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Review: Fractal Design Define Nano S

by Parm Mann on 28 January 2016, 15:45

Tags: Fractal Design

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...for the enthusiast who wants to tie a tiny motherboard to full-size components and indulgent cooling, Nano S arrives with an emphasis on ultra-high-end hardware.

A fair few chassis manufacturers dabble in other key components such as power supplies and, in recent years, all-in-one liquid coolers. It's a healthy portfolio to have, yet it can lead to unavoidable crossover as any one product from a company's range should inevitably work with another.

Fractal Design's Define Nano S is a prime example. Introduced as a mini-ITX enclosure, the new addition to the Define Series range retains support for just about any ATX power supply from Fractal's stable, as well as a choice of one or two expandable Kelvin Series coolers.

The consequence of that is a mini-ITX chassis whose dimensions are larger than most users' expectations of a small-form-factor PC. Aiming instead for the enthusiast who wants to tie a tiny motherboard to full-size components and indulgent cooling, Nano S arrives with an emphasis on ultra-high-end hardware. Geared specifically for users contemplating a couple of radiators in a custom loop with pump and reservoir, this is ultimately a case suited to only a particular type of build.

Want a mini-ITX case with an ATX-style layout that enables you to go crazy with liquid-cooled hardware? Fractal Design's Define Nano S will be right up your street.

The Good
The Bad
Makes light work of an ITX build
Familiar Define Series aesthetic
Plenty of liquid-cooling potential
Can house a powerful graphics card
Looks sparse without liquid cooling
GPU and PSU in close proximity
Not actually that small

Fractal Design Define Nano S


The Fractal Design Define Nano S chassis will be available to purchase starting March 2016.


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HEXUS Forums :: 7 Comments

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Looks to be a certain lack of tidiness in the cabling around the back (just like my builds!)

This is a nice design but I would make a couple of changes. I would make it marginally wider to allow for 180mm fans and slightly taller to allow for a couple of fans up top but I think it could be modded to allow for that in any event.

My ideal case for m-itx watercooling would have cool air fans forcing air over top of motherboard (over hot vrms and memory) so I would prefer to invert motherboard - I guess this could be done with this case
There's enough radiator spaces for a decent setup using pre-filled liquid cooling loops - a 240mm radiator in the roof for the CPU and a 280mm liquid cpu cooler attached to the GPU with a bracket should give great cooling and be dead simple to put together
Anyone on here built with one of these?

I'm looking at sticking an x570 board, 3xxx or 5xxx series CPU and an RTX 3060Ti or RTX3080 Founders in there.
Its been a looooong time since I have looked at AIO cooling and never water, but thinking a downsize and upgrade is overdue and given this has a window I want a bit of something to look at and it be tidy..

No RGB need apply ;)
Not sure if something this small would cope with the 5800x and a 3080FE card, customer liquid cooling would probably be the way to go…
I di like Fractal but bot I have got used to the Corsair with the split case where I can put my PSU and cables.