Fractal Design has been a big deal in the European market for awhile now, and we’ve been waiting for them to make a splash in the States.
When we go their Define C case ($90), their 750 watt modular Integra M PSU ($90), and their super fancy Celsius S24 CPU cooler ($110), we knew it was time to put together a high performance gaming build.
We wanted to focus on a clean look with stellar cable management to go along with high frames.
We got what we wanted and then some.
Making The Case
First things first: the case. The Define C is on the more compact side of ATX cases, and attempts to balance capacity and design. There’s very little wasted space here. Fractal even did away with the ODD bay.
We went with the windowed version of the case, because we wanted to show off all the sweet tech inside.
The case comes with two Fractal Design 120mm fans pre-installed, and plenty of options for cooling. You can mount a 360mm radiator in the front, which is remarkable given the smaller footprint of the case.
We didn’t get a chance to try other fan placements to maximise airflow, but the Define C case is loaded with dust filters and tight tolerances, so we recommend playing around with cooling to get better temps.
The Define C is one of the easier cases to work with we’ve encountered, especially from a cable management perspective. It was perfect for what we were going for.
Check us out putting together this beast of a build here-
To fill in the case, we went with some of the more high end, pricey tech we have around. We started with the Aorus Gaming 7 board, known for its fancy LEDs and feature rich design.
Nice and clean and cable free.
For juice we also went with Fractal, a 750 watt modular Integra M PSU.
We wanted the best of the best, so we went with an Aorus 1080 Ti to match the motherboard.
The final piece of the Fractal puzzle is the fancy new Celsius S24 CPU cooler.
Fractal looked at the cooler market and decided to put a serious focus on quality and performance over bling. The pump is a variable speed model, so it only ramps up if it’s needed, which means it’s super quiet and efficient. The Celsius 240 lands at $109 MSRP while the 360 model is $119.
Keen observers will notice a single cable going from the pump to the motherboard, unlike some other units that have two or three cables. Not only does this look clean, but it’s pretty cool tech. Since there’s no RGB LED light show, there’s no need for a cable to connect to the USB headers.
The single PWM cable controls both the pump and the fans. The fans are powered through a cable running INSIDE the braided tubing. It’s one of those “why didn’t anyone do this before?” moments.
Fractal Design Celsius S24 Build
The variable controls can be switched between auto and PWM mode, and PWM lets you control the cooler through the motherboard software. We found that PWM mode hunted a bit, audibly ramping up and down, while auto was smoother and quieter.
In a 10 minute stress test, the Celsius hit 50 degrees in “auto” mode and 48 degrees in PWM mode. Average idle temps for both were about 26 degrees.
The Fractal cooler also has threaded fittings for future open loop builds. We wanted to swap in some clear tubing and fancy fluid, but didn’t have time. Still though, it’s nice to have the option.
When we turned it on, it lit up like the freakin sun.
We weren’t trying to go LED crazy, but these days most high end components are lighting up, so our practical, clean gaming build ended up looking like a rockstar. Between The LEDs on the board, the GPU, and the RAM, we’re looking at some seriously awesome light pollution.
We played a couple of rounds of Battlefield 1 and pretended we were benchmarking.
The CPU load during gameplay was between 75 and 85 percent, and we were getting temps between 56 - 61C with Turbo Boost on. Not bad.
We were pretty happy with this build, but we do have an overclockable CPU. You know what that means.
GIGABYTE’s EasyTune software makes overclocking about as simple as it gets, so we had no problem getting our stock 4.2 GHz (4.5 Turbo) chip up to a nice, stable 4.8 GHz.
We'll put that extra speed to good use, and we’re looking forward to getting even more out of it when we start tweaking voltages.
Sign Us Up
We’re super happy with this build, and the Fractal Design components. The Design C is one of our new favorites due to the ease of use, though we wouldn’t mind an even more premium feel. Maybe more metal and tempered glass?
The Celsius S24 performed very well for the price, and the clever hidden cables and performance control sold us. Looks like we found what we were looking for.
High end parts in a super nice case? Yes please.