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Fractal Design Celsius S36 Liquid CPU Cooler Review

By: Chad Sebring | CPU Liquid Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: May 10, 2017 2:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Fractal Design

Fractal Design Celsius S36 CPU Cooler

 

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Fresh out of the box, and after removing a plastic bag from it, we see the Celsius S36 head unit in all its glory. There is a bit of the Fractal Design logo in the shiny top plate, which is surrounded by a rubberized ring around it. We can also see that the tubing it attached to the top of the head unit, where many will have fittings on the side.

 

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To the right of the fittings, there are options for the pump and fan control of this unit. By turning the rubberized outer cover, you can select AUTO, which uses a built-in algorithm to adjust speeds according to heat. There is also the option to set it to PWM, which means BIOS settings of fan speeds will apply.

 

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The metal compressions fittings are a nice choice, and we like that they have the Fractal Design logo on them. We also find that the single 4-pin connection that is to be made to the motherboard stems from the bottom of the head unit.

 

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We removed the hard plastic cover which protects the base and is also there to keep debris out of the pre-applied TIM. In this instance, the TIM is evenly applied, and there are no signs of disturbance or bits of gunk in the TIM.

 

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Since we use the same TIM on every cooler we test, we removed the pre-applied stuff, so that we could view the bottom of the cold plate. The machining marks are fine, in a circular pattern, and the base is higher in the center as it deflects away towards the outer edge.

 

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The sleeve on the tubing serves two purposes. First is that it dresses up the tubing and looks good, but it also enables Fractal Design to hide a three strand wire that goes to the radiator. The tubing is nearly sixteen inches in length, but the 4-pin connection from the head unit is only ten inches long.

 

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Not only does Fractal Design hide a wire in the sleeve, but they also had to come up with a special compression fitting for it. There is a chunk of the metal removed to allow the wire to control the PWM fan hub, but we also see there is a sticker noting that if this fitting is removed, you void any warranty you have.

 

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That wire continues out of the fitting, does an about face, and returns to connect to the fan hub. This was done to make it so that the fans on the radiator can all be connected here, keeping everything hidden, and easing connectivity by other means inside of the chassis typically needed, or from the head unit via another cable.

 

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Stepping back a bit further, we see the 360mm radiator in full view. The fins are dense, 22 to 24 FPI depending on where we counted, and after it was painted, eleven of the twelve fan screw holes were cleaned out to ensure the fans attach easily.

 

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At the opposite end of the radiator than where the tubes attach, we find the product sticker. This displays the model and serial number, and shows us a 10W maximum draw rather than the 9W shown to us in the specifications.

 

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Jumping ahead slightly, we wanted to show the radiator with the fans attached to it. Connecting the first two fans closest to the hub is easy as can be, but it does put tension on the third fans cable to get it attached. Notice though, that the fan wires stayed out of site and tucked into the sides of the fans.

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