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Fractal Era ITX

Darksaber

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The Fractal Era ITX is a refreshing new chassis from the brand that brought you years of plenty of Define case variants. With its cool looks and material mix of aluminum in combination with wood or glass, it will surely look pretty spiffy next to your monitor.

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Why in the world did they not make the base of the case perforated?
 
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I expect to see an improved version in some time as there are some mistakes which other brands made in ITX cases. In short, there is a limited airflow so good luck with any stronger setup. For a typical low-end setup no one will get so expensive case. Ah, right and there is a ridiculous price. For half of that can get something like NZXT H210 which handles thermals much better.
 
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Yikes, I do not like this case's thermal design
 
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Why in the world did they not make the base of the case perforated?
I think you need to put on your glasses. The entire bottom has air vents in it.



Ah, right and there is a ridiculous price.
Sure, price is way too high, but they've clearly added a few things most other cases don't come with.
Usually MSRP retail pricing.
 
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I feel like the wood top is a premium feature that could have been implemented slightly better, such as adding more ventilation to the top since apparently it causes a significant increase in load temperatures. Also, why no reset button? One more thing, with 3 slot GPUs becoming evermore common, I would've recommended the addition of a third PCIe slot. Other than those 3 things, I like the case.
 
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Everyone is complaining about the poorly vented case design by purely looking at the outside, but no one points out that the PSU dumps all its heat inside the case.
How often have you ever seen that? And if you put a rad on top of it, you'll heat up the rad with the PSU, also a first, and not in a good way..

More vents isn't always the solution, there are loads of all-mesh cases out there. This is a different kind of design, and it needs ducts in order to perform better. Vents would only ruin the design, while still letting the heat circulating, although just to a smaller extent.

One duct for PSU exhaust, and one for CPU heastink exhaust. Force the GPU fans to only get air from the outisde in the bottom with a duct, or more like a flat piece of plastic that has the length and width of the inside of the case, right under the graphics card, with holes for the fans.
 
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Everyone's complaining about the thermals of the case based on looking at it, and not realizing they put a lot of engineering into it and it keeps the CPU down to 53°C and the GPU down to 69°C when both are under full load(which never really happens in most real-world use). So not only is the thermals just fine, there is actually room for more powerful components.

no one points out that the PSU dumps all its heat inside the case.
How often have you ever seen that? And if you put a rad on top of it, you'll heat up the rad with the PSU, also a first, and not in a good way..
It's actually pretty common on ITX cases.

Yes, it would dump the PSU heat onto the rad, but it's also dumping the PSU head right at the exhaust of the case. The top is supposed to be the exhaust, so it's getting the PSU heat out of the case as quickly as possible. Plus, the air coming out of the PSU is usually only a few ° hotter than that heat going in, so the small portion of the rad that gets that slightly warmer air, isn't probably going to affect temperatures all that much.
 
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It's actually pretty common on ITX cases.
I don't think so, quite unusual for a case of this size, 16 l. For instance, DAN and Louqe have similar designs, but the PSU is placed much closer to the vent (a vent that's a whole lot less restricted than the Era piece of wood when used), and those cases are much smaller at 7.2 l (DAN) and 8.4 l (Louqe).
Yes, it would dump the PSU heat onto the rad, but it's also dumping the PSU head right at the exhaust of the case. The top is supposed to be the exhaust, so it's getting the PSU heat out of the case as quickly as possible.
Either way, it doesnt' help that the PSU heat isn't forced out of the case like in many other cases. This needs active cooling for that (besides the PSU fan).
Plus, the air coming out of the PSU is usually only a few ° hotter than that heat going in, so the small portion of the rad that gets that slightly warmer air, isn't probably going to affect temperatures all that much.
I think it does make a difference in a case this small though, and it's unnecessary.
 

ppn

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It's way too big. I'm searching for 190 x 156 x 260 mm case, like the speaker next to it, maybe gut one out.
 

