Fractal Design Era ITX

 

Testing

The following system was used to test the case:
– Processor: Intel i5 4690K @ 4GHz
– Motherboard: ASRock Z87-M8
– GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Founder’s Edition
– SSD: Crucial MX 500GB
– HDD: None
– PSU: FSP SFX 500W Gold
– CPU Cooler: Silverstone Tundra TD-04
– OS: Windows 10 64-Bit (After April Update)

Software used for testing the case:

– AIDA64 Extreme Version: 6.30.5500
– Intel Burn Test v2.54

The case is tested with the CPU overclocked at 4GHz with a core voltage of 1.187 V.

Also, the included fans have been used at their maximum speed.

The room temperature was approximately 26°C (78°F), with 2°C margin of error.

The settings of the software used are the following:
Intel Burn Test v2.54 – Stress level: Maximum
AIDA64 Extreme Version – FPU Benchmark & Temperature monitoring.
Each test was conducted for 40 minutes.

The ITX testing system used, while it is not in its final configuration, it is enough to offer results in terms of the cooling capability of the case.

As expected, the best performance obtained was with the mesh panel installed, which allows for more air to enter and exit the system. With the bottom panel removed, the graphics card temperature was reduced by approximately 12°C.

The main issue regarding the cooling of the system inside the Era comes from the lack of proper vents. The top wood panel while it looks great next to the silver aluminum panels, it is restricting the air from entering the radiator installed at the top. This is due to the limited space between the wood panel and the dust filter.

 

The Fractal Design Era is small, here it is next to the ASRock M8 ITX system:

 

Final thoughts

The Fractal Design Era ITX is a stunning looking case, that also has a great build quality and plenty of options for storage or power supplies. The case is available for a price of around 160 USD or EUR, and it is also available in multiple colors and top panel variations.

The Era ITX has a great design, with smooth shapes which are integrated seamlessly on all panels. The wood top panel is also a great touch as it creates a good contrast with the silver aluminum outer shell of the case.

The storage options are good, with the option of either four 2.5” storage devices installed at the same time or two 3.5” storage devices installed. However, with the usage of a 3.5” drive, the CPU cooler clearance is lowered from 120mm to just 70mm.

The clearance for the graphics card is good, however it will be lowered if an ATX power supply is being used.

In terms of cooling, the best configuration for the Era is an AIO liquid cooler that uses a 240mm radiator. This configuration not only is easier to work with, but it will allow the usage of the preinstalled 80mm Fractal Design fan. With the top mesh panel installed, the temperatures are kept in check, however the wood panel will restrict the airflow and increase the overall temperature of the system.

For such a small enclosure, the Era has plenty of filtering available. The sides of the bottom part of the case are each using a narrow filter, while the top panel has a single dust filter that covers the entire top part of the case.

In conclusion, the Fractal Design Era ITX is a well-built great looking case that will suit any mid-range gaming system. The interior of the case is good, and offers a good clearance for both the graphics card and the power supply.

The only issues of the Era come from the lack of vents on the bottom of the case, and the narrow space left between the wood top panel and the dust filter. The best option for lowering the overall temperature of the system is to use the mesh panel at the top, a 240mm AIO cooler for the CPU and a blower style graphics card.

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