NZXT Kraken Z63 280mm AIO Liquid CPU Cooler Review – Will Work 4 Games
NZXT has been making AIO cooling soutions for almost 10 years now and its Kraken line is one of the most recognizable in the market. One of the coolers in its current lineup is the Kraken Z63, a 280mm AIO liquid CPU cooler that comes with the company’s new LED display-equipped water block. The Z63 was initially released back in the beginning of 2020 alongside the rest of the company’s Z-3 and X-3 series coolers. While the company has since released RGB-equipped variants of these coolers, those who aren’t fans of RBG lighting can opt for the original versions instead.
Packaging and Inclusions
The Kraken Z63 comes in the company’s signature packaging, with the white front featuring an image of the product accompanied by its name in big, bold letters as well as a short description of the product in smaller text. The rest of the packaging, which contains most of the information on the product, comes in NZXT’s signature purple. Inside the outer packaging is the typical molded carton, which holds all of the inclusions of the Kraken Z63, such as the radiator and water block assembly, fans, as well as the mounting parts, connectors, and accessories.
While the water block and tubing is wrapped in clear plastic, the radiator is protected by folded white cardboard. The copper plate of the water block is also protected by a thin piece of molded plastic to protect the pre-applied thermal paste. The rest of the inclusions come in an assortment of clear plastic bags, including a zip lock bag for the mounting parts to easily store the ones that don’t end up being used. The inclusion of the zip lock bag can be really helpful in making sure users don’t lose any of the mounting hardware.
Design and Specifications
The most notable aspect of the Kraken Z63’s design is its 2.36-inch circular LCD display, which has become quite a popular feature over the past few years. The 320 x 320 resolution display can be programmed to show a number of things, including an image, GIF, or real-time information such as the CPU temperature, clock speed, and more. The quality of the display is actually pretty good in spite of its low resolution. The exterior of the rest of the cylindrical cap and water block is mostly made of plastic and comes in the company’s matte black.
The water block also features a 14-pin connector and a micro USB port for the Kraken Z63’s breakout and USB cables, respectively. The breakout cable includes a SATA connector for power, three 4-pin fan connectors, a 3-pin connector for the motherboard’s CPU fan or AIO pump header, and a proprietary NZXT RGB connector for compatible components. Under the water block is the retention bracket holder, which comes with the Intel bracket pre-installed, and the circular copper plate.
On the other end of the assembly, the radiator of the Kraken Z63 features a pretty typical design. It measures 143 x 315 x 30mm and is made from aluminum with an NZXT logo stamped on its side plates.
As for the tubing of the Kraken Z63, it’s made from rubber with braided nylon sleeving and terminates into the water block with two rotatable 90-degree fittings while it’s fixed on the radiator side, which is a pretty common design. The tubing itself, which measures around 40cm long, feels sturdy while still being flexible enough that it’s pretty easy to position the water block and radiator during installation.
NZXT has included two of its Aer P 140mm fans with its Kraken Z63, which are the company’s basic fans designed specifically for use with a radiator. The fans come in a matte black plastic with a grey trim, although different colored trims can be purchased separately.
Installing the Kraken Z63 is fairly easy and straightforward, although mounting it on an Intel motherboard takes a few more steps than an AMD AM4 one. Intel users will need to replace their motherboard’s stock backplate with the Kraken Z63’s, adjust it depending on the specific socket, either Socket 1200/115X or Socket 1700, and use the appropriate standoff screws. On the other hand, AMD users can use the motherboard’s stock backplate and will only need to remove the stock bracket then install the correct standoff screws. Users will then need to install the correct retention bracket on the water block then use the four thumb screws to secure it to the installed standoffs.
As for the radiator, NZXT has included enough hardware to let users mount it in several configurations. There are enough short and long screws to mount the Kraken Z63’s radiator and fans in either a push or pull configuration. Even a push-pull setup is possible if the user has additional fans on hand. NZXT has also included washers to mount the fans or radiator more securely and to avoid scratching either the fans, radiator, or case. After installing the water block, radiator, and fans, users will need to connect both the breakout cable and the USB 2.0 cable to the water block and attach them to their respective headers or connectors.
