NZXT Kraken X61
Dual-fan radiators are typically visually obscured by either the top or front of a case’s frame, and most of those enclosures are now painted flat black on the inside. NZXT designs the radiator of its 2 x 140mm Kraken X61 to blend in, rather than stand out.
You’ll still need a chassis that accepts two 140mm fans side-by-side, with a little room to spare for the radiator’s tanks. We chose Corsair’s Graphite 760T.
Finding a compatible motherboard is even easier, since NZXT’s installation kit supports the entire LGA 115x series, LGA 2011 and 1366, and the four holes of AMD retention mechanisms.
The Kraken X61’s cooling head comes with factory-applied thermal compound and a factory-installed LGA 2011/1366/115x installation bracket. A variation of the familiar Asetek design, a plastic lock ring can be removed to install the AMD mounting bracket.
Using a single motherboard fan header for RPM feedback, the Kraken X61 gets its power from what looks like a SATA connector, which feeds the pump and four 4-pin fan headers. Meanwhile, a USB 2.0 connector allows software to control fan and pump speed.
Included standoffs take advantage of LGA 2011’s integrated support bracket. LGA 115x requires that you install a support bracket first, while AMD users get to replace the screws that hold the motherboard’s top bracket in place with those supplied by NZXT. Regardless of the hardware you use, protruding threads are the result.
The factory-attached Intel bracket fits over those protruding threads, and is secured using knurled nuts. AMD users must replace the bracket with a different, bundled part before accomplishing this.
The “Kraken” menu within NZXT’s CAM software allows users to pick between various cooling modes. Manual selection lets you set 100% fan speed, though our processor ran hot enough to get there using the “Performance” setting. We also used “Silent” mode to gauge minimum-noise performance.