NZXT Kraken X53 Pump Noise

GameLifter

Limp Gawd
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I recently built a new PC and so far it's running good but there are a few issues I'm having in regards to noise.

The first issue is the fan noise I'm getting with the two Noctua NF-AF14 industrial fans I have at the front of the case as intakes. In Windows, the fan motors seems to rev up and down frequently which results in inconsistent noise levels that are quite distracting. I've tried playing around with the fan curve in the BIOS to get the fans to spin consistently but even when I had the curve at a flat line at idle temperatures the fan revving still occurred. What's more puzzling is that when I'm in the BIOS the fans seem to spin at a consistent rate. I'm wondering if I either picked the wrong fans or if it has something to do with the Y-cable I'm using to connect them to the motherboard. Or maybe the fans I got are just faulty?

EDIT: Turns out I was adjusting the fan curve for the wrong header. Silly me!

The next issue is the buzzing noise I'm getting from the pump on my NZXT Kraken X53 AIO cooler. I have the the pump plugged into the CPU header on the motherboard but it's only a three-pin connector so the RPM of the pump is constantly around 2700 RPM. My main concern is if this pump noise is normal due to the high RPMs or if I should RMA it?
 
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Furious_Styles

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I recently built a new PC and so far it's running good but there are a few issues I'm having in regards to noise.

The first issue is the fan noise I'm getting with the two Noctua NF-AF14 industrial fans I have at the front of the case as intakes. In Windows, the fan motors seems to rev up and down frequently which results in inconsistent noise levels that are quite distracting. I've tried playing around with the fan curve in the BIOS to get the fans to spin consistently but even when I had the curve at a flat line at idle temperatures the fan revving still occurred. What's more puzzling is that when I'm in the BIOS the fans seem to spin at a consistent rate. I'm wondering if I either picked the wrong fans or if it has something to do with the Y-cable I'm using to connect them to the motherboard. Or maybe the fans I got are just faulty?

The next issue is the buzzing noise I'm getting from the pump on my NZXT Kraken X53 AIO cooler. I have the the pump plugged into the CPU header on the motherboard but it's only a three-pin connector so the RPM of the pump is constantly around 2700 RPM. My main concern is if this pump noise is normal due to the high RPMs or if I should RMA it?
Are the fans 3pin or 4pin?

Make sure the pump is on voltage setting (used for 3 pin headers) and max speed. I'd recommend putting it on the dedicated pump header if your mobo has one.

What mobo is this?
 

GameLifter

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Are the fans 3pin or 4pin?

Make sure the pump is on voltage setting (used for 3 pin headers) and max speed. I'd recommend putting it on the dedicated pump header if your mobo has one.

What mobo is this?
The fans are 4-pin. My motherboard is an ASUS PRIME X570-P. The CPU header is set to DC mode in the BIOS and the max pump speed of the cooler is 2800RPM according to the box so it's running at near max all the time. I'm starting to think the pump noise I'm hearing isn't out of the ordinary but it's hard to tell.

I'm very tempted to try different case fans but I may run into the same issue if the issue I'm having is not with the fans themselves.
 

Nobu

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Unplug the fans and see if you still hear it. I suspect the power supply fan.
 

Furious_Styles

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I'd double check that the fans are connected to the header you're trying to adjust. And you definitely should try no Y cable to see if anything changes. If they're 4-pin they should be on PWM mode. If you are linking them to CPU temps expect lots of fluctuation unless you really get that curve right. I like to use another sensor like MB or GPU for case fans because they stay very linear and don't fluctuate much beyond idle vs. gaming.

As for the pump noise maybe someone with that model can chime in. I have a corsair one and it is only audible on cold boots, then it goes quiet after 30s or so.
 

GameLifter

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I'd double check that the fans are connected to the header you're trying to adjust.
That was it! I was adjusting the wrong header all along. Man, I feel silly. Now the fans are silent during idle
As for the pump noise maybe someone with that model can chime in.
This is what I'm hoping for, that someone else on here also has an NZXT Kraken model and can chime in. When Googling the issue, most of the complaints about noise for Kraken coolers were for the bubbling/gurgling noise that happens when there are air bubbles in the liquid. Mine is more of a buzzing noise that sounds like it could be the pump motor.
 

drutman

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Use a straw as a stethoscope and listen to it, post video of it so I can listen to noise. I have the 280 mm kraken.
 

