Fractal Design Celsius S24
Unlike many all-in-one liquid coolers, Fractal’s Celsius S24 is expandable with the same G1/4in fittings used with custom water-cooling hardware, so you could add your own reservoir or GPU waterblock. Its pump is also PWM-controlled, and if you decide to add more components to the loop, both the radiator and waterblock are made from copper, so there’s no chance of galvanic corrosion appearing as a result of mixed metals.
It employs a similar setup to EKWB’s Predator coolers, with a radiator-based fan hub to minimise cable clutter. The S24’s two 120mm GP-12 fans connect straight to the hub, so there’s no need to use any motherboard fan headers for them. That just leaves the pump cable, which connects to your motherboard’s CPU fan header before leading back to the pump and passing up one of the flexible braided tubes to power the fans and hub. The result of this neat cabling system is that the cooler is extremely tidy compared with the likes of NZXT’s USB-controlled Krakens, which end up with a lot of cable tangle. Twisting the control dial on the pump toggles between auto and PWM control. The former allows the unit to control the pump and fan speed, while the latter allows your motherboard to do the same. There’s good news for Ryzen fans too, as Fractal’s Celsius coolers are AM4-compatible out of the box, using standard Asetek fittings that use the AM4 socket’s backplate, and they’re easy to install on Intel sockets as well.
The Celsius S24 was very quiet, being inaudible from 12in away at any setting below full speed. At both idle and load, it was the quietest all-in-one cooler we’ve tested, although temperatures were a little high, with the cooler favouring low-noise operation. PWM mode saw the motherboard’s fan control kick in, and temperatures were very respectable, shadowing the Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 in our Intel systems, and offering great cooling on our AM4 test system.
It was inaudible from 12in away at any setting below full speed
The Celsius S24 offers outstandingly low noise, decent cooling and neat cabling, plus the option to have exceptionally quiet noise levels with warmer temperatures in auto mode. It isn’t too expensive either, with the similar Alphacool Eisbaer 240 retailing for around £5 less, while the NZXT Kraken X52 will set you back £30 more. To top it all off, it’s even expandable. It all makes for a superb cooler – Fractal has nailed it.