Notably, the cables of the NZXT are long enough that users will easily be able to route them cleanly within their case. Particularly, the USB 2.0 cable can easily reach a USB 2.0 header at the lowest part of a motherboard even when routed up and behind the motherboard tray. According to NZXT, its Aer P fans have a speed of up to 1,800 (± 300RPM), an airflow of up to 98.17 CFM, and a static pressure of up to 2.71 mm (-h3O).
Features and Software
Once the Kraken Z63 is fully mounted, users can monitor and control its settings with NZXT’s CAM software. It features a very simple and clean interface, which makes it very easy to navigate and use. With the CAM software, users are able to monitor several of the PC’s components, customize the lighting of any connected and compatible RGB devices, adjust cooling profiles, manage the settings of other supported components, and more.
When the Kraken Z63 is installed, most of its settings will be located in the CAM software’s Cooling and Lighting tab. In the Cooling tab, users will be able to monitor the CPU and GPU’s temperature, the temperature of the cooling liquid, pump RPM, and fan RPM. Users will be able to set, customize, and save different cooling profiles within this tab and apply them to either all the connected components or set the profiles for each one individually.
As for the Lighting tab, users will be able to customize the Kraken Z63’s LCD display. Users can choose to display information that the Kraken Z63 sources from the CAM software, such as CPU or GPU temperature, cooling liquid temperature, CPU frequency, CPU/GPU utilization, and more. Users can also choose to display an image or animated GIF. The colors of the displayed text and visual effects can also be customized by the user.
We tested the cooling performance of the Kraken Z63 both at idle and under load, achieving the latter using CPU-Z’s stress test feature.
Here are the specifications of our test setup:
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
- Motherboard: NZXT N7 B550
- RAM: HyperX FURY DDR4 RGB 16GB DDR4-3200
- GPU: GALAX GeForce RTX 2060 EX WHITE
- CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken Z63
- PSU: Seasonic M12II EVO 620W
The Kraken Z63 was able to keep the temperature of our CPU at a little below 40 degrees at idle and a max of 71 degrees under load, with an ambient temperature of 28 degrees. The performance of the Kraken Z63 is more than satisfactory, especially when compared to our previous AIO cooler, a Deepcool Gamer Storm Captain 240EX RGB, which runs almost 10 degrees hotter.
The Kraken Z63 is undoubtedly one of the best looking AIO coolers we’ve used so far, both in aesthetics as well as in build and material quality. NZXT has made installing and setting up the Kraken Z63 relatively easy because of its inclusions and CAM software. Furthermore, its great performance is in line with what can be expected from NZXT’s numerous years of experience. While the LCD display may not be for everyone and contributes greatly to its hefty price tag (of around PHP 14,000), it’s certainly a stand out feature that not only looks great but also works well. Those looking for a competent AIO liquid CPU cooler that also adds some visual flair to their build should definitely consider the NZXT Kraken Z63.
Shiny On Top, Solid Underneath
by E. Fylladitakison August 19, 2020 11:00 AM EST
- Posted in
- Water Cooling
- Liquid Cooling
- CPU cooler
Introduction & The CoolersThe NZXT CAM SoftwareTesting MethodologyTesting ResultsFinal Words & Conclusion
Ever since it was founded back in 2004, NZXT has been focused on the always-lucrative PC gaming market. The company started out with just a few PC cases, yet their unique aesthetics and features were more than enough to let the company establish a solid foothold in the advanced PC market. Several years later, NZXT slowly began diversifying their product portfolio by adding cooling and power products to it. Today, the company produces a large variety of PC cases, cooling, and power products, as well as PC peripherals and accessories.
NZXT entered the PC cooling market nearly a decade ago by releasing all-in-one (AIO) liquid cooling solutions and accessories for them, including GPU mounting brackets. However unlike other manufacturers who have opted to build large, diverse product lineups, NZXT never kept more than a handful of AIO coolers available in their product line-up. Instead, the company has focused on delivering a few quality and aesthetically-unique designs, rather than trying to take the competition down on raw performance alone.
