NZXT Kraken G10 GPU Heatsink Review

Conclusion

NZXT Kraken G10 Review

Conclusion

They say that often the best ideas are the simplest.  This is most certainly true of the NZXT Kraken G10.  As a concept it's brilliant.  In the most basic terms it's a metal bracket that enables an AIO cooler cold head to be mounted to a GPU chip.  We've been doing this for years with CPUs and AIOs so had to figure it was only a matter of time before we saw it with GPUs.  We have to say we think it makes perfect sense.

Being NZXT though, the design is a bit more refined.  For starters, with an eye to aesthetic integration, the G10 comes in a choice of White, Red and Black.  Don’t like the colours?  Simple, sand it down and mod it yourself.  And rather than just being a bent bit of steel the designers at NZXT have taken the time to sculpt it to some degree, again improving its looks and overall aesthetic.  They've also been canny and figured that if you've got a nice looking a bracket with a lot of tubes and wires passing through it you're not going to want those wires and tubes dangling around the place and making the case look like its vomiting snakes.  To this end subtle cable tie points are built into the bracket enabling you to tuck all the offending items neatly out of the way.  NZXT have also added a two tone 92mm fan to aid VRM cooling, and perhaps indirectly a bit of airflow over the GPU RAM.  They've also been very astute, and although we're sure they'd much prefer you to partner it with one of their own coolers, NZXT have ensured that that the G10 is in fact compatible with a good many other coolers.  Not to mention most modern GPUs from both camps.

Assembling the G10 isn't complicated as such, but it is a bit of a fiddle and regardless of your man card status you will find yourself having to "Check" the instructions from time to time, you know, just to make sure you've got it right.  What you're building is basically an AIO cold plate sandwich with a 92mm fan on the side to additional VRM cooling.  Inserting the assembly in your Motherboard is no more complicated than inserting a GPU normally but with the added challenge of having a radiator and fan dangling off the end of it.

In reviewing cooling related kit we would often comment on their noise characteristics, and although the G10 does have a 92mm fan to a larger degree the amount of noise you generate will depend more on the choice of AIO and fans you opt for, and of course the speed you run them at.

As with the noise, the performance you can expect to achieve will depend on the AIO you couple the G10 with.  To test the G10 and to provide a basis for comparison, we partnered it with the Kraken X40 and tested it with the same R9 290 board that we recently tested the Morpheus with.  The results speak for themselves, even with the Kraken X40, which is by no means a big fat chart topping AIO the G10 is still able to give a massive 40 degree reduction in max temps over the stock cooler.  It also garners a decent 10 degrees off the temps given by the Morpheus.  Just imagine what it could do when combined with and X60!

It's hard to compare the G10 with similar products because to a greater extent, there's little out there that can offer what the G10 is able to.  The only other real option being aftermarket air coolers such as the Morpheus.  At £30 the G10 isn't all that expensive.  Granted you will also have to factor in the cost of an AIO.  However, even with this caveat, with more and more affordable cases offering native water support in more than one location we have more than a sneaking suspicion that the G10 is going to be very popular indeed.

It goes without saying that the G10 gets the gold award, and for coming up with something so simple yet so brilliant we’re bestowing the highly coveted OC3D innovation award.

         

Thanks to NZXT for sending in the G10, you can discuss your thoughts in the OC3D Forums. 

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Most Recent Comments

15-05-2014, 06:46:22

tinytomlogan
http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...170543422l.png

We knew it was coming and it's finally here. The Kraken G10 brings water cooled GPUs to the masses

Continue Reading

15-05-2014, 07:06:13

megaspeed2
You missed out a HUGE point here. check the VRM temperatures, in other reviews ive seen with these the VRMS end up 10-20 degrees hotter than the STOCK cooling would acheive, would have been useful to see that tested and maybe given some tips to reduce it, ie will some aftermarket VRM heatsinks fit and therefore fix the problem? or are they too big therefore making this cooling solution totally unviable.

