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Best Liquid Cooler for Threadripper 3 3990x, 3970x, 3960x in 2020

Find out our top picks for the best liquid cooler for threadripper 3 3990x 3970x 3960x in 2020. These best aio for threadripper 3 are the top choice of many experts.

AMD’s colossal Threadripper CPUs can work with lesser coolers but to get the most from them you need something a little more powerful. We’ve gathered eight of the latest Threadripper compatible all-in-one (AIO) liquid coolers to see which is best placed to keep your many-cored PC cool and quiet.

For consistent thermal testing, we’ve used a Threadripper 3960X that has been overclocked to 4.2GHz using a vcore of 1265V. This is slightly higher than the CPU can manage at stock speed, so it should provide a decent workout for any cooler. We also use 32GB of 3466MHz Corsair Vengeance RGB memory along with a Samsung 960 Pro SSD and Corsair RM850i PSU. Our test system is housed in a Fractal Design Meshify C case and runs Windows 10.

We put the Threadripper processor under full load using Prime95 but disabled AVX instructions. After ten minutes we take a temperature reading using AMD’s Ryzen Master software. We then subtract the ambient air temperature from the recorded CPU temperature to give a delta T result to allow us to test in a lab that’s not temperature controlled. A weighted calculation is used to score the cooling.

The feature score takes into account aspects such as software control lighting, expansion possibilities and whether you get PWM fans. The design score considers Installation, noise and the aesthetics while the value score takes all the results into account as well as the price.


Best Liquid Cooler for Threadripper 3 3990x, 3970x, 3960x

We’ve rounded up these best liquid cooler for threadripper 3 3990x, 3970x, 3960x, aka best aio for threadripper 3.

  1. Alphacool 11594 Eisbaer Extreme Liquid CPU Cooler 280
  2. Antec NEPTUNE 240 CPU Liquid Cooler
  3. Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360 RGB Thread Ripper TR4 Edition
  4. Corsair iCUE H100i RGB Pro XT 240mm Radiator Liquid CPU Cooler
  5. Corsair iCUE H115i RGB Pro XT, 280mm Radiator Liquid CPU Cooler
  6. Fractal Design Celsius+ S28 Prisma PWMA RGB 280mm AIO CPU Liquid/Water Cooler
  7. NZXT Kraken X63 280mm – RL-KRX63-01 – AIO RGB CPU Liquid Cooler
  8. NZXT Kraken X73 360mm AIO RGB CPU Liquid Cooler

1. Alphacool 11594 Eisbaer Extreme Liquid CPU Cooler 280

As one of our favorite coolers right now, and given its cooling prowess, the Alphacool Eisbaer Extreme 280 goes up against our mighty Threadripper 3960X and its 24 cores with a confident look on its face. This massive AIO liquid cooler sports a pair of 140mm fans and massive 280mm radiator enclosed in a shroud that houses its own refillable illuminated reservoir.

The ability to top up this cooler is crucial as the Eisbaer Extreme 280 is expandable, with quick-release fittings part way down the tubes allowing you to plumb in extra water blocks and piping. The fittings separate easily with no spillage, making for an AIO cooler that’s both far more versatile than most and easier to work with than many custom water-cooling loops.

At under $250, it’s also extremely expensive, even compared with the large radiator-sporting.RGB equipped and software-controlled models from Corsair and NZXT that we’re testing. The benefit though, is that its fans top out at an ear-pleasing 1.300rpm, so despite offering some of the best cooling we’ve seen on other CPU sockets, it’s also one of the quietest coolers we’ve tested. Tills Is also thanks to the powerful Laing D5-style pump, which also features speed control so you can fine-tune it to your liking without losing much cooling performance.

The trick, though, is housing the enormous radiator in your case, as it’s over 15cm wide and nearly 40cm long and its depth of 64mm will also mean it’s around a centimeter thicker than your typical 30mm-thick radiator and single row of fans.

