When the Radeon R9 290 and R9 290X first launched last year, they were plagued by issues of overheating and variable clock speeds. We looked at the situation several times over the course of a couple months and AMD tried to address the problem with newer drivers. These drivers did help stabilize clock speeds (and thus performance) of the reference built R9 290 and R9 290X cards but caused noise levels to increase as well.
The real solution was the release of custom cooled versions of the R9 290 and R9 290X from AMD partners like ASUS, MSI and others. The ASUS R9 290X DirectCU II model for example, ran cooler, quieter and more consistently than any of the numerous reference models we had our hands on.
But what about all those buyers that are still purchasing, or have already purchased, reference style R9 290 and 290X cards? Replacing the cooler on the card is the best choice and thanks to our friends at NZXT we have a unique solution that combines standard self contained water coolers meant for CPUs with a custom built GPU bracket.
Our quick test will utilize one of the reference R9 290 cards AMD sent along at launch and two specific NZXT products. The Kraken X40 is a standard CPU self contained water cooler that sells for $100 on Amazon.com. For our purposes though we are going to team it up with the Kraken G10, a $30 GPU-specific bracket that allows you to use the X40 (and other water coolers) on the Radeon R9 290.
Inside the box of the G10 you'll find an 80mm fan, a back plate, the bracket to attach the cooler to the GPU and all necessary installation hardware. The G10 will support a wide range of GPUs, though they are targeted towards the reference designs of each:
NVIDIA : GTX 780 Ti, 780, 770, 760, Titan, 680, 670, 660Ti, 660, 580, 570, 560Ti, 560, 560SE
AMD : R9 290X, 290, 280X*, 280*, 270X, 270 HD7970*, 7950*, 7870, 7850, 6970, 6950, 6870, 6850, 6790, 6770, 5870, 5850, 5830
That is pretty impressive but NZXT will caution you that custom designed boards may interfere.
The installation process begins by removing the original cooler which in this case just means a lot of small screws. Be careful when removing the screws on the actual heatsink retention bracket and alternate between screws to take it off evenly.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 13, 2013 - 08:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nzxt, kraken, Kraken X40, Kraken X60
[H]ard|OCP recently tried out the two new Kraken coolers from NZXT, the non-i versions of the X40 and X60. The smaller X40 will possibly be more popular as its smaller size will allow it to be used in conjunction with more cases but the X60 should not be shunned just because it is big. You might shun it because of its higher price, arguably there are better coolers at the same price point. The X40 on the other hand walked away with a gold award as not only does it perform well, its price is similar to some high end air coolers. Check them out here.
"Pardon the cliche', but it must be done. NZXT RELEASES THE KRAKEN! Now since that is out of the way, we take a long [H]ard look at NZXT's new line of Kraken branded sealed system water coolers for your CPU. This type of cooler is quickly becoming the norm for many enthusiasts looking for a quick and easy cooling solution."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Thermaltake Water 3.0 Closed Loop Cooler Roundup @ AnandTech
- Noctua NH-U12S and NH-U14S Single Tower CPU Coolers Review @ Pro-Clockers
- Noctua NH-U14S & NH-U12S CPU Coolers Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Thermaltake Urban S31 Mid Tower Case Review @ HiTech Legion
- Cooler Master Seidon 120XL CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Enermax ETS-T40-White Cluster CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Phanteks PH-TC12DX Cpu cooler @ Rbmods
- Cooler Master Seidon 120M CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Cooler Master N200 Mini-Tower Case @ Kitguru
- GELID The Black Edition CPU Cooler Review: Man in Black @ X-bit Labs
- Scythe Mugen 4 review: finally a good successor to the Mugen 2 @ Hardware.info
- Noctua NH-U12S @ techPowerUp
- First 140 mm Fan Roundup: Noctua, Phanteks, Xigmatek @ SPCR
- Second 140 mm Fan Roundup: Antec, bequiet!, Corsair, Scythe @ SPCR
- Noctua NF-S12A Series Fans Review @ Pro-Clockers
- Silverstone Argon AR03 @ techPowerUp
- Cougar Spike @ techPowerUp
- Lian Li PC-Q12 mini-ITX Chassis Review @ Techgage
- Cooler Master N200 Review @ OCC
- Corsair Obsidian 350D Windowed Edition Case @ Kitguru
- CM Storm Scout II review: too little, too late @ Hardware.info
- ENERMAX HOPLITE ST ECA3261-W ATX Case @ Modders-Inc
Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 31, 2012 - 05:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: watercooling, all-in-one, nzxt, Kraken X40, Kraken X60
30th October, 2012 – High performance liquid cooling has finally arrived in an easy to use, all-in-one package. NZXT releases the Kraken, the first premium all-in-one water cooler series for PC enthusiasts and gamers alike. The Kraken X40 and Kraken X60 are high end, all-in-one 140mm and 280mm liquid-cooling solutions where ease of use meets unmatched performance.
Applying its forward-thinking design philosophy to the water-cooling market, NZXT raises the bar with a userfriendly solution that brings unrivaled liquid-cooling performance to your fingertips. With 36% more surface area than standard 120mm/240mm radiators and fully interactive fan control, NZXT’s Kraken series is nothing short of a water-cooling behemoth.
NZXT brings its innovative HUE controlled lighting system to the Kraken, setting a new standard for design and performance. Featuring premium black sleeved cables and extended 16-inch tubing for large tower support, the Kraken brings high performance cooling with an uncompromised look that any enthusiast will be dying to show off.
At its core, the Kraken features a state-of-the-art pump attached to an all copper base that is compatible with all of the current offerings from Intel and AMD. Included with the 140mm Kraken X40 is one NZXT FX-140 PWM fan, with the ability to install an additional 140mm fan for a push-pull configuration, offering unmatched cooling performance.
The 280mm Kraken X60 features two NZXT FX-140 PWM fans, with the ability to install an additional two fans for a push-pull configuration as well. Additionally, the Kraken X60 utilizes a SATA power connector for easy installation and effortless cable management.
Both Krakens are aggressively priced at $99 and $139 for the X40 and X60, respectively, and backed by a 2 year warranty. With the Kraken, NZXT set out to unleash the best closed loop water cooler on the market, and believes its customers should not settle for anything less.