There is one thing we want to address before we get into the likes and dislikes of this product, and that is that we have not forgotten about the CAM Software. If you would like to view the tutorial provided in it you can click here to see that, and to see its usability, you can check here.
At first, you may think that the limited features in this version are a deal breaker, and will likely prompt you to opt for the Kraken X41 instead. But what about those who need an AIO, and do not have 140mm fan mounting locations, and cannot fit the X41? Well for them, they will lose the lighting in the head unit, which is a bit of a bummer, but we completely understand dropping the price $30 between the X41 and X31.
To be quite blunt, the loss of lighting does not hinder this cooler's performance in any way; it is just an aesthetic feature, and the aesthetic changes still allow the name to pop on the head unit. We also understand that the braiding had to go as well, and while it is a nice feature on the first pair we looked at, using black wiring is the next best thing, and they will still blend into the chassis well. Outside of these two things, we feel that the NZXT Kraken X31 is still a solid contender for your hard earned dollar.
The thermal performance is not chart topping by any means, but you should take a broader look at the coolers around it in our charts. A select few do require a bit less to obtain, that is true, but on the flip side, they are not as easy to install, they don't always fit where this compact AIO usually will. Of course, none of them offer the CAM software either, and that is a huge selling point to the Kraken series as a whole.
For those who are always fiddling about with settings and keeping an eye on the system, this software will help you do it all. Not only is this software great for the immediate needs like basic settings and one glace views of what is going on, but it will keep notes of performance and usage over the long haul as well, so you can see what sort of demand and usage you really put your PC through. As for the sound levels, we assumed they would be lower with this kit utilizing a near 60 CFM fan, and the results we found proved the Kraken X31 to be the most silent of the bunch.
In this series, the Kraken X31 is the cooler for the everyman. It does not matter if you are a system builder who stays on top of current trends to offer customers the latest and greatest products, or whether you are a gamer, internet surfer, or you are simply thinking about putting an AIO in an HTPC where room is usually very limited. The NZXT Kraken X31 will suit your needs.
It may not be up to snuff for the enthusiast level, but there is always the option of adding a second fan, or better yet, two much stronger fans, and take on much larger AIOs in thermal performance with a much more affordable unit. As it is out of the box, it may leave some wanting a bit more, but for its class, and a price of $79.99, we feel that NZXT will have no trouble moving this product, even if it is the smallest AIO of their new fleet.
PRICING: You can find the NZXT Kraken X31 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.
United States: The Kraken X31 retails for $73.99 at Amazon.
|Quality including Design and Build||90%|
|Bundle and Packaging||95%|
|Value for Money||89%|
The Bottom Line: Priced fairly for the level of performance delivered with the Kraken X31, we still feel that the CAM software should and likely will make you chose this sealed AIO over many of the others out there.
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