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Fractal Design Era

Discussion in 'Case Central' started by McPhee, Mar 18, 2020.

  1. McPhee

    Soldato

    Joined: Apr 17, 2009

    Posts: 5,180



    New ITX case from Fractal Design, coming in at just over 16L.

    Personally, I think it looks stunning. But there's zero chance of me buying one :p I can deal with the poor cooling performance, but no window? Given the size and layout, that seems daft.
     
  2. HoneyBadger

    Mobster

    Joined: Aug 2, 2016

    Posts: 2,786

    Location: Kent

    It looks good but I was hoping their new ITX would be a refreshed Nano S (which I have now) but have PSU shroud, tempered glass panels and USB Type C on the header ports, the current Nano is so versatile its a shame the haven't refreshed it.
     
  3. jsbombjack

    Associate

    Joined: Aug 23, 2010

    Posts: 66

    This, definitely this

    I had the non-window Nano S, got the window panel as an extra recently but it scratches too easily.
    Love Fractal cases, but this just doesn't work for me as it is just too small. If I could fit fans under the GFX card, if the top window panel was raised for better airflow and if it helped a bit with hiding cables then it would have been an insta-buy. Now, I think it looks pretty, but not a purchase due to the money or the usability it offers
     
  4. PinkFloyd

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 21, 2005

    Posts: 14,046

    Location: Bradley Stoke, Bristol

    Looks a very interesting case. Watched Jayz2cents video, it looked ok but he didn't really sell it. Need to watch some reviewers more into SFF builds to get their thoughts. Jay was suggesting the cooling isn't great, but compared to most SFF cases of a similar size it looks to be very good!
     
  5. McPhee

    Soldato

    Joined: Apr 17, 2009

    Posts: 5,180

    Cooling looks pretty bad to me. Probably one of the worst ITX cases on the market on that front. Gear Seekers, for example, hit 100 degrees on an i9 9900K cooled by a Corsair H100i :eek:

    But for a mid-range rig, with some compromises on noise and an acceptance that cooling is never going to be great, it should be perfectly adequate.
     
  6. HoneyBadger

    Mobster

    Joined: Aug 2, 2016

    Posts: 2,786

    Location: Kent

    Exactly. This case whilst smaller (and I do get that is the point of an ITX) loses so much over the Nano S. My Nano has a 280mm rad and a 120mm rad for GPU among other things. Feels like a backward step.

    I've done a custom PSU shroud on mine and will look at replacing the plastic panel with TG one.
     
  7. PinkFloyd

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 21, 2005

    Posts: 14,046

    Location: Bradley Stoke, Bristol

    It still looks like it should be better than a lot of the ultra tiny SFF cases like the Dan case however, you can put a heatsink of a reasonable size and a normal AIO water loop in for a start. an i9 9900k is horrible to cool in one of those style rigs too! That said, I watched the Hardware Canucks review and he slammed the cooling too, Optimum tech declined to either bother reviewing it based on cooling - so I guess I'm just wrong :D Looks like the issue is GPU cooling more so than cpu cooling (within reason)
    It's a shame as it's a nice looking thing!
     
  8. McPhee

    Soldato

    Joined: Apr 17, 2009

    Posts: 5,180

    This puts 100°C in some context:

    [​IMG]

    Okay, there's no Dan A4 in this comparison. But it's less than half the size of the Era, with just about enough space to squash a 92mm AIO in there. If the two cases perform on par, that's still pretty bad for the Era. While there could be some difference in testing methodology between these Optimum Tech numbers and Gear Seekers Era review, a 30°C gap between the Ncase M1 and the Era is still massive.

    I get the impression the internal design and functionality of the Era were designed around the outer shell. Most SFF cases are littered with holes to aid airflow, while the Era has hardly any.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2020
  9. Relentless81

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 18, 2010

    Posts: 10,505

    They made some odd choices on this one IMO

    No front mounted intake fans, relying on the GPU for an intake whilst it looks very restrictive at the base, pointless 80mm exhaust, no window unless the window version is a future release

    On the plus side it has Full ATX PSU compatibility but that limits GPU length

    I fancy an ITX build next time around but I wouldn't choose this over the NZXT H1 as one of my biggest ITX issues is full length GPUs. Only issue for me with the H1 is I dont really want an AIO
     
  10. PinkFloyd

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 21, 2005

    Posts: 14,046

    Location: Bradley Stoke, Bristol

    Cases like the Dan Case and Louqe Ghost S1 have proved you don't need fans blowing onto a graphics card for it to run, you just need the card up against a vented panel so it can pull in clean air. So it seems Fractal just screwed up with making all the vents/filters far too restrictive on this case.

    I'm not sure I buy the Gear Seekers' review temperatures as a full picture at the moment, I can't believe it would be outright 30 degrees worse than the chart Ali from Optimum Tech put up without some other factors. I know Ali heavily undervolts his hardware and has a lot of experience with that, wondering whether Gear Seekers didn't do that? Not actually watched their video yet!
    "
    Shame no company seems to be able to make a complete super compact ITX case at the moment, they've all got some annoying flaws in my mind - even if that flaw is just "inpractical to get hold of" like with ther Louqe Ghost :(
     
  11. jrwagh333

    Mobster

    Joined: Aug 20, 2008

    Posts: 4,596

    This is one of the best looking cases I have seen in a while. I am so gutted there isn't a white version! Would match all the furniture in my living room then.