NZXT Kraken G10 Graphics Adapter

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NZXT Kraken G10 Graphics Adapter

Post by MikeC » Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:44 am

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nizer
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Re: NZXT Kraken G10 Graphics Adapter

Post by nizer » Mon Nov 03, 2014 2:43 am

Hi,
great review subject, the Kraken G10, thank you for reviewing it!

Question concerning the conclusion. You write: "One last thought is that because the heatspreader (or heatsink base) makes direct contact with the GPU die rather than a heatspreader as on a CPU, the relatively mediocre performance we've documented with most AIO CPU water coolers may be irrelevant for VGA cooling.". Does that mean that one of the mediocore AIO coolers might shine on a GPU, due to the direct die contact? If so, you might want to make this point more clear.

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Re: NZXT Kraken G10 Graphics Adapter

Post by Pappnaas » Mon Nov 03, 2014 7:37 am

The absence of a heat spreader means that heat can be conducted away with more efficiency. If CPUs were still made w/o heat spreaders, ANY cooler would profit, not only AIO and silent but mediocre air CPU cooler would profit too.

Using a CPU designed AIO on a VGA simply won't fit.

Main advantage of this AIO VGA cooler imho is less PCB and CPU heating, because the heat is transported to the radiator instead. Main disadvantage is pump noise and no automatic voltage or pump regulation.

In the days of mITX or MATX systems, 2 radiators will be hard to stuff into those small cases. Next step would be CPU+VGA combined AIO- Those would only have 1 pump and 1 radiator instead of 2. Let's wait what the future brings.

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Re: NZXT Kraken G10 Graphics Adapter

Post by MikeC » Mon Nov 03, 2014 7:48 am

nizer wrote:Hi,
great review subject, the Kraken G10, thank you for reviewing it!

Question concerning the conclusion. You write: "One last thought is that because the heatspreader (or heatsink base) makes direct contact with the GPU die rather than a heatspreader as on a CPU, the relatively mediocre performance we've documented with most AIO CPU water coolers may be irrelevant for VGA cooling.". Does that mean that one of the mediocore AIO coolers might shine on a GPU, due to the direct die contact? If so, you might want to make this point more clear.
You got the point well enough, right? :mrgreen:

EDIT: But I decided to add your line as well, to be perfectly clear. :wink:
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Re: NZXT Kraken G10 Graphics Adapter

Post by cerbie » Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:25 am

Pappnaas wrote:In the days of mITX or MATX systems, 2 radiators will be hard to stuff into those small cases.
If a case can be part of the upgrade, there are plenty of options, even with smaller cases, and many will have enough room as-is, if they did not go with slim desktop form factor small cases. I will likely not bother going with water, but my case, which I chose for air cooling capability and aesthetics, can fit a 240mm in the front, and 120mm in the rear, with just a little work to space out the front one a few mm (there's a rivet in the way), and that would still leave ample room for my CPU's HR-02 to stay in place, so long as it shared a fan with the 120mm radiator (depending on GPU block backplate depth, anyway). With water for CPU and GPU, the case's confines would seem cavernous!

Mini-ITX and MicroATX add some wrinkles, but are nowhere close to being show-stoppers, even with multiple separate radiators. That said, without overclocking, a single thin 120mm would handle most midrange computers. Overclockers tend to want to keep the water's temperature delta low, like 5C to 10C, while many of us might wonder what the fuss was about at 30C :P.
review wrote:A relevant question is whether the product makes sense from a cost point of view. The lowest priced AIO coolers start at around $50~60 before taxes or shipping. Add the $30 for the G10, and we're at $80~90. Such a setup would probably be better than a similarly priced air-only cooler for VGA cooling as well as overall case cooling (because of the water cooling system's ability to move the heat to the perimeter of the case where it can be efficiently evacuated). But it is more complex, and because of the pump, always likely to be a bit more audible even if the fans can be turned way down.
I have looked at water cooling just my GPU. With a suitable pump (DDC, as recommended occasionally here), no dedicated reservoir, and buying all new parts, made for use in PCs, $200 is about the lowest I could pull it off, and even that's pushing it. As a first-timer, it would probably be $250, by the time I dealt with unforeseen installation issues. I'm a bit leery of AIOs/CLCs, myself, but however much sense it may or may not make for noise (given pump noise), I think it does make sense for the cost. The design looks suitable for use with large CPU coolers, as well, that some good air video card coolers may get in the way of (Prolimatech's MK-26 backplate, springs, and screws come to mind).

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Re: NZXT Kraken G10 Graphics Adapter

Post by nagi » Mon Nov 03, 2014 6:17 pm

It certainly is a novel idea, but I think I'll stay with my air cooling solution... Then again, I modded that to hell and back too. Still, I can only hear my R9 290x very occasionally.
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Re: NZXT Kraken G10 Graphics Adapter

Post by Pappnaas » Mon Nov 03, 2014 11:01 pm

cerbie wrote:Mini-ITX and MicroATX add some wrinkles, but are nowhere close to being show-stoppers, even with multiple separate radiators.
Yes, you are right. But i guess not with two AIO/CLC off the shelf.
cerbie wrote:As a first-timer, it would probably be $250, by the time I dealt with unforeseen installation issues.
That is the point. As long as water cooling in general doesn't result in the same quietness at a comparable price as current air based cooling solutions, there is simply no need to go water, except for the mentioned OC use cases.

