NZXT Kraken X52 Liquid CPU Cooler Review

NZXT Kraken X52 Overview
Removing everything from the cardboard enclosure, you will find the cooler itself, two fans in protective cardboard cartons, wiring, and mounting hardware.

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There is hardware included for all modern sockets. Although there is no mention of it, this cooler should be compatible with AMD’s yet to be released socket AM4 as it is reported to have the same mounting mechanism as previous generations.

NZXT Kraken X52

The included fans are a pair of Aer P120s, which according to NZXT’s marketing materials are designed specifically for water-cooling. They claim to spin up to ~2000rpm, at which point they will be making 73.11CFM of airflow, while pushing 2.93mm-H20 of static pressure, all while creating 36dBA of sound. Overall (and assuming they are accurate) those specs are pretty good; putting them at the mid to high end level for water-cooling fans. The ones included with the X52 are all black and have nice rubber grommets at each mounting position. They connect via 4-pin pwm connectors and are sleeved.

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And finally on to the cooler itself! Removing the protective plastic and cardboard sleeves we find an all black AiO that seems pretty standard until you get to the pump. If you have any experience with these types of coolers you will notice immediately that the pump housing is huge! Typically we have seen pump housings getting smaller and smaller. The less intrusive the better. NZXT has taken a total 180 here and went and made the pump itself a feature.

NZXT Kraken X52

The 240mm radiator is completely standard AiO fare with the exception that the NZXT logo is stamped in the metal on the sides. At 30mm thick the radiator features a dense fin design like many others. While I’m sure the radiator is perfectly acceptable, there really is nothing to see here.

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Attaching the radiator to the massive pump is some nice thick sleeved tubing. It is reinforced nylon and it’s actually quite lengthy. The far ends are connected with swivel fittings that provide plenty of flexibility at the pump connection.

NZXT Kraken X52

As we mentioned the Asetek built pump is huge and it’s for a reason. The entire top of the pump is an infinity mirror with the NZXT logo and LED ring in the middle. What that means is you have a standard mirror at the back, LED ring and logo LED in the middle, and those are sandwiched on the outside with a two way mirror. This mirror setup reflects upon itself on and on (thus the infinity name). We first saw this trick used on computer hardware by InWin at CES 2016 on the front of a case. Unfortunately a production model of that front panel never made it to market. One of the coolest lighting effects we’ve seen used on hardware, NZXT has scooped up the idea and ran with it.

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Not only has the diameter of the pump been increased, but the stack height as well. We imagine that the actual water-cooling bits are in the bottom section of the housing, while the top is entirely the lighting effects. The base is protected by a rather tight plastic cup which is really good to see, we hate when those things constantly fall off. As was mentioned earlier the tubing is connected with swivel fittings that attach to the side of the housing. Power and control are provided by a 9-pin connector and a mini USB connector also found on the equator of the housing.

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The base of the pump matches the rest in that is has a very large copper heat plate. The center of the plate comes with a perfect machine applied layer of thermal material. Also worth noting is that pump does come pre-installed with the Intel bracket making it much more plug and play for those users, but isn’t too much more work for AMD users to swap out.

NZXT Kraken X52

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