Today we are taking a look at NZXT’s latest liquid coolers, the Kraken X-3 and Z-3 series. These are more of a refresh rather a total upgrade over last year’s X-2 series, but NZXT has made some notable tweaks. Between the two families there are five different coolers in three sizes, covering the usual 240/280/360mm configurations. Both the X and Z series utilize the same cooling hardware, but NZXT has positioned the Z series as a premium option with a novel aesthetic feature – while the X series has RGB lighting on top of the pump base, the Z series tops its base with a full-fledged (and full color) LCD screen.
For this review we’re checking out both the X73 and the Z63, giving us a full view of the performance and features we can expect from most coolers that NZXT currently offers.
|NZXT Kraken Z-3 and X-3 Series|
|Fan Configuration||X Series||Z Series|
2x 120 mm
2x 140 mm
3x 120 mm
Packaging & Bundle
The new Kraken Z-3 and X-3 coolers ship in relatively simple packaging, based on the same white/purple artistic theme that NZXT has used over the last few years. A picture of the cooler covers the otherwise plain front of the packaging. Inside the box we found the coolers and their parts well protected by custom cardboard inserts.
All of the coolers share practically the same bundle, which is limited to the basics. Inside the box we only found the required mounting hardware, the necessary wiring, and an installation manual. We should also note that NZXT does not include the TR4 socket mounting plate by default, but they do have one available as an optional part for Threadripper owners.
The NZXT Z63 and X73 come with two 140 mm and three 120 mm fans respectively. The company went with high quality fans, with fluid dynamic bearing (FDB) engines and anti-vibration mounting pads. They are not overly powerful, though with their flat-bladed, high-pressure design they shouldn’t have much trouble overcoming the resistance of the radiator. There is no lighting about the fans, with the company focusing their artistic enhancement efforts on the pump block instead.
The NZXT Z63 & X73 AIO Coolers
Digging into our review samples, let’s start with deciphering NZXT’s cooler names. The first character denotes the series, the second the size, and the third is the version. For example, the Z63 and the Z73 coolers belong to the same series and share most features but their radiator size differs, while the X73 and Z73 are of the same size but belong to different series. Thus the Z63 and the X73 that we will be reviewing today check both of these boxes, allowing us to explore the differences between the Z and X series and measure the thermal performance of both the 280 mm and the 360 mm coolers.
So what sets apart NZXT’s X and Z series coolers? In short, it’s all about displays. For the Z series, NZXT has topped off the the main block assembly with a 2.36” LCD screen. The LCD can be programmed to showcase everything from images and GIFs to real-time data. And despite the low 320×320 px resolution, it is crisp and bright, with beautiful color reproduction.
Otherwise for the X model, NZXT dials things back just a tad and uses a mirrored top with LEDs placed under it. Once powered, the company logo and a ring appear, with the mirror creating an infinity effect about the ring. The LEDs are RGB and users can adjust the colors of the ring using NZXT’s CAM software. On the whole it is a relatively simple and attractive visual setup.
Other than the display topping the main block, the X and Z series coolers are all but identical. The rest of the main block is the same between the two, going right down to the contact plate and mini pumps. So at the base of NZXT’s LCD and LED handiwork lies a circular copper plate, secured on the plastic body with eight stainless steel screws. A layer of thermal paste is pre-applied onto the contact plate. It is not machined down to a mirror finish but it is smooth and entirely flat. The contact plate is not large enough to cover Ryzen Threadripper processors and, although it should work okay, we generally advise against using coolers that are not specifically developed for the TR4 socket on Threadripper processors.
Moving on, let’s talk about NZXT’s radiators. Their different sizes aside, the radiators of both the Z63 and X73 seem to be identical in terms of design. The subtle but significant difference is that the 120 mm fan radiator of the X73/Z73 is 26 mm thick, while the 140 mm fan radiator of the Z63/X63 is 30 mm thick. It’s just a few millimeters, but it’s something that should absolutely be considered confirming the cooler’s compatibility with a given case, as sometimes a few millimeters makes all the difference. Both radiators are typical dual-pass cross-flow designs, with tiny fins soldered on thin oblong tubes. This is by far the most dominant radiator design for AIO systems and rightfully so, as it offers the best efficiency within limited proportions and for the temperature differences that AIO coolers have to deal with.
