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NZXT Kraken X40 Liquid Cooler Review
NZXT Kraken X40 Liquid Cooler Review
Abstract: UPDATED! The NZXT Kraken X40 is a small self contained CPU liquid cooling system based on the exceptionally popular Asetek platform. As with most all-in-one liquid coolers, the Kraken X40 is differentiated from its sister model - the Kraken X60 - by its thinner 140mm-sized aluminum heat exchanger.

 Manufacturer  Category  Published  Author 
NZXT   Cooling / Heatsinks   Dec 29, 2013   Max Page  

The NZXT Kraken X40 is a small self contained CPU liquid cooling system based on the exceptionally popular Asetek platform. As with most all-in-one liquid coolers, the Kraken X40 is differentiated from its sister model - the Kraken X60 - by its thinner 140mm-sized aluminum heat exchanger, while the X60 has a slightly thicker, 2x140mm fan sized heat exchanger. The Kraken X40 ships with a 140mm PWM fan that spins at 2000-800RPM, though a second fan can be added to the rear of the heat exchanger if you prefer a push-pull arrangement.

The waterblock / pump-head designed by Asetek is very compact, standing a little over 31mm thick. To make routing of the rubber tubing which connect the pump the radiator a little easier, the barbs incorporate 180-degree swivel hose connectors. Housed in the waterblock is a very small pump, a flow directing gasket and the industry standard micro skived copper water block. The water block is connected to the 27mm thick x 140mm wide aluminum heat exchanger by a set of 400mm long, 11mm O.D. flexible rubber hoses. Rubber is easier to route than FEP tubing, and owing to the thick walls not as prone to kinking.

NZXT's Kraken X40 liquid cooling system installs onto Intel socket LGA115x/1366/2011 and AMD socket AM2/AM3/FM1/FM2 CPUs and retails for around $96 USD / CDN. It ships fully assembled, plumbed and filled. Warranty is two years.

NZXT Kraken X40 Self-Contained Liquid Cooling System

heatsink specsheet
manufacturer: nzxt
model no.: kraken x40
materials: aluminum radiator, copper-base water block.
fan mfg: df121426sh-pwm

fan spec: 2000-800rpm, 12v, 0.59a

fan dim: 25x140x140mm
waterblock dim: 31.5x66x66mm
heat exchanger dim: 27x139x173mm
pump spec: 2900rpm, 12v dc, 0.28a
flow rate: unknown
head: unknown
tubing: 10.5mm o.d., 400mm length
connectors: 6.5mm o.d.
coolant: distilled water/propylene glycol
weight: est. 1000 grams
includes: multi-socket mounting hardware, thermal compound, instructions.

Compatible with Sockets:
Intel - LGA2011/1366/115x
Est. Pricing: $96USD ($96CDN)

NZXT's Kraken X40 features a combination pump head / water block which is 66mm in diameter and about 32mm thick. The waterblock / pump head mounts directly onto the processor with the aid of a low profile black mounting plate. routing hoses a little bit easier.

No information is disclosed about the pump specifications, other than the impeller speed of 2900rpm. If we remove the cover, you can see the pump motor, circuitry and... that's about it.

In operation the pump is pretty quiet, power is supplied by a single 3-pin motherboard fan header (power draw is 12V, 175mA).

Cables going into the pump head: USB, power, two fan power connectors.

The 10.5mm OD rubber tubing connects to the waterblock via swivelling 90-degree plastic pipe connections. In the images below you can the range of movement the hose barbs have.

CPU-to-Liquid Heat Exchanger

Inside the NZXT's Kraken X40 waterblock Frostytech discovers a micro-skived copper plate, stainless steel flow directing shield and combination O-ring/gasket.

Propylene Glycol based coolant is pumped in through the slot down the center line of the micro-skived copper plate, coolant then flows through the micro-skived copper fins where it picks up heat and exits at the sides. From this point, the heated coolant is pumped through the rubber tubes to the aluminum liquid-to-air heat exchanger.

The skived copper fins are ~3mm tall and very densely packed together to create the largest surface area possible in a roughly ~33x28mm area.

Liquid-to-Air Heat Exchanger

The NZXT's Kraken X40 aluminum heat exchanger is 27mm thick and measures 139x173mm in size. The heat exchanger ships with one 140mm (2000-800RPM) fan attached. Best practice is to install the fan exhausting towards the outside of the chassis. A rear fan can be added using the supplied mounting screws (2nd fan not included). As with all other self-contained CPU liquid coolers, you'll need to install it into a PC case with at least one accessible (rear or top) 140mm fan vent. The heat exchanger mounts to the inside of the chassis with four screws through the fan vent.

10.5mm OD rubber tubing.

Installation Hardware

The NZXT Kraken X40 liquid cooling solution is compatible with Intel socket LGA2011/1366/115x and AMD socket FM2/FM1/AM2/AM3 processors. It does not support LGA775 processors. The cooler ships with two plastic rear-motherboard brackets and a pair of metal mounting plates that attach to the pump head to facilitate each particular socket. Instructions are pictographic.

This heatsink will be tested on FrostyTech's Intel and AMD version of the Mk.II synthetic thermal temperature test platform, and compared against hundreds of reference Intel and AMD heatsinks. The whole test methodology is outlined in detail here if you'd like to know what equipment is used, and the parameters under which the tests are conducted.

° Next Page 

Table of Contents:

 1: — NZXT Kraken X40 Liquid Cooler Review
 2:  360° View - NZXT Kraken X40
 3:  Heatsink Acoustic Measurements
 4:  AMD Heatsink Temperature Comparisons
 5:  Intel LGA115x/775 Heatsink Temperature Comparisons
 6:  Intel LGA2011 Heatsink Temperature Comparisons

List all NZXT heat sinks that Frostytech tested?

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