The Celsius Series of AIOs from Fractal Design is a huge advancement in just about every aspect of its design. This Celsius S36 comes with many features we find ourselves enjoying a lot. The fan hub and its placement are one of those features, which allows the user to connect all of the fans and keep the wires out of view before the radiator is ever mounted. The use of compressions fittings is not just an addition for looks. While the fittings are sexy to see, the idea is to allow three of them to be removed to allow users to add in more radiators, a reservoir, or even a GPU block or two.
We like the sleeved cables and the tricky way they deliver power to the fan hub without the need for gaudy wire coming from the head unit to do so. We also like the compact height of the head unit, the rubberized side section on it, the embossed logo, the shiny top plate, and the ability to either control the pump and fan speeds via BIOS, or allow the AUTO setting to take control. Where one can just plug it in and go, without any hassle.
We found no issues with the design and features which the Celsius S36 delivered, but when it comes to performance, we feel a bit let down. 280mm radiator based AIOs are strong competition for this 360mm radiator, and in our charts, we found that even the smaller ones were able to keep up in temperatures, even if they were using performance mode to do so. The fact is, that in every stage the Celsius S36 was outdone by other AIOs in our charts, and the competition did it with less noise involved from the fans. There is no sweet talking the fact that in every stage of usage, as we tested it, the S36 is audible at the very least, and is downright deafening when running at full speed.
However, at the same time, none of the other liquid cooling offerings in the chart can come apart and still be covered under warranty. This being an expandable AIO, and one that comes much more affordable than some of the ones in our charts, you do have a bit of money left over to try out a different set of fans, and reap all of the benefits the Celsius S36 offers, without all the noise.
We do feel that Fractal Design has stepped up their game with the release of this modular, expandable AIO. They could have just followed all of the others into the Asetek camp and said give me what he is having, and been done with it. However, Fractal Design did not take the easy way out and put a lot of time into making sure that the Celsius S36 is one of the simplest to use and cleanest looking AIOs on the market.
On top of everything that this CPU cooler can do, you do not have to dig as deep as we would have expected into your pot of gold. At just $119.99 to get the Fractal Design Celsius S36 to your door, we feel there is terrific value in this product, and it should not be overlooked.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Overall TweakTown Rating||93%|
The Bottom Line: There may be quieter or slightly more efficient options out there, but none of them have the class nor the modularity that the Celsius S36 delivers! The first with AM4 support in the box, you can add bits into this loop, and Fractal Design is not gauging with the price.
PRICING: You can find the product discussed for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging]
- Page 3 [Fractal Design Celsius S36 CPU Cooler]
- Page 4 [Accessories and Documentation]
- Page 5 [Installation and Finished Product]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup, Thermal Tests, and Noise Results]
- Page 7 [Final Thoughts]
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