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Review: Fractal Design Define Nano S

by Parm Mann on 28 January 2016, 15:45

Tags: Fractal Design

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacx7d

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Specification and Test Methodology

Fractal Design Define Nano S Specification

Motherboard Compatibility mini-ITX
Expansion Slots 2
Drive Bays 2x 3.5/2.5in, 2x 2.5in
Total Fan Mounts 6
Cooling System Front 2x 120/140 mm fans (included is 1x Fractal Design Dynamic GP14 fan, 1000 RPM speed)
Rear 1x 120 mm fan (included is 1x Fractal Design Dynamic GP12 fan, 1200 RPM speed)
Side Oversized vents over CPU/motherboard and expansion area
Top 2x 120/140 mm fan (not included)
Bottom 1x 120 mm fan (not included)
Dust filters Bottom and front intakes
Water Cooling Compatibility Front 120/240mm, 140/280mm (max width 147, length 312; some radiators extend beyond the screw holes)
Top 120/240mm (max component height on motherboard 35mm. Big heatsinks on RAM or power regulators around CPU could conflict with this restriction)
Bottom 120mm (max thickness & length: 85mm x 160mm)
Pumps Pre-drilled holes on multi-bracket, supports many DDC and D5 variants (see manual for detailed measurements)
Reservoirs Adjustable mounting brackets allow for almost any rectangular mounting screw pattern. Maximum distance between the mounting bracket screw positions: 270mm height / 80mm width.
Front I/O Ports USB 3.0 x 2, audio x 1, mic x 1
Power Supply Support ATX (not included)
Max. Expansion Card Length 315mm
Max. CPU Cooler Height 160mm
Space Behind Motherboard Tray 17mm - 35mm
Net Weight 4.6kg
Volume 27l
Dimensions 203mm (W) x 344mm (H) x 412mm (D)

Comparison Chassis

Chassis Form Factor HEXUS Review Reviewed Price Product Page
Fractal Design Core 500 Mini-ITX October 2015 £50 Fractal-Design.com
Fractal Design Define Nano S Mini-ITX January 2016 £50 Fractal-Design.com
Fractal Design Node 202 HTPC July 2015 £115 Fractal-Design.com
SilverStone Milo ML08 Mini-ITX January 2016 £70 SilverStoneTek.com

HEXUS Mini-ITX Test Bench

Hardware Components HEXUS Review Product Page
Processor Intel Pentium G3258 and reference cooler June 2014 Intel.com
Motherboard MSI Z97I Gaming AC - MSI.com
Memory 16GB Adata XPG (2x8GB) DDR3 @ 1,600MHz - Adata.com
Graphics Card MSI Radeon R9 270X Gaming 2G June 2014 MSI.com
Power Supply be quiet! Straight Power 10 (500W) - Bequiet.com
Storage Device 120GB Corsair Force Series 3 SSD June 2011 Corsair.com
Monitor Philips Brilliance 4K Ultra HD LED (288P6LJEB/00) - Philips.co.uk
Operating system Windows 8.1 (64-bit) October 2012 Microsoft.com

Test Methodology

Putting recent components to the test, our Z97 platform consists of an MSI Z97I Gaming AC motherboard, an Intel Pentium G3258 processor with reference cooler, 16GB of Adata XPG DDR3 memory and an MSI Radeon R9 270X Gaming 2G graphics card.

To find out how well the above chassis can cool this particular setup, we log CPU temperature while encoding a large 4K video clip. This task puts full load on all available CPU cores and in order to provide a stabilised reading we then calculate an average temperature across all cores from the last five minutes of encoding.

To get an idea of graphics-card cooling performance, we log GPU temperature while playing Aliens vs. Predator at a 1080p resolution with maximum quality settings. Last but not least, we also measure chassis noise by using a PCE-318 noise meter to take readings when idle and while gaming.

All chassis are tested only with the standard manufacturer-supplied fans (any/all of which are set to 'default' in the MSI BIOS or low-speed using a fan controller if present), and to take into account the fluctuating ambient temperature, our graphs depict both actual and delta temperature - the latter is the actual CPU/GPU temperature minus the ambient. For the record, the ambient temperature while testing Fractal Design's Define Nano S was recorded as 20.1ºC.