Changes to our AIO cooler test system have recently been made, so we are starting fresh with our testing method and results. The following components are used in our new test rig.
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
Cooling: NZXT Kraken Z73
Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair VI Hero
Graphics Card: PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 580
Memory: HyperX Savage DDR4-2666 16GB
Storage: Corsair Force MP500 M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
Case: Fractal Design Define R6 Tempered Glass
Power: SilverStone SST-ST55F-G
As our testbed is brand new, the list of coolers we will be comparing is currently quite small, but will be growing in the near future.
For performance testing we will first test idle temperatures. These are taken on the Windows 10 desktop an hour after the system has been turned on.
For load testing we will be running the AIDA64 system stability test with the CPU only checked. This puts a full load on our CPU. We run this test for 1 hour and record the highest temperature throughout the test.
The Kraken Z73 is fully compatible with NZXT’s CAM software, and below you will find an overview of the options available for controlling the AIO.
Under the “Cooling” section of CAM is where you can adjust the Kraken X73’s profile. A Silent and Performance option are both available by default, but custom settings can be created and saved to fit your performance and volume needs. With both the pump and fans being controlled by CAM, you have a single-pane solution for adjusting your CPU’s cooling needs.
Within the “Lighting” section of CAM is where the real customization fun comes for the Kraken Z73. It is here where we can configure the screen on the pump block, as well as any other NZXT lighting accessories that are connected to the system. By default, the Z73 is set to show the temperature of the CPU in a “radial fill” method that places the temperature at the center of the display, and an animated light ring around the exterior. As the CPU temperature changes, so does the temperature display, and the placement of the round indicator on the exterior of the screen. This visual is set to a purple and magenta color scheme by default, but you can certainly adjust this to indicate something like blue for cooler temperatures, and red for hot temperatures.
There are a plethora of options to choose from for the screen, including a dual infographic that shows both CPU and GPU temperature, liquid temperature, CPU or GPU load, CPU clock speed, and other non-information visuals like TaiChi and Spectrum Wave. Most of these image settings can be customized in some way or another, which really helps in the versatility of this feature’s implementation.
Last, but certainly not least, is the ability to display a custom GIF on the screen, up to 20MB in size. This is where things get really crazy, as you could literally put any image, animated or not, on the pump housing. Just think of the possibilities not only for individuals, but for system builders to outfit a system with their custom logo on the cooler, or for streamers to have their logo on there for showing off the system in the background.
Check out a few images of the NZXT Kraken Z73’s screen in action below.