Fractal Design Celsius S36 AIO Review

Author: AkG
Date: May 10, 2017
Product Name: Celsius S36
Part Number: FD-WCU-CELSIUS-S36-BK
Warranty: 5 Years
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A Closer Look at the Celsius S36 pg.2

Fractal Design did not just include hardware fan controller abilities but actually allows you the owner to choose between two modes. The first is 'auto' which relies solely on water coolant temperatures to scale up or down the fan rotation speeds. The second is 'PWM' which allows the motherboard to detect CPU temperatures and control fan speeds in real time to balance out heat. Thus, if you have an expensive motherboard that allows for fan tuning in the BIOS the second option may result in a more optimized noise or performance profile. That is downright ingenious as this device needs no USB port, no software installation, or anything else in order to provide total fan customization. Bravo Fractal Design as you have just created the most user-friendly fan controller on the market in this price range.

There is however one issue to this design that may throw a bit of cold water on the parade. That issue stems from the fact that all three or six fans and the water pump are all powered by one 4-pin fan connector. Each of these 2000RPM fans is rated at a max power draw of 0.2 Amps or a total of .6A for three or 1.2A for six. The waterblock is also rated for 0.15A. This means the maximum power draw is 0.75A for three fan configurations or 1.35A for six fans.

To put that in more easily digestible format the Celcius can theoretically draw upwards of 9W of power in 3 fan mode, and a whopping 16.2W from a single motherboard 4-pin fan header. This most likely explains why Fractal Design does not make it easy to add three more fans. We invite you to draw your own conclusions based on the power draw level and if you are comfortable with your motherboard's ability to handle this load.

We strongly recommending in stock configuration using only motherboard headers rated for 1A and if you do decide on six fans we suggest using a High Amperage header that some motherboards come equipped for peace of mind. This issue could have easily been avoided had Fractal Design simply included a dual fan header adapter. Thankfully this is a non-issue for the smaller Celsius S24 as it will only pull 0.55A or 6.6W from a single header.

Moving on, the waterblock itself is an ultra-low-profile affair that does not make use of standard G 1/4-inch connectors nor 90-angle 'swivel' connectors. Instead both the inlet and outlet ports are located directly on the top just as they are on the NZXT Kraken series.

In other words, with the exception of the built-in fan control abilities it is Asetek's latest waterblock, right down to the mounting bracket setup it uses. This is not a negative as Asetek does make very good blocks, but does put the Celsius S series at a disadvantage compared to EK-XLC and AlphaCool who use more high performance blocks. It does however cost significantly less than either of those two models. More importantly with a radiator that has 43,200 square millimeters of surface area it is not going to be a major issue for most owners.

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