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Fractal Design Celsius S36 Liquid CPU Cooler Review (Page 1)

Fractal Design Celsius S36 Liquid CPU Cooler Review

Fractal Design's AMD Ryzen-ready Celsius S36 liquid CPU cooler gets fully examined as we determine if it's one to add to your shortlist or not.

By Chad Sebring from May 10, 2017 @ 9:00 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Fractal Design

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing


Many people inside of the US may have missed it, but Fractal Design already had one go with AIO coolers in their not so distant past. From what we recall, the Kelvin series of cooler did well, but Fractal made one mistake when they designed it, they did not go to Asetek to build it. We all know how this story ends; with Fractal Design not being able to sell these coolers inside of the US, due to patent infringement. However, Fractal Design must have made sales in other countries, enough, in fact, to bring them back to the table with a whole new look at what an AIO can and should be from this day forward.

The main idea behind this new AIO, and we call it that rather than a CLC, because their newest AIO is adaptive, in that it can be torn apart to allow other devices to be added into it. This time, it does appear that they went to Asetek, as much of this design are things we see all of the time, but there are a few changed afoot as well. Things like a fan hub attached to the radiator, use of compression filters, use of some of the thickest sleeve material found on AIOs, and it even comes with multiple modes of controlling this AIO. While Fractal Design may have jumped on the bandwagon to get their piece of the American sales pie, they have most certainly done it to a level as to leave the majority of other Asetek built AIOs in the dust.

It is highly likely that you have not heard a peep about the fact that Fractal Design is bringing back AIOs, and that is due to a strict NDA which has just released. Differentiating this new cooler from those of the past, Fractal Design has moved away from the Kelvin name, this time, in favor of the name Celsius. There are two versions of the Celsius cooler, the S24, which is a 240mm radiator based cooler, and the S36, a 360mm radiator based cooler, the latter of which we are about to show you. For many, this may be the first AIO you have seen from Fractal Design, and from what we have seen, the wait may have been worth it, as they went above and beyond with the Celsius S36 CPU Liquid Cooling system.


We did create this chart from ones offered to us in the reviewer's guide, but they could not be used as there was a huge "CONFIDENTIAL" written across them. We will say, however, this is the most in-depth specifications charts we have seen of any AIO built by Asetek. This is a fifth-generation product with a copper cold plate, and around the pump is measures of sound dampening integrated into the head unit. As they all do, this AIO comes with pre-applied TIM and a hard-plastic cover to protect it. Anything after LGA775 is supported with the hardware for Intel, and anything since Socket 939 for AMD, including this, being the first AIO to ship with AM4 hardware too. The tubes of this cooler are made of low-permeability rubber, they are 400mm long, and are sleeved to dress it up. We do think they have the fittings information backward. The head unit sports a pair of compression fittings using G ¼" threads, and are removable to add in other water cooling components. On the radiator end, we find similar fittings, but only one of them can be removed, as the other has a sticker noting you will void the warranty if it is removed. The head unit also offers fan control via a dial which is the outside edge of it, where you can select PWM or auto control of the fans and pump. One other nice feature about the Celsius S24 and S36 is that they both come with a five-year warranty.

The radiator of the Celsius S36 is 403mm long, it is 123mm wide, and is 30mm thick without the 25mm thick fans attached. The radiator is made of aluminum for the rails and headers, and even the fins transferring the heat are made from aluminum. The pair of ports on the radiator are both G ¼" threaded, but the fan screws used are UNC 6-32 threads. The fans used to cool the radiator in the S36 is a trio of Dynamic X2 GP-12 PWM fans, which are 120mm by 25mm fans. The fans will spin at up to 2000 RPM, delivering a maximum of 87.8 CFM, 2.30mm H2O of pressure, and 32.2 dB(A) of noise. The fans can last for over 100,000 hours, but down the chart, we see that the pump is rated to 50,000 hours. Speaking of the pump, it spins on a ceramic bearing, it turns at up to 3150 RPM, moves 40 liters an hour of fluid at 1.45 PSI, and all told, the Celsius S36 draws 9W of power at full speed.

At this time, we are not certain as to how the e-tailers and box stores are going to price these units, but we were given the MSRP of both the Celsius S24 and the Celsius S36. Fractal Design has set the MSRP for the 240mm based version to cost only $109.99, and as to the 360mm based one we have for you today, it is to be listed at just $119.99. Considering everything we saw in the specifications, and some of the features like it being an open loop system, it is dressed up to the nines. It has a built-in fan hub to keep wire management simple, the list goes on and on, while the price is equal to many less equipped options out there. So far, on paper and with what we have seen of the Celsius S36 Pre-Filled CPU Water Cooling System, Fractal design is coming out of the corner swinging.

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