the pump itself use?

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 Post subject: Re: NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:35 am 
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MikeC wrote:
That suggests a single GTX970 is the most this cooler could handle.

With reference to TDP, do you think the current platform is really representative of contemporary power hogs?
On other sites often the temperature difference are fairly larger between AIOs and traditional air coolers.
For instance on TechPowerUp a competitor of the X61, the quoted Corsair H105, on a 4.2GHz 4770K tops at 80°C, while the 212 EVO stays at 95°C.

Set aside the difference between them, but how can an undervolted X61 shine over a stock H105? A 37°C delta means probably 60°C, 67°C for the 212.
I'm wondering how much an oc'ed Haswell is so much hotter than an oc'ed Sandy.

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 Post subject: Re: NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 6:12 am 
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nice review, but hard to get excited. at the end of the day , it still would add pump , hoses, another fan, and cost me another $100 more than my current CPU cooler. rather spend the $ on bigger ssd.

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 Post subject: Re: NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 6:47 am 
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Yep, 34C rise at 20dB(A) for a 130W TDP CPU is impressive. The 17dB(A) minimum narrows the use a bit, though, when there are plenty of air coolers that provide great temps at 11-15dB(A). Given, current consumer class CPUs fall into the <95W range, I guess we'd have to run through use cases where this could be a benefit over a cheaper air cooler.

- high TDP CPUs (6+ physical cores)
- over volters
- tower cooler interferes with other components/case and a top down cooler can't cut it
- minimize case ambient temp rise due to all the other heat generators (i.e.: high power gfx card(s))

GPU cooling would seem to be a decent use case, but only if there is still a way to cool the gfx card's VRM and RAM.

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 Post subject: Re: NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 8:35 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
With reference to TDP, do you think the current platform is really representative of contemporary power hogs?
On other sites often the temperature difference are fairly larger between AIOs and traditional air coolers.
For instance on TechPowerUp a competitor of the X61, the quoted Corsair H105, on a 4.2GHz 4770K tops at 80°C, while the 212 EVO stays at 95°C.

Set aside the difference between them, but how can an undervolted X61 shine over a stock H105? A 37°C delta means probably 60°C, 67°C for the 212.
I'm wondering how much an oc'ed Haswell is so much hotter than an oc'ed Sandy.

The bare number differences suggest TechPowerUp's 4770K 95W TDP Haswell runs hotter than our 130W Sandybridge 965. It might have higher heat density -- ie, watts per area -- and we all know the heatspreader is not as well bonded thermally on Haswell. But different CPUs & boards make any definitive conclusions difficult w/o using the classic temp. monitoring on both test platforms -- thermocouple embedded into the center of the heatspreader & monitored w/ external temp gauge.

I would not be surprised if the X61 test better than a H105 -- the radiator & fans on the x61 represent ~27% greater area. The depth of the radiators are 27mm and 39mm but this would help the X61 esp at lower fan speeds. I haven't seen any TIM imprints of the Corsair, but if it is anything like all the other WCs we've seen until the current NZXT series.... (If anyone knows of other site reviews showing TIM imprints of WCs (and coolers in general), pls share here!)

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 Post subject: Re: NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 9:26 am 
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I just saw the review, since I'm looking for a good performance cooler for a friend of mine.

The X61 looks good, and its fans look great, but the 28cm mounting area is still hard to find in today cases.
With AIO coolers and liquid in general radiator surface is key. Double size (240 and beyond) is required to beat the best air cooler. Your review once more proves that.

I would have liked the X41 tested with two fans in push-pull configuration, since that fits most cases and it seems a decent performer, maybe you can still do that since you have the extra fans from the X61.

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 Post subject: Re: NZXT Kraken X61 28cm Liquid Cooler
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 9:30 am 
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I also think that after so many years Asetek finally did it right and reached the performance of the first CoolIT units (such as the Corsair H100 that I still own and performs great).

MikeC wrote:
I would not be surprised if the X61 test better than a H105


Me neither ;) Nor than a 360 AIO such as Swiftech H320 (not available in USA due to Asetek patent) or Thermaltake Water 3 ultimate would outperform the X61.

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