NZXT Kraken X73 Review

After we tested the NZXT Kraken X53 a while ago, the largest variant of the line-up can now prove itself again. The NZXT Kraken X73 is an all-in-one water cooling system with a 360mm radiator and is therefore equipped with an additional 120mm fan compared to the X53. We have documented below how the performance of the water cooling fails.

Since the NZXT Kraken X73 is, so to speak, the Kraken X53 with an extended radiator, the description should be a little shorter overall. More details can be found in the article of the smaller version. The third generation of the Kraken series has been retouched rather than completely turned inside out. However, the changes seem sensible or well thought out.

The manufacturer is now installing the seventh Asetek pump generation in the third Kraken series, instead of the fifth, as was the case with the second. As always, this can be read out and controlled via software – with NZXT, of course, with the CAM software. With the USB connection, you have switched to Micro-USB, power is supplied via an additional connector and a HUE 2 connection is brought out. This is a bit more elegant, for example, with the Corsair iCUE H115i Elite Capellix, which only has one plug and leads to an external controller.

The rotatable pump cover is also practical, as the logo can thus be adjusted almost independently of the installation direction. The lid with Infinity Mirror houses two lighting zones and addressable LEDs. But that was it otherwise with lighting, similar to the Corsair iCUE H115i RGB Pro XT. However, the NZXT AiO water cooling has a HUE 2 connection for further RGB accessories. The top of the Kraken can be rotated in several stages so that the lettering can be placed almost anywhere.

The NZXT Aer are used as fans. These rely on an FD bearing and are decoupled at the corners with rubber grommets. There is no lighting, but the gray ring at the inlet can optionally be exchanged for a colored one. It should be noted at this point that there were problems when controlling via PWM with the Corsair Commander Pro. The fans did not want to adopt the selected speed. At Aqua Computer Aquaero 5 LT there was no problem, so this was used for the test.

Scope of delivery & assembly system

The scope of delivery is identical to the NZXT Kraken X53. Basically, the assembly material for the current Intel sockets and AMD mainstream sockets is included. TR4 can be operated using the holding frame enclosed with the CPUs. There is no additional WLP – this is already applied to the bottom of the cooler. A PWM splitter ensures that the fans can be operated on one fan connection.

  • Intel Socket LGA 1200, 1151, 1150, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2011-3, 2066
  • AMD Socket AM2 (+), AM3 (+), AM4, FM1, FM2 (+), TR4, SP3

Installation of the cooler on the Intel socket 2066

As always, assembly on the Intel HEDT sockets is quick and easy. On the one hand, this is because the base has an integrated backplate, and on the other hand, because the Intel bracket is already mounted on the pump. All in all, you only need four special screws and four nuts. The screws are simply screwed into the base, the cooler placed on top, and tightened with the nuts. Then all that’s missing is the wiring, but you’ve actually reached your destination. There are no space problems whatsoever on the MSI Creator X299, which shouldn’t be the case with other boards either. Otherwise, you could turn the connections of the pump up or down.

Installation of the cooler on the Intel socket 1200

The enclosed backplate is required for Socket 1200 or the other Intel mainstream sockets. This is placed from behind and fixed on the front with the threaded bolts. If these are tightened, the cooler can be put on. The knurled nuts secure this and ensure the optimum contact pressure. There are no problems with the MSI MEG Z490 Unify, but the space for the RAM banks is very limited.

Installation of the cooler on the AMD Socket AM4

The installation on the base AM4 requires a little more preparation. On the one hand, you have to remove the two plastic strips on the mainboard, on the other hand, you have to change the retaining ring on the unit. If you have done both, the steps are actually identical to the 2066 assembly. So you turn the four special spacers into the original backplate, put the cooler on, and secure it with the nuts. There were no problems at all on the MSI B450 Tomahawk Max. The cables do not consolidate with the upper cooler either, although they are led out exactly there.

Overall, the typical Asetek structure is used, which has proven itself and should not actually cause any problems to anyone. There is actually no need for optimization.

 

Test system presented: hardware

To be able to show valid results in the cooler tests, the same system is always used, on which no changes are made. The basis is the Corsair Carbide 678C. This offers a lot of space for large radiators or air coolers and is already equipped with three ML140 fans ex-works. These are always used in the air cooler tests; in the water cooling tests, the fan in the front is removed. Also, the mesh grille is used on the top instead of the insulation board. You can read more about the case in the corresponding test.

An AMD AM4 system has moved in here. Specifically, there is an AMD Ryzen 7 1700X with a TDP of 95W in the base of the MSI B450 Tomahawk Max, which is operated with a fixed 3.5GHz at 1.25V. This bypasses the automatic overclocking via XFR and still achieves roughly the typical heat output of the eight-core. The CPU is supported by a 16GB RAM kit. The two bars of the Corsair Vengeance LPX are relatively flat, which means that compatibility problems are never to be expected. So that the basic system can be described as quiet, an MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming X takes care of the image output, in which the fans do not rotate without graphics load.