15-05-2014, 07:09:52

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by megaspeed2 View Post
You missed out a HUGE point here. check the VRM temperatures, in other reviews ive seen with these the VRMS end up 10-20 degrees hotter than the STOCK cooling would acheive, would have been useful to see that tested and maybe given some tips to reduce it, ie will some aftermarket VRM heatsinks fit and therefore fix the problem? or are they too big therefore making this cooling solution totally unviable.
Not all cards have probes there dude, we have had 0 issues with it though and the fan right over the top of it should be ample, if end uers are worried then it will require bonding heatsinks to the fets etc anyways and we cant do that with a card we need to reuse

15-05-2014, 07:18:33

RobCrezz
Nice review TTL.

Heres a few pics of me putting one on my GTX 680.
http://forum.overclock3d.net/showthread.php?t=64279

I rate it as a solution, so much quieter with better temps

15-05-2014, 07:19:47

megaspeed2
both the GTX titan and R9 290 have been shown in this review ( http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/art...G10-Review-527 ) to run significantly hotter in VRM terms compared to the reference cooling. since the titan gtx 780 and 780ti are so very closely related i think it would be safe to say that they would have similar if not the same results; hotter VRM than reference. I dont think that just because you cant test how much better using vrm heat pads is a good reason not to test vrms at least to see what kind of a difference it has made removing the heatsink from the vrms and having only a fan pointing at them as the G10 does, for any component to run hotter than the reference cooler... thats pretty scary and more than 100% worth putting at least a paragraph or two to talk about.

15-05-2014, 07:26:56

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobCrezz View Post
Nice review TTL.

Heres a few pics of me putting one on my GTX 680.
http://forum.overclock3d.net/showthread.php?t=64279

I rate it as a solution, so much quieter with better temps
It was Gary that did the review - says at the top

15-05-2014, 07:31:10

Watsyerproblem
Quote:
Originally Posted by megaspeed2 View Post
You missed out a HUGE point here. check the VRM temperatures, in other reviews ive seen with these the VRMS end up 10-20 degrees hotter than the STOCK cooling would acheive, would have been useful to see that tested and maybe given some tips to reduce it, ie will some aftermarket VRM heatsinks fit and therefore fix the problem? or are they too big therefore making this cooling solution totally unviable.
As Tom said, most 3rd party cards don't have probes there. Same thing applies to my R9 290 review with the XSPC waterblock. I couldn't go into the water cooled VRM design because i couldn't record temps.

Having worked with universal water blocks before, I would say that NZXT should add something to help cool the VRM. The fan mount idea is fantastic (better than the cable ties i used with my universal blocks anyway), but i would combine them with a vrm sink.

The ram will be fine without a heatsink though, GPU ram doesn't get too hot without them (again based on universal block experience). The airflow from the fan is definitely welcome though.

Good review, definitely deserves gold.

15-05-2014, 07:32:25

RobCrezz
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinytomlogan View Post
It was Gary that did the review - says at the top
Oh yeah, I just saw the FB post by you and assumed. Good review Gary.


In reply to the other dude, yeah you can fit heatsinks to the VRMs no problem, see my link.

15-05-2014, 07:40:36

Watsyerproblem
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobCrezz View Post
In reply to the other dude, yeah you can fit heatsinks to the VRMs no problem, see my link.
Yeah I know you can, but i think NZXT should consider adding them to the package.

I would be a bit more difficult to remain compatible with all GPUs, so I see why they didn't. That and cost considerations.

15-05-2014, 08:03:28

SieB
Some good performance from adding a AIO to your GPU with the G10.

I'd like to see someone make a bracket similar to the G10, but make it so it is comparable with all AIOs. The thing with the G10 is it is made to support AIOs with the same heatsink as their own Kraken range of AIOs, which you can't blame them for but it would be nice for someone else to make a similar bracket that can fit all AIO heatsinks.