The hose fixings on the radiator side are immovable, making them a bit less flexible during installation. In order to cope with long-term evaporation losses, NZXT is using what they are calling “ultra-low evaporation” high-density rubber tubing, with external nylon sleeve braiding for additional mechanical protection. NZXT also took the time to punch the company logo on the sides of the radiators.
The NZXT CAM Software
Introduction & The CoolersThe NZXT CAM SoftwareTesting MethodologyTesting ResultsFinal Words & Conclusion
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NZXT Kraken Z63 & X73 AIO Cooler Review: Shiny on the Top, Solid on the Bottom
Since its founding in 2004, NZXT has focused on the ever-growing PC gaming market. The company started out with just a few PC cases, but their unique aesthetics and features were more than enough to allow the company to gain a foothold in the advanced PC market. A few years later, NZXT gradually began diversifying its product portfolio to include refrigeration and energy products. Today, the company manufactures a large number of PC cases, cooling and power products, and PC peripherals and accessories.
NZXT entered the PC cooling market nearly a decade ago with all-in-one (AIO) liquid cooling solutions and accessories, including GPU mounting brackets. Unlike other manufacturers who have chosen to create large and varied product lines, NZXT has never left more than a few AIO coolers available in their range. Instead, the company focused on delivering quality and aesthetically unique designs rather than trying to beat the competition on raw performance alone.
Today we’re taking a look at NZXT’s latest liquid cooling systems, the Kraken X-3 and Z-3 series. It’s more of an upgrade than a complete upgrade from last year’s X-2 series, but NZXT has made some notable changes. Between the two families, there are five different coolers in three sizes that cover common 240/280/360mm configurations. The X and Z series use the same cooling hardware, but NZXT is positioning the Z series as a premium alternative with a new aesthetic feature — while the X series has RGB lighting on top of the pump base, the Z series tops its base. with full function (and full color) LCD screen.
In this review, we take a look at both the X73 and Z63 and give us a complete picture of the performance and features we can expect from most of the coolers NZXT currently offers.
|NZXT Kraken Z-3 and X-3 series|
2x 120 mm
2x 140 mm
3x 120 mm
Packaging and kit
The new Kraken Z-3 and X-3 coolers come in relatively simple packaging based on the same white and purple art theme that NZXT has been using in recent years. An image of a heatsink covers the sleek front of the package. Inside the box, we found coolers and their parts, well protected by custom cardboard inserts.
All coolers have almost the same bundle, which is limited to basic components. Inside the box, we found only the necessary assembly hardware, the necessary wiring and installation instructions. We should also note that NZXT no comes standard with a TR4 socket mounting plate, but is available as an optional part for Threadripper owners.
NZXT Z63 and X73 come with two 140mm and three 120mm fans respectively. The company has chosen high quality fans, FDB motors (fluid dynamic bearings) and mounting pads with vibration dampening. They’re not overly powerful, but with their high-pressure flat-vane design, they shouldn’t have much trouble getting past the cooler resistance. The fans are not lit, but instead the company has focused its artistic improvement efforts on the pumping unit.
NZXT Z63 and X73 AIO cooler
After digging through our review samples, let’s start by deciphering the name of the NZXT cooler. The first character is the series, the second is the size, and the third is the version. For example, the Z63 and Z73 coolers belong to the same series and perform most of the functions, but differ in the size of the radiator, while the X73 and Z73 are the same size, but belong to different series. So the Z63 and X73 we’re reviewing today test both of those windows so we can examine the differences between the Z and X series and measure the heating efficiency of both 280mm and 360mm coolers.
So what’s the difference between NZXT’s X and Z series coolers? In short, we are talking about screens. For the Z-series, NZXT has outperformed the main unit with a 2.36-inch LCD screen. The LCD screen can be programmed to display everything from images and GIFs to real-time data. And despite the low resolution of 320 × 320 pixels, it is sharp and light, with beautiful color reproduction.
Otherwise, for the Model X, NZXT complicates things a bit and uses a mirrored top with LEDs underneath. Once triggered, the company logo and ring are displayed, and the mirror creates an infinity effect around the ring. RGB LEDs and users can customize ring colors with NZXT CAM software. Overall, this is a relatively simple and attractive visual installation.
