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NZXT Kraken X31 Review


NZXT Kraken X31 Testing:

Testing of the Kraken X31 will be accomplished by installing the cooler into the test system case, rather than a test bench. Most systems are built and mounted into a (relatively) sealed chassis, so this method will be used to generate the idle and load results to give a real world view as to the cooling performance one can expect, based on the test system listed below. Of course, your results may vary by several degrees due to case design, case fan placement, ambient air temperature, and the method used to stress the CPU.

The CPU load is generated by Prime 95 version 27.9 for a period of two hours, with a cooldown period of one hour after the computer has returned to an idle state. Real Temp 3.70 is used to log the temperatures with the highest and lowest averages across the four cores of the Core i7 4770K test CPU. Ambient temperatures are kept at 24 °C during the testing to minimize the effect of temperature variations. Each cooler is tested with the manufacturer-supplied thermal compound as delivered.


Testing Setup:


Comparison Coolers:






Idle temperatures with no overclock come in at 27 °C, while it jumps to 67 °C under a load; both of which are just fine. No thermal concerns here. We are only four degrees higher than the much larger Cooler Master Nepton 280L. Now, after we crank up the overclock, the idle hits 32 °C, which puts us in the middle of the tested coolers. Under a load, the Kraken X31 comes in at 80 °C, which is even with the Nepton 280L, and a little warmer than the massive Noctua D15. I didn't expect the X31 to perform this well, and I am very impressed with NZXT's latest version of the Kraken. As far as sound goes, at idle and light load, you can't really hear the fan. Under a full load, the fan sound becomes noticeable, but certainly not a concern.

  1. NZXT Kraken X31: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. NZXT Kraken X31: Closer Look (Continued)
  3. NZXT Kraken X31: CAM Software
  4. NZXT Kraken X31: Specifications & Features
  5. NZXT Kraken X31: Testing Setup & Results
  6. NZXT Kraken X31: Conclusion
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