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I don't think so, quite unusual for a case of this size, 16 l.
I'd like to see some examples that use the tower design like this case does(not the cube bullshit that looks like ass). I also want to see them have space for a 240mm rad, 3.5" hard drives, ect.

For instance, DAN and Louqe have similar designs, but the PSU is placed much closer to the vent (a vent that's a whole lot less restricted than the Era piece of wood when used), and those cases are much smaller at 7.2 l (DAN) and 8.4 l (Louqe).
The DAN A4-SFX does have the PSU closer to the vent, because there's no room to even put a fan between the PSU and the vent. This is a worse design and the DAN A4-SFX has worse thermals overall than the the Fractal ERA. The Louqe case is basically the same situation. They are targeting different audiences. You aren't going to fit a 240mm liquid cooler in either of those cases. There's no exhaust or intake fans on either of those cases. You can afford to dump the PSU heat into the case when you have the space right above the PSU exhaust to put a fan to pull that hot air right out of the case. Big deal if that means the hot air goes over the last 1/4th of you 240mm rad, at least you can have a 240mm rad.

And don't complain about the wood panel. It's optional, if you want better ventilation, use the vent they provide.

Either way, it doesnt' help that the PSU heat isn't forced out of the case like in many other cases. This needs active cooling for that (besides the PSU fan).
It isn't forced out of the case of either the DAN or Louqe cases either, it still dumps into the case. In fact, I know for a fact there is a good inch between the back of the PSU(where the hot air comes out) and the vent in the case. Neither are directly venting the hot air out of the case, and I'd rather have the option to put a fan right there to pull the hot air out.

I think it does make a difference in a case this small though, and it's unnecessary.
It doesn't. Not in the overall scheme of things. In fact, that hot air going over the rad is still likely to be cooling that hot liquid flowing through the rad once things start to really get hot. Cause I guarantee the air will still be cooler than the liquid flowing through the rad after a long time under load.
 
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Darksaber

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That doesn’t deserve recommended batch. But you give it to very undeserving products almost all the time anyway.
Just curious, why would you think so? High-level reasons for the recommendation:
- Internal layout good for an ITX chassis, with a level of engineering that goes well beyond the basics
- Extremely well designed (if you don't care about this, then there are plenty of other options out there)
- Material mix
- Thermals in ITX cases will always be worse than in ATX units. More compact cooling, more parts stuffed into a smaller volume (and we torture it pretty hard regardless - more than most real world scenarios)
- Easy assembly for a case of this size
- Ability to install plenty of active cooling fans for an ITX case if you wanted
- Plenty of storage options for a chassis of this size.

For an ITX case, what - in your opinion - would be a case (regardless if we reviewed it or not) that would deserve an award in your opinion. I would genuinely want to know :)
 
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The DAN A4-SFX does have the PSU closer to the vent, because there's no room to even put a fan between the PSU and the vent. This is a worse design and the DAN A4-SFX has worse thermals overall than the the Fractal ERA. The Louqe case is basically the same situation. They are targeting different audiences.
At least I gave you examples of cases where the PSU dumps the heat inside the case, there are more of them, but my point is that it's not common, unlike what you said.
All I'm saying is that with 16 l they could have done better, especially for air cooler users. And I also pointed out that those other cases are half the size.
It isn't forced out of the case of either the DAN or Louqe cases either, it still dumps into the case. In fact, I know for a fact there is a good inch between the back of the PSU(where the hot air comes out) and the vent in the case. Neither are directly venting the hot air out of the case, and I'd rather have the option to put a fan right there to pull the hot air out.
At this point I was talking about more regular designs, hence "many other cases". You know, the regular design with the PSU AC connector directly in the back.
 

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At least I gave you examples of cases where the PSU dumps the heat inside the case, there are more of them, but my point is that it's not common, unlike what you said.
All I'm saying is that with 16 l they could have done better, especially for air cooler users. And I also pointed out that those other cases are half the size.
So you aren't going to provide any examples that actually back up what you said. Got it.

