Fractal Design Mood mITX Chassis Review

We spend some time building a system inside Fractal Design's new Mood Mini-ITX computer case. Should you consider it for a SFF PC? Let's take a look.

Published
Manufacturer: Fractal Design
4 minutes & 56 seconds read time
TweakTown's Rating: 90%
TweakTown award

The Bottom Line

Fractal's Mood mITX case hits the market trying to achieve a certain aesthetic, which seems to have gotten a lot of inspiration from IKEA. Overall, the Mood is a solid performer for the mITX form factor, but it's overpriced.

Pros

  • + Aesthetically pleasing
  • + Compact yet spacious 20L design
  • + Dual purpose fabric

Cons

  • - A high entrance fee of $149.99
  • - The rear panel is not cohesive with the rest of the design

Should you buy it?

AvoidConsiderShortlistBuy

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

Fractal Design has launched another mITX chassis, the Fractal Mood is what we will be looking at today. Looking more like living room furniture, the Fractal Mood aims to blend in rather than be the focal point in any given space. At first glance, one would think that Fractal and IKEA have teamed up, but no, it's all Fractal behind this one, so I applaud them for trying something new in a very active market.

Fractal's Mood SFF computer case is priced at $149.99; this entry point seems a tad high for what is offered. Why don't we see what the Mood from Fractal is all about?

Buy at Amazon

Fractal Design Pop XL Air RGB

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
Buy at Newegg
$79.99$79.99-
$95.49$95.49-
* Prices last scanned on 7/23/2024 at 1:03 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Packaging

Fractal Design Mood mITX Chassis Review 1

To kick things off, we start with the packaging, which Fractal does well. It's a simplistic brown cardboard box with the fractal logo on two sides and the Mood product name on the other.

Fractal Design Mood mITX Chassis Review 2

This packaging side shows the model number, color, and UPCs.

Fractal Design Mood mITX Chassis Review 3

Once we open the box, we are greeted with the Mood Accessories and Mood User guide. The accessories include two different HDD/SSD brackets and a baggie with zip ties, cable ties, and screws. As always from Fractal, the user guide is thorough and thought through.

Fractal Design Mood mITX Chassis Review 4

Now moving on to the main event, the Mood is packaged in white high-density foam and a foam bag. It's a very good Fractal.

Outside the Fractal Mood mITX Case

Fractal Design Mood mITX Chassis Review 5

Now that all the packaging is removed from the Mood, we can see the cloth wrapped around three of the four sides. The front I/O, located on the front bottom lip, is set up with a combo 3.5mm Audio/Microphone jack, a single USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 rated at 20 Gbps, an oval-shaped power button, and lastly, two USB 3.0 Type-A rated for 5 Gbps.

Fractal Design Mood mITX Chassis Review 6

The rear of the Fractal Mood mITX case has a removable panel with a large circular mesh. This panel is easily removed by lifting it from the bottom.

Fractal Design Mood mITX Chassis Review 7

The top of the Mood features a metal mesh panel, allowing for hot air to be exhausted via the top-included fan, more later.

Fractal Design Mood mITX Chassis Review 8

The underside of the Mood is where all the motherboard I/O is run. The power cable is put at a 90-degree angle, not facing the rear, which would have made sense. Four rubber feet in each corner keep the Mood firmly planted where it needs to be.

Inside the Fractal Mood mITX Case

Fractal Design Mood mITX Chassis Review 9

Removing the rear panel shows some internals of the Mood. The included PCIe 4.0 riser cable is pre-installed on this side, making this side the GPU chamber.

Fractal Design Mood mITX Chassis Review 10

Now, with the external shell removed, the bones of the Mood are exposed. Nestled on top is the 180mm X2 GP-18 PWM fan running at 1200 RPM, making for a chimney-style cooling. You can also see the motherboard chamber, with the two-slot GPU chamber directly behind. Fortunately, a 2.5-slot GPU can be installed, but those 3+ slot GPUs must be applied elsewhere. The total capacity for the Mood is 20L.

Fractal Design Mood mITX Chassis Review 11

This side of the Mood allows for two 140/120mm fans or up to 280/240mm radiators to be installed via the removable bracket, which is very handy. Mounted to the fan/radiator bracket is a 3.5" or 2.5" HDD or SSD mount. The cables for the front I/O also run up here, which can be problematic and need to be more appropriately placed.

Fractal Design Mood mITX Chassis Review 12

The 180mm X2 GP-18 PWM fan running at 1200 RPM is the footprint Fractal was trying to achieve here. This fan is also featured in the Torrent series.

