Fractal Design Introduces North, a New Look for PC Gaming

Tsing

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Fractal Design has announced the North, a new PC case that features natural materials and bespoke details, including a fine-patterned mesh ventilation and an open front with real walnut or oak panels, complemented by sleek brass or steel details and an integrated tab for easy access to the top of the case.

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Years ago I would have said, I'm not a fan of the "modern" light pine colored wood against white look.

I would have been talking about kitchen interiors and furniture, but still.

I'm more of a traditional "medium brown" kind of guy, thus the black and medium brown version works better for me.

That said, either of these are much nicer than the disco-light trends of the last 10 years.

If PC case styling moves in this direction, I won't be disappointed.
 
I'm more of a traditional "medium brown" kind of guy, thus the black and medium brown version works better for me.
Same for me, and I am a fan of white cases. The black, darker brown wood version with the gold accents works well.

If PC case styling moves in this direction, I won't be disappointed.
Being able to support a CPU with AIO and an air-cooled GPU is more or less the trend. Looking at the mesh side panel option, with that side dual fan mount, you could probably get away with an AIO-cooled GPU.

Biggest issue of course is the balance of intake and exhaust.
 
Same for me, and I am a fan of white cases. The black, darker brown wood version with the gold accents works well.


Being able to support a CPU with AIO and an air-cooled GPU is more or less the trend. Looking at the mesh side panel option, with that side dual fan mount, you could probably get away with an AIO-cooled GPU.

Biggest issue of course is the balance of intake and exhaust.

Yeah, I didn't look closely at the layout or anything.

Take my comments as purely about the aesthetics of the case.

I'd probably have more to say if I looked more closely at the layout.
 
It does give off that professional vibe while also being functional.
 
Yeah, I didn't look closely at the layout or anything.

Take my comments as purely about the aesthetics of the case.

I'd probably have more to say if I looked more closely at the layout.

I have now looked a little bit more closely at it, and I like it.

If they decide to make a full tower version with support for E-ATX motherboards, I may be in for one or two of them.
 
If they decide to make a full tower version with support for E-ATX motherboards, I may be in for one or two of them.
It supports EATX - in the sense that EATX is ATX but deeper. Wendel at L1T did a build in one with a mildly EATX board, and it didn't encroach on the cable passthroughs much at all. Larger obviously would require more cable routing creativity.
 
Nice to see them go back to basics as it were. I'd still like to see more utlity options though.
 
It supports EATX - in the sense that EATX is ATX but deeper. Wendel at L1T did a build in one with a mildly EATX board, and it didn't encroach on the cable passthroughs much at all. Larger obviously would require more cable routing creativity.

Interesting. I'll have to see if I can find the max motherboard size anywhere. Maybe I missed it in the specs.

My motherboard is somewhat beefy at 12.2"x10.9"
 
On the non-tempered glass version. Is that a vented mesh panel?

I think I would prefer a solid black panel, I wonder if they sell one as an option (maybe the right panel fits upside down on the left? Maybe you can order it as a spare part?
 
It supports EATX - in the sense that EATX is ATX but deeper. Wendel at L1T did a build in one with a mildly EATX board, and it didn't encroach on the cable passthroughs much at all. Larger obviously would require more cable routing creativity.
Interesting. I'll have to see if I can find the max motherboard size anywhere. Maybe I missed it in the specs.

My motherboard is somewhat beefy at 12.2"x10.9"

Yeah, I have looked at the specs page, and downloaded the manual.

Both only list "ATX / mATX / Mini-ITX", no max dimensions.

Which means it could work, or it might not fit.

I had this same problem with another Fractal Design case I bought once. I bought a Fractal Design S back in 2015. This one was completely on me. I had forgotten that my Asus p9x79 WS I was using at the time was not ATX, or even EATX, but rather SSI-CEB, so I didn't even check for fit.

1670535432921.png

I wound up using that case for my stepsons build later that year, so it didn't go to waste, and instead bought myself a Corsair 750D Airflow.

The Define S was a really well built case though. If these newer Fractal Design cases can live up to that same build quality, they should be excellent!
 
It supports EATX - in the sense that EATX is ATX but deeper. Wendel at L1T did a build in one with a mildly EATX board, and it didn't encroach on the cable passthroughs much at all. Larger obviously would require more cable routing creativity.

I wasn't familiar with Wendell or Level1Techs but after some googling I found what you were referring to (the L1T abbreviation threw me for a loop)


Alright, so he built it with the Asrock X670E Taichi, which according to the manual is 12.0"x 10.5

is thus ever so slightly larger at 12.2"x10.9". Will have to look at th efit in his build and try to guesstimate if it will fit. Can I make 5mm wider and 10mm longer work?

It's going to be VERY close...

Fractal Designs general case design philosophy seems very similar to how it was on the Define S years ago, in that there is a slope midway through the cable passthroughs:

1670537948544.png

If the motherboard fits to the left of that slope, all is good. If it doesn't, that's when we run into trouble.

I need 10 more mm than his X670E Tachi board, and I just can't tell from the video if I'll get it:

1670538055890.png

One way or another, it will be pretty **** close.

Side note: I was unfamilliar with this reviewer before, but I like him. He has many of my same priorities, including wanting more PCIe slots :p
 
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Wendell used to be a co-host on a youtube tech show called TekSyndicate. They split and he started L1.

Their content is pretty good.

Their forum software - however - sucks. :p

Difficult to navigate, search and find what you are looking for.
 
I discovered Level1Techs a few years or so ago. They were building Threadripper workstations when other hardware sites were almost exclusively focused on gaming-centric builds, a change I found refreshing.

The "timeline" style of presentation for forum topics feels awkward, I agree.

The use of wood panels reminded me of System76, but as far as I know, they don't offer their cases for sale separately. And even if they did, they'd probably be very expensive, if the prices of their configured systems are anything to go by. Ouch...
 
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