Out of the box, the Eisbaer Extreme 280 isn’t compatible with AMD’s Socket TR4 or TR4X and you’ll need to buy the separate mounting kit. but this only costs a few pounds. Installation is simple on Socket TR4X with just screws and springs securing through a mounting plate to the CPU socket threads. However, there’s a good 8mm or so of uncooled space either side on the Threadripper heatspreader, as the water-block doesn’t span the entire area.

This seemed to have an impact in our cooling test too. as it only managed a CPU delta T of 56 C compared to the 5TC achieved by the far cheaper Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360 RGB TR4 with its elongated contact plate. However, the Eisbaer Extreme 280 still managed this result with considerably less noise than the MasterLiquid ML360 RGB TR4, which was unpleasantly loud at full speed.

It was also quieter than both NZXT coolers, but again, they were also a little more potent in cooling our Threadripper 3960X and are noticeably cheaper too. However, the EisbaerExtreme 280 was much better than the Fractal Design Celsius* S28 Prisma and better both Corsair coolers too.

Specifications:

  • Compatibility: Intel, LGA2O11, LGA2O11-V3, LGA2066, LGA1200, LGA115x, LGA1366;
  • AMD: Socket AM4, AM3/* AM2/+FM2/* FM1, TR4, TRX4.
  • Radiator size with fans (mm): 1S6x386x64(WxDxH)
  • Fans: 2 x 140mm
  • Stated noise: Up to 31dBA

Summary: It might lack the potency it offers on other sockets, due to its relatively small waterblock not covering the whole Threadripper heatspreader, but the Alphacool Eisbaer Extreme 280 managed its respectable result with far less noise, which will appeal to those pushing their CPU to its limits on a regular basis. 

It’s also expandable, making it easy to add other components to the loop with minimal fuss and has a powerful enough pump to deal with numerous extra components. You’ll need to pay attention to its size, but if you need your Threadripper PC to be cool and quiet, then it’s definitely worth stumping up the extra cash.


2. Antec NEPTUNE 240  CPU Liquid Cooler

We spotted that the Antec Neptune 240 is compatible with AMD’s Threadripper sockets when we reviewed it first a couple of issues ago. so felt it would be fun to see how it coped with our current favorite CPU in AMD’s high-end desktop line-up. It comes equipped with a S-port PWM fan and lighting hub.

All five fan headers on the hub are standard 4-pin connectors, not proprietary ones like you find on some controllers and you can connect the hub to a single fan header on your motherboard to control all five fans at the same time.

The RGB lighting uses 3-pin digital addressable RGB ports, so you can control the lights on the pump and both 120mm fans. We love the fact that you can hook up to all four major motherboard manufacturer’s 3-pin RGB ports too. with an adapter included for some of the more finicky connectors. This means you can use their software to control the illumination. The included hub also has buttons to manually control the lighting color and modes.

As usual, thermal paste is pre-applied onto the contact plate, which is milled from 0.8mm-thick copper.

It doesn’t quite cover the entire heatspreader on a Thread ripper CPU but does a better job here than many other coolers, with just 6-7mm either side left uncooled. The lack of extra thermal paste in the box does mean that you’ll need to buy more should you need to replace your CPU.

The Neptune 240’s pump actually resides in the edge of the radiator, and this makes things much easier from a cable management point of view, keeping your CPU socket area free from clutter. However, to accommodate this, the radiator is a little longer than usual at 287mm. This only adds a centimeter or so to the length of a typical 240mm radiator but you’ll want to double-check the space in your case to be on the safe side.

The pair of 120mm fans can spin up to 1.600rprn. which is far lower than many other coolers on test this month, but this did mean that like the Alphacool Eisbaer Extreme 280. it wasn’t too unpleasant to sit next to when running at full speed. For those considering adding more fans, you’ll need to purchase additional screws, as Antec only includes enough to mount the included fans in the box. 

