NZXT distributes one of the most successful compact water cooling systems, the Kraken series. Currently, the third generation is available – we have already tested the NZXT Kraken X73. Beside the X-Series we also offer the Z-Series – instead of the Infinity-Mirror on the pump cover there is a small display.
To complete the offered line-up, a RGB version of the Kraken X-series is now added. The market is increasingly flooded with all-in-one water-cooling systems that are competing with each other – NZXT has also noticed the market and is following suit. For you we took a look at the NZXT Kraken X53 RGB and see how it performs.
|Socket compatibility||Intel: LGA 1200, 1151, 1150, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2011-3, 2066
AMD: Socket AM4, sTRX4, TR4 (without Threadripper Bracket)
|Water block||80 x 80 x 55 mm (l x w x h)
copper block with plastic housing
|Pump||7th generation Asetek pump series
800 – 2,800 RPM
|Hoses||400 mm, nylon coated|
|Radiator||274 x 121 x 27 mm (L x W x H)
|Fan||Aer RGB 2 , 2x
120 x 120 x 26 mm (L x W x H)
Oil pressure bearing
|Price||159,99 € UVP|
Scope of delivery and workmanship
The scope of delivery has changed almost nothing compared to the “normal” X-Series. As NZXT has already added to the last article, a PWM splitter is now in the package. In addition, the water cooling, mounting material, two RGB fans and the cabling await us in the package. A paper manual has been omitted – you get a NZXT sheet with a QR code to retrieve it online.
The price is noticeable in the workmanship. The radiator is perfectly painted throughout, the fans are torsionally stiff, have a neatly embedded RGB ring on the outside and you immediately get the feeling of having purchased a high-quality product. The pump head with the infamous Infinity Mirror is mirrored and protected from scratches by a protective film. No bent cooling fins or other quality defects can be found.
The hoses are very robust and cannot be bent easily. This is intended to provide increased safety – they bend in almost no scenario and thus rule out leakage.
If required, the pump head can be rotated – so the NZXT logo always shines in the correct orientation. Nowadays you see this more and more often, but it’s the small details that NZXT has been doing for a while now that round off the whole product. It is also noticeable that more screws than needed were delivered – even a quick change to a push-pull configuration would be possible without the need for more screws.
During installation, NZXT shows how to do it right. Simply screw the appropriate screws to the existing AMD backplate – the matching bracket can be easily fixed to the water block by turning. Afterwards you fix it with knurled screws to the bracket and connect the cables – and the Kraken is ready for action! In contrast to the non-RGB-version only two additional cables have to be plugged in – one from fan to fan, one from a fan to the pump.
NZXT CAM software and RGB lighting
After the installation of the hardware follows the installation of the software. The NZXT CAM software is used to configure the water cooling system. There are predefined configurations for both the pump and the RGB lighting, but it can also be set up completely freely. As a small note first – the silent profile is still very performant and turns quite high. If you don’t acutely run into the temperature limit, you can easily reduce it.
Besides some predefined color profiles you can create your own color patterns. In addition to the fan rings you can also customize the NZXT logo and the Infinity Mirror. In small gradations you can change colors or insert gradients. To show you a small part of the possible effects, we have recorded a short video:
The colors of all components are strong and there are no halos due to LEDs – everything is well blended. There is nothing to complain about here. In real life the colors of the fans look a bit stronger and more natural than it looks on the photos and videos.
In general, the software is very clear and you can find your way around quickly. The possibilities are well measured – there are not too many set screws, but you don’t miss anything.
We do not expect any technological changes compared to the non-RGB version. Nevertheless we have tested the NZXT Kraken X53 RGB on the test stand.
As a test system we have installed the following components:
- Ryzen 5 3600
- MSI B550 Tomahawk
- Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 3000 MHz
- GIGABYTE RX 5600 XT GAMING OC
- BeQuiet! Straight Power 11 550W
The test scenario is a high CPU load by Prime95 with the “In-Place FFTs” – due to this the load is also constant and gives us comparable values. First of all, this is absolutely not a realistic load. In normal gaming mode the CPU is of course much cooler – even at low speeds. However, you can see from this test scenario how powerful the coolers are.
Not surprisingly, the RGB version is also convincing. The Kraken X73 already convinced in our last test – as did its little brother with lighting. In direct comparison to the MSI MAG CoreLiquid 240R and the ALSEYE H240, it is in the lead.
|Product||Temperature at 50% PWM||Temperature at 100% PWM|
|NZXT Octopus X53 RGB||64.3 °C||61.0 °C|
|MSI MAG CoreLiquid 240R||68.7 °C||61.7 °C|
|ALSEYE H240||72.1 °C||65.9 °C|
Concerning the volume: The 7th generation of Asetek pumps pays off, because at moderate speeds in the range of 40-50% RPM it is already no longer audible from the case – despite a performance that is close to the maximum. The fans are solid even at low speeds. However, if you go into areas close to the maximum speed, you will have a very high noise level. You get a very decent cooling performance at low noise level – even overclockers have their fun here.
Basically the whole preview turned out very positive, there are no points of criticism – if it weren’t for the price. The normal X-series already has a considerable price, now you pay a surcharge for the two RGB fans, so you end up with a RRP of 159,99 € (X53 RGB, 240mm radiator) / 179,99 € (X63 RGB, 280mm) / 219,99 € (X73 RGB, 360 mm).
This is a lot of money, but you also get a lot for it. The workmanship is convincing at every point, the software runs very well, the cooling performance is right. The whole package is suitable, you don’t have the feeling that something is missing at any point.
The RGB version had to come at some point – of course it is also clear that an RGB fan costs more than a normal fan. At this point, we again award the Gold Award with a clear conscience. NZXT continues to show quality and performance at a premium price.