At this point I was talking about more regular designs, hence "many other cases". You know, the regular design with the PSU AC connector directly in the back.
And those cases are bigger and aimed at a different audience. You might at well just say "Look at the Corsair 900D, it has such better design and cooler than the Era. The Era is so bad." No, show me a case that is a similar design(tower ATX), and has a significantly better design and better thermals.
 
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This is what happens when Swede`s go Jonsbo! Reminds me of Jonsbo umx1 plus. but that has better thermals and build quality.
 
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I think you need to put on your glasses. The entire bottom has air vents in it.
These small vents around the edges provide very little airflow. Perforated bottom and slightly higher feet would result in a much better ventilated case.

Just look how little air intake there is:
 
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These small vents around the edges provide very little airflow. Perforated bottom and slightly higher feet would result in a much better ventilated case.

Just look how little air intake there is:
I take it you don't mind using your PC as a vacuum cleaner?
 
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Fractal is doing easily cleanable filters in their other cases.
But yes, I would rather have it function as a vacuum cleaner than being starved for air. Based on almost all reviews so far, its thermals are not too good and it is starved for air.

Nano S, for example:
 
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So you aren't going to provide any examples that actually back up what you said. Got it.
Haha, nice try. You're the one that said that this type of design is "actually pretty common on ITX cases", pulled out of thin air apparently.
And those cases are bigger and aimed at a different audience. You might at well just say "Look at the Corsair 900D, it has such better design and cooler than the Era. The Era is so bad." No, show me a case that is a similar design(tower ATX), and has a significantly better design and better thermals.
Well, if you can't back up your claims, why should I. Use google.
 

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These small vents around the edges provide very little airflow. Perforated bottom and slightly higher feet would result in a much better ventilated case.

Just look how little air intake there is:
They actually provide quite a bit of airflow, along with the huge vent in the side panel, it's more than enough airflow.

Haha, nice try. You're the one that said that this type of design is "actually pretty common on ITX cases", pulled out of thin air apparently.

Well, if you can't back up your claims, why should I. Use google.

Ok, I'll provide examples:

DAN A4-SFX
Louqe Ghost S1
LIAN LI TU150
Silverstone Raven
Phantek Evolv Shift
Raijintek Ophion
Silverstone CS01


The fact is, when you start to get down to the ITX cases that are actually small, and not just desktop size cases that are slightly shorter than a normal case or a huge ugly cube, the PSU location the Era uses is pretty common.
 
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Looks hella great but it's an expensive hot box.
 
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They actually provide quite a bit of airflow, along with the huge vent in the side panel, it's more than enough airflow.
Your profile says you have a Define S. Pull the front panel off the case and see what it does to temperatures. Now imagine you have a case with much lower volume and that makes the effect much bigger.

Depends on the system you want to put in it, of course. Considering the size, I would want to put a high-end system in Era ITX with 350-400W power consumption and heat emission. I had that in Nano S and removing front panel made a huge difference. Even when fully stocked with fans and the top lid off. Lower temperatures along with slower fans are a huge difference.
 
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These small vents around the edges provide very little airflow. Perforated bottom and slightly higher feet would result in a much better ventilated case.
How would that work?
You keep your desktop on a perforated desk?

Cases that pull air from the bottom have naturally limited intake and are not ideal for systems that need large airflow. But they are very efficient and easy to cool with fewer fans. That's the point.
These small vents will make the setup slightly louder. That's about it.

That said, this design is no different from what happens in most cases. Including FD's own Rx-series - known for great airflow.
Node 304, also known for good airflow, has maybe half of vent area compared to this Era ITX - and just two 92mm intake fans compared to two 140mm (potentially).
I feel like the wood top is a premium feature that could have been implemented slightly better, such as adding more ventilation to the top since apparently it causes a significant increase in load temperatures.
Well, it doesn't have more vents, because they wanted a design with less vents. It's an esthetical compromise.
Yes, CPU will run a few K hotter. So what?
Also, why no reset button?
Why would it need a reset button? It's a legacy feature absent in most PCs.
 
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