The mounting mechanism is typical of Asetek-licensed coolers and is easy to deal with, especially on Socket TRX4 where you just need to secure a quartet of socket pins and thumbscrews. A CPU delta T of 6TC was reasonable, especially given the cooler’s limited fan speed, but the Cooler Master Mastertiquid ML360 RGB TR4 was 10’C cooler. However, it matched the larger Fractal Design Celsius* S28 Prisma and bettered the Corsair H100i Pro XT too.

Specifications:

  • CompatibilityIntel  LGA115x, LGA1200, LGA2066, LGA2011.
  • AMD:  Socket  AM4, AM3/*, AM2/*, FM2/+, FM1, TR4, TRX4
  • Radiator  size  with  fans:  (mm) 121x287x52 (WxDxH)
  • Fans: 2 x 120mm
  • Stated noise: 36dBA

Summary: While it’s less effective with Threadripper CPUs than it was on other sockets, the Antec Neptune 240 is affordable, quiet and keeps our overclocked Threadripper 3960X in check too. which is great considering its low noise and price. However, the NZXT Kraken X63 was much better in the cooling department and only cost around $50 more. Decent cooling and features for the cash, although there are better TRX4 coolers.


3. Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360 RGB Thread Ripper TR4 Edition

We’ve seen extended contact plates do well in cooling AMD’s hefty Threadripper CPUs in the past and we were glad to see Cooler Master offering a reasonably priced RGB equipped cooler with one too. The MasterLiquid ML360 RGB TR4 has a contact plate that completely covers the heatspreader, although not all of it actually sits under the pump to be actively cooled. 

Still, it’s better than leaving portions of the heatspreader completely to its own devices, so it will be interesting to see how it fares against more expensive coolers that have smaller plates.

At under $150, it’s reasonably priced for a 360mm AIO liquid cooler too. and while there’s no software control, its pump and fans feature RGB lighting with 4-pin compatibility for motherboards and a controller included for manual tweaking too.

Cooler Master includes a splitter cable for this to cut cable clutter and also adds a fan sputter cable too so you can control all three fans from a single motherboard header. The trio of 120mm Air Balance fans peak at 2,000rpm making them fairly potent, but they only have an average static pressure of 2.34 mm H20.

The radiator is about as small as you can get for a 360mm model, at just 394mm long and 27mm deep, so it should fit in any case that claims support for this size of radiator. 

If you want to add another row of fans, you’ll need to buy the screws yourself, as only enough are included to mount the included fans. Installation is simple thanks to it only requiring sprung screws and a mounting plate to secure the pump section to the CPU socket.

The RGB lighting was bright and vivid on the fans, but the pump section looked a little bland compared with that on the NZXT and Corsair coolers, and there’s no software control for the fans or lighting either. Still, most motherboards offer decent fan control these days, so it’s not a deal-breaker.

Thankfully, while you might pay over the odds for an otherwise basic cooler, the extra R&D Cooler Master has put in has paid off. as the MasterLiquid ML360 RGB TR4 managed the lowest CPU delta T on a test of 5TC. This is at least 2’C cooler than the next best cooler, and its closest competitors are more expensive.

It was 4‘C cooler than the Alphacool Eisbaer Extreme and 3‘C cooler than NZXT Kraken X63. although its fans did produce quite a racket at full speed. However, you could tune these back and still have it outperform or match other coolers.

Specifications:

  • Compatibility AMD: Socket TR4, TRX4
  • Radiator size with fans: (mm) 119x394x27(WxDxH)
  • Fans: 3 x 120mm
  • Stated noise: 6-30dBA

Summary: The Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360 RGB TR4’s design is rather dated, but if you care more about cooling than RGB lighting and noise, then it’s the best option we’ve tested, to deal with AMD’s 3rd-gen Threadripper CPUs, only bowing to NZXTs 360mm Kraken X73 due to it having more features. It handled our overclocked Threadripper 3960X with ease, and is also very compact and easy to install. 

It also goes to show that properly covering the heatspreader on Threadripper CPUs can help achieve the best thermals. There are better equipped and more attractive options and several quieter ones too. but you’d need to invest in custom liquid cooling to get much better temperatures.


