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NZXT Kraken G10 GPU Bracket Review
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NZXT Kraken GPU Cooler Bracket
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by J.D. Kane on January 3, 2014 in Air-Cooling, Cooling

What if I told you that a $30 part can help improve your GPU’s temperatures by around 46°C at load compared to stock cooling? Crazy, right? Well, NZXT’s Kraken G10 might be nothing more than a steel bracket and mounting hardware, but pair it with a compatible AIO CPU water cooler, and you’ve got the hottest cooling equipment combo ever.

Introduction

Sometimes an idea is just so good, you wonder why the heck it took so long before anyone thought it up and transformed it to reality.

NZXT’s new Kraken G10 GPU Bracket is one of these.  As a concept it’s brilliant:  It allows you to use an AIO (all-in-one) CPU water cooling system – the market is now flooded with them – on a graphics card.  However, as good as any idea is, you only get a measure of its true worth after seeing it in action in the real world.

NZXT was very kind to have provided Techgage a sample of not just its Kraken G10 GPU Bracket for review, but also one of its X40 AIO CPU coolers as well.  Because of this, we have 100% guaranteed compatibility between the Kraken G10 and the AIO CPU cooler.  Having said this, the Kraken G10’s compatibility list is huge, encompassing a wide variety of GPUs from both AMD and NVIDIA as well as other Asetek-sourced AIO CPU cooler solutions providers.

We’re very grateful that NZXT provided us with both pieces of equipment because, well, yours truly has never bought or used an AIO H2O CPU cooler.  I like old-school, custom-built water cooling for my own machines.  But it will be interesting to see just how well NZXT’s hardware does against both stock cooling as well as a custom-built water cooling solution.

But before we get into all that, let’s have a look at the Kraken G10 GPU Bracket.

NZXT Kraken installed on GeForce GTX 680

That’s what the Kraken G10 looks like when installed onto a GPU, in this case an EVGA GeForce GTX 680 (reference design).  Not a bad-looking piece of kit once it’s all put together, no?

Let’s have a look at how things look right after we’ve taken all the bits out of the box, then.

NZXT Kraken - Package Contents

Inside are the steel Kraken G10 bracket itself; a 92mm NZXT fan; a backplate; a bag of mounting hardware; a bunch of zipties (to keep your hoses tidy – good touch, NZXT!); and an instruction manual.

So, yes, it’s a very basic package.  It’s all you need to install your Asetek-sourced AIO water cooler onto your GPU, and nothing more.

NZXT Kraken - EVGA GeForce GTX 680

As previously mentioned, our video card guinea pig is a reference model NVIDIA GTX 680 from EVGA.  Except for commenting on how easy (or not) it is to do it, I won’t cover the installation phase of NZXT’s cooling equipment in this review as that is beyond this article’s scope.

NZXT Kraken - X40 CPU Cooler

And here is NZXT’s X40 AIO CPU cooler.

Now that we’ve had a look at every part of this hardware party, let’s go on to some testing and thoughts on performance.

Page List:
Top

1. Introduction
2. Performance and Testing


  • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

    These temperature improvements are incredible. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a GPU load at such a low temperature… even the low-end GPUs I benchmark are double what this 680 can do with the Kraken+X40.

    What a tempting solution. Though I’ll hold off on a decision until AFTER winter, heh heh.

    • JD Kane

      I was quite surprised at how effective the change was as well.

      It just struck me that the load temperatures with the NZXT cooler on is 1°C LOWER than the idle temperature with the stock cooler…

  • Andrzej Mężyński

    What worries me are the VRM / memory temps. I’ve the 780 ti, which has decent reference cooler, but I’d love to get less noise, heat and OC headroom. However, I’m not sure if the fan would be enough for the vrm and memory during let’s say, like 1280 MHz boost

    How does the VRM behave during high OC/ gaming session, would adding heat sinks work better, and do you think, that the g10 be enough for the 780ti?

    • JD Kane

      The fan fitted on the G10 bracket blows down onto the VRAM chips directly, so I don’t anticipate there to be any problems. I suppose you can always add heatsinks to them for some measure of additional security, but I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary.

      • Matthew Justin Tremain
      • GOM3RPLY3R

        I know this is a little late, however I put this on my ASUS GTX 770 and I tell you, a very good decision. The GPU, Overclocked, even on Furmark, didn’t go above 50ºC. However I did notice upon touching the back plate where the VRM is, it felt like I put my hand in an oven, if that helps. :/ lol

        • JD Kane

          Ah, at least you found out it works well.

          Your fingertip will attest to that. ;)

  • Matt Ashby

    Hey,

    Im looking at doing this with a spare Corsair Hydro Series H80i. Once i do ill let you know.