The all in one Liquid Cooling kits are becoming a new trend, quite a few companies are releasing these products, most of them all use Asetek as an OEM. That's also why the product will be fairly close to each other in terms of performance. What matters a lot is the fans used and the radiator size. In this case we did not expect the Kraken X60 to beat the Corsair H100i. But it does do just that, for two reason really, the H100i has a slightly smaller radiator surface (240mm) whereas the Kraken X60 has the bigger 280mm radiator.
There however is another reason, the fans that NZXT use are more aggressive in fan RPM, as such this kit is definitely louder compared to Corsair's offering. Yes, even at silent mode you will hear the Kraken X60, albeit slightly to be described best as silent airflow. Honestly we do not recommend running the Extreme mode as it is just too noisy. Then again, it's great to have that option if you are in the mood for an overclocking competition where you need that bit of extra bit in cooling performance to mass that 5 GHz ;)
When the processor launched, we never had seen the heat issues with Ivy Bridge processors coming. Whatever you fire off at the processor, Ivy bridge remains hard to cool once overclocked with added voltage. I do say overclocked with added voltage specifically here though as at normal voltages and default settings, it is such a sweet processor. A handful of cooler can take 4600 MHz @ 1.30+ Volts, but really there are only very few in our tests that kept the temperature acceptable, and that was the 70 EUR Noctua NH-D14, a cooler design that has proven itself to be leading, many times over the years. The 100 EUR Corsair H100 series and now the Kraken X60.
Added benefit is of course the Kraken control software. You can monitor and regulate your cooling solution on a software level. The software suite works well, but still has a bug or two. In fact we had the problem where the software reported it has "lost the USB port" a couple of time. Overall though the Kraken software control suite works well and does exactly what it needs to do, but we do expect an update or two before it's perfect.
Aestethics & design
The overall looks are important and we feel the looks are just terrific, all black design, fairly easy to install with the mounting system, prefilled... it's one of the more easy and comfortable kits on the market to use and install.
Lovely is the new option to customise the colour of the back-lit NZXT logo on the pump unit. It uses an RGB LED so you get to decide what color it needs to be. We do like to warn the manufacturers though, that cooling block is not a billboard to promote your flashy logo's, go a step too far and the end-users will pass on your product, it's that simple. Overall we do like the new Kraken X60 if you are on the lookout for some very decent cooling with a nice design versus easy installation.
Realistically though the multiple wires leading towards and out of the cooling block is a bit of a downside, but NZXT has sleeved their cables, and that makes up for a lot. Typically you install All-in-One LCS units for the clean looks, and right now you'll have three wires leading out of that cooling block next towards two thick tubes.
Reality remains that it the Kraken is close to high-end / enthusiast performance, it's not cheap though at roughly 140~150 EUR, but please be realistic as enthusiast LCS products can easily cost you twice as much or even more. So make no mistake, the performance is really good, but remains to be just that if you compare it to proper LCS gear. Let me also remind you that you can easily spend 200/300 EUR on tubing, radiators, cooling blocks, reservoirs and so on whereas this all in one kit stays under 150 EUR for everything.
I think NZXT has a very lovely offering with the Kraken X60. Please do make sure it will actually fit inside your system before you purchase it, it needs 280mm fan mounts which is a little more uncommon. Nothing you can't manage yourself with a drill of course. Also remember that this product is a slightly more noisy compared to Corsair H100i series, but sure it performance slightly better as well. Other then that if you are on the lookout for an easy to install, good looking and really nice performing product then most definitely consider this kit. We do feel that the 150 EUR needed might be a small step too far for a lot of you guys. The reality remains simple though, it is worth it and as such comes recommended by Guru3D.com