Test System, Installation, and Finished Product

  • Motherboard: B650I AORUS Ultra(AMD B650) - Buy from Amazon
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 7900 - Buy from Amazon
  • Cooler: Cooler Master 120mm Master Liquid Custom 38mm Thick AIO
  • Thermal Interface Material: Thermal Hero NEO 2g - Buy from Amazon
  • Memory: Patriot Viper Venom RGB DDR5-5600 32GB - Buy from Amazon
  • Storage: Kingston Fury Renegade 1TB Gen4 PCIe x4 NVMe M.2 SSD - Buy from Amazon
  • Case: Fractal Design Mood mITX case - Buy from Amazon
  • Power Supply: Cooler Master V850 Gold SFX ATX 3.0 PSU - Buy from Amazon
  • OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro 64-bit Build 22621 - Buy from Amazon
  • Software: AIDA64 Engineer 6.8.6300, HWiNFO64 v7.68-5300, TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.57.0,and CPU-Z 2.09.0.x64

Final Thoughts

Fractal Design Mood mITX Chassis Review 13

The build inside the Fractal Mood went well. The only real hiccup was with the GPU I chose to use. The Zotac RTX 3090 Trinity, a 2.5-slot design, was a tight fit while sliding on the outside fabric shell.

Fractal Design Mood mITX Chassis Review 14

Taking the components from the Cooler Master NCORE 100 Max build, 120mm AIO, and 850w ATX 3.0 PSU gives a more apples-to-apples comparison. The only difference here is where the 120mm AIO was mounted. In the Mood, it was mounted as an intake, the Ncore 100 MAX, as exhaust via the chimney effect.

Fractal Design Mood mITX Chassis Review 15

Testing the Fractal Mood Once all the testing hardware was installed, an AMD Ryzen 9 7900, a 65-watt CPU, was set to .993v core voltage, mainly to keep temperatures in check. The B650I AORUS Ultra mITX motherboard is the motherboard of choice here, and cooling the Ryzen 9 7900 was the custom Cooler Master Master Liquid 120mm 38mm thick AIO CPU cooler. 32GB of DDR5-4800 RGB from SKHYNIX and the Kingston Fury Renegade 1TB PCIe 4.0 M.2 NVME SSD were also installed.

The AMD Ryzen 9 7900 did boost to over 4.55ghz most of the time, pulling about 90 watts, which, to my surprise, kept the Ryzen 9 7900 at an average temperature of 69.2C. With its triple fan array, the GPU, Zotac RTX 3090, drew about 339 watts, with an average temperature of 76.2C, which is okay with the magnetic dust filter in place. It's awesome to see this level of cooling being possible in an mITX format.

All testing was completed using Aida64 Engineer's System Stability Test version v7.30.6900 for over 1.5 hours; the ambient room temperature was 19C. Other monitoring software used was HWiNFO64 v8.04-5470, TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.59.0, and CPU-Z 2.09.0.x64.

So, is the Mood from Fractal Design a good mITX case? Yes, for the most part, it is. The Mood has this aesthetic about it that feels very IKEA-like, which is not a bad thing at all. The Mood would fit as an HTPC or in a minimalistic office. The only things that I would be aware of are the front I/O cabling is a little in the way of building, only supporting two slot GPUs (even though I fit in a 2.5 slot GPU), and the pricing seems a bit high for how much material you are receiving considering there is no tempered glass.

Overall, the Mood was fun to build despite its few limitations. For SFF enthusiasts, it might not be their cup of tea, but for everyone else looking for an elegant design without having to use very specific hardware, it seems to set the "mood."

Performance

90%

Quality

90%

Features

90%

Value

90%

Overall

90%

The Bottom Line

Fractal's Mood mITX case hits the market trying to achieve a certain aesthetic, which seems to have gotten a lot of inspiration from IKEA. Overall, the Mood is a solid performer for the mITX form factor, but it's overpriced.

TweakTown award
90%

Fractal Design Pop XL Air RGB

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
Buy at Newegg
$79.99$79.99-
$95.49$95.49-
* Prices last scanned on 7/23/2024 at 1:03 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Ryan joined TweakTown in 2022, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been around the block a time or two. He has always been a gamer through and through, and building PCs started when he took apart his family’s 486 DX2-based PC. He is into everything PC but enjoys building, gaming, and water cooling.

Newsletter Subscription
We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.