NZXT Kraken X42 Review

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Final Words & Conclusion

Final Words & Conclusion

The NZXT Kraken X42 and X62 models that we now have tested I consider to be a thing of beauty. They are so incredibly silent and look so sweet. Next to that you get to play around with proper cooling performance as well. And if you think, hey this is another RGB LED lit cooler you might think, well true dat! But this one really is special. It remains hard to explain and the magic is found in the high tweaked cooling perf, low noise levels and that RGB LED system with that dazzling mirror effect of course.


First off, the cooling is perfectly fine, excellent even with a default clocked CPU. What impressed me the most is that once you start to overclock our processor the stress temperatures remains really okay. I mean the truth as you all know is that a the Core i7 4790K is simply put a nasty processor to cool. In a default setup (clocks) the performance is good. However you are at and we know you will tweak your PC 5 minutes after you assembled it - so we added 1.30 Volts the temps remained hovering at 73 Degrees C (performance mode). In fact up-to 1.35 Volts we remain below 80 degrees C and remember, this is merely a 140 mm radiator and just one fan. Once we fired off 1.40~1.45 Volts at this processor we pass 80 Degrees C, and even then it will take a while for the processor to get there. So for short bursts I'd be even fine with 1.40 Volts. That voltage level is absurd of course, typically only needed with 5+ GHz tweaks. So from the cooling perspective we have been pleasantly surprised by NZXT Kraken X42 - the cooling performance with the processor in a tweaked state is really nice and on par with proper cooling, it shines with actual stress and increased voltage cooling capacity. That's the good stuff when overclocking.


Noise is something else we MUST mention, as there isn't any. On previous older model NZXT LCS reviews we often complained about the fairly high noise levels, this has changed with the Kraken X62 and it is even 1 DBa better with the Kraken X42. The fan is housed in rubberized inserts, even mounting the screws happens inside a rubber socket. The fans offer high airflow at low rotation, with the CAM software at performance mode, you will not pass 40% of the theoretical maximum RPM level. In return you get a solution that is totally in-audible, I mean even at perf mode under full overclocked CPU stress we only reach 33 maybe 34 DBa. That is a noise level where you need to place your ear closer then 30 cm away from the product to be able to hear it. So the solution setup in silent or performance mode remains completely silent (with a processor like the 4790K).



Aesthetics & Design

The overall looks are very tasteful as far as I am concerned, an all black design with the subtle shades of grey make it an appealing product to the eyes. Even the fans have been logo marked (dark) tastefully. It is an easy to install mounting system, and factory filled with coolant in a closed loop. The black design will make this kit look great in any PC. It simply is a good alternative to heat-pipe coolers with the added benefits of being fairly quiet whilst offering very nice looks. No skills are required other than the need for ten minutes to install the kit.


The bling is all about the RGB LED system embedded on top of the water-block, and yes... I honestly did not expect to like it as much as I do. If you guys have seen the classic movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, you will remember HAL 9000 the talking computer (hello Dave) which was nothing more then a glass and red LED. The Kraken LED system somehow resembles HAL 9000, yet far more sophisticated as the mirror effect makes it feel like you look into the PC. Then the wide combination of RGB functionality, animations or color coded LEDs based on coolant temperature or even your audio is what makes this thing shine. It looks great. We love the fact that you can disable the NZXT LED logo as well.


The Kraken X42 can be spotted for €119,00 / $109.99 USD. Not cheap for a 140 mm product, but you can see where the money went to, the cooling system is good and the lighting system is magnificent. Combined with extremely low noise levels that makes the Kraken a little gem. That lovely cooling capacity when overclocked at no noise is golden really. Once we got the CAM software working, well that's the money shot right there as we just loved watching near hypnotizing LED system. Turn off that NZXT logo, and let the LED RGB LED rings do the magic, really it is that good. But we also know that a lot of people these days are getting a little tired of the RGB LED trend. Hey it woks out really well with this one, that's the truth. The extra bonus is found in the RGB lighting system. But make no mistake, the performance and features are good for a 140 mm rad based product at this price level. Let me also remind you that you can use this kit on any 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2011-3, AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+ based processor. The kit is AM4 Ryzen compatible, however you might need to request a support bracket at NZXT if it has not been included in your package just yet.



I was impressed with the X62, and it isn't any different with the X42. You do loose some performance in the high-end tweaking spectrum as passing 1.40 Volts on the processor would make it overheat under stress, that you do not have with its bigger brother. Realistically though with a properly tweaked Intel quad-core processor you are likely not using more than 1.30 maybe 1.35 Volts anyway. So for that €119.00 you do get plenty enough of cooling performance. The biggest benefit however is that this product is just downright silent, I love that about it. A remark I have to make is that there is a fair amount of wires leading out and into the cooling block. So design wise there is more cable spaghetti clutter to deal with. Overall the final words can be short, we will recommend the NZXT Kraken X42 without even the slightest hesitation. The updated CAM software, well you either hate or love it. But the latest updates do work well. The cooling performance is pretty darn good for a product in this 140 mm class, combined with the aesthetics, ease of installation and the RGB coloring with CAM functionality we can wholeheartedly recommended this puppy for sure. Very nice!

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