An Understated Entrance
The first thing that will strike you about the unit is how ... plain it is. That, however, is absolutely not a bad thing. I think it looks exceptional, and the well-braided hoses are a very nice touch when compared to the old Kelvin unit. The hoses are relatively flexible, and you will see that I had little trouble top mounting it in the new Corsair 275R case (review linked here). Fractal Design has incorporated some new features into the Celsius series of coolers, to improve their performance over the old units:
- The introduction of premium sound dampening materials, to reduce the noise profile of the pump head and reduce any vibration.
- Integrated fan header on the underside of the radiator, to clean up cable management and allow for easy wiring with minimal clutter.
- The inclusion of new X2 GP-12 120mm PWM fans with LLS bearings.
Now, that might look like a short list (and it is), but remember that this unit does not come with any added software required for its control, nor does it have any integrated lighting. It is, on the outside at least, as simple as AIOs get. Ultimately, a cooler should be down to performance and acoustics, and that's what the S24 is here to demonstrate. A quick and small point, but I really like the integrated fan hub. It's an excellent touch. More on that later.
Fractal released their GP series of fans in 2016, as a step down from their premium 'Venturi' offerings. You can read up on the GP fans here, if you wish (fan specifications and features can be fairly extensive), but the key features are going to be:
- All new 'LLS' bearings, which have a reported 100,000-hour lifespan.
- Available in either 120mm or 140mm sizes.
- A 'balanced' design, leading to a blend of both airflow and static pressure.
To those in the know, fans that are used up against objects that may provide resistance need to have a good amount of static pressure. The higher the static pressure rating of a fan, the more 'force' the air is moved with (measured in mm H20). In this instance, the included fans are able to push 2.88mm H20 at their max 2,000RPM, whilst maintaining a maximum claimed noise level of just 32.2dB.
To put that into perspective, rival 240mm coolers from Corsair (H100i V2) and NZXT (Kraken X52) claim the following for their fans:
You can see that whilst the Fractal Design fans offer the lowest amount of static pressure, they also offer the lowest max dB rating and lowest RPM. When you bear in mind that an increase of 3 decibels is appreciable as 'twice as loud', an increase of 3-4Dba with the above fans definitely will be noticeable. If anything, this should tell you right off the bat that Fractal Design has designed this unit with 'silence' in mind, if the mentioning of sound dampening on the pump head wasn't a small clue already. The lower RPM and near 4.5DBa less noise at max speed is looking good for the S24, all whilst still able to produce nearly as much pressure as the faster spinning and louder SP120s and AER fans.