While it does say right on the Kraken box that NZXT was first in the world to deliver a 140mm AIO cooling solution, we were not sent this cooler upon release. While everyone else was taking a look at what these new larger AIO coolers had to offer users, I was given the pair of Respire coolers that almost seemed like some sort of a bad joke. In the mean time I reviewed the pair of worse than average, budget air cooling solutions; the rest of the world was looking at why we are here today. In the meantime, while NZXT was trying to find me samples, Corsair snuck in and delivered a pair of 140mm cooling solutions to have a look at, so at bare minimum, at least we have a similar setup to compare the Kraken to.
We will be starting with the smaller of the two offerings from NZXT. They have released a more standard solution with a single 140mm radiator, based on an Asetek cooler design. What came to mind as soon as I got my hands on these units were the older Antec 620 and 920 coolers. Why I say this is based on two things. One is the light up head unit, but it is more than what Corsair offers with their standalone units. The Kraken series works with a USB cable connected and offers software control of all sorts of things, and unlike with Corsair, you do not have to buy the Link to obtain this level of control. The software is the second reason, as it not only gives you fan speed control, pump speed control, and lighting control, but you also have readouts for all of these things, plus you can keep an eye on the internal liquids temperature to see just how efficient these coolers are, or how close to saturation you really are with a wild overclock.
Today, we are going to start off the series with the Kraken X40 from NZXT. This is a single 140mm radiator AIO that uses high FPI count in the radiator, and match the system with a decent fan to cool the tight nit area. With an increase of 36 percent of surface area, the 140mm solutions seem very good for this application, and as we saw with the H90 and H110, these larger units do offer better cooling than most 120mm solutions, even some of the dual radiator setups. With the bar already set from Corsair, we can now have a look at NZXT's offerings and see if the first in the world means best in the world.
On paper things seem to be leaning to the NZXT solutions, but we have hit the point to where we will see for ourselves what NZXT has brought to the table, and see if there are any reasons to choose these over the Corsair solutions.