Cooling Reviews Watercooling

Fractal Design Celsius+ S36 prism in test: 360-mm-AiO compact water cooling for the CPU with technical tricks

In addition to EK Waterblocks, there is another well-known company in Sweden that can count AiO water cooling systems among its portfolio: Fractal Design. And since 2020 seems to be the year of the AiO new editions in addition to the year of the catastrophes, a revised version of the in-house Celsius S water cooling system from 2017 is now being brought onto the market alongside Cooler Master and Corsair. There is no spillage in the selection, a proud 6 variations with 240 mm, 280 mm or 360 mm radiators as well as black or aRGB fans are sent into the race. Whether the new Celsius+ S36 Prisma can prove its worth you will find out in the following review.


Packaging / Scope of delivery

The colorful aRGB variant also comes in a rather plain cardboard box typical of Fractal Design. The fans and the pump block, which are kept in colour, form a strong accent to the otherwise black and white surfaces and the lettering. On the side are the exact dimensions of the radiator and base compatibility, the back describes the most important features in 5 short texts.


Even at the risk of slowly resembling a hanging turntable in this part of the review, the usual remains to be reported: A cardboard tray safely encloses the water cooling system for transport and apart from the fans, everything is individually packed in plastic bags. The 32-page, multilingual manual contains well illustrated installation instructions as well as the full data sheet, tips on airflow in the housing, cleaning of the radiator, fan curve of the automatic profile and easy troubleshooting. Full points for the really comprehensive offline documentation!

Unpacked and unbagged, the S36 prism is definitely worth seeing, even without illumination. The fans have rubber vibration dampers and sleeved cables for PWM and aRGB.

A striking feature is the hub directly on the radiator, which is already known from the old series. It still runs the cables hidden under the sleeves of the tubes, but now also has 5V aRGB.

The other accessories are manageable: Besides an AMD bracket, backplate for Intel boards and the usual screws and nuts, a cable for connecting the pump block with a 3 pin 5V aRGB connector is included. The two small plastic parts in the middle of the picture are cable holders, which can be attached to the side of the radiator with the self-adhesive backside to lay fan cables out of sight. The heat-conducting paste is pre-applied, but another tube is missing here as well. Where the trend comes from to suddenly not include a WLP with AiO’s in the upper price range is a mystery to me.

Assembly / Installation

Fractal also relies on the excellent system with eyelets when attaching the pump block for the AM4 socket, similar to the new Cooler Master AiOs or most recently Corsair. You can simplify it even further here, the block is simply hung on one side, placed on the CPU and tightened with an eyelet and hand screws. The whole thing resembles a bit the assembly of Wraith Prism coolers, there is probably no faster and simpler way. The radiator has no secrets. One side of the fins had a few wounds here and there, but the other side is practically flawless.



For this purpose I use a document from Fractal with the comparison of Celsius+ vs. Celsius, further information can be found as usual on the Fractal product page.

Vergleich Celsius+ vs Celsius


In addition to the hub on the radiator, the AiO can also feature hoses that can be rotated on the radiator. These hoses prevent the sleeves (see Alseye AiO) from “crimping” regardless of how they are installed and are probably also intended to protect the cables inside. The glass cover of the pump block can be turned to switch between two different modes: Auto and PWM.  Fractal Design clearly focuses on quiet operation, which is also reflected in the rather reserved PWM values for the automatic mode:

Celsius+ Auto-Lüfterkurve


For the very data-hungry there is also the manual as a service before we start with the actual test:



Fractal Design Celsius+ S36 Prisma (FD-W-2-S3602)

MindfactoryZentrallager: verfügbar, Lieferung 3-5 WerktageFiliale Wilhelmshaven: nicht lagerndStand: 21.04.24 16:49137,28 €*Stand: 21.04.24 16:50
CSV-Direct.deWare lagernd - versandfertig - Lieferzeit 1-3 Werktage137,29 €*Stand: 21.04.24 16:35
baraxAb Lager lieferbar - Lieferzeit 2-4 Werktage140,69 €*Stand: 21.04.24 10:24
*Alle Preise inkl. gesetzl. MwSt zzgl. Versandkosten und ggf. Nachnahmegebühren, wenn nicht anders beschriebenmit freundlicher Unterstützung von