The NZXT Kraken Z-3 Series Liquid Cooler offers even more control and customization for PC builders who want function and some extra style points.
With the recent release of a new generation of high end graphics cards, it is a pretty popular time to be upgrading custom PC rigs to ensure everything is running as smoothly as possible. With incredibly expensive GPUs under the hood, the last thing most PC players want is to see performance issues or damage to other parts due to poor system cooling. Selecting a cooling system that gets the job done and suits the aesthetic style of the PC can be a tough decision, but there are some solid options on the market – including the NXZT Z-3 series of Kraken liquid coolers.
Earlier in 2020 Game Rant installed the X-3 series Kraken model in a test rig and put the AIO cooler through the ringer with a series of games from World of Warcraft to Overwatch to Red Dead Redemption 2. The cooling unit performed incredibly well and offered a nice opportunity to add some flare to the rig thanks to its customizable RGB system. This time around Game Rant is swapping out the X53 for the Z53 and seeing what this Z-3 series LCD display equipped series brings to the table.
NZXT may be best known for its pre-built machines and stylish towers, but the company has also been venturing into individual parts and producing some pretty impressive hardware that shouldn’t be overlooked. The Z53, like many of NZXT’s offerings, isn’t going to be the cheapest piece up for grabs, but it is going to deliver an easy installation, customizable controls, and the opportunity to add some amazing flare to any PC rig with the help of the LCD Display system, GIF support, and a new CAM Profile Sync beta feature that allows users to set any NZXT CAM enabled device (Krakens, RGB lighting, and fan curves) to change when you load into a game or based on the time of day. That means switching to Horde red (or maybe a Thrall gif) every time World of Warcraft opens or switching the lights off at a certain time of night for players who want a room to go dark when it’s time to crash.
As always, it’s impossible not to point out the impressive and elegant packaging of any NZXT product. For PC builders who appreciate clean and organized parts and clear instructions, NZXT is a perfect match. The product comes perfectly organized with all of the tools and instructions needed to ensure the cooling system doesn’t end up littering the rig with stray cables or any other clutter. As for its performance, the Z53 delivers and seems to have no problem keeping an ideal temperature as we switch between games (like RDR2, Ori, and Overwatch) or video and photo editing applications.
Customize Your Battlestation – With a bright, 2.36” LCD screen capable of displaying 24-bit color, you can now completely customize the look of your CPU cooler. Whether it’s an iconic image, personal photo, funny gif, or CAM data, you can use your Kraken to express yourself in an exciting new way.
Stay in Control – CAM’s elegant, user-friendly software makes you the master of your PC. With simple-to-use, intuitive controls, you can manage your Kraken’s performance and appearance with ease.
Incredible Performance – The Aer P radiator fans are designed for liquid-cooling perfection. It features a chamfered intake and fluid dynamic bearing that provides silent operations, durability, and powerful cooling performance.
Simple Installation – Fine nylon mesh sleeves strengthen the rubber tubing, providing durability and protection against mishandling. Adjust the orientation of the pump head* to fit the needs of your motherboard without affecting the direction of the logo.
Bright 2.36” (60mm) diameter screen supports custom images and CAM system info
Adjustable screen orientation* in software to accommodate pump head orientation
Includes a NZXT RGB connector for compatibility with our Aer RGB 2 fans or NZXT RGB accessories
All-new 7th generation pump from Asetek, providing better cooling and whisper-quiet performance at 800RPM
NZXT CAM-controlled screen, lighting effects, pump speed, and custom fan curves with 0dB modes
Protection with reinforced extended tubing (400mm)
Overall, there is really nothing to complain about when it comes to the Z-3 series of the Kraken. The CAM control system is something that Game Rant installed during the X-3 series review and it is an intuitive control panel that is very easy to use and works just as well with the Z-3 series as it did the last time around. PC users who are overclocking and really pushing the limits could, in theory, start to run into some performance issues, but nothing we tried caused any problems or showed any signs that the Z-3 series couldn’t handle the heat. When it comes to whether the Z-3 series is right for a particular build, the main decision for most shoppers is really just going to come down to the price of the hardware.
The Kraken Z53 (240mm AIO cooler) retails at $229.99, which certainly doesn’t make it the cheapest AIO option around, but its bells and whistles and reliable performance make it well worth the price tag for builders who are willing to spend the extra money to gain customization and access to the CAM software that makes tracking performance (and adding a personal touch to the rig) nice and simple.
Game Rant was provided a Kraken Z53 for this review.