What is the best CPU water cooler?

If you are familiar with the term liquid or water cooling, chances are that you also familiar with PC hardware and overclocking. When pushing your CPU beyond stock frequencies, temperatures will rise and therefore you will need a good CPU cooler to take away that heat generated from overclocking and dissipate it into the air.

Water coolers are the best way to cool your processor as it is a known fact that water cools better than air. If you want to push your CPU to the extremes and test its limits, an all-in -one water cooler or even a custom water loop is the way you want to go. Liquid coolers provide excellent cooling performance while being aesthetically pleasing as well. However, you should consider your needs before buying a water cooler because they are expensive. If you intend to buy one without knowing the basics of manually overclocking your CPU, you will waste your time and money. In this case, you would be better off spending the extra money on a graphics card or CPU. If you are not sure whether to buy an air cooler or liquid cooler, check out my comparison review.

There are dozens of CPU water coolers on the market and it can be hard picking the right one. Visuals are as important as performance if you are spending more than 100$ on an AIO water cooling system. You want something that fits perfectly in your rig and looks great.

In my opinion, the best CPU water cooler in terms of performance and visual appeal is NZXT’s Kraken x62. It is a beast of a cooler, comes with a 6-year  warranty, looks stunning and provides, in some cases, even better performance than Noctua’s NH D15, which is the best air cooler you can get. You can check out my review of Noctua’s NH D15 here.

Let us take a look at the specs of the NZXT Kraken x62 and why it is considered one of the best CPU water coolers:


 

NZXT Kraken x62 Specifications

The NZXT Kraken x62 is a 280mm liquid cooler equipped with a 2-fan radiator which should easily fit into any mid-tower case considering the fact that it is 315 mm wide and 30mm thick. The pump and the radiator are built with aluminum copper and plastic. The build quality is high ensuring that no water leaks happen and, even if,  NZXT’s 6-year warranty will take care of any faults with the CPU cooler itself.  The pump is easily bendable and can be modified in any desired position. This makes the process of installing the CPU cooler much easier because the radiator can be installed either at the front or top without having to worry about the pump.

NZXT Kraken x62 is compatible with every CPU socket even with AM4. There is no need to buy an AM4 kit and the cooler can be installed on any motherboard. RAM clearance is at 35mm and the cooler should not cause any RAM compatibility issues.  The pump speed fluctuates from 1600 up to 2800 RPM and is rather silent with a fan noise level up to 38DBA. At full fan speed, however, you will notice that the Kraken x62 is quite loud but not any louder than Corsair’s highly popular H100i. The cooling performance of the two  is almost identical with the NZXT having two huge advantages over its competitor:

  1. CAM Software
  2. Visual Supremacy

CAM Software is NZXT’s CPU monitoring and tweaking software which not only lets you monitor the CPU’s temperature and frequency but also provide the same features for the GPU. You can monitor your GPU, adjust core clock and memory clock and adjust the power limit. GPU fan control is also included. Besides that, the CAM software tells you what programs to close to optimize your system’s performance, your component’s usage and how much space is left on your hard drive or SSD. But we are not done yet with the CAM software. Lighting effects are adjustable through the software too. You can choose from a plethora of colors, the saturation as well as the “fading” color effects. You can choose whether the color will be displayed as static, blinking or fading. And now onto the NZXT’s visual supremacy.

NZXT’s Kraken X62 is by far the most visually pleasing water cooler. After adjusting the colors through the CAM software, these colors appear on the CPU block with tremendous color effects in the form of waves. In the middle of the block, the NZXT logo is embedded with the same colors. Six color presets are available:

  • Fixed
  • Breathing
  • Fading
  • Covering Marquee
  • Pulse
  • Spectrum Wave

Every preset gives the CPU block a unique color effect and can be changed any time through the CAM software. Spectrum wave, for example, is a combination of 4 different colors which are displayed in a circle at the edges of the water block. You can even go into a smart mode and let the software automatically decide what preset is the best. The speed of the blinking, fading or wave is adjustable as well with a LED Speed slider going from slowest to fastest. Additionally, you can save multiple custom color profiles for easier access when you log into your CAM software profile the next time.

 


 

Best Value For Your Money

The NZXT Kraken x62 is an exceptional AIO water cooler which combines performance, aesthetics, and customizability on top of easy installation. Chances are if you happen to switch from a previous AIO water cooler to the Kraken x62 that the screws you have will be compatible with the Kraken so that you will not need any additional mounting hardware. The NZXT Kraken x62 comes at a price point of 160$ (134 Euros) and is available on E-bay, which is the cheapest place to buy the NZXT Kraken at the moment. Considering the cooler’s general performance and visual superiority to the other liquid coolers, I consider it a pretty good deal. The 6-year warranty will also cover you in case anything goes wrong and shows that NZXT is absolutely sure about their product.


 

Personal Thoughts

The only CPU manufacturer I have seen that gives 6 years warranty on any of their products is Noctua. I recently bought the NH D15 (what a beast of a cooler) and it also comes with a 6-year warranty. If I were to switch to an AIO liquid cooler, I would definitely choose the NZXT Kraken x62. It may provide the same cooling performance as the Noctua, but it looks vastly superior, fits better in your case, has better compatibility with your motherboard and the other components in your system and is way easier to install. On top of that, you do not need any thermal paste, it is pre-applied on the CPU block. The color customization options and effects are a big advantage too. Let us be honest, you would never buy a liquid cooler if you were not interested in visual effects and color customization options, besides cooling performance and compatibility. Visuals are, indeed, important. If you have spent a good amount of money on a custom Pc you want it to look the part. There is nothing wrong with that.


 

Verdict

The NZXT Kraken x62 is an exceptional high-end liquid cooler which combines everything from performance to ease of installation to aesthetics. While its performance is comparable to other liquid coolers and high-end air coolers like the popular Corsair H100i and Noctua’s NH D15, the Kraken is by far the better choice providing high building quality, the impressive CAM software for GPU and CPU tweaking and monitoring as well as superior visuals due to its multiple color options. The Kraken x62 has amazing features and a warranty of 6 years provided by NZXT.

If someone would ask me what the best CPU water cooler is I would definitely choose the NZXT Kraken x62.


If you have any questions or would like to share your opinion with me, please do that by leaving a comment below. Alternatively, you can e -mail me at johnb@johnpchardware.com