Review Fractal Design North Review: Mid-Century Mid-Tower

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Co BIY

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Looks even better in black with glass in my opinion.

2022-12-07-product-7-j_500.webp
 
Feb 18, 2022
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I could imagine people furnishing entire rooms around these types of computer cases. To be fair all the versions of this case are quite pleasant to look at, and the fact that they are decent cases as well makes it all the better.
I'll be re-homing my setup this weekend - pics of my desk and living room here - I think it'll go even better than the 011 Snow I currently use:

https://pcpartpicker.com/b/mvL2FT
 

CmdrSloth

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Oct 3, 2013
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WOW!

That Charcoal Mesh one is 100% my next case.

I REALLY want to see GPU temps in a Horizontal configuration with 2x 140mm right in front of its intakes + 3x 120mm up front.

EDIT: Wanted to add, TH's and other review sites "Standardized Testing" for niche or unique Computer Cases is completely bogus and unnecessary. Standardized noise tests showing minor Db changes between cases using their included, stock fans doesn't show anyone ANY useful information whatsoever except for the most minor pecker swinging contest. This type of case NEEDS to be tested with its unique configurations (2x 140 on the side + 3x 120 up front) to show its unique capabilities compared to other cases. Most of the time, in a well cooled case, the GPU ends up being the loudest source of fan noise. It would be REALLY usefull to see if GPU's don't ramp their fans up to the same degree with access to the side fans, especially if you use a vertical mounting kit.
 
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RichardtST

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May 17, 2022
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I'll be re-homing my setup this weekend - pics of my desk and living room here - I think it'll go even better than the 011 Snow I currently use:

https://pcpartpicker.com/b/mvL2FT
Nice build. But you know you may have problems with air bubbles due to the radiator orientation, and your GPU is sagging just a millimeter or two... Something as nice as you have there deserves to be 100% perfect.
 

MiniITXEconomy

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Dec 9, 2022
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The front panel married with white mesh side panels is slightly offensive, if I'm being honest, almost like it fits the "subwoofer for an expensive sound system" aesthetic. To put it bluntly: I don't want my PC to blend in with the Target furniture! But I'm really glad they're offering something different - just imagining how Thermaltake's The Tower 100 case would look with wood grain replacing some of the perforated metal gives me shivers. I'm only judging it based on the pics shown here, and maybe seeing it in different colors, patterns or even with its optional tempered glass panels would make me feel differently but right now it's only half-way decent!
 
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bit_user

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I'm only judging it based on the pics shown here, and maybe seeing it in different colors, patterns or even with its optional tempered glass panels would make me feel differently but right now it's only half-way decent!
According to the article: "Fractal Design’s new case retails for $130 and comes in Charcoal Black or Chalk White."

See @Co BIY 's post, for the charcoal black version.
 
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Co BIY

Splendid
The front panel married with white mesh side panels is slightly offensive, if I'm being honest, almost like it fits the "subwoofer for an expensive sound system" aesthetic. To put it bluntly: I don't want my PC to blend in with the Target furniture! But I'm really glad they're offering something different - just imagining how Thermaltake's The Tower 100 case would look with wood grain replacing some of the perforated metal gives me shivers. I'm only judging it based on the pics shown here, and maybe seeing it in different colors, patterns or even with its optional tempered glass panels would make me feel differently but right now it's only half-way decent!


I think the pictures in this article over-accentuate the side angle of the case in an unflattering way.

White mesh is not a winner with me. At best it looks off-white or grey. At worst it looks and becomes grungy. YMMV.

I also think the side angle begs for some modular IO like the LIAN LI 216.
 
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TLDR: mesh side panels can raise thermals. Linear flow is better than open flow.

So here's your protip:

Most agree, if you can't have balanced pressure, positive pressure is better. However do the following experiment:

Take a dryer vent tube and put a fan at the head of it to create a positive pressure situation inside the tube. Now let's pretend your GPU is at the end of that tube. Now punch that tube full of holes. The air tries to escape the soonest it can. And unless you have a negative pressure GPU (blower style) the air will likely escape before it reaches the GPU.

The same is true with mesh sides. Not only do they allow fresh air to escape but they allow for more noise. If you insist on a mesh side, make sure the side has a fan which blows fresh air below and inward on the GPU.

If you have to make a choice with what's more important to cooling effectively, always choose the GPU. They are more sensitive to heat and usually the limiting factor at higher resolutions.

In terms of cooling, chimney style is by far the best. Fresh cool air brought in from bottom. CPU radiator up top and venting.

Second best config on the list is 3 front and 1 back and 2 top with radiator up top or front. (Or 3 intake from side like loan li O11). The problem with this config is the fresh air in the lower left corner where your GPU is doesn't flow at great as rate. Air doesn't just flow straight back and then bend upward hard at the GPU. It starts curving upwards towards the exit fans almost immediately as it's the shortest path. If you are running radiators on CPU and GPU this isn't a problem.

Third best config is three side intake or front intake and then 3 top. The disadvantage in this design is the top fan and front top exhaust fan will vent before any fresh air has any chance of hitting the components. If you are running 100% radiators on GPU and CPU this isn't a problem.

Summary:
In terms of noise, side intakes (ie: loan li O11) will always produce less noise than similar front intake configuration and mesh. Avoid mesh side panels unless you have an intake fan pointed right at the GPU. It will still be noisier than a glass side panel. In terms of performance and noise, sealed Chimney configurations are superior.
 
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