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NZXT Kraken X42 Liquid CPU Cooler Review

By: Chad Sebring | CPU Liquid Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Mar 24, 2017 1:52 am
TweakTown Rating: 97%Manufacturer: NZXT

NZXT Kraken X42 Liquid CPU Cooler

 

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Usually, we move right into the individual bits, but after unpacking the Kraken X42, we wanted to make a note of two things. First of all, the base is shipped with a clear plastic cover over it to ensure there is no damage to the mating surface. Secondly, the top of the head unit has a protective cover over the shiny plastic top, which also informs you to be certain the cables are all connected properly.

 

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A view from above the head unit shows off the tinted plastic cover that sits in the ring of brushed metal, covering it. We can also see that there is a ring under the cover, and we can make out the NZXT under it too, both of which can be lit later.

 

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On the right side of the head unit, NZXT uses swivel fittings to allow adjustments to the tube angle. The tube is stretched over the fittings, has the nylon sleeve applied, and then has a plastic ring to clamp it all together for a clean look.

 

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Right of center, at the top edge of the head unit, we find two points of connection. The first is a thin, male, 9-pin connection, which is used to power the unit as well as fan signaling. The Mini-USB port is connected via a USB 2.0 lead for CAM software control of the Kraken X42.

 

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Under the head unit, with the plastic cap removed, we can see that NZXT ships these units with TIM pre-applied. The spread is even, and ours is debris free, and we would have no qualms about using this cooler as-is with anything we built.

 

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Since we do use the same TIM on all coolers, we wiped the pre-applied paste away. This exposes the round milling marks left in the copper. This also allows us to put a straight edge to it, where we saw a convex shape, to add more pressure on the CPU.

 

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From the head unit, we moved to the other end of the tubing. We can see the same details are found on the tube and fitting connection, but this time there are no swivels used. From the swivels at the other end, to where the tube connects to the radiator, there are fifteen and a half inches of distance.

 

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NZXT has put their name on the sides of the radiator, but nothing too flashy. The name is indented into the steel cover panel, and they could have painted it or added contrasting materials, but that would take away from what the head unit show.

 

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Each of the 30mm thick radiators comes with a long sticker like this on the top header. This sticker shows us that this is the Kraken X42, that Asetek makes it, and that it draws 13.5W of power over 12V.

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