Fractal Design Kelvin S36 Review

Published by Hiwa Pouri on 02.02.15
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General + -
Overall, the Fractal Design Kelvin S36 is a very solid product with a good looking color scheme, which is perfectly in line with the ASUS X99 Deluxe and MSI's Krait as well as all other black and white motherboards. It offers great cooling performance but when it comes to noise level we would have loved to have an inaudible pump in front of us. Especially when the system is in idle it's well possible to hear the pump.   - Cooling capacity - Quality - PWM - Noise levels 12V - Pump Noise
Installation   + -
The installation is simple an pretty straightforward. With two included mounting kits, where one is for Intel and another for AMD sockets, it should be quite easy even for less technical users to mount the cooler properly in a heartbeat. Mounting the fans needs a torx key which is included in the delivery. The thermal compound provided in a 1g syringe is good and apart from that it's more than enough even for multiple applications. In the case that the mounting isn't self-explanatory there is a details and nicely designed instruction manual.   - Easy and practical
- Compatible Intel and AMD
Performance   + -
The Fractal Design Kelvin S36 offers great cooling performanace in any situation. With the fan driven at 7V and 12V we find the cooler in the second place of our charts. In PWM mode, the performance drops a slight little bit but still ranks third place.   - Cooling performances in general  
Noise Levels   + -
Our tests show that the fans included in the bundle are audible at 7V and at 12V they are noisy, reaching 37.8 dBA when running at 7V and 48.7 dBA at 12V. Rotation speeds at 7V and 12V are 1'400 and 1'740 rpm. In PWM mode, the fan speeds are lower, causing the noise level to drop to a silent 34.2 dBA in idle and under load conditions the noise level was still ok with 35.3 dBA. As we already mentioned also the pump is noisy with this cooler. We want to add that driving the fans at 6.5V makes the fan speeds drop to 300 rpm and in this case they become inaudble and the only thing you can still hear is the pump.    

- Noise levels 12V - Pump Noise
Recommendation / Price   + -
The suggested retail price of the Kelvin S36 from Fractal Design is 135 Euro. If you keep in mind that the Kelvin S36  is amongst one of  the most powerful AiOs we tested in in our lab, then this is a highly competitive price. The build quality is on a good level as well as the bundle. Overall this is a good all-in-one watercooler that offers great cooling performance.   - Gaming PC
- Overclocking
The Fractal Desing Kelvin S36 receives good 4 out of 5 stars.

Page 1 - Presentation / Specifications
Page 2 - Photo Gallery
Page 3 - Installation
Page 4 - Test Setup
Page 5 - Absolute Performance
Page 6 - PWM Performance
Page 7 - Conclusion

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Fractal Design Kelvin S36 Review - Cooling > Watercooling - Reviews - ocaholic