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Aqua Computer Cuplex Kryos NEXT CPU Water Block Review

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It has been a long time since we reviewed a CPU block here at OCF, but that will have changed after today! Aqua Computer has released another CPU water block in its long running Cuplex series (started in 2001) named the Cuplex Kryos NEXT. This product aims to improve on the last generation Cuplex Kryos and and help keep Aqua Computer well placed in the market. Get comfortable in your chair and let’s see what the Cuplex Kryos NEXT has to offer!

Specifications and Features

Below is a list of the technical specifications and features from the Aqua Computer website. Listed below are all the dimensions one should need in order to make sure the block will fit on your board. Since this is socket-specific, you will be hard pressed to find an incompatibility with the standardized spaces on motherboards, but, as always, make sure you are checking!

The Cuplex Kryos NEXT will fit on Socket 115X, AM3, Socket 2011, and Socket 2011-v3. Its threads are your standard G 1/4″ so you can place any barb matching that thread in it for your loop. Just make sure you look below at the distance between the threads on whichever version you have as they are slightly different on the Vision compared to the others.

There are three versions:

  • Standard – does not have OLED or Vario capabilities
  • Vario – has the ability to vary the geometry of the baseplate through four screws located on the block
  • Vision – contains a microprocessor controlled OLED display for temperature, flow rates (with probe), etc.

Additionally, there are a slew of colors: Acetal Black, Acrylic Glass, Copper, Nickel-Plated Brass, and Brass PVD. This yields over 90 different combinations! If you would like a RGB LED solution, they have that too in any of the acrylic versions of the Vision variant.

Take a look at the table below for more details:

Aqua Computer Cuplex Kryos NEXT
Dimensions Baseplate: 115 x 94 x 94 x 22 mm (screws and backplate not included)
LGA 2011: 98 x 98 x 22 mm (screws not included)
Socket AM3: 116 x 68 x 22 mm (screws and backplate not included)
Connection Thread G1/4″
Distance Between Threads Models without VISION except acrylic variant: 28 mm
acrylic version without VISION: 27 mm
models with VISION except acrylic variant: 24 mm
acrylic version with VISION: 23.5 mm
Variants

Vario – allows for changes in cooling plate Geometry

Vision – includes a microprocessor controlled OLED graphics display (temps, can connect flow sensor, can connect with Aquaero 5/6, RGB in acrylic version)

Colors – Acetal Black, Acrylic Glass, Copper, Nickel -Plated Brass, and Brass PVD

90 different combinations!!!

Warranty 2 Years

Below is a cutaway of the NEXT Vario. Here you can see how adjusting the four actuators will allow for some play in the baseplate in order to adapt the cooler to your CPU IHS’s unique shape. Better contact with mating surfaces using this device is said to improve results by around 2 °C for modern CPUs with a 100W TDP.

cuplex_kryos_next_vario_detail

The Vision up close showing its OLED display:

Kryos NEXT Vision

Kryos NEXT Vision (Image Courtesy of Aqua Computer website)

A few of the 90 combinations:

variants

Image Courtesy of Aqua Computer website

 

Below is a video from Aqua Computer website describing the product.

Meet the Cuplex Kryos NEXT Waterblock

In the slideshow below, you are seeing the Cuplex Kryos NEXT’s retail packing. On one face, you see a picture of the block (half cutaway) against a black background along with the name of the product inside. Flipping the box around shows a different view of the block as well as some of the features and options for all the NEXT blocks.

In order to open up the box, you will need to slide the sleeve off which exposes the actual box where the hardware and accessories reside. The accessories are on top, while the beautiful block sits below it underneath some form fitting foam to separate it from the rest of the goodies inside the package. Pictured is the Socket 2011 mounting as well as 115X mounting. What is not pictured are the M4 washers included for the 115X mount.

Something to note out of the gate with the mounting is that both kits do not come with the block. You will buy the NEXT for your specific socket. If you change sockets, you will need to purchase the other kit (in an Intel to AMD or AMD to Intel swap).