4. Corsair iCUE H100i RGB Pro XT 240mm Radiator Liquid CPU Cooler

The Corsair iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT Is a slightly updated version of the company’s excellent H100i RGB Platinum coolers, which we loved thanks to its quiet low-load performance mixed with blistering cooling at full speed (in addition to a few extra decibels). It offered unparalleled cooling for a 240mm cooler in our tests, so we were keen to try a slightly jazzed-up version in the form of the iCUE H100i RGB Pro XT.

This model is reasonably priced for an all-singing, RGB equipped, AIO liquid cooler.However, it does lack RGB fans, as do most coolers this month. Instead, it’s the pump section that brings the RGB party, with 16 individually addressable LEDs around the edge and in the center of the pump top.

These lights can be synchronized with other Corsair components using the company’s iCUE software, matching its memory or lighting strips as well as linking up with your motherboard’s lighting.

By default, the cooler will respond to its own coolant temperature when ramping up fans, so as not to continually fluctuate them according to CPU temperature. However, while there are several fan modes to choose from, you can also create your own and even switch to the CPU temperature being the trigger for fan speed. The iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT also features a new zero rpm mode for the fans.

The iCUE H100i RG PRO XT comes with mounting plates for AMD’s Threadripper CPU socket as well as the plethora of other parts for other sockets, so if you switch or transplant the cooler in future, it has you covered. The iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT uses similar 2,400rpm fans to the H100i RGB Platinum, which have a monstrous 4.2mm H20 static pressure. 

Installation is blissfully easy, thanks to Corsair’s oversized thumbscrews and the fact you have no motherboard backplate to deal with, and the right pins for Threadripper sockets are color-coded too. As usual there’s no extra thermal paste, so you’ll need to buy more if you ever need to reapply it.

Despite its prowess on other sockets, the iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT failed to get a firm grip on temperatures when dealing with our Threadripper 3960X CPU. with the best CPU delta T in extreme fan and pump mode set in iCUE being 63’C, and even higher at the quiet fan speed setting.

This could be due to the small contact plate, which leaves large areas of the heatspreader unchecked, but despite several thermal paste reapplications, and checking the fans were at full speed, this was the best it could do. 

Specifications:

  • Compatibility: Intel LGA2011, LGA2011-v3, LGA115X, LGA1200, LGA1366.
  • AMD: Socket AM4, AM3/+, AM2/*, FM2/*, FM1, TR4, TRX4
  • Radiator size with fans: (mm)120x277x27 (WxDxH)
  • Fans: 2 x 120mm
  • Stated noise: Up to 37dBA

Summary: We were surprised that the sibling of one of our favorite 240mm air coolers fared so poorly, but the Corsair iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT definitely Isn’t a great choice for dealing with Threadripper CPUs. Even the much cheaper Antec Neptune 240 managed to better it, so it seems its design is somehow suited to other sockets. The iCUE H115I RGB Pro XT performed much better, so we suspect numerous factors were at play here, but it’s ultimately one to avoid for your Threadripper PC.


5. Corsair iCUE H115i RGB Pro XT, 280mm Radiator Liquid CPU Cooler

Like its baby sibling, the H115i RGB Pro XT has previously wowed us with its cooling and software control. However, with it sharing the same contact plate as the H100i Pro XT, it similarly struggles when it comes to keeping Threadripper chips cool. That said, it offers a little more headroom than its smaller sibling.

This is a USB-controlled unit, like most of Corsair’s coolers, so you’ll need a spare USB 2 header to use its iCUE software to control the pump, fans and lighting. Two ML140 magnetic levitation bearing fans are fed by the pump section, but they’re not RGB enabled so there’s a few less cables to deal with.

The 140mm fans are limited to 2,000rpm, which is 400rpm less than the H100i variants 120mm fans. This helps to keep things a little quieter while the larger size of the fans ensures there’s minimal impact on cooling. 

