Review: NZXT Kraken Z63 – Screen time for AIO coolers

The mystical domain of water-cooling your PC has become a little bit simpler in recent times. It used to be the case, much like magician’s tricks, people would be happy to show them to you, but would never go into detail about how you could do them yourself.

Those magnificent builds with massive tanks full of neon liquid cooling down your CPU looking like something out of a Frankenstein movie.

Sure, you heard horror stories about leaking lines and sparking motherboards, but it still didn’t put you off.

Then along came AIOs and the world changed. All-in-One liquid coolers may not be the real nirvana of true water-cooling. Still, performance-wise they began to take enthusiast gamers closer to the cooling temperatures achievable by the neon water crew.

The other, and many would say, the major benefit was they came pretty much put together. All you really need to do is bolt them to your CPU and motherboard, and your PC can be chilling out in minutes: no dangerous dripping or leak testing anywhere in sight.

That last point about not having to leak-test your system is a big one. No longer do you have to have your pumps running for the best part of a day with bits of tissue everywhere looking for wet patches. Nope, here you get the water block, tubes, radiator, pump, and fans all pre-assembled, tested (you would assume) for ultimate ease-of-use.

For a while now, one of the best features of AIO coolers is they just look cool. The CPU blocks have been happily flashing away synced to whatever you use to control your RGB shenanigans.

They cool your processor, that almost goes without saying, but now companies are genuinely at war to bring the most PC bling to your box.

NZXT Kraken Z63

  • Size: 280mm
  • Compatible Sockets: LGA 1151, LGA 1150, LGA 1155, LGA 1156, LGA 1366, LGA 2011, LGA 2011-3, LGA 2066
  • Fans: 2 x 140mm
  • Pump: Asetek
  • Outstanding cooling
  • 2.36" display
  • Whisper quiet pump
  • AMD/Intel support
  • Expensive
  • Is it a screen for the sake of it?

There is no finer example than the new Z63 280mm AIO CPU for NZXT. This is a company that has grown in stature seemingly month by month. Their cases Are some of the best on the market, and their AIO coolers have long been recognized as one of the best, if not the best looking AIOs out there.

NZXT have upped their own game here though and now included a frankly gorgeous LCD display on the block, alongside other features such as improved pump design and connectivity to NZXTs own CAM software.

This Z63 comes resplendent with two 140mm fans (there is a Z73 which has three 120mm static pressure fans on board available too if you want to push your rig even further).

But it’s the LCD you want to know about - you can already safely assume NZXT have you covered with the cooling aspect (you’d be4 right by the way).

This new screen mounted right over the heart of your CPU can display temperature, fan speeds, or even your own logo or image. It’s very cool and will undoubtedly make yours stand out.

Looking at it reminded me a little of the Nest smart thermometer display. Google that and you might just see what I mean.

Temperature-wise you should undoubtedly be looking at idling temps of less than 30C and 90F and certainly, when you are stressing out, you will get far better results than with that air cooler you are looking to upgrade.

So which version should you get - this one or the larger Z73. Well, that’s going to come down to your CPU. Anything above a Core i5 or Ryzen 7, and you are good to go. 

If you already have or are planning a sneaky upgrade to a 10-core processor at some point in the future, then you are going to want the extra grunt the Z73 provides. It’s overkill if you aren’t there yet, but you are futureproofing your not inconsiderable investment by going for the bigger version - as long as you have space for the 360mm rad in your current case.

Our Verdict

Well, it’s an outstanding piece of kit and pushes the AIO bar still higher. I’m not sure what else can be added to these things going forward? Will they be able to play Netflix in 12 months time?  

Cooling is second to none. The pump is quiet and the build quality seems like it will last a good while. Paired with a nice case (a NZXT of course), you are going to be the coolest kid on the block. You be a couple of hundred dollars poorer, but that’s the price you pay for a screen on your cooler!