AIO (all in one) liquid cooling units continue to gain popularity due mostly to the cheaper cost to performance ratio, as well as their leak-proof and low maintenance design. If we look back a mere 2 years ago, liquid AIO cooling units were few and far between, and only a few manufacturers offered this type of cooling solution. Today we find a lot of AIO units flooding the market, and as you may already know, selecting the right one can be a hard choice with so many different styles and types readily available. I am very excited today, because I will be putting three new units on my test bench from NZXT. The NZXT KRAKEN X31, X41 and, Kraken X61 AIO coolers. These three closed-loop liquid coolers are follow-up products to the Kraken X30 X40 and Kraken X60 that were reviewed last year. The NZXT X31 X41 and X61 have kept their same 120mm, 140mm, & 280mm respective CLC design; however, they now come with some new additions in the form of variable pump speed control, increased radiator thickness, and Cam software. Before I continue, let me tell you a bit about NZXT.
As any system builder can tell you, the proper way to tune your system involves balance. Part of that balance which often goes overlooked by many novice builders is configuring your system fans; without proper airflow, your system might not be performing to its peak potential or might just be making a bit more noise than it needs to. Let us not forget that often times we find ourselves wondering how we are going to supply power to our fans without having to use motherboard headers and having all those unseemly cables running all over the place like so many cob webs. NZXT's Sentry line of fan speed controllers has been a staple for many system builders for several years, ranging in style from simple, mesh-style rheostat dials (varying resistor to control fan speed), to dual bay touch screen units. Here to serve another segment, as well as to update their lineup, is the Sentry 3. Offering 15 watts/three fans per channel, an increased size single bay touch screen, temperature probe, five total channels and an alarm monitor, can these features really create a more balanced build for you, or does this amount to nothing more than a bit of case bling? Before we find out, here's a bit about NZXT:
Things have been getting a thorough rustling in the case market in recent history. Every form factor from ITX on up to XL-ATX, has been getting some new life breathed into their respective segments with cases replete with features and styling that no one thought possible. NZXT, not being one to rest on their laurels for very long, have introduced a little something new to the ATX mid tower segment. It's something they like to call the Phantom 240. Boasting some pretty impressive specs for an ATX mid tower, yet not requiring you to take out a second mortgage on your house to buy it, this case stands to provide system builders on a budget with a truly impressive space for your hardware to be admired in. On top of this, it still offers the niceties that modern system builders come to expect. We've said it before, and it bears repeating: just because you're "ballin' on a budget," that doesn't have to mean that your system looks mediocre in the process. The question is... can this case provide its intended audience with enough features that make them feel like they aren't really missing too much? History tells us "yes," but like any good review site, we will turn our fair yet analytic eye toward the details for you to make sure that this product doesn't trim too much fat away for the sake of cost and form factor.
I was recently was given the opportunity to look at another offering from NZXT. If you follow my reviews, you will know that I am a fan of NZXT, and their H series in particular has become one that has sparked my interest. Over the past several years, NZXT has become one of the premier manufacturers of cases and peripheral. They seem to always think outside the box, and their innovative designs and features tend to be ahead of the pack. They are adept at targeting both the gaming and enthusiast arenas. Today will be looking at a new Mid-Tower chassis from NZXT. This one is the H-440 which is part of the coveted NZXT H Silent series of cases. For those familiar with the continuing legacy of the NZXT H Series line of cases, the new NZXT H-440 purports to bring all of the same sound-proofing/quiet operation capabilities as its three predecessors. This time, however, it also focused on a new arena. The new NZXT H-440 is not just centered on quiet performance but also on water cooling performance as well. The NZXT H-440 comes in two color choices, black with red trim, and white with black trim. Both the top and front fascia of the NZXT H-440 is a completely solid design with no door and no ODD 5.25 bays whatsoever. The NZXT H-440 has a smooth and simplistic design, meant to offer a clean, industrial aesthetic. Read on as we venture inside to see if it offers all the essentials you would want, including water cooling needs, and the hassle-free computing experience we have com...
In 2010, NZXT introduced us to its Phantom chassis, an aggressively designed, feature-filled case for mainstream users, gamers and enthusiasts alike. Now, NZXT has unveiled its direct successor, the Phantom 530. Today we will be looking at this Full Tower chassis from NZXT, continuing the legacy of the original. The new Phantom has been redesigned from the ground up. While creating the Phantom 530, the NZXT design team painstakingly took every beloved aspect of the original design and revamped it to make it even better. The new Phantom 530 brings with it many new changes such as modular hard drive cages, a discrete SSD mount behind the motherboard tray, its signature rear I/O LEDs, a single channel three speed 30W fan controller with integrated 10-port fan hub, and steel 5.25" optical drive latches. All of comes this with an MSRP of just $129.00. Join me as we take an up close and personal look to see if NZXT can breathe new life into an already phenomenal line of cases with their Phantom 530.
When it comes to graphic card cooling, aftermarket air coolers were the best option in the past. Also, unless you were going full water cooling, your options were pretty limited. Recently we have started to see a mass of AIO (all in one) water cooling products come to market giving users many more options for CPU cooling; however, up until now there have not been too many similar options for graphics card cooling. We have seen a few PC enthusiasts creating custom brackets to attach these all in one CPU coolers onto graphics cards, and we have even seen some users even using zip ties, but very few manufactured solutions exist. Sadly, in the long run, we find that many of those custom "homebrew" options were not too pretty and/or had diminished longevity. Today things might be shifting. There is a leading manufacturer that has been listening to its customers and actually produced a bracket using this exact idea. It's also designed to offer up greater reliability and aesthetic appeal for the PC enthusiasts. We would like to introduce you to the NZXT Kraken G10 AIO Cooling Bracket which we will review today. NZXT was also kind nice enough to provide us with an NZXT X40 aAIO cooler for testing as well. Read on to find out how this new product stands in the spotlight.