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Next up we see our first pictures of the actual block. I will tell you right now I am absolutely enamored over the look of the Cuplex Kryos NEXT even in standard form. The nickel plated brass sample we have, and overall look, really appeals to me. I hope we get a chance to look at the Vision as that OLED display would look awesome in a lot of builds.

One thing to note is that this block does feel pretty heavy, at least compared to the EK Supremacy I was using. Feels like a beefy and well-made block.

The nickel-coated copper baseplate has a mirror-like finish to it allowing for best contact with the IHS on your CPU.

Cuplex Kryos NEXT

Cuplex Kryos NEXT

Other Side

Other Side

Side View

Side View

Bottom

Bottom

I broke down the NEXT and took apart the baseplate to show the inner workings of this block. We can see the baseplate has dozens of rows of micro fins to help get that water to touch the most surface area you can for optimal cooling. The intake port for the block is in the middle which has the water flow over the micro fins and is discharged in two directions to be taken out by the top located outlet. Aqua Computers has worked hard to improve on flow rates in the NEXT. In glancing at other reviews which test flow rate, the Kryos NEXT was still fairly restrictive. It isn’t anything to worry about, just something to know going into building the loop.

Base Plate Removed

Baseplate Removed

Closeup of Block without Base Plate

Closeup of Block Without Baseplate

Base Plate Showing Micro Fins

Baseplate Showing Micro Fins

Below are some diagrams showing how the block mounts to each specific socket. AM3 and socket 115X both require the use of the backplate mounting (in different orientations), while Socket 2011 simply screws in from the top. This cooler has “hard” stops so you cannot over-tighten. It’s the same pressure each time. In my mount testing, I found the TIM spread to be consistent on every mount.

cuplex-kryos-NEXT-1150-EXPLOSION

Socket 2011 Mounting

Socket 2011 Mounting

cuplex_kryos_next_am3

AM3 Mounting w/Backplate

Next are some gratuitous pictures of the old block on the test PC, and the Cuplex Kryos NEXT on the same system. Pretty, isn’t it?!?! This will look good in a lot of builds. If not in this form, one of the 89 others I am sure will work!

EK Supremacy (Original Block)

EK Supremacy (Original Block)

NEXT

NEXT

Test System

Test System
CPU Intel 6950X @ Stock 3.5 GHz 1.06V (Turbo Boost 3.0 core @ 4 GHz) and 4.2 GHz 1.19V
Motherboard ASUS ROG Rampage V Edition 10
RAM 4×8 GB DDR4 GSkill Trident Z @ 3200 MHz 14-14-14-34 2T 1.35 V
Graphics Card Gigabyte GTX 980 Ti Xtreme Gaming
Solid State Drive 512GB Samsung 950 Pro
Power Supply EVGA Supernova G2 750W
Operating System Windows 10 x64 (Fully Updated)
Graphics Drivers 375.70
Cooling Swiftech MCR320 and EK 2×120 mm Radiator with EK DDC X Pump (50%).
5 x 120 mm Yate Loon High @ 1000 RPM on the radiators, 1 200 mm front intake, 1 140mm rear exhaust
Case: Thermaltake Core X9
Other Equipment
Digital Multimeter, Kill-A-Watt

Benchmarking Applications and Procedures:

All applications listed below were run for a total of one hour. This gives the loop enough time to become stable as far as peak temperatures go for these applications as well the loop. I then give the loop around 30 minutes for a cool down in order to come back down to the starting temperatures. The new CPU block results were taken across three mounts with the lowest temperature results used (a “proper” mount). The values you are seeing in the graphs below are PEAK temperatures of the highest core.

The CPU was run at stock settings, including Intel’s turbo boost application, yielding 3.5 GHz on all cores, with Turbo Boost 3.0 taking one core to 4 GHz. For overclocked settings, the CPU was run at 4.2 GHz 1.19V on all cores.