Except for the screen at the top of the main unit, the X and Z series coolers are almost identical. The rest of the main unit is the same between them and comes down to the contact plate and mini pumps. So, at the heart of the NZXT LCD and LED embroidery is a round copper plate attached to a plastic case with eight stainless steel screws. A layer of thermal paste is pre-applied to the contact plate. It’s not finished to a mirror finish, but it’s smooth and perfectly flat. The contact plate isn’t big enough to cover Ryzen Threadripper processors, and while it should work well, we generally recommend using coolers that aren’t specifically designed for the TR4 socket on Threadripper processors.
Let’s talk about NZXT radiators. Aside from the different sizes, the Z63 and X73 heatsinks appear to be identical in terms of design. A subtle but significant difference is that the 120mm fan cooler on the X73/Z73 is 26mm thick, while the 140mm fan cooler on the Z63/X63 is 30mm thick. It’s only a few millimeters, but it’s something that should definitely be taken into account to confirm the compatibility of the cooler with a specific case, as sometimes a few millimeters make all the difference. Both heatsinks are typical double pass crossflow designs with small fins brazed onto thin elongated tubes. This is by far the most common heatsink design for AIO systems, and rightly so, as it offers the best efficiency within the limited proportions and temperature extremes that AIO coolers have to deal with.
Radiator side hose mounts are movable making them less flexible during installation. To cope with long term evaporation losses, NZXT uses what they call «ultra low evaporation», high density rubber tubing with an outer nylon braid for added mechanical protection. NZXT also took the time to put the company’s logo on the sides of the radiators.
Rating of the best water cooling systems (svo) in 2022 for the processor (top 6)
Installation using LGA 1151v2 as an example
We are going to install Kraken X53 liquid cooling system on MSI MPG Z390I Gaming Edge AC motherboard. First of all, we turn the board over and install a plastic backplate from the LSS delivery kit on the back of the PCB.
We turn the motherboard back and see the installation points for metal racks peeking out of the PCB holes. We screw the four racks to the stop.
Next, apply thermal paste to the processor cover and apply the water block to the motherboard. Here it is worth noting the advantage of installing the Kraken X53 in that the mount of this LSS allows you to install the water block of the device in a way that is convenient for the user.
We fix the water block with four thumb screws, twisting them alternately. Next, install the Aer P120 fans on the Kraken X53 radiator. We connect all the required cables and the dropsy is ready to go.
Using Arctic MX-2 thermal paste, the imprint on the heat-distributing cover of the processor and the pad of the water block turned out as follows.
The print pattern shows that the pressing force is most pronounced in the center of the processor cover.
NZXT Kraken G12 and CAM software
Cooling a processor is easier than a video card, because, firstly, the heat dissipation of processors is usually up to 90 W, and video cards — 200 W, and secondly, in the processor, all heat is concentrated in one chip, and on video cards also have to cool power modules and sometimes memory chips. Therefore, just taking and installing a CPU water block on a video card is not the best idea, because you have to think about what to do with VRM and memory. NZXT offered a simple solution: the Kraken G12 module, which combines a water block mount and a fan to blow the board itself.
That is, the hottest Kraken G12 chip is cooled with water, while VRM modules and memory are cooled with air. If the cooling system on the video card consists of several components, separately for the VRM, separately for the memory chips and separately for the chip, then air and water cooling will be very effective, but most video cards have an all-in-one cooling system, and removing the native cooler , you get a bare board without a single heatsink.
There are three options in this case: either look for a heatsink for the VRM of your board on aliexpress.com, or cut it out yourself, or trust NZXT and just leave it blowing air. True, in the latter case, you need to study the design of the video card before buying the Kraken G12, because in some old motherboard models, hot power modules are installed not only to the right of the GPU, but also to the left, and they are no longer under the direct airflow from Kraken, but which means they can overheat.
Kraken G12 comes with a 90mm fan and mounting kit for nVidia and AMD/ATI graphics cards. Structurally, the module is a steel plate with two mounting holes for a pump and a fan.
