PC Components

NZXT Kraken Z53 RGB 240mm AIO in review – water cooling with display and foolproof installation

In September 2021, the American hardware manufacturer NZXT launched the Kraken Z53 RGB 240 mm AIO. The water cooling features two 120 mm RGB fans and a pump housing with an integrated display. But how good is the cooling performance? Can a layman install the system? And is a display necessary? You can find out all about that in this report.

Technical data of the NZXT Kraken Z53 RGB

Model Kraken Z53 RGB
Cooling block dimensions Diameter: 79mm / H: 52mm
Cooling Block Material (Block) Copper
Cooling block material (case) Plastic
Pump motor speed 800 – 2,800 ± 300 rpm
Radiator dimensions 123 x 275 x 30mm
Radiator Material Aluminum
Fan Model Aer RGB 2 120mm
Fan dimensions 120 x 120 x 26mm
Fan speed 500 – 1,500 ± 300 rpm
Fan connector PWM 4-pole
LCD Active Area 2.36″ (60mm) diameter
Resolution 320 x 320px
Price
€ 229.90 *

Packaging

NZXT’s packaging for the AIO is less flashy. On the front, we immediately get a first impression of what awaits us inside. The back shows the water cooler in its installed state and next to it again highlights the strengths and possibilities of this product. Once we remove the protective film and open the packaging, we see cork and a small note with a QR code, under which we can find the assembly instructions. Once we pull everything out, we have insight on the All-In-One system.

Scope of delivery

Included in the box are:

  • 1x NZXT Kraken Z53 complete water cooling
  • 2x 120mm fan
  • 1x fan splitter cable
  • 1x fan connector cable
  • 1x Micro USB cable
  • 1x daisy chain cable
  • 1x Breakout cable kit
  • Mounting accessories for specified socket
  • Fan and radiator mounting screws

If you look at it, everything is already taken care of. We have all the screws, we have all the cables, and we have all the plate variations for the CPU. So let’s get right to the next part.

Design and finish

NZXT has used a radiator made of aluminum here with a high-quality matte black finish. The pump housing was also covered with matte black paint and designed in a classic round shape. The hoses are sheathed and can be rotated and adjusted as desired, so you have many options for installation. The fans are 2x Aer P 120mm PWM fans with interchangeable surrounds, which also feature high quality and beautiful looks. There are RGB and non-RGB variants to choose from. In this review, we used the RGB fans. The LCD should produce a nice picture with individual design options for us on 2.36 inches with a resolution of 320 x 320 px and 24-bit color depth.

Copper plate with thermal paste

NZXT Kraken Z53 RGB Assembly

As mentioned above, we find a QR code in the box with the assembly instructions. Following these step by step, little to no difficulties arise.  There is already thermal paste on the copper plate of the cooler, which is perfectly sufficient for mounting. How you install the AiO depends on the case on the one hand, and on your own preferences on the other. You should definitely think about the direction of the hoses beforehand, as it should look like in the end result. Here we decided to install the hoses in the direction of the RAM and lay them over it. It doesn’t matter how the display of the cooler is positioned, because you can still adjust it in the appropriate software.

Montierte AiO

Cooling performance and noise

An AiO should not only provide better looks, but also better cooling performance! To test this we looked at the comparison to the AMD Ryzen standard cooler. For this, we use Prime95 to max out the CPU and test the maximum temperatures in a thirty minute stress test.

The setup looks like this:

In testing, we came up with the following results:

AMD Boxed 78°
NZXT Z53 RGB (50%) 73°
NZXT Z53 RGB (100%) 67°

Based on the results, we see a decidedly good cooling performance under heavy load. 5° and 11° compared to the AMD standard cooler definitely speak for the AiO. The pump only becomes audible when the load is also correspondingly high and it runs at full speed. Otherwise, it convinces with very quiet work and is hardly or not at all audible under normal conditions. The fans, on the other hand, are already audible under low load, but are by no means annoying. Under higher load, they create a background noise that can definitely be perceived as annoying, but it rarely comes to such a load, so we are very satisfied with the performance here as well.

Lighting and software

Since this is the RGB model, the fans are equipped with bordered lighting. These can be customized via the NZXT software and bring with them many different variations of lighting right away. For example, there is the possibility to adjust the color of the fans depending on the CPU temperature.

In the program we can make all settings to the AiO. The pump speed, fan speed and the display on the LCD of the pump are adjusted here. Thus, NZXT has built in the possibility of various temperature data or a self-selected GIF, which is then displayed on the LCD. This allows a wide variety of design options to be implemented and thus offers a varied design. In addition, there is the possibility to create your own profiles, in which you can specify in advance what performance the pump and the fans should bring at what temperature. Alternatively, there are already prefabricated profiles, which are already well configured in our opinion.

Fan with RGB lighting

Summary of NZXT Kraken Z53 RGB review

In our review, we put the NZXT Z53 RGB under the microscope and are very satisfied with the water cooling system. Pump volume and particularly easy assembly stand out very positively here. Due to the individual design options, the AiO also convinces in visual points. If you don’t see the need for the LCD or the RGB lighting on the fans, you can save yourself a few euros and go for the X53 model. The price for the Z53 is steep due to the LCD, but absolutely competitive and worth the money for our taste.

On top of that, NZXT is so confident in their product that it adds a manufacturer’s warranty of 6 years.

NZXT Kraken Z53 RGB

Design
Workmanship
Mounting
Cooling
Noise level
Value for money

95/100

Strong yet quiet AiO with very easy assembly.

NZXT Kraken Z53 RGB price comparison


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Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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In September 2021, the American hardware manufacturer NZXT launched the Kraken Z53 RGB 240 mm AIO. The water cooling features two 120 mm RGB fans and a pump housing with an integrated display. But how good is the cooling performance? Can a layman install the system? And is a display necessary? You can find out … (Weiterlesen...)

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