Fractal has one of the best 240mm AIOs on the market, easy to install, with expandability, cable management, and high performance.
Lately, I have been working with the Fractal AIOs. At first, I thought before opening them that it would be another liquid cooling more similar to the others with a low performance, but I could not be more wrong. Fractal incorporates what is applied to its towers regarding quality, ease of installation, and use to its cooling systems, achieving a great component for our PC. I asked one of the biggest shopping internet platforms Shoppok, to do a small review.
Packaging and accessories
The cooling system arrives well packaged in a cardboard box with the brand’s characteristic black and white colours. Inside we will find the 240 mm radiator, the pump/tank, and its accessories, that is, anchors for the different platforms we have.
Design and build
We have a pump in absolutely black except for its fans with white propellers. We can also buy its variant with fans in black. The radiator is 240, that is, 2 x 120 fans, has dimensions of 284 x 122 x 31 mm, and is made entirely of aluminium.
As for the inlet and outlet ports of the liquid, we have two ports, G1 / 4 ″; if you have not noticed, they are the same ports for custom refrigeration. This is because Fractal uses fittings that we can remove to modify our cooling, a great success. If we look at the fins of the radiator, we see that it is a single wave system, so the airflow has a low restriction.
Pump and wiring
There are two waterproof rubber tubes from the radiator fittings with a length of 400 mm that will be joined to the pump/tank by two other fittings. Of course, the pump is designed in total black and is very thin and suitable for ITX equipment. Below we will find the contact area with the CPU made entirely of copper together with a thin layer of thermal paste. It is better not to talk about this, it is too dry, so I advise you to change it.
From the pump, we can say that the ease of changing the anchor for the platforms does not require tools. Regarding the operation of the pump, we can choose between an automatic mode managed by the pump’s own hardware or a PWM mode managed by the FAN port of the motherboard, as you can see very simple without software on the PC in between.
As for the wiring, we have to give him our recognition; his work is impeccable. Everything has been simplified to the maximum, and the cable management is outstanding. Let’s start with the fans, where they will connect to a hub installed in the middle of the fittings, forget about passing cables behind the motherboard or connecting them to the FAN port; that’s the past. As for the pump, you only need a 4 pin PWM cable to connect to a FAN port, compared to the current trend of at least 3 or 4 cables is a relief.
We have two 120 mm fans; as we have mentioned before, we can find them with propellers in white or black, that being their only difference. You can buy these if you want a push-pull installation in any online store, known as Fractal Design Dynamic X2 GP-12 PWM. Below you can find its characteristics.
We have used OCCT in its latest version; we have opted for the automatic management of the pump using stress tests with Linpack for 30 minutes. All tests have been carried out with an ambient temperature of 24 degrees.
We have carried out the tests both in stock and with the maximum overclock of 4.8 GHz and a voltage of 1.35V.
Stock: The temperatures in idle have remained above 29 degrees, normal starting from an ambient temperature of 24 degrees. We have carried out the test with OCCT and Linpack registering a maximum temperature of 65 degrees. Perfect stock temperatures, considering that the CPU sets the speed of all its cores at 4.2 GHz when the workload is 100%. Remember that we are facing a 6-core, 12-thread CPU.
Overclock: Here, the temperatures vary little in a low load or idle, starting from 30 degrees. When we raise the load with OCCT to 100%, the 4.8 GHz increases the temperature to 98 degrees. It must be said that it is an increase of 600 MHz compared to the stock turbo frequency. It is clear that we are within the limits of Intel, but there are also tests carried out outside a tower where the temperatures would be increased. If we opt for the PWM configuration, the RPMs go up more than in a car; this is because the operating data is set by the motherboard, while in the car, it is the water temperature sensor that sets it. With this, the temperatures for the CPU drop to 5 degrees, with which the maximum reflection is 93 degrees.
AMD: if we bet on the Ryzen option, I have no doubts that we can even opt for CPUs with up to 16 cores and 32 threads due to these processors’ good performance/temperature ratio. Although my advice is always that for a 240mm AIO, we use a maximum of 8-core CPUs. While for more cores, we opt for a 360mm radiator.
As for the sound generated is very low, not being perceptible both outside and inside the tower; fractals is a really excellent job in all aspects.
Verdict and alternatives
I was pleasantly surprised by Fractal; the work done is very good and of high quality. The cable management is simply magnificent, having a hub in the radiator itself and with just the right cabling for the fans. The power outlet for the set is done with a single PWM cable that connects to any FAN port on the motherboard, again great work.
Indeed, it is not as customizable as other AIOs on the market with RGB or LCD screens in its CPU block, but we are talking about a minimalist AIO with excellent performance. Due to its ideal size for ITX configurations as well as for larger sizes.
One of the accessories that I think the AIOs should include and that, of course, Fractal has not included is a flow witness; very useful to quickly know if our AIO is working. You will think that you will see it in the temperatures if that is true, but sometimes you leave the computer on or watch videos on YouTube or write in words. That is where you ignore the temperatures.
With an approximate price in stores close to $140, it is lower than the best 240 mm unit that we have analyzed so far in Newesc; we are talking about the Corsair H100i RGB Platinum with an approximate price of $160. With the difference of having RGB but an immense number of cables to manage so as not to be a hassle.