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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

Installation and Finished Product




The first step to installing the Kraken X42 says we should slide the threaded ends in for LGA115X, and set it on the back of the motherboard. Align the holes, and it will drop in, and be mindful of the orientation of the backplate.





The next step is to flip the motherboard over and send the standoffs in the threaded holes of the backplate. The standoffs will run out of threads before they touch the motherboard, so do not worry if it does not feel completely secure at this time.




We then made sure to make the connections to the head unit. If we did not use the case we do, making these connections could get complicated after installing the cooler, so we found it best to do it now.




We then installed the fan so that it will be blowing air through the radiator and away from the chassis. When it comes to having to tighten the fan, we found the rubber inserts to compress, which keeps the fan off the radiator and also isolates the screws and washers or the case.




Looking over the RAM, we do see quite a bit of that brushed black metal exterior poking out from behind them, and we do see that the swivel fittings are oriented to go right next to it.




We concluded that this is why there is a 35mm clearance marked on the specifications, but as you can see with our choice of RAM, we did not make contact with the cooler. If we had taller sticks in play, the fittings could force the innermost stick to lean away from the CPU, but most sticks will clear this cooler.




Taking a step back, we see that there is plenty of room around the head unit to access things like motherboard screws and 8-pin power connectors. However, if this were going into a case, the connections should be made, as you will only have an inch or two in most mid-tower cases to make this connection later, likely causing damage or bending the pins.




Even using our D-Frame in the vertical orientation, and having a long way between the CPU and the top rail of the chassis, we had no issues doing so with the Kraken X42. There is plenty of tube, so much so that we didn't even flex the fittings, they are still straight up from the motherboard.




Once the SATA and fan connections are made to the PSU and the motherboard, you can power on the Kraken X42. By default, the head unit is illuminated with near-white LED light. Both the logo and the ring around it are illuminated, and at this time the light in the ring is racing around the edge doing laps around the NZXT name.

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