Introduction

Liquid-cooling is nothing new in the world of computers; enthusiasts first started creating custom water cooling setups back in the 80486 era, and even prior to that some mainframes used liquid-cooling. Due to their cost and complexity however, such cooling solutions often do not appeal to a large portion of users. With the advent of of closed loop, ready-to-run liquid-cooling kits from Asetek and CoolIT a few years back, however, liquid-cooling is now significantly less costly and complex. Today, the cooling solutions of both these two OEMs are being marketed by several brands and are becoming increasingly popular among all classes of users.

Despite the low cost and ease of installation however, these closed loop systems entirely lack the one thing that a custom liquid-cooling solution has: versatility. All of the closed loop liquid-cooling kits currently available in the market are designed be installed on a single CPU, without the possibility of any expansion, whereas custom setups could potentially cool all of the critical components in a system. Until recently, those who purchased any closed loop liquid-cooling kit were limited to cooling their CPU only, leaving their high-end graphics cards running on air. NZXT came up with a very simple and effective solution to this problem: a metallic bracket called the Kraken G10 that allows the installation of any Asetek-based liquid-cooling kit on most modern graphics cards. The compatibility list, as provided by NZXT, is as follows:

GPU Compatibility Nvidia: GTX 780 Ti, 780, 770, 760, Titan, 680, 670, 660Ti, 660, 580, 570, 560Ti, 560, 560SE

AMD: R9 290X, 290, 280X*, 280*, 270X, 270 HD7970*, 7950*, 7870, 7850, 6970, 6950, 6870, 6850, 6790, 6770, 5870, 5850, 5830

The compatibility list is based on AMD's Radeon and NVIDIA's GeForce reference board layouts, screw spacing, and die height only. Please check the height restriction before purchase.

* Some variations in AMD die height may require the use of a shim.
Liquid-cooling kit compatibility NZXT: Kraken X60, Kraken X40

Corsair: H110, H90, H75, H55 , H50

Antec: KUHLER H2O 920V4, KUHLER H2O 620V4, KUHLER H2O 920, KUHLER H2O 620

Thermaltake: Water 3.0 Extreme, Water 3.0 Pro, Water 3.0 Performer, Water 2.0 Extreme, Water 2.0 Pro, Water 2.0 Performer

Zalman: LQ-320, LQ-315, LQ-310

Packaging and bundled items

NZXT ships the Kraken G10 in a well-designed cardboard box, displaying their Kraken X40 liquid-cooler installed on a graphics card with the help of the bracket. Inside the box we find a leaflet with installation instructions, the hardware required for the installation of the bracket, and a few cable ties.

NZXT also supplies a 92mm fan, which can be installed on the Kraken G10 in order to cool the VRM and RAM chips of the graphics card. Such parts are inherently cooled by the stock cooler of the card, but as that will be removed and the liquid block only cools GPU core, the fan is a useful addition. The white-bladed fan comes from Martech and is a sleeve bearing, 2000RPM model.

A Closer Look and Installation
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  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - link

    Well, it's factually correct to say the temperature dropped 35C which is 44% lower, but since temperatures aren't a 0-based scale it messes things up and obscures a whole lot of relevant information. It's scientifically the incorrect way of discussing things, which is what I was trying to say with the "technically correct" bit. Hahaha.... Reply
  • mfenn - Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - link

    Small nitpick: liquid cooling is an adjective followed by a noun, not a hyphenated compound word. Reply
  • errorr - Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - link

    Really? Who made you lord high pedant?

    Hate to break your bubble but a compound noun is exactly what 'liquid cooling' is. Compound nouns can be combined, hyphenated, or separate words. Perhaps you could look up the definition of compound noun when you have a chance.

    Hyphenation is a stylistic choice to enhance ease of reading. There are no universal orthographic rules per se that prohibit a hyphen there. Orthagraphy is a collection of conventions and not rules. Style rules are required to clarify common ambiguities but unless they actually increase confusion they are mostly harmless and at worst unnecessary.

    I will concede that over the last couple of decades hyphenation has been in serious decline as the internet has come to dominate informal written communication. I remeber the OED took out over 16,000 hyphenations in one of the short versions of the dictionary. That doesn't suddenly make them wrong. I doubt AT has its own style-guide so I can't determine where your authoritative declaration comes from.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - link

    Sadly, the style guide on some things with AnandTech simply comes from Jarred, who is old and happens to like hyphens, dashes, and parentheses (among other outdated writing conventions). As you say, style is often very fluid, and mostly I just wanted to make sure all our instances of air/liquid-cooling" were consistent in the article. Which is not to say that another article might not use "liquid cooling". I do have to say that I am constantly amazed at the things people choose to complain about. Welcome to the Internet! :-) Reply
  • SpartyOn - Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - link

    This article is pretty shortsighted as there have been custom LCS brackets available from Dwoods and others for at least two years, if not more. I applaud NZXT for taking this more mainstream, but that price is absolutely ridiculous for what you're getting. I would think the enthusiast marketplace is still the place to turn for these types of mods.

    I've had a Dwoods bracket on my GTX 770 4GB for the past 8 months running a Zalman LQ320 and a PWM Zalman 92mm fan. I've got another LQ320 in my machine for the CPU and it's all in a CM 120 mini-ITX box (I cut out the HDD cage) so space and thermals are at a premium. My temps are 23C at idle, 42-48C in gaming benchmarks, and 50-52C in FurMark torture @ 1350MHz core and 2000MHz memory. I do have an Antec SpotCool blowing on the back of the PCB since there are some RAM chips on the back.

    I think it's a little incredulous to say that there is no easy way to control the fans. As others have noted, SpeedFan is an option or you could do what I did and install PWM fans for both the VRM bracket and the radiator and use a powered PWM splitter from the mobo header. This works really well in a mini-ITX situation like mine as it keeps everything nice and quiet for HTPC use, but ramps up the speeds as needed when I start gaming. I'm sure I could get better fan curves if I did it manually, but for a ready-made hands-off approach, this works really well and cools just fine - even the VRM fan.
    Reply
  • DukeN - Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - link

    Thank you for posting the review, very timely as just last night I was looking at this and the Accelero Hybrid.

    Sorry to burst the bubble but this was sold out at NZXT before the Anandtech story posted, so no AT effect :(

    This thing is basically not available anywhere ATM, so this could very well be d-wood 2.0
    Reply
  • mwildtech - Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - link

    These brackets on the right card can be pretty beast. The vrm temps are worrying, especially since you can't measure the vrm temps via software on Nvidia Kepler cards except for a select few high end card.r Reply
  • Subyman - Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - link

    I like how they say there is a 40% reduction in temps by playing with the arbitrary Celsius scale. Looking at the proper Kelvin scale, we note:

    363K down to 323K = A mere 15% temperature reduction.

    Obviously, I'm messing about, but throwing around dumb numbers is fun. I'm glad to see the author call them out on it :)
    Reply
  • ExodusC - Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - link

    So for $30 I could move over my Corsair H80 off my CPU and onto my exorbitantly hot GPU, then just throw one of my perfectly adequate air coolers onto my CPU?

    I have to say that's pretty appealing. Reference coolers on GPUs are extremely loud and inefficient when under heavy load, I'd love to quiet my system down.
    Reply
  • EnzoFX - Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - link

    While these units may be quieter than your average stock cooler. I would not consider them quiet by those truly seeking low audible levels. Pumps are inherently noisier than a quiet fan. I don't see this changing anytime soon. Reply

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