NZXT Kraken X72 360 Cooler Review: A Pretty Performer

NZXT has long provided the overclocking and enthusiast PC market with quality liquid cooling solutions, often offering up great performance and lighting options as well. Building upon those successes, the new Kraken X72 utilizes a 360mm aluminum radiator and a re-engineered pump that delivers the cooling performance you'd expect, even for the most heat-generating consumer chips.

The Kraken X72 comes with mounting hardware to support all current Intel and mainstream AMD processor sockets, and its support for the Asetek bracket included with AMD's TR4-socket processors brings Kraken and Threadripper together. Call it "Kraken-ripper," "Thread-Kraken," or whatever ever you like. So long as you don't balk at the price, this cooler should suit your needs nicely.

Specifications

Thickness1.125" (2.25" w/fans)
Width4.75" (120.65mm)
Depth15.50" (393.7mm)
Pump Height2.08" (52.9mm)
ControllerSoftware, BIOS
Cooling Fans(3) 120 x 25mm
Connectors(1) 3-Pin, (3) 4-Pin PWM, USB to 9-pin
Weight47.2 Ounces (1.340kg)
Intel Sockets2066, 2011x, 1366, 115x
AMD SocketsAM2(+), AM3(+) AM4, FM1, FM2(+), TR4
Warranty6 Years

Features

To help dissipate CPU heat, NZXT provides three of the company's Aer P120 fans, rated up to 2000RPM.  A USB Mini-B-to-9-pin cable allows direct coordination with NZXT CAM software (should you choose to install it), assuming you have an open 9-pin USB header on you motherboard.

The NZXT CAM user interface software provides a dashboard look at your entire PC system, including system memory utilization, drive storage, and operational details for the X72.  Display and color options for the infinity mirror (more on that shortly), logo, and ring are chosen using an RGB color picker, along with various properties to represent color changes for CPU thermal load or other feedback. 

A note to those wary of data collection on their PCs: NZXT prompts users when running the application that its CAM software will send system information to a cloud-based database. And whether you choose to authorize this or simply use CAM in "guest mode," data still gets sent to the company's servers. So if you're worried about NZXT getting all up in the details of your hardware, you may want to look to competing products, or just not install the software.

The Kraken X72 pump is housed within the CPU cooling block module, and it displays the NZXT logo beneath its infinity mirror top. Tubing enters and exists from the pump housing via 90-degree swivel fittings, to allow for ease of installation and positioning of the braided nylon hoses. 

The side of the cooling block housing also has two ports on the ‘top’ side, if viewing the Kraken X72 as installed atop your CPU. One is the Mini-B USB port for connectivity and management with software, that connects to your board via a 9-pin USB 2.0 header cable.  The narrow 9-pin header also connects to a 3-way PWM splitter for managing the Aer P120 fans via software as well.


The base of the CPU cooling module is a finely milled circular copper block. The cooler comes garnished with a pad of pre-applied thermal paste, although we use Arctic MX-4 during our cooler tests, to take paste quality out of the equation. Clearing this paste allows an unobstructed view of the copper base. This view from below also shows the block-keyed pattern, which allows twist locking/unlocking of the mounting plates.

Rubber grommets around mounting holes limit vibration noise of the three 120mm PWM fans. While the NZXT CPU cooling module offers up RGB lighting control and functionality, the cooling fans do not.


Mounting the Kraken X72 is actually far easier than you might imagine. The bulk of the work involves just getting the 360 radiator wedged inside the case and into position to secure with screws.  The USB data cable can be seen here, angling off the the top of the cooling block, while the fan header is hidden at the top.

Here, we see the Kraken X72 sitting quietly atop our AMD Threadripper 1900X testbed. Ambient lighting is reduced in this photo in attempt to capture a more comprehensive look at the lighting display of the mirrored face. The X72 makes use of the AMD Threadripper’s boxed, twist-lock mounting ring for TR4 sockets.

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