  • Prime 95 (v28.7) – Small FFT run for 1 hour
  • AIDA64 (v5.80.4000) – Entire test, run for 1 hour
  • AIDA64 FPU Only – FPU only checked off and run for 1 hour
  • Gaming (Battlefield 1) – Large Multiplayer map run for 1 hour

Test Results

Now we come to the payoff… the results! Since we do not typically work on CPU blocks themselves for comparison, the only item I can compare it to is my existing block versus the Cuplex Kryos NEXT. The NEXT comes with a high-end thermal paste, Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut, so it was used in the testing while the old block used MX-2. Although this adds another variable to testing this block, it represents a change from an average setup to a premium solution, including the TIM. As has been tested on the web, typical variance between TIM is around 1-2 °C, so you can subtract that value to see approximately the improvement from just the block swap.

As you can see from the results below, there were improvements across the board, to the tune of a few C for each of our tests. The minimum was 4 °C while the maximum was 7 °C.

Stock Results

Stock Results

Moving on to our overclocked settings, we see much of the same, improvements across the board! Improvements are anywhere from 3 °C to 8 °C here in the overclocked results.

Overclocked Results

Overclocked Results

Conclusion

Aqua Computer has been putting out quality products in the watercooling market for years. Instead of resting on their laurels, in 2015 they set out to to make “serious improvements” from the original Cuplex Kryos first released in 2010. After their research came the new and improved Cuplex Kryos NEXT. On the appearance front, even in standard form, the nickel-plated NEXT is a block you will want to see used in your cooling loop. It is gorgeous. Add the Vision portion to it with its OLED display and you have, in my opinion, one of the best looking (and informative!) blocks to hit the market in a long while.

But, looks and bells and whistles aren’t everything. Improvements in flow rate and updates to the baseplate, among other things, have yielded improvements over the the previous Kryos and in more thorough testing found on the web, really is a top tier CPU waterblock. Though it is more restrictive than others, it performs better at the same flow rate and even much lower flow rates as shown the link above.

So how much for this great looking and performing block? The model we reviewed, the standard, Nickel-Plated Brass top/baseplate should come in around $75-$80 (84.90€ incl. VAT). The least expensive would be the black acetal housing and copper baseplate combo coming in at $50-55 (55.90€ incl. VAT). Finally, if you wanted the top of the line option, which would be the a combo of both Vario and Vision with the PVD coating and the .925 sterling silver baseplate, would ring up to almost 290€ or about $260. Pricey indeed on the dream block, but how cool would it be to have that OLED display and the ability to change the baseplateplate geometry… oh, and in such a good looking block to boot?! Just remember when buying this block to get the right SKU for your socket!

I’m sure you can tell by now that the Aqua Computer Cuplex Kryos NEXT CPU block is a winner. It performed well in my tests beating out a solid performing block. Other tests with more samples show it towards the top of the pack as well so the performance is certainly there. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the overall shape looks like a post modern piece of art to this guy. Its a breath of fresh air in a market dominated by your standard fare water block. If the Nickel-Plated isn’t your style, there are a slew of different options, again 90 of them, that will fit any build theme or anyone’s taste. If you are looking for a great looking block that will look incredible in any machine and has top notch performance, look no further than the Cuplex Kryos NEXT my friends.

What Does This Mean? Click to Find Out!

What Does This Mean? Click to Find Out!

– Joe Shields (Earthdog)

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Discussion
  1. EarthDog
    Between it and the TIM, it was a solid few C lower in my environment. Other, more empirical testing (linked in the review) shows a solid ~1-2C the same TIM. It leads the pack of blocks they have in one set of testing IIRC.


    The temperature gain costs you almost a 50% increase in pressure drop though. This may cost you at the end of the day in loops without strong pumps due to the drop in flow rate.
    Between it and the TIM, it was a solid few C lower in my environment. Other, more empirical testing (linked in the review) shows a solid ~1-2C the same TIM. It leads the pack of blocks they have in one set of testing IIRC.
    Great write up ED. Surprised they only gave you the model without the OLED display.

    The OLEDs look like great blocks and very functional but don't think I'll fork up the cost even though I could use it with my AC ecosystem.

    Great stuff nonetheless.