NZXT Kraken X63 Overview
As mentioned in our introduction, the Kraken X63 is a 280mm AIO cooler that utilizes two Aer P fans attached to a 30mm radiator, and paired up with a pump housing based on Asetek’s 7th generation design. The Kraken X-series of coolers are available in 120mm, 240mm, 280mm, and 360mm sizes, so there are quite a few options to fit various hardware and case specifications.
Starting with the radiator, we have an aluminum fin and tube design which is quite popular in the AIO arena. While it aluminum doesn’t have quite the cooling capacity that copper does, it is still a competitive performance and pricing option. The radiator’s 30mm thickness places it near the middle of the road with regards to the rest of our recent AIO reviews. The radiator’s 24 fins-per-inch is quite dense compared to the other AIOs we have recently reviewed, so it is no wonder NZXT paired this radiator with their Aer P fans, which are designed with high static pressure in mind. These fans will help push air through the dense fin array much better than say the Aer F fans, which are designed with standard airflow in mind.
Along the sides of the radiator, NZXT has stamped their nameplate, which adds a subtle bit of branding to the product.
The rubber cooling tubes attach to the end of the radiator via permanent fittings, as this is a sealed unit that is not intended to be opened and expanded. Each tube is further protected with a braided nylon sleeve that looks great and flexes well with the tubes themselves.
Moving on to the pump housing, we find a familiar, yet larger, circular design. Aesthetically, NZXT has kept with the circular design that features an infinity mirror and RGB light ring for some great looks. This light ring has been increased in size by 10%, and encircles a glowing NZXT nameplate in the center. The pump housing is composed of plastic and brass components, and the pump itself is rated to run between 800 and 2,800 RPM, depending on the setting chosen in CAM.
Taking a look at the side of the pump where the cooling tubes exit, we find two 90-degree plastic fittings that each rotate for maximum installation and cable routing ease. We really appreciate that these fittings provide so much flexibility during the installation phase, as many AIOs just offer fixed fittings that make installation and tube positioning difficult at times.
90-degrees to the right of the fittings are two openings for connecting the pump housing to your system. The first is a 10-pin connection that is used in conjunction with the included breakout cable that provides power to the pump and it’s lights, as well as RPM tach connectivity, and RGB lighting expansion capabilities. The second connection utilizes a Micro-USB connection to connect the pump housing to a USB 2.0 header for NZXT CAM control.
One great thing about the Kraken X63’s design, is that the light ring and NZXT logo can rotate in 30-degree increments. This feature lets you mount the pump with the most ideal cabling and tubing orientation for your build, while also giving you the ability to orient the NZXT logo to your liking.
Taking a look at the bottom of the pump housing, we can see that NZXT has pre-applied thermal interface material to the copper waterblock for easy installation.
Looking at the bottom of the pump housing also reveals the ability to rotate the mounting hardware to an orientation that will provide the best clearance and tube routing for a particular build. We really like this option, as we often find the fixed mounting options on most AIO require some creative bending and routing of cables during installation. This feature pairs up perfectly with the rotating light ring.
While the AIO itself is assembled at the factory, NZXT does ship the unit with the two of their 140mm Aer P PWM fans detached. This allows you to install them in a push or pull configuration on either side of the radiator, depending on your setup. We appreciate this flexibility, even though it does add a bit more work to the installation process. Each Aer P fan features seven fan blades, each with a small winglet at the end to improve drag efficiency. And while the Aer P fans don’t offer RGB lighting, they do have have a removable trim that can be swapped out for a variety of colored options to fit your build.