Fractal Design is a company that has been around for some time now, and are mostly known for their long-lived and famed Define cases. Given their continuous aim to improving and enhancing their current products, it’s obvious why they’ve become a really popular brand in the market.
Not only with cases, but the company expanded and catered to other products such as power devices, plus liquid coolers with the Kelvin collection of expandable all in one liquid coolers from a couple of years ago. But as time passed, the company continues to bring better and more efficient expandable liquid coolers to the market.
Products that are loaded with more features come with an aggressive price. With that, Fractal Design came up with their Celsius series which is designed to be a competitor in the growing liquid-cooling market.
Today, we’re going to cover the Celsius S36 AIO CPU Cooler which has a huge 360-millimeter radiator that has a built-in fan hub and concealed wiring. Not only that, but it also has a pump offering PWM and Auto modes for improved speed control. If you think that this is something you’d need for your PC, then continue reading our Celsius S36 review to see if it’s really something worth investing in. Let’s take a look without delaying further.
Fractal Design Celsius S36 AIO CPU Cooler Review – What’s in the Box?
When we got our hands on the Celsius S36 AIO CPU Cooler, we saw that the product was delivered in a box that had quite a lot of features listed in front. You’ll see the name of the company there, that it’s Ryzen compatible, a few notions to liquid-cooling aspect & its extreme performance.
At the center of the package, you’ll see a huge image of the device, while to its right, you’ll see the name of the model written. The device sports the Dynamic x2 PWM fans and comes with a 5-year warranty.
When you look at the back portion of the box, you’ll find a thorough explanation of the differences between the fan control’s dual modes. Auto mode takes care of everything while PWM allows the motherboard to take control of things.
On the right portion, you will see the head unit where the company notes the sleeved-tubing and concealed cable, sound dampening material, utilization of durable metal fittings, and the fact that it makes use of the newest generation of cold and pump plate technology. The other end of the box features the dimensional renderings. Below the images, you will find a list of the socket compatibility for your reference.
When it comes to the top portion of the box, you will see that it is also filled with a lot of useful information. Here, you will find a list of all the features of the product that are written in different languages to cover all other markets other than the United States.
At the bottom of the box, there are more details about the Celsius S36 AIO CPU Cooler. You will find descriptive information on the Dynamic X2 GP-12 PWM fans, the built-in fan hub, as well as the loop’s expandability.
Once you open the package, you’ll get to easily slide out the inner container that divides, as well as protects each portion of the device. The recycled inner packaging is made of cardboard, and it moves the radiator away from the head unit.
Fractal Design Celsius S36 AIO CPU Cooler Review
Let’s begin with the fans of the Fractal Design Celsius S36 AIO CPU Cooler. You get three Fractal Design Dynamic X2 PWM fans, each measuring 120 millimeters. These offer a wide speed adjustment range from 500 to 2000 RPM, which operates silently under light loads and it executes maximum airflow under heavy loads.
When you flip the CPU cooler around, you will find the aluminum radiator. It is a basic Asetek measuring 30 x 360 x 120 millimeters and is capable of attaching six 120-millimeter high performance fans. What makes this a unique radiator is that it makes use of the standard G ¼-inch connectors.
These metal fittings allows you to easily include another radiator, a waterblock to keep GPU’s cool, a reservoir, as well as a secondary pump, as it offers more compatibility and .
At the CPU cooling pump / block, you will find a base that is completely made of copper. One wire is for the pump that can be found in that block, and it leads to the cooling block. Thermal paste is applied on this area too. The top portion of the block is small and flat. When you rotate the round rubber ring, you can enable PWM mode and automated mode.
The FPI or fins per inch count is around 21 which is common for most AIOs in today’s market. To make most of it, you will need high static pressure fans or high RPM fans. When it comes to the fan hub is another unique feature of the Fractal Design Celsius S36 AIO CPU Cooler with its cable that goes to the pump.
The cable is hidden by the sleeve on its tubing which is a great way to make your system look neat. The company used tight braid covering not only for aesthetics, it also keeps the power cable protected. The braided cable also features a rubber cap to prevent this from bending near the pump. When you look closely at the leftmost section of the header, you will see four-wire cable exiting the inlet tubing, connecting to the motherboard.
Now for the design of the Fractal Design Celsius S36 AIO CPU Cooler, it’s quite different compared to other coolers in the market. Aside from the hidden cable from the radiator, you can slightly turn its plastic outer ring; this lets you choose between automatic or PWM fan control.
Advanced technology and excellent materials for sound dampening is used for the Fractal Design Celsius S36 AIO CPU Cooler, as well as the products under the Celsius series. With that, the CPU cooler is able to deliver utmost cooling performance while producing less noise.
