One of Fractal’s newest Lumen AIO liquid coolers aims to give you top-notch cooling performance and outstanding ARGB lights. And today, we’re focusing on that specific product in our Fractal Design Lumen S36 RGB AIO Cooler review.
The Lumen S36 allows you to customise your CPU water-cooling, turning it from subtle to stunning. It’s also compatible with most of the popular AMD and Intel sockets, plus it’s RGB-certified by the industry’s standards.
The product comes in different variants, mainly 240, 280, and 360mm versions. But in our Fractal Design Lumen S36 RGB AIO Cooler review, we’ll focus on the flagship S36 version.
For its packaging, the company opted for a black theme to better showcase the illuminated cooler. This is displayed in front of the box along with Fractal’s branding, the unit’s name, and its main key features. You’ll also find a list of supported systems in this section.
On the side, you’ll find some details about the product, and the company, plus a diagram of the Lumen S36. This diagram showcases the size of the cooler in millimetres. There are also a couple of barcodes on this section of the package.
Flipping the box, the base displays other additional features of the Lumen S36. Plus, it shows another illustration of the cooler.
Like other AIO creators, Fractal delivered their Lumen S36 in a thick cardboard container. That means, you won’t have to get anxious or worried about the product getting damaged while in transit.
Inside, we love that the company added compartments to neatly organise and manage the included contents. That means each item will steer clear of each other during delivery. We also love that Fractal keeps everything in plastic, so dust or any random debris will be kept at bay.
Of course, we looked into the package’s contents for our Fractal Design Lumen S36 RGB AIO Cooler review. And inside, you’ll find the CPU cooler, three Aspect 12 RGB fans, a user manual, and an Intel mounting kit. Fractal also included an AMD mounting kit, plus a 5V ARGB cable.
The Lumen S36’s key feature is clearly its lightning design. It also comes with the new Aspect 12 fans that emit an RGB colour spectrum glow. This brings more charm to the cooler’s aesthetics.
Another element adding to the product’s appeal is the water block cover plate which is essentially a full-sized lighting board. And it doesn’t end here since LEDs beneath the plastic cover offer noteworthy levels of RGB lighting.
Let’s continue our Fractal Design Lumen S36 RGB AIO Cooler review by looking into the cooler’s radiator. It’s a conventional 27mm radiator that’s thick and sports an aluminium design. This is quite surprising to us since this is the go-to choice for off-the-shelf AIO liquid coolers under major OEMs.
There’s a total of 20 FPIs or fins-per-inch, plus a gap of 105mm between fan mounting holes on its radiator. The distance between the middle-two mounting holes is 15mm. Then, the distance from the outer mounting hole to the far end is around 20mm.
This radiator is also made out of aluminium which is why it’s more lightweight than others. Do note that this is an APALTEK design, so blocks on the radiator’s ends are rounded edges and not rectangular.
Then from the radiator are the cooler’s 400mm-long liquid tubes. These are made from low-permeability rubber with braided nylon sleeves to offer adequate form and function.
Its interesting design feature is the powered pump’s positioning which is within the radiator fin array. We think this design is intended to avoid infringing the ASETEK patents.
We also like that Fractal makes reasonable efforts to let you hide 4-pin power cables. And, it’s done via the routing slots located on both sidewalls of the radiator.
When it comes to its block, it’s pretty much lightweight. This makes sense since, under it, you’ll only find the cold plate, chambers for coolant flow, plus the top cover. To note, the latter features a total of six ARGB LEDs.
The block’s dimensions are 79 x 67 x 43mm (WxDxH). And also, keep in mind that these measurements are inclusive of the tube fittings.
The top cover of the block doesn’t sport a solid colour and there’s a reason for this difference. It’s because this area is translucent with supported ARGB LEDs on the PCB.
Also, the top cover is detachable and you can place it in 90-degree rotations. This makes the installation of the block irrespective of the present logo.
The house’s primary housing sports a nice matte black colour. The space below the housing and above the base is where the AMD/Intel mounting rings are slid into.
We like that Fractal utilised articulating 90-degree elbow fittings for the block. This helps make the rotation of tubes more convenient since it decreases tension on the pump.
The block also features a 3-pin header on the sides of the primary housing. Specifically, this is where the 3-pin ARGB cable is connected for powering the ARGB LED lights.
Aspect 12 Fans
Fractal equipped the Lumen S36 with three of their Aspect 12 RGB PWM fans. These 120mm fans are optimised for maximised cooling performance out of the box with their high airflow and static pressure.
Each fan has semi-opaque white seven blades and is equipped with rifle-bearing blowers. With six hub-mounted RGB LEDs, you can personalise the colours via ARGB lighting.
The fans’ 4-pin PWM cable allows for speed control ranging from 500 to 2,000 RPM. On the low-speed side of fans, this RPM range is quite strong.
Fractal also included a daisy-chain approach to connect the 4-pin PWM cable and 3-pin ARGB of each fan for synchronisation.
Key Features of the Fractal Design Lumen S36 RGB AIO Cooler Review
Nowadays, AIO coolers are common and can be easily found on the market. But what makes this cooler better than the others? Let’s discuss its key features and find out in our Fractal Design Lumen S36 RGB AIO Cooler review.
Install the Lumen S36 with ease with the articulating elbow fittings that allow easier tube routing. These fittings also lessen the tension on the cold plate housing. Aside from that, the cooler has pre-applied thermal paste, so you won’t have to worry about applying this.
The removable top can be adjusted at 90-degree intervals to keep the logo horizontal regardless of your mounting orientation.
