Fractal Design Celsius+ S28 Prisma AIO Review 15

Fractal Design Celsius+ S28 Prisma AIO Review

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Value and Conclusion

  • The Fractal Design Celsius+ S28 Prism is available at retail for $169.99.
  • Good cooling performance
  • Perfect memory and GPU clearance
  • Good build quality
  • Built-in ARGB and PWM controller
  • RGB lighting for those who want it
  • 5-year warranty
  • Fairly expensive
  • A bit loud at maximum RPM
  • RGB lighting may not be to everyone's taste
  • No G1/4" fittings like the previous design
Overall, Fractal Design has delivered a solid all-in-one liquid cooler with the Celsius+ S28 Prisma. The built-in ARGB and PWM hub/PCB on the radiator has been carried over from the previous Celsius series of liquid coolers. It makes for a simpler install and far less cable clutter, which is always nice. The ability to switch between Auto and PWM has also been carried forward. However, they did take a step back by ditching the removable G1/4" fittings the older coolers had. While it was likely a niche feature, it did make maintenance on the older coolers quite easy, so I am still sad to see it go. It's also worth mentioning that Fractal Design did go all-out in regards to support by giving the Celsius+ series a 5-year warranty, which is nice, especially considering many brands opt for the minimum 1–2 years or maybe 3 years. Only a few manufacturers are willing to give their coolers a long warranty, and Fractal Design is one of them. With a market flooded with liquid coolers, a good warranty can be the deciding factor for more than a few potential buyers. As such, I am glad to see the company's willingness to offer long-term support.

When it comes to performance, I was quite surprised. The Celsius+ S28 Prisma ended up performing between the Swiftech H360 X3 and H240 X3 Drive series of AIOs, which are all copper expandable units. It even beat out the all-copper Alphacool Eisbaer Extreme by 1°C, although at the expense of a lot more noise, 47 dBA vs. 41 dBA. Still, many all-in-one liquid coolers have proven to be less than stellar performance-wise, so Fractal Design has delivered a respectable unit. By opting to plug the fans into a separate motherboard fan header, it was possible to control the pump separately with a slightly lower RPM, which with the fans maxed out still resulted in a drop to 45 dBA with cooling remaining within margin of error (the same). This means there is room for improvement, but it also means users can customize the PWM profile if necessary to find their own happy place as this liquid cooler does have a very wide RPM range. The option to select Auto or PWM mode can benefit noise levels as well depending on the situation, as Auto mode controls the pump on its own. Even so, I still prefer custom fan profiles via the BIOS or motherboard software as each person has a different tolerance for noise.

When it comes to build quality, the unit is well done, I have no real complaints. The wiring is run down the tubing inside the wrap, keeping things neat and tidy. The radiator had no blemishes, and the pump was quite stylish, too. Even the ARGB lighting is pretty good, not great, but good. As for memory or graphics card clearance, I found no problems there either, which is always good as I have seen that become a problem on some liquid coolers.

In general, the Fractal Design Celsius+ S28 Prisma is a good performer with no truly egregious weak points. It does the job it was designed to do and has a solid warranty for peace of mind. Even with the higher price, the quality of fans and strength of the design is enough for me to recommend it.
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