The cooler’s quiet mode has a more aggressive impact on peak fan and pump speeds than NZXT’s CAM software, limiting the speed of the cooler’s pump, for example, to around l,900rpm in quiet mode, rising to 2,600rpm at full speed. As with all of Corsair’s coolers, the fans and pump are set to respond to coolant temperature, so there’s a smooth ramp-up of speeds.

Even at full speed, the pump remained fairly quiet with only the most sensitive ears likely to need to tune it down. The fans did ramp up more noticeably but emitted a not unpleasant airflow blast rather than anything more screechy or whining.

Only the top of the pump has RGB lighting and the 16 digitally addressable LEDs can be controlled individually. The lighting effects are extensive in the iCUE software and you can create your own, with full control of all 16 LEDs available. Other Corsair components can also be incorporated into your dazzling display as well.

The cooler has the same components as the iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT. with a two-piece mounting plate and thumbscrews, which are easily dealt with on Threadripper sockets. Plus, if you want to add more fans. Corsair includes an extra set of screws in the box too. 

The peak temperature of a delta T of 57’C was much better than its 240mm sibling, but still not enough to better most other coolers, with NZXT. Alphacool and Cooler Master’s offerings all posting better results while often remaining quieter too. The temperature rose to 6TC in the quiet speed mode, thanks to slower fan and pump speeds, but here it was matched by the Antec Neptune 240 with similar noise levels and a much lower price.

Specifications:

  • Compatibility: Intel LCA115x, LGS1200, LGA2066, LCA2011.
  • AMD: Socket AM4, AM3/* AM2/*, FM2/+, FM1, TR4, TRX4
  • Radiator size with fans: (mm)137 x 322 x 52 (WxDxH
  • Fans: 2 x 140mm
  • Stated noise: 36dBA

Summary: The Corsair H115i RGB Pro XT performed much better than the H100i Pro XT in our tests, but it was still not a match for most other coolers on test in terms of cooling.

Both NZXT coolers were better, offering better cooling for similar noise levels and including software fan control. The Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360 RGB TR4 was significantly better performing for the same cash too. We do like Corsair’s software and aesthetics, but it just misses out to some stiff competition when it comes to dealing with Threadripper CPUs.


6. Fractal Design Celsius+ S28 Prisma PWMA RGB 280mm AIO CPU Liquid/Water Cooler

We’ve reviewed a number of 280mm AIO liquid coolers in the past 12 months, but despite an increasingly crowded market, the Fractal Design Celsius* S28 Prisma still managed to pick up an approved award thanks to decent cooling, an innovative cable management system, full RGB lighting and reasonable noise levels.

However, we’ve seen other coolers that did well on alternative CPU sockets not hold up when it comes to dealing with AMD’s Threadripper CPUs, so it’s anyone’s guess as to how the Celsius* S28 Prisma will do in this group test.

You get a useful hub located on the radiator that provides power for your fans, so you won’t need to run cables from them to your motherboard, with only the pump requiring a 4-pin header and RGB header for the fan and lighting control. This is thanks to the tubes themselves housing these cables and running them up to the fans out of sight: a far better solution than that used by NZXT’s coolers.

At under $150. it is rather expensive, though, and trumps two out of the three other 280mm coolers in this regard. There’s also no software fan or lighting control, although modern motherboards offer similar control these days. There Is an automatic control mode, which cuts noise but also reduces cooling. It’s at least an option if you prefer a quieter system.

This is enabled by twisting the pump housing.switching between automatic and PWM mode. The hub includes two additional 4-pin fan headers to power a second row of fans, although screws for these are not provided.

Both the pump and fans will adjust their speed according to the fan header, with the pump ranging from 600-2800rpm while the fans peak at 1,700rpm. Once the coolant temperature hits 55’C. The cooler will force both to maximum speed The automatic control mode uses coolant temperature to control speeds from the start, but we did see a drop off in performance, most likely because the pump wasn’t quite dishing out a high enough flow rate.