The complete fan has dimensions of 92x92x25 mm, a 3-pin power connector, a fixed speed of 1500 rpm and a suspension of the rotor Rifle Bearing, which in our language means a slightly improved plain bearing.
Before installing on the board, carefully read the instructions, the installation process is simple, but not intuitive, so you have to constantly look at the circuit.
It took me exactly 90 minutes to replace the cooling on the video card from native to Kraken, and for 15 minutes I washed the old thermal paste from the board, and for another 15 minutes I tried to fix the cables and hoses inside the installation module. Unfortunately, the Kraken G12 does not have any well-thought-out system for laying cables and wires, the manufacturer only offers to tighten them with construction clamps (included in the kit).
As a result, a stunningly beautiful Kraken X62 water block is surrounded by a fan that is quite standard by today’s standards and somehow fixed hoses with wires. The only good news is that the video card stands sideways and everything that darkens the user’s view is hidden behind the large NZXT logo on the end of the G12 module.
NZXT Kraken G12 is compatible with the following liquid cooling systems:
Kraken X62, X52, X42, X61, X41, X31, X60, X40
h205, h210, H90, H75, H55, H50 (CW-906006-WW only)
- Water 3.0 Riing RGB 360, 280, 240, Red 280, 140,
- Water 3.0 Ultimate, Extreme S, Extreme, Pro, Performer
- Water 2.0 Extreme, Pro, Performer
KUHLER h3O 920V4, 620V4, 920, 620
LQ-320, LQ-315, LQ-310
I almost forgot to add that the Kraken X62 + G12 cooling system occupies two slots, that is, a typical 2-slot video card turns into a 3-slot one.
Excellent cooling performance
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Actual performance varies with AIO coolers since these products allow for almost anyone to get into water-cooling, but they omit one vital component of any custom loop — the reservoir. One way to battle this, especially with smaller 120mm radiator units, is to bump the pump and fan speeds, which can have a negative effect on noise generation.
With the rather large 280mm and 360mm radiator setup for the Z63 nd Z73, NZXT has been able to largely distance itself from such problems. Our testing setup included the following hardware:
- CPU: Overclocked
The is a powerful 12-core CPU with plenty of performance available, Running a stress test with this capable processor installed is quite the challenge for even the largest air cooler to keep within optimal operating temperature ranges. The is an older card, but the ZOTAC AMP! Extreme is essentially silent at idle, likewise with the .
Fan speeds were locked at 50% throughout the tests. With the Z73, the Ryzen 9 3900X runs at a mere 26C (79F) at idle, which is pretty good considering the ambient temperature was recorded at 22C (72F). This reading was measured both prior and after the stress test, allowing the system to run for approximately 30 minutes. Firing up a stress test for the 12-core CPU to chew through saw temperatures hit 50C (122F).
What was more interesting was the lack of noise emanating from the pump and block combo unit and the three fans attached to the 360mm radiator. I had to double-check that the fans were indeed spinning, as was reported by software readings. Playing Stellaris (late game where it really tasks your processor) saw temperatures hover between 42C (108F) and 46C (115F) when stable.
The Z63 is a similar story. Idle with the Ryzen 9 3900X was reported at 27C (81F), which largely falls into the margin of error and, as such, can be considered equal to the Z73. The same tests performed showed the AO with a smaller radiator and less airflow struggle a little to keep 12-core CPU in line with its larger sibling. Temperatures hit 58C (136F), which still isn’t high by any means.
|Category||NZXT Kraken Z73||NZXT Kraken Z63|
Firing up Stellaris and running the game for the same duration, temperatures hovered at around 49C (120F). For an AIO, these are promising readings, especially given the sound output and how slow the three fans were able to run for extended periods of heavy use — Stellaris ran for approximately 90 minutes while the stress test was run in two bursts of 20 minutes.
With the 6-core Intel Core i5-9600k processor, the maximum power consumption, and thus the heat dissipation, was achieved under a load of 105 W.
And the 8-core Intel Core i7-9700k, loaded on all cores, emitted about 150 W of thermal energy.
Before we start evaluating the cooling efficiency of the Kraken X53 dropsy, let’s take a closer look at the proprietary NZXT Aer P120 fans. These fans start their work from 20% PWM filling at a speed of 500 rpm. Further, the speed grows evenly and at 100% PWM filling it reaches 2100 rpm in practice.