Sleek and Stunning Design of the Fractal Design Lumen S36 RGB AIO Cooler
The Lumen S36’s duality design offers a stealthy and illuminated look to enhance your overall setup.
Fractal’s Aspect fans work efficiently in keeping your CPU’s temperatures low. These also offer low turbulence and chaining support.
The Lumen S36 has six ARGB LEDs that you can control via controller or motherboard. This AIO cooler also has numerous certifications ASRock Polychrome, ASUS AURA, Gigabyte Fusion, Razer Chroma, and MSI Mystic Light.
Intel and AMD Support
The Lumen S36 comes with brackets to support the most common Intel and AMD sockets. With that, you can install this cooler whether you’re building an Intel or an AMD system.
Durable Tubing of the Fractal Design Lumen S36 RGB AIO Cooler
The low-permeability rubber tubes have braided nylon sleeves to keep these strong and durable.
This is part of our Fractal Design Lumen S36 RGB AIO Cooler review that focuses on the product’s specifications.
It supports both Intel and AMD sockets. Specifically, it works with LGA 1150|1155|1151|1156|1200, and LGA 1366|2011-3|2011|2066. For AMD, it supports AM4|FM2|FM2+|FM1|AM3|AM3+|AM2+|AM2.
The cooler sports a copper cold plate material while its 400mm tube is made from low-permeability rubber. It has a braided nylon sleeve too which makes it even more durable.
The block side articulates 90-degree elbow fittings while those on the radiator side have barbed fittings.
For the block’s dimensions, it measures 43mm high and 70 x 67mm with fittings. Then its diameter (main block body) is 67mm.
Fan Specs of the Fractal Design Lumen S36 Lumen RGB AIO Cooler
The cooler uses the Aspect 12 RGB PWM fan which has a rotational speed of 500 to 2,000 RPM. It has rifle fan bearings, maximum airflow of 13 to 56 CFM, and acoustical noise of <10–33.2 dBA.
Its total static pressure is 0.230-2.34mm H20. The Lumen S36 also has a 12V fan input voltage and 0.37A for its max input current. Additionally, the fans’ MTTF is 90,000 hours.
The Lumen S36’s pump has a rotational speed of 4,000 ± 10% RPM. And, its acoustical noise is 22 dBA at full speed. The cooler sports a ceramic bearing as well.
When we speak of its maximum pressure, the cooler reaches 1.8mm H20/17.6 kPa/2.5 PSI. Its input voltage is 12V DC while the input current without the fans is 0.34A. Then lastly, MTTF is 50,000 hours.
The Lumen S36’s radiator measures 392 x 120 x 27mm and has an aluminium-made housing and fin.
Lastly, Fractal included a 5-year warranty for the product.
Hands-on with the Fractal Design Lumen S36 RGB AIO Cooler
Before testing the cooler for our Fractal Design Lumen S36 RGB AIO Cooler review, we had to install it first. The process was quick and straightforward which we expected from a high-quality AIO cooler. We simply secured the block in place before installing the radiator and fans into the PC case.
For this model, the default backplate and retention brackets are for AMD sockets. If we were using an Intel processor, we’d simply replace this with the included Intel bracket in the package.
Performance of the Fractal Design Lumen S36 RGB AIO Cooler
When we tested the Lumen S36, its cooling performance was superb and just as expected at stock levels. Results for idle temperature that we got was around 31-degrees Celsius, then under heavy CPU loads, the temperature reached 52-degrees Celsius.
While observing the system during slight overclocking to 5GHz, we noticed hotter temperatures here. Under full CPU loads, we saw temperatures of 60-degrees Celsius. Then with full FPU loads, we saw temperatures around 82-degrees Celsius.
Thermal throttling usually starts around a hundred degrees, so we were getting a bit worried here. But luckily, the temperature never went over 82-degrees, and that was a relief.
During stock tests with the PWM control of the fans, we heard around 33dB at 1,032 RPM from them. This is actually fine for most users unless they need almost dead silence. To add to this, the fans idled at around 800 RPM with 28dB of noise sent to the surrounding area.
When we overclocked our processor, the fans’ operated at 800 RPM during idle mode. Once it was under full load, they topped out at 1,220 RPM and its noise levels were at 38dB. This was slightly audible when close to the PC, but the chassis was able to conceal most of it.
Lumen is Fractal’s new series of AIO coolers that use APALTEK as its OEM. These coolers come in two categories: RGB and non-RGB. With this series, Fractal offers high-performance cooling and complementary ARGB lighting for a great price.
Like the other Lumen AIO coolers we’ve reviewed, the Lumen S36 is just as impressive. Thanks to its unique features, working with it was easier and faster. And once it was installed, we really liked its appearance and vibrant RGB lighting.
Another thing we liked is the ARGB lights of the Aspect fans since it allowed us to customise these. The best thing about the cooler’s RGB is its compatibility with multiple sync software. Thanks to that, we didn’t have to download other programs for this.
Most importantly, this AIO cooler performed excellently during our tests for our Fractal Design Lumen S36 RGB AIO Cooler review. Even with the heaviest loads, we didn’t see any throttling since its cooling was effective. Plus, it kept our CPU’s temperatures low without emitting too much noise.
The pump was quiet even when the fan was running at full speed. The fans, on the other hand, emitted a little noise but it wasn’t loud enough for us to complain.
Overall, the Lumen S36 is another amazing AIO cooler from Fractal and we highly recommend this product. Its price is just right for today’s market especially if you’re looking for aesthetics, effective cooling, and silent operation. You’ll get all of these in a single package, so it’s definitely worth the purchase.
To learn more about the Lumen S36 RGB AIO Cooler, visit Fractal’s official product page for more details.