First of all, the design is very straight forward, and should be easy to use in most instances. We just found that for our specific test card, even after acquiring a shim for the cooler, we still had to do some modifications and a lot of fussing around to get things to work out properly. They do address that these issues may arise, and while that helps, a shim and some instructions on how to successfully modify things to fit right the first time would be a huge help.
The reality of it all is that even with the work involved, and the limited cost to get an AIO plus this Kraken G10 kit, the performance speaks for itself, and is very impressive. Even with our card barely challenging the system for better cooling, it also shows how much room these single radiator solutions could handle before needing to move to a dual radiator solution for the more demanding top-tier cards on the market.
While NZXT is not the first to pioneer this concept (and they certainly won't be the last to try their hands at AIO cooling of a video card), they do make a very easy system that works with a lot of AIOs. Like we addressed earlier, people who adapted to AIOs in the beginning are sure to have a generation one or two cooler sitting around with a round head unit and lock tabs on it. This will certainly keep the costs down to adapt to much better GPU cooling than what the stock solution will offer.
The thing is, you can grab a $100 AIO, and still be cheaper and easier to install than a loop and a water block, but you can always catch some AIO on sale for less than $50 as well. That brings this into the realm of what aftermarket air coolers cost, and we get much better results with the Kraken G10 at a cost of only $29.99.
While there are some horror stories out there (and thermal images to prove the unfortunate parties know what they are talking about), just because the box shows compatibility, it does not mean that the Kraken G10 kit is capable of cooling it as delivered. Addressing things like heat sinks on the memory and phases on the card are still a must, and they are not provided in the kit. Also, if you happen to have a die lower than the bracket that surrounds it you will need to locate a shim like we used, but this is why reviewers are here: to show potential users the larger picture.
The Kraken G10 is a great idea, and it's a product that we can see a lot of users wanting to try out; just keep in mind that this is a kit, and compatibility of the cold plate touching the GPU die, and keeping the rest of the card under control are two different things. The way we see it, NZXT expects this product to be for more experienced users who look ahead when planning things out, and it not necessarily a kit the novice should pick up and hope for the best with.
PRICING: You can find the NZXT Kraken G10 for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
Canada: The NZXT KRAKEN G10 (BLACK) retails for CDN$45.00 at Amazon Canada and the NZXT KRAKEN G10 (WHITE) retails for CDN$45.00 at Amazon Canada, and the NZXT KRAKEN G10 (RED) retails for CDN$45.00 at Amazon Canada.