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Re: NZXT Kraken G10 Graphics Adapter

Post by Heloc » Mon Nov 10, 2014 12:10 pm

It's so interesting that the liquid cool, when used on the GPU with the G10, has such an effect on the CPU temps. It makes me think that the way to go for quiet, high-end gaming rigs is air cooled on the CPU with an AIO liquid cooler on the GPU. One could probably skimp out a little bit on the CPU cooler.

I've got a core i5 with a Megahalems and two 120mm fans on it and an MSI 7970 with a "TWIN FROZR III". It's nice and quiet at idle but gets really loud at full-bore. It seems that a G10 and a suitable AIO cooler would probably solve my problem. I could either tune it down to give me about the same temps as I get now and it should be much quieter at any speed or I can let it go full speed and then dial back the noise until I'm quieter than the stock setup.

The only real concern is the pump noise. It seems like this would be a good aspect to comment on going forward. It seems like pump noise is clunky or clatters enough that it will seem louder than a fan at the same SPL.

As far as price, if we're talking a new build from scratch, it might not be all that expensive. I know I'm going to be tossing the stock cooling solution away so I can stick with a reference board for the graphics card and I can save a bit by downsizing the CPU cooler so now I can buy a $50 cooler or maybe even a $30-$40 cooler and maybe keep it to one fan since the liquid cooler's fan can act as my pull fan. And, I've seen the G10 go on sale for $10-$15 a few times. So now we're talking:

x41: $110
G10: $15
CPU cooler: $40
CPU fan: $15
Total: $180

vs:

Delta for GPU with good stock cooling: $50
CPU cooler: $70
CPU fanx2: $30
Total: $150

And, I would wager that you might be able to get a better cooling/noise performance than a GPU air cooler with a smaller/cheaper AIO (maybe a Kraken x31 which would put the budget about on par with an all air solution. Put another way, I think it would be interesting to see how $150 worth of CPU/GPU air cooling does against $150 worth of GPU on water/CPU on air cooling.

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Re: NZXT Kraken G10 Graphics Adapter

Post by MikeC » Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:22 pm

Heloc --

You understand the issue: WC does give you lower GPU temp, in general, but that pump noise just doesn't sound as smooth as good slow spinning fans. When you're going full tilt, the pump noise can be modest enough that it's not going to bother you -- you're in the middle of a game or walked away from the PC while it's doing a whole lot of encoding or whatever.

But at modest load, when an air-only cooler like the Asus Strix models can stop the fan altogether, your pump is still going. That's where the noise difference favors a good air cooler. We haven't found a solution for this yet other than turning the pump off & x'ing fingers that the GPU doesn't get too hot (which I tried; it worked for at least an hour). I'm not positive this is a good long term solution.

Wrap the pump in thick visco-elastic sheeting and suspend it with elastic, maybe. But with an AIO, there's no way to do this.
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Re: NZXT Kraken G10 Graphics Adapter

Post by xan_user » Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:24 pm

@ heloc, if you want GPU heat to be separate from CPU, ducting would seem much more cost effective than any H20 system. and you'd avoid pump noise.
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Re: NZXT Kraken G10 Graphics Adapter

Post by Heloc » Tue Nov 11, 2014 7:12 am

MikeC wrote:Heloc --

You understand the issue: WC does give you lower GPU temp, in general, but that pump noise just doesn't sound as smooth as good slow spinning fans. When you're going full tilt, the pump noise can be modest enough that it's not going to bother you -- you're in the middle of a game or walked away from the PC while it's doing a whole lot of encoding or whatever.

But at modest load, when an air-only cooler like the Asus Strix models can stop the fan altogether, your pump is still going. That's where the noise difference favors a good air cooler. We haven't found a solution for this yet other than turning the pump off & x'ing fingers that the GPU doesn't get too hot (which I tried; it worked for at least an hour). I'm not positive this is a good long term solution.

Wrap the pump in thick visco-elastic sheeting and suspend it with elastic, maybe. But with an AIO, there's no way to do this.
I guess my point is that AIO water coolers seem to be very well suited for use on GPUs in ways that they are not for CPUs. The biggest disadvantage is pump noise which seems to be largely a question of sound quality rather straight volume. Hopefully someone (maybe with some prodding from review sights like this one) will figure that out and start working on quieter pump designs.

If that happened, I think that a lot of folks around here would start using AIO water coolers on their quiet gaming rigs.

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Re: NZXT Kraken G10 Graphics Adapter

Post by Cistron » Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:34 am

xan_user wrote:@ heloc, if you want GPU heat to be separate from CPU, ducting would seem much more cost effective than any H20 system. and you'd avoid pump noise.
I was thinking this as well. Wouldn't it be cool to have some modular system in a case that cuts the motherboard compartment in half?

@MikeC, any chance of testing the impact of e.g. a cardboard duct with exhaust through the open extension brackets?

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Re: NZXT Kraken G10 Graphics Adapter

Post by xan_user » Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:16 am

I think mike has enough on his hands... lol.
oldschool SPCR trick is ducting from front opti-bays to eliminate CPU heat from ramping up top mounted PSU's. same idea would still work well now, to separate CPU heat from GPU.
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