The RGB lighting extends to the pump and fans and is vivid enough, if not quite on par with some of Corsair’s coolers, but it certainly has the most flair in this group test Being a standard Asetek cooler, it uses the adapter included with Threadripper CPUs to mount to these sockets, which is incredibly simple to use. as all parts are pre-mounted. The downside is that the contact plate is both small and circular, so it doesn’t get close to covering the entire heatspreader.

A CPU delta T of 6TC isn’t particularly inspiring and sits joint second from last, being matched by the cheaper and smaller Antec Neptune 240. This could be due to the smaller contact plate compared with some other coolers, including the Antec, but also due to its lower fan speeds. By comparison, the similar NZXT Kraken X63 managed 54 C with its more powerful fans.

Specifications: 

  • Compatibility: Intel LCAIISx, LCA1200, LGA2066, LCA2011.
  • AMD: Socket AM4, AM3/*, AM2/*, FM2/* FM1, TR4, TRX4
  • Radiator size with fans: (mm)143x324x55 (WxDxH)
  • Fans: 2 x 140mm
  • Stated noise: 36dBA

Summary: Sadly, the Fractal Design Celsius* S28 Prisma comes up short when dealing with Threadripper CPUs and the NZXT Kraken X63 is a much better buy. retailing for a similar amount, and offering much better cooling and software fan and light control. The Fractal is a little quieter but not enough to make up for its other shortcomings.

An attractive, tidy cooler, but it offers lack luster cooling for the cash on Socket TRX4.


7. NZXT Kraken X63 280mm – RL-KRX63-01 – AIO RGB CPU Liquid Cooler

There’s not much that’s new over its excellent predecessor with the Kraken X63. apart from a refreshed design offering a slightly bigger LED ring and more vivid lighting. The fans are the same 140mm models as used with the Kraken X62 and the coolers look very similar too. Thankfully, the price has stayed the same, with the Kraken X63 leaving you with change from $140.

Sadly, this doesn’t include RGB fans like you get with the slightly more expensive Fractal Design Celsius* S28 Prisma, but there are a few additional features. The LED holographic pump top looks stunning and will jazz up any motherboard too. You also get software control courtesy of NZXT’s CAM program. We’ve had issues with this in the past but with the Kraken X63, it was a problem-free experience.

Rather than limit cooling like Corsair’s iCUE software in quiet mode, the software does tend to allow the pump and fans to ramp up quickly at once the CPU temperature reaches a rather tame 60*C. so it’s not as aggressive at limiting noise compared with Corsair’s coolers. You can create custom profiles, too. though, and switch between coolant and CPU temperatures for the speed control so there’s plenty of tweaking available.

When you buy a Threadripper CPU, an adapter for Asetek cooler pumps is included in the box. which allows them to be secured to either Socket TR4 or TRX4. It’s a single-piece design and you simply clip it to the pump and tighten the four included screws.

Thermal paste is pre-applied, which is handy, but you’ll need to buy more if you need to reapply it as no extra is included in the box. Installation, then, couldn’t be easier and the radiator is certainly far more compact than the Alphacool Eisbaer Extreme 280 too.

Given the poor performance of the Celsius* S28 Prisma and average results posted by the Corsair H115i RGB Pro XT. We didn’t hold out much hope for the Kraken X63. but its powerful fans and internal design managed a CPU delta T of just 54 C with our overclocked Threadripper 3960X. This even beat the mighty Alphacool Eisbaer Extreme, and was 9‘C better than the Corsair H100i Pro XT too. although the fans did dish out quite a din at full speed.

Switching to the quiet profile saw an identical result, but the fans took a little longer to spin up. Only the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360RGB TR4 managed a better result, knocking another couple of degrees off this temperature.