GameLifter

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Use a straw as a stethoscope and listen to it, post video of it so I can listen to noise. I have the 280 mm kraken.
I didn't have a straw around but I took a video of it through the top of the case where you can hear it pretty clearly (you may need to turn your speakers up).
 

Dermen

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I don't have an NZXT aio but the Fractal and Corsair ones that I have once you turn the fans down to 6-800 rpm the pump noise is by far the loudest thing. The pump can be controlled just like a fan with the MB header, turn it down at idle.
 

drutman

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Sounds normal to me, in CAM I use 25% fixed Fan 1 Liquid profile. Make sure pump header is at 12 V in the BIOS menu, I read somewhere that if this is not set pump clicking noise and errors could occur.
 

GameLifter

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I don't have an NZXT aio but the Fractal and Corsair ones that I have once you turn the fans down to 6-800 rpm the pump noise is by far the loudest thing. The pump can be controlled just like a fan with the MB header, turn it down at idle.
Sounds normal to me, in CAM I use 25% fixed Fan 1 Liquid profile. Make sure pump header is at 12 V in the BIOS menu, I read somewhere that if this is not set pump clicking noise and errors could occur.
Thanks for the feedback! I currently have the pump connector hooked up to the CPU fan header and it was set to DC mode in the BIOS by default. With this setup, when I try adjusting the pump speed in CAM it doesn't seem to change anything since the pump speed still reads at around 2700-2800 RPM. Should I try changing the CPU header to PWM mode instead? The pump connector on mine is a three-pin and from what I found online, NZXT recommends hooking it up to the CPU fan header so the pump speed can be controlled. Is this correct or should I try hooking it up to the AIO pump header on my motherboard instead?
 

drutman

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I am 2520 RPM @ 40 C. Does your pump speed change? I can only change fan speed in CAM.
 

GameLifter

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I am 2520 RPM @ 40 C. Does your pump speed change? I can only change fan speed in CAM.
The pump speed changes but only by small increments. HWINFO reads it at averaging 2700 RPM and CAM reads it as a little above 2700 RPM most of the time and reaches a little above 2800 RPM on occasion. Changing the cooling profile doesn't have an effect on the pump speed.

I watched videos of the ticking noise you posted above and fortunately my pump has never made noises like that. Just the buzzing/humming noise shown in the video I posted.
 

Absalom

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Kraken X61 ticking noise. ... This is a known issue - the CPU_FAN header provides power for the pump in the X61. If the CPU_FAN header isn't running 100% then the pump as a side effect isn't running properly and makes that ticking noise.

https://www.google.com/search?q=kra...rome..69i57.7202j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
This is incorrect. The pump gets its power from the SATA connector. This is true for the entire Kraken X series.

Without CAM present, the pump will use the CPU_FAN header to adjust the pump speed, so if that's not present, it's considered an incorrect installation. It wouldn't surprise me that the pump runs at 100% when neither CAM nor CPU_FAN is present. It would also explain the pump briefly running 100% during powerup (which is normal).

The 100% else ticking noise doesn't sound right either, but I've never encountered a ticking noise issue, so I can't comment.

Ideally, you don't want the pump impeller running 100% rpm all the time. That's what CAM is for. I've been running my x62 the full allowable range for three years now and I've never encountered any pump noise (that I could hear over all of my fans). Note that the default CAM profiles are not very aggressive and most people probably never figure out how to properly link the pump rpm to CPU temp (it's tied to liquid temp by default). So most people running CAM probably aren't seeing their pump RPM ramp up to 100% anyway.

A semi-recent software update from NZXT did raise the minimum (adjustable) RPM in CAM, so maybe there is a recognized issue with running the pump too slow? I recall being able to run the pump RPM as low as 40%, but now we're capped at the 60% - 100% range.

Also, OP, confirm that you have the pump's USB header connected to the motherboard as well?
 

GameLifter

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This is incorrect. The pump gets its power from the SATA connector. This is true for the entire Kraken X series.