It is very interesting and ambiguous to assess the noise level of the NZXT Aer P120 bundled fans. Up to a rotation speed of 1400 rpm, they can be called quiet and comfortable to use. Further, there is a noticeable increase in the noise level, and after 1800 rpm this figure grows rapidly to obscene values.
But the most interesting features of the Kraken X53 dropsy come to light when analyzing the cooling efficiency. In the case of a 6-core Intel Core i5-9 processorThe 600k drop in temperature with increasing fan speed is only noticeable up to 1180 rpm. It makes no sense to further increase the speed of complete turntables, since the gain in temperature is a maximum of 2-3 degrees Celsius. And at the same time, as we remember from the previous graph, the noise of the system will increase significantly.
A similar picture appears when cooling the 8-core processor Intel Core i7-9700k. The liquid cooling system of the Kraken X53 responds quite cheerfully to increasing the fan speed to 1400 rpm. Further, the return in temperatures from increasing the speed of the fans is small and from the point of view of an increase in the noise level is simply not justified.
Speaking about the effectiveness of the Kraken X53 liquid cooling system in general, this dropsy coped with hot processors with 6 or 8 cores without any problems. Based on our testing, we can safely recommend the Kraken X53 for cooling any AMD AM4 and Intel LGA 1151v2 platform processors, as well as Ryzen Threadripper processors with no more than 12 cores.
Should you buy the NZXT Kraken Z63 or Z73?
Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)
The NZXT Kraken Z73 is an ideal purchase for those with Intel Core i5 and AMD Ryzen 7 processors or above. Should you have plans to kit out your PC with processors that rock ten or more cores, you’ll want to have the 360mm radiator at hand for adequate heat dissipation. What’s more, is this AIO isn’t just great at keeping the CPU cool, it also looks good.
The Z63 is a great choice for a similar processor range, though if you partner it up with power-hungry CPUs, be prepared to see a slight increase in temperature and noise from fan curves. NZXT nailed the design of the Kraken coolers, and this latest family of Z AIOs do nothing but improve the aesthetics of any PC build, thanks to the LCD display. Forget RGB lighting. Addressable displays are where it’s at in 2020.
The Z73 is overkill for lower-powered processors, but really if you’re all about low noise, a clean install, and reliable software support, this is a worthy upgrade to your aging air cooler. There’s very little to dislike, aside from the price, and CAM can still be a slight pain to use. Overall, the Kraken Z73 is among the best AIO coolers you can buy. The same goes for the Z63.
NZXT Kraken Z73
Pricey but well worth it
The NZXT Kraken Z73 is an expensive cooler. There are no two ways about that. But should you want a smart-looking AIO that can handle even overclocked 12-core processors, this is it.
NZXT Kraken Z63
Slightly more affordable
The NZXT Kraken Z63 has everything the larger Z73 sibling has, but comes with a slightly smaller radiator and one less fan, but does slash the price considerably.
What you might dislike about the NZXT Kraken Z63 and Z73
Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)
Some don’t enjoy using CAM and other software from manufacturers, especially when mixing different product lines, resulting in more than one software booting up and running in the background. While I wasn’t able to fully test the cool effects you can create with CAM on the AIO, the performance aspect is more important, and it easily nailed it.
While you could run the Z63 and Z73 without CAM, you shouldn’t. You’re not only paying a premium for the performance, design, and warranty, but also that sweet new LCD display, which requires the software to configure. CAM is also still Windows-only.
Test stand configuration
|CPU||Intel Core i5-9600k / Intel Core i7-9700k|
|Motherboard||MSI Z390I Gaming Edge AC / EVGA Z370 Micro-ATX|
|Cooling system||Thermalright Turbo Right 360C|
|Thermal interface||Arctic MX-2|
|RAM||Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro DDR4-3600 16Gb (2*8Gb)|
|Storage device||M.2 SSD Samsung 970 Pro 512 GB|
|power unit||Corsair RM850x 850W|
|Frame||Open Test Stand|
|Monitor||ASUS PB298Q, 29″, 2560×1080, IPS|
|operating system||Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 1903|