A smart auto-mode that is temperature-controlled adjusts the speed of the fan and pump in real-time for the best balance of silence and high-performance cooling. As for the PWM mode, this can provide precision manual tuning no matter how you use your system.
PWM Fans and Hub
With the Fractal Design Dynamic X2 PWM fans, the cooler offers a wide range of speed adjustment from 500 to 2,000 RPM to ensure near-silent operation whether under light or heavy loads. A fan hub is also present with a concealed cable routing to make installation simpler, cleaner, and easier.
Standard G ¼-inch thread
Radiator fittings make use of the basic Fractal Design Dynamic X2 PWM fans to make standard do-it-yourself components highly compatible and expandable. You can easily add and include a GPU block of your choice to remove noisy graphics card fans so your game audio will be the only audible sound
To make the Celsius S36 AIO CPU Cooler stand out, the company included the nifty G-¼ connectors. Not only that, but its fan and pump makes use of the 5th generation cold plate technology while also having the pre-applied high-thermal conductivity thermal paste.
Its fan is the Dynamic X2 GP-12 PWM type with a rotational speed of 500 to 2000 RPM, and 1950 to 3150 for the pump. Fan bearing is the LLS bearing while the pump has a ceramic shaft and bearing. At full speed, the acoustic noise reaches 32.2 dBA for the fan and 20.0 dBA for the pump.
For its maximum airflow, the Celsius S36 AIO CPU Cooler reaches 87.6 CFM, maximum static pressure is 2.30mm H20. For both the fan and pump, it has 12 Volts DC for its input voltage and its max input current is 0.2A. If we’re speaking of the device without fans, then the input current is 0.15A. The MTBF goes over 100,000 hours.
The radiation has the G ¼-inch port threads while the fan screw threads are UNC 6 – 32. Its dimensions are 403 x 123 x 30 millimeters. Fractal Design, as mentioned earlier, included a 5-year warranty for the device, though keep in mind that upon the Celsius unit’s expansion, only the individual elements of the Celsius S36 AIO CPU Cooler will be covered.
Using the Product
The installation of the Fractal Design Celsius S36 AIO CPU Cooler is a quick and easy task. You’ll have to remove the motherboard from the chassis unless your PC case has a mainboard cutout for CPU cooling. The first step is preparing and applying backplate which is lined up and installed at the motherboard’s backside. All you have to do is to push it through that section.
Next step is to use four standoff screws on the backplate. You will find four holes surrounding each socket; this is where the bracket should be properly pushed in. Once that’s done, the only thing that you’re left to deal with is mounting the CPU block.
To do this, you have to position the bracket over the standoff screws, then secure these by installing the four thumbscrews. After this step, you will have to connect the fan / pump RPM wire to the dedicated FAN header. Positioning the cooler is the last step, then it’s ready for testing.
Once its power is on, water pump will be a bit audible. If your PWM / RPM settings on the motherboard are set to default, the fans will begin spinning quietly.
Now let’s see the how effective the Fractal Design Celsius S36 AIO CPU Cooler is when it comes to cooling performance. At default, when not overclocked, the noise levels are absolutely low. Default fan profiles reach 34 dBA under full load.
Overall, the cooler is normally silent. We started hearing a slight buzz coming from the pump when we moved close to it, but this is not a big deal since it should not bother you if you have a closed chassis.
When it comes to noise levels, we think it’s a high-performance cooler since its silence high-end coolers. Its cooling capacity is great even for overclocking.
This cooler performs just as advertised; it kept our system cool even under heavy loads. When we overclocked our system at 5.0GHz and at extreme loads, the Fractal Design Celsius S36 AIO CPU Cooler managed to easily keep the heat under control.
The overall looks of the Fractal Design Celsius S36 AIO CPU Cooler are good; we really liked the black design which makes the fans, rad, and pump look great. Although simple, it’s easy to match this with any PC build. The cooler may also not feature fancy logos around this, plus it also doesn’t have bright, flashing LEDs. It’s subtle with sleeved tubing and cables.
For the installation of the mounting system, we think that it’s one of the easiest to install compared to other brands we’ve tried. You wouldn’t require any skill to install the kit since it’s really simple.
The Fractal Design Celsius S36 AIO CPU Cooler is a good alternative to heat pipe coolers and aside from that, its looks are good while it also performs quietly. We really appreciate the simple design of this CPU cooler since only a single wire goes from the water block to the motherboard.
Another thing we appreciated was the new PWM / automated mode, although most users are usually in favor of any cooling fan’s PWM mode. We think that this CPU cooler is best for those who is looking for a little style and silence for non-overclocked devices. All in all, the Fractal Design Celsius S36 AIO CPU Cooler is something we highly recommend if you’re looking for a premium quality CPU for an affordable price.
Where to Buy
You can pick up the Fractal Design S36 for around $189 AUD from your local computer retailer. For more information jump on over to the official product page.