Without CAM present, the pump will use the CPU_FAN header to adjust the pump speed, so if that's not present, it's considered an incorrect installation. It wouldn't surprise me that the pump runs at 100% when neither CAM nor CPU_FAN is present. It would also explain the pump briefly running 100% during powerup (which is normal).

The 100% else ticking noise doesn't sound right either, but I've never encountered a ticking noise issue, so I can't comment.

Ideally, you don't want the pump impeller running 100% rpm all the time. That's what CAM is for. I've been running my x62 the full allowable range for three years now and I've never encountered any pump noise (that I could hear over all of my fans). Note that the default CAM profiles are not very aggressive and most people probably never figure out how to properly link the pump rpm to CPU temp (it's tied to liquid temp by default). So most people running CAM probably aren't seeing their pump RPM ramp up to 100% anyway.

A semi-recent software update from NZXT did raise the minimum (adjustable) RPM in CAM, so maybe there is a recognized issue with running the pump too slow? I recall being able to run the pump RPM as low as 40%, but now we're capped at the 60% - 100% range.

Also, OP, confirm that you have the pump's USB header connected to the motherboard as well?
I can confirm that the pumps USB header is connected to the motherboard. I'm able to control all the lighting on the water block.
 

drutman

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I would put in for a ticket with NZXT support just to be on the safe side, I would not worry about the noise myself.
 

somebrains

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Did anyone tell him to pull the radiator, remount fans, run with tubes down outside the case and see if there's any change in pump noise?

Metal straw, harbor freight telescoping magnetic pickup took, actual mechanics stethoscope, chopstick, a lot of long items can be used to check for mechanical noise bc it's vibration you're after.
 

GameLifter

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I would put in for a ticket with NZXT support just to be on the safe side, I would not worry about the noise myself.
Yeah, I'm not too worried about the noise anymore. Now I'm trying to figure out why I can't control the pump speed. It seems that if I get that figured out I'll be able to run it at lower RPMs and reduce the noise.

I played around with it some more and it turns out that the RPM reading in HWINFO for the CPU header isn't reading it the same way as the pump reading in CAM or the reading for the Kraken entry in HWINFO that only shows up when you open it first without starting CAM. Also, CAM doesn't show the liquid temperature when before there was some point at which I could see it in HWINFO.
 

GameLifter

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I do not think you can vary pump RPM, you can set fan speed as a %.
That may be it but going by what I've found online, you should be able to control the pump speed, at least with older models (maybe it's changed with newer models?). When I open up the Cooling tab in CAM there is a section labeled "Pump" and when I expand it I see the curve for what looks like the pump speed. I can switch between profiles for Silent, Performance, Fixed and Custom. Adjusting the curve doesn't change the reading on the pump speed at all. Maybe this curve is meant for the fans and is mislabeled? Hard to tell. My radiator fans are hooked up to a case fan header on my motherboard via a Y-cable.
 

drutman

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Under my version of CAM 3.7.8 cooling tab all I get are Fan 1 and liq/GPU/CPU profiles. No pump speed settings. I do not like the new version so I did not upgrade.
 

Absalom

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I do not think you can vary pump RPM, you can set fan speed as a %.
This is incorrect. His specific AIO has a variable speed pump and should be controllable via CAM.

That may be it but going by what I've found online, you should be able to control the pump speed, at least with older models (maybe it's changed with newer models?). When I open up the Cooling tab in CAM there is a section labeled "Pump" and when I expand it I see the curve for what looks like the pump speed. I can switch between profiles for Silent, Performance, Fixed and Custom. Adjusting the curve doesn't change the reading on the pump speed at all. Maybe this curve is meant for the fans and is mislabeled? Hard to tell. My radiator fans are hooked up to a case fan header on my motherboard via a Y-cable.
OP, this is what you should see in CAM under the Cooling tab:
CAM_Cooling.png
Ignore the Fan entry (although it should be present). So the trick to CAM is when you select a profile from the dropdown, before you hit apply make sure you have the correct tab selected at the top. On mine I have Liquid, CPU, GPU to choose from. By default, it will have Liquid selected. I have manually selected CPU.

Because when you hit apply, it will only apply the profile's curve based on inputs from the currently selected tab, which is the input source. In fact, I think the curve is shared among all the tabs, so you are free to edit the curve under any tab then hit apply later.

