It is hard to come up with new things to say about the Kraken X52, as everything we found that we liked in the X42, we find here as well. The major draw to this cooler over the smaller one is more surface area to dissipate the heat from the CPU, and with what is shown in our charts, there is a marked improvement. Not so much at stock, as both coolers were nearly even, but once the overclock was applied, or if we could stand the noise to run the system under full power, the difference in performance increases, favoring the Kraken X52.
The system is just as easy to install and use as the X42, jus that this time you need a double 120mm location in the front or at the top of the chassis. To us, while the Kraken X42 isn't all that bad in comparison, the jump in cost to move to the Kraken X52 seems justified in our testing.
The Kraken X52 is aesthetically pleasing with the brushed metal finish and its blacked-out coloration. Moving up another level, we consider the RGB lighting in the head unit. While many may not like RGB, having the ability to have it match the system, denote thermals of the CPU, or just turn them off, the choice is yours. Beyond that, the various modes, and the ability to make the cooler react to audio are neat tricks too that the CAM software delivers.
While CAM does allow the user to fiddle with the Kraken X52 in any way they see fit to do, we like the ability it has to be a replacement suite. CAM will tell you temperatures of all the components, usage of everything important, and you do not have to create a profile for any of this. Any way we look at the Kraken X52, we are left with no complaints or anything which should persuade you not to want to buy this closed loop cooling system.
When it all comes down to it, the price is worth the upgrade to us over the Kraken X42's $129.99 price tag, to the Kraken X52's price of $149.99. To get the best of the best being offered, there is a bit of a premium that comes along with it, but at the same time, NZXT is not out of sorts with what other AIOs similar in size release at, price wise, either. We love that these coolers come with everything you need to maximize their potential, except a total of four fans in this instance, yet at the same time can power them, can mount them, and can control them.
NZXT has a grasp on the pulse of the market, and these new Kraken CPU coolers are worth some time to look over. In the case of the Kraken X52, you may be able to find more affordable cooling in its thermal range, but we guarantee you, none of them look this good, or have this amount of control offered with just the click of a mouse.
The Bottom Line: NZXT's Kraken X52 and its increased size has distinct advantages. The performance is better than average, the noise levels are kept low, and the customization and information CAM offers is all you will ever need.
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