The system is powered by a Corsair RM650. The power supply is certified with 80 PLUS Gold efficiency and has a 135mm fan. This only starts when it is needed, otherwise, the energy dispenser is completely silent. The power supply is complemented by a Corsair Pro PSU Cable Kit with individually sheathed cables. The operating system takes place on a Corsair MP510 with 240GB. Using an M.2 SSD saves additional unnecessary cables. In addition to Windows 10 Pro, only iCUE and Prime 95 should actually be mentioned as software. Because a Corsair Commander Pro comes as a fan control to train. This can not only regulate the fan speed with PWM or voltage but also offers external temperature sensors. Furthermore, the temperature values ​​of the hardware can be displayed and also logged in the software.

Test procedure hardware

Prime 95 v29.8b6 with custom settings are used so that the CPU is stressed the same in every test. It selected 8K FFT, which is the highest heating power generated. Also, the same memory area is always tested, i.e. a checkmark is set for FFTs in-place. AVX2 and AVX are deactivated. The time is set to 120 minutes so that there is enough time for the run.

While the case fans are fixed at 600 rpm, the speed of the fans or the fans on the cooler or radiator is varied. First, the highest Drezhal level is set and the system is heated up. If the temperature of the CPU does not change any further, logging of the measured values ​​is started. After about a minute, the speed is reduced by 200 rpm, and this level is maintained again until the CPU temperature does not change any further. This state is then also logged for ~ 1min. Overall, the process is carried out until the fans no longer allow any changes. At any time, the room temperature is determined with two external sensors and also logged.

All in all, a data set is thus obtained from which the difference between room and processor temperature can be determined very precisely and for a wide range of speeds. The sound pressure level is also determined for each level; however, the case fans are throttled even further and the front door of the case, which is otherwise open during the test, is closed.

Measured values: temperature

As already written a page before, all coolers were tested under identical CPU conditions. The test results determined correspond exclusively to those of the components of our test system. Deviating configurations of this hardware combination result in inevitable changes in the measured values ​​obtained and displayed by us. In addition to fixing the clock rate and the voltage of the processor, the speed of the fans in the housing was also fixed at 600 rpm, which results in an ideal basis for comparison of all models.

The NZXT Kraken X73 measures itself in the test field with the strongest cooling so far, which was not expected otherwise. The distance to the smaller Kraken X53 is not very big, however. It is also interesting that it cannot match the performance of the two Corsair AiOs with a 280mm radiator. The Alpenföhn Gletscherwasser 360 High Speed is also better up to 1200rpm. At maximum speed, however, the X73 can almost set a new record.

Measured values: volume

A ” PCE 318″ sound level meter is used for measurements from a distance of 50 centimeters from the left side of the housing. The front door is then closed. The three 140mm fans built into the case are fixed at 400 pm. The fans on the graphics card and in the power supply standstill.

In terms of volume, the Kraken X73 has increased significantly compared to the X53. The glacier water, which also has three 120mm fans, is at a similar level here, while the MasterLiquid ML360P Silver Edition is much quieter. But the X73 also achieved a new maximum in this rating, which of course reduces the rating of the very good temperature at maximum speed.

 

Relationship between volume and cooling capacity

The two previous pages already provide measured values, but it only becomes really interesting when you relate the measurement of the temperatures to the measured volume values. The efficiency of the cooler is revealed here, so to speak. In the following, the cooling capacity or the temperature difference between CPU and room air is plotted against the background noise generated.

In terms of efficiency, the Kraken X73 is on a similar level to the Corsair iCUE H115i Elite Capelli. The Gletscherwasser 360 High Speed ​​also works similarly. The smaller X53 does better because of the low volume. The Gletscherwasser 360 High Speed ​​also works similarly.

Conclusion

The NZXT Kraken X73 is the manufacturer’s largest model and, as expected, achieves higher performance than the already tested NZXT Kraken X53, but the gap is not that big. Since the X73 works a bit more conspicuously in the volume section, the assessment of the performance depending on the volume is even a bit worse. So you can say that the peak performance is not significantly better, but the cooling has more reserves or is better suited for longer load scenarios.

Of course, nothing changes in the general properties. The processing of the cooling is great and the scope of delivery is sufficient. The unit’s pump can still be controlled via NZXT CAM software, as can the lighting in the pump cover and the additional HUE 2 connection. The installed fans, however, are not. The fans in the test had the peculiarity that they could not be correctly addressed with the Corsair Commander Pro via PWN. With the Aquaero 5 LT, however, it worked. How the fans on the mainboard behave was not checked, as we are not aware of any problems in this direction.

The price of ~ 160 € for the NZXT Kraken X73 is really high. The Alpenföhn Gletscherwasser 360 High Speed is a bit higher and the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360P Silver Edition is on the same level. Compared to these two cooling systems, the price is then okay.

NZXT Kraken General Summary

NZXT Kraken To summarize, we see that it has very good features in terms of design, price and performance. NZXT Kraken, which has given a successful performance compared to its competitors in this segment, has not received any serious complaints from its users until now and has given its users confidence with maximum positive feedback. With the NZXT Kraken 2-year warranty, it continues to support any problem after the sale and does not suffer the user.

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FAQ

Installation of the Product is Extremely Simple. You can set it up easily with the included Guide.

Has no known chronic problems.

Yes, they say they are generally satisfied.

The minimum warranty period is 2 years.

You can buy it from sites like amazon, ebay.

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