Assuming you have a ramping curve like I do, if you have CPU tab selected and then hit apply, you should definitely notice a ramping when under CPU load. If you go back to the Dashboard (assuming you haven't changed the defaults for CPU), you can verify where the CPU temp input is coming from.
CAM_dash_cpu.png
You can verfiy with HWiNFO, but this may or may not be the same sensor input that CAM is using. You have to assume that whatever CAM has in the dashboard is what is being used to drive the pump/fan curve.
 

Armenius

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That may be it but going by what I've found online, you should be able to control the pump speed, at least with older models (maybe it's changed with newer models?). When I open up the Cooling tab in CAM there is a section labeled "Pump" and when I expand it I see the curve for what looks like the pump speed. I can switch between profiles for Silent, Performance, Fixed and Custom. Adjusting the curve doesn't change the reading on the pump speed at all. Maybe this curve is meant for the fans and is mislabeled? Hard to tell. My radiator fans are hooked up to a case fan header on my motherboard via a Y-cable.
I've had a X42, X61, and X72. The impeller speed on all of them would change base on the temperature curve you describe and shown in detail above. Are you sure all the cables are plugged in as required? No kind of funky splitters or extensions going on?
 

Absalom

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Here is my screenshot no pump options on older version.View attachment 261617
Older version as in AIO? Or older CAM version?

Fyi, NZXT did recently (as within the last year) update the firmware for specific 2nd 3rd gen models of the Kraken:

In 2018, a change was made to the internal design of the Gen 3 Kraken X Series family. This change had no impact on the performance or features; however, it did require us to "fork" a portion of the firmware between the two hardware revisions.

As a result, there are two possible versions of the Kraken firmware. These are currently numbered 5.xx or 6.xx, depending on the internal architecture of your Kraken. The updater is able to identify the correct firmware image to use and updates your Kraken accordingly.

There are no performance or feature differences between the hardware or firmware versions.
Since I have a 2nd 3rd gen, I did perform an update on mine earlier this year. I noticed a pump min RPM bump prior to updating the firmware, so at some point they made a change in CAM to force us to 60% or higher. Honestly, I was kind of disappointed in this change in CAM itself.

I would advise against updating the firmware unless you have a specific reason to do so. I only did it because I thought maybe it would let me set the pump RPM back to old way.
 
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drutman

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I have no issues with old CAM didn't like new interface. Never goes over 80 C with OC, quiet too.
 

GameLifter

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This is incorrect. His specific AIO has a variable speed pump and should be controllable via CAM.

OP, this is what you should see in CAM under the Cooling tab:
View attachment 261610
Ignore the Fan entry (although it should be present). So the trick to CAM is when you select a profile from the dropdown, before you hit apply make sure you have the correct tab selected at the top. On mine I have Liquid, CPU, GPU to choose from. By default, it will have Liquid selected. I have manually selected CPU.

Because when you hit apply, it will only apply the profile's curve based on inputs from the currently selected tab, which is the input source. In fact, I think the curve is shared among all the tabs, so you are free to edit the curve under any tab then hit apply later.

Assuming you have a ramping curve like I do, if you have CPU tab selected and then hit apply, you should definitely notice a ramping when under CPU load. If you go back to the Dashboard (assuming you haven't changed the defaults for CPU), you can verify where the CPU temp input is coming from.
View attachment 261613
You can verfiy with HWiNFO, but this may or may not be the same sensor input that CAM is using. You have to assume that whatever CAM has in the dashboard is what is being used to drive the pump/fan curve.
I'm using the latest version of CAM so it looks different but has the same options. On the new version there doesn't seem to be an "Apply" button. I think it's supposed to apply the settings automatically or at least that what it does with the lighting settings. I'll play around with it more later.

I've had a X42, X61, and X72. The impeller speed on all of them would change base on the temperature curve you describe and shown in detail above. Are you sure all the cables are plugged in as required? No kind of funky splitters or extensions going on?
As far as I can tell everything is hooked up properly. I use y-cables for the radiator and case fans but those are hooked up to the motherboard headers. I'm able to adjust the lighting and the setting to change the lighting based on temperatures works as well.
 