Eitherway the G10 is still good and NZXT did well

15-05-2014, 08:11:04

RobCrezz
Quote:
Originally Posted by SieB View Post
Some good performance from adding a AIO to your GPU with the G10.

I'd like to see someone make a bracket similar to the G10, but make it so it is comparable with all AIOs. The thing with the G10 is it is made to support AIOs with the same heatsink as their own Kraken range of AIOs, which you can't blame them for but it would be nice for someone else to make a similar bracket that can fit all AIO heatsinks.

Eitherway the G10 is still good and NZXT did well
The Kraken G10 is compatible with nearly all Asetek AIOs. I used a Corsair H55 on mine.

15-05-2014, 08:19:27

SieB
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobCrezz View Post
The Kraken G10 is compatible with nearly all Asetek AIOs. I used a Corsair H55 on mine.
True, but it would be nice to see one that supports all kinds of AIOs
I'd like to test my H100 on one but unfortunately it doesn't fit on the G10.

15-05-2014, 08:36:02

biochin1
Great review Gary =p

Just 1 question: I am intending to set up dual g10 + x40 in my system, and am using the NZXT phantom 630 case.
I am just cautious about connecting the x40s rads onto the front of the case: if they blow inwards; will that heat the whole system up. or, if they blow outwards; will that cause a problem with airflow? How would you suggest I should set them up? I will have the x60 cooling the CPU blowing outwards at the top (I at least understand the top ones must blow outwards lol)

Thanks =p

15-05-2014, 08:39:37

RobCrezz
Quote:
Originally Posted by SieB View Post
True, but it would be nice to see one that supports all kinds of AIOs
I'd like to test my H100 on one but unfortunately it doesn't fit on the G10.
Nice idea, but while they all have different mounting setups I dont think it would be possible realistically.

15-05-2014, 11:08:19

CEUOTC
Have been using the NZXT Kraken G10 with my stock R9 290, managed to DIY fit it as an intake to the front fan grill of my Corsiar 300R. Using a Corsair H55.

Fan of the H55 fitted on the inner most surface of the Rad and the Rad is then fixed to the case using two thumb screws, the rad is at a slight angle, this has also allowed me to fit a Corsair SP 120 on the outside of the case forcing air onto the rad. It is not exact but it does the job, temps with all fans at max, give GPU @ 46'c, VRM 1 @ 2 = 61-62'c.

At turbo fan setting, the GPU is at 68'c, VRM 1 tops out at 81'c and VRM 2 @ 68'c.

This was during Valley benchmark.

During Gaming the VRM temps hover around the 60'C mark.

Great bit of kit.

15-05-2014, 11:12:45

RickPlaysWarr
I really love the idea of this cooler. Seriously thinking of buying one for the H440 build and putting a Kraken 60 in the front of the case. That is until I go full loop and dual cards. Has anyone tried the Kraken X60 in the front of an H440? It would be really cool if you could buy the heatsinks for the VRM section from the Morpheus GPU cooler and if they fit under the G10 fan. I will have to look around
***EDIT***

Found these, and wonder if they would fit under the fan housing. I suppose its a card by card issue

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/38...4mm.html#blank

15-05-2014, 13:08:09

mike22122
while i don't really need 1 in my current build im excited for the future with this, looks and sounds epic, real winner here. watch this become a mainstay addition to many high end gaming systems

22-05-2014, 13:19:40

metalgun2000
Could anyone offer some advice? I would like to have some sort of water cooling setup for my 780 SLI but the cards I chose don't have full cover waterblocks for them. I have 2x EVGA 780 FTW with dual BIOS and the ACX air solution. Now if anyone does know if a manufacturer makes a block for this please let me know because I would prefer a dedicated loop for these, the cpu and the motherboard mosfets. If I can't get a full block, I'm not going with a universal waterblock, I would just go with 2 of these for each of my cards. Anyone have any suggestions? In the end I want it to look as best and clean as possible.
Reply
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