Specifications

  • Compatibility: Intel LGA2011, LGA2O11-v3, LGA115x, LGA1200, LGA1366.
  • AMD Socket AM3/*, AM2/+, FM2/*, FM1, TR4, TRX4
  • Radiator size with fans: (mm)315x143x55 (WxDxH)
  • Fans: 2 x 140mm
  • Stated noise: Up to 38dB(A)

Summary: With an aging pump design and no Threadripper specific features, we didn’t expect much from the NZXT Kraken X63. but its cooling impressed us, given other coolers fared far worse. It’s clear that a full-cover contact plate will certainly improve cooling further, as the Threadripper specific Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360 RGB TR4 performed better still, but the Kraken X63 is proof that you don’t always need a full-cover design to get excellent performance.

It’s not the quietest cooler and the Alphacool Eisbaer Extreme is absolutely worth the extra cash if low noise is your priority, but if you want a cheaper 280mm AIO liquid cooler for your Threadripper PC. This is a great choice. Great cooling for Threadripper CPUs, and you get plenty more besides.


8. NZXT Kraken X73 360mm AIO RGB CPU Liquid Cooler

We’ve looked at a pair of 360mm models in this month’s Threadripper cooler group test with the NZXT Kraken X73 going up against the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360 RGB TR4. The latter is cheaper and has RGB fans as well as a pump, but it lacks the NZXT cooler’s software fan and pump control and general swagger.

Like its sibling, you’ll need to fish out the socket adapter that’s included with your Threadripper CPU in order to secure the cooler to your motherboard, but this does make it one of the easiest coolers on test to install.

Using a 360mm radiator, it’s likely to be compatible with plenty of cases where 140mm radiators are too wide, plus the radiator is also a standard half-height affair so doesn’t stretch to gargantuan dimensions or use a shroud like the Alphacool Eisbaer Extreme. As you may want to install it into the front of the case, the Kraken X73 is equipped with length 40cm hoses to allow its pump to reach your motherboard, although it’s usually best to have it exhausting out the roof.

The cooler isn’t limited to Threadripper sockets either so if you switch to something else in the near future, you won’t need to buy any extra parts as it includes mounting kits for all current sockets.

It uses three 120mm fans and a splitter cable runs from the pump housing powering them. Add in the SATA power and USB connector and there are quite a few cables that will need to be tidied away. The included fans reach up to 2.000rpm. so are fairly potent but still generally quiet.

The pump was restrained in terms of noise levels too. especially at low loads, so won’t interrupt your YouTube binging. NZXT’s CAM software was straightforward and easy to use and provides control over the pump’s RGB lighting as well as the fan and pump speeds. 

You can select from several profiles, but all result in the fans and pump eventually hitting top speed quite quickly. However, you can create a custom fan profile to take more control as well as switch between CPU and coolant temperatures for the fan input.

With the Kraken X63 hitting a great CPU delta T of just 54’C. we were hoping for better from its bigger brother. It didn’t smash that record, but did shave a degree off that temperature with a delta T of 53’C. This is second only to the other 360mm radiator cooler on test – the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360 RGB TR4. which shaved a further two degrees off that result. The Kraken X73. though, outperformed every other cooler, bettering Corsair’s efforts by at least 4 C and even the Alphacool Eisbaer Extreme too. However, the latter was considerably quieter at full speed. 

Specifications

  • Compatibility: Intel LGA2O11, LGA2O11-V3, LGA2066, LGA1366, LGA115x, LGA1200.
  • AMD: Socket AM4, AM3/*, AM2/* FM2/* FM1, TR4, TRX4
  • Radiator size with fans: (mm) 120x394x52 (WxDxH)
  • Fans: 3 x 120mm
  • Stated noise: 21-36dBA

Summary: The NZXT Kraken X73 offers great cooling, simple installation, handy software control and snazzy RGB lighting. It’s undoubtedly a great cooler, but it also adds £25 to the price of NZXT’s very capable X63, while also being better than Cooler Master’s MasterLiquid ML360 RGB TR4. which offers better cooling for less money. Meanwhile, the Alphacool Eisbaer Extreme is pricier, but much quieter, all of which puts the Kraken X73 in a limbo. However, if you want its lighting and software control, it remains a great choice.

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