Absalom

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I'm using the latest version of CAM so it looks different but has the same options. On the new version there doesn't seem to be an "Apply" button. I think it's supposed to apply the settings automatically or at least that what it does with the lighting settings. I'll play around with it more later.
Ahh.

One of these days I'll get around to migrating over to CAM v4.
 

GameLifter

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I played around with CAM some more and tried changing the CPU fan header in the BIOS from DC to Auto (which is what it was at before), still no luck. I know at one point I saw the liquid temperature in HWiNFO but now I can't get it to show up anywhere. I wonder if the liquid temp not showing and not being able to control the pump speed are linked?
 

Nobu

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I played around with CAM some more and tried changing the CPU fan header in the BIOS from DC to Auto (which is what it was at before), still no luck. I know at one point I saw the liquid temperature in HWiNFO but now I can't get it to show up anywhere. I wonder if the liquid temp not showing and not being able to control the pump speed are linked?
Is it a 5-pin or 9-pin usb-motherboard connector? If it's 5-pin, ensure it's flipped the right way and not off by one.
 

Absalom

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Is it a 5-pin or 9-pin usb-motherboard connector? If it's 5-pin, ensure it's flipped the right way and not off by one.
USB doesn't work like a fan header. If any pins were incorrect/missing, then the USB wouldn't work at all.

OP already confirmed the USB works via changing the RGB lighting. So that's not the problem.

I installed CAM v4. Not a fan (no pun intended) of the new default profiles (grumble).

My pump RPM is still hovering at 2000 rpm at idle. So nothing in that respect has changed by switching over to latest and greatest.

I'm still a bit confused as to the role of CPU_FAN header when CAM is controlling everything via USB. Is it an on/off switch for the pump? Is it only there to ensure the motherboard sees a fan installed (seems legit as you'd get a fan error message if it was missing)? I assumed it was a fallback mechanism if CAM is not running. Now I'm not so sure.
 

GameLifter

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I'm still a bit confused as to the role of CPU_FAN header when CAM is controlling everything via USB. Is it an on/off switch for the pump? Is it only there to ensure the motherboard sees a fan installed (seems legit as you'd get a fan error message if it was missing)? I assumed it was a fallback mechanism if CAM is not running. Now I'm not so sure.
I got confused on what it's for, too when I tried looking it up. Some people said it's needed to have any control over the pump speed at all but that doesn't make sense if it's all done over USB. Others said it's just there to tell the motherboard that a CPU fan is hooked up. Then there's the AIO_PUMP header. The manual for my Kraken said the three-pin connector can be hooked up to either one and didn't mention why or if one made a difference over the other. Then I came across an old post where NZXT recommended hooking it up to the CPU header which only added to the confusion.
 

Dermen

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Thanks for the feedback! I currently have the pump connector hooked up to the CPU fan header and it was set to DC mode in the BIOS by default. With this setup, when I try adjusting the pump speed in CAM it doesn't seem to change anything since the pump speed still reads at around 2700-2800 RPM. Should I try changing the CPU header to PWM mode instead? The pump connector on mine is a three-pin and from what I found online, NZXT recommends hooking it up to the CPU fan header so the pump speed can be controlled. Is this correct or should I try hooking it up to the AIO pump header on my motherboard instead?
I forgot they use USB and their own software. When you said it used the CPU fan header I assumed it was an older model that just ran off the header. I tried to avoid ones with extra 'features' that just seem to complicate things.
 

GameLifter

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Looks like I found the solution to this issue. What I did was shut down my PC, then flip the switch off on my PSU. When I turned everything back on the Kraken lit up with the default white color and spun for a bit then switched to the color I set it to last. What I think happened is that turning off the PSU completely powered off the Kraken so when it was turned back on it reinitialized everything. Now the liquid temperature shows up in CAM and HWiNFO and the pump speed changes based on temperature like it should which reduces the noise level of it significantly.

I greatly appreciate all the help!

EDIT: Another thing I would like to add since we discussed it above, I recently did a clean install of Windows and haven't re-installed CAM yet but the Kraken seems to have retained the cooling profile in the firmware that I set before I did the clean install which was the Silent profile based on liquid temperature. So, it seems that if CAM isn't present it will use the profile that was last saved or possibly a default one from the factory if one was never saved in CAM as apposed to just running off the CPU header.
 
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