Fractal North XL PC Case Review

Thermal Performance

Cooling Performance

Thermal performance is an essential factor for any PC case. Your system may look great from the outside, but all of that is for nought if your PC has the internal temperature of an oven. Your PC case needs enough airflow for your components to remain cool under load and to prevent any form of thermal throttling. For our test, we used the following hardware using fixed fan speeds (so that only the case and its included fans can influence thermal performance).

be quiet! Dark Base 701
Intel i9-9700K @4.8GHz at 1.2V
ASUS ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming @ 100% Current Capacity/ LL lvl16
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition @ 9V via Fan Speed Reducer
Nvidia GTX 980 Reference @ 60% Fixed Fan Speed
Corsair LP Vengeance LP (Grey) @ 3200MHz
Corsair MP500 M.2 NVMe SSD
Corsair RM550X Power Supply

The graph below showcases Delta temperatures with a controlled ambient temperature of 20 degrees Celsius.

600 RPM

At 600 RPM, Fractal’s new North XL case gives us some of the best CPU thermal results that we have ever seen. Sadly, the same does not hold true for GPU thermals. Thankfully, this changes at higher fan RPMs. Even so, our GPU thermals are middle of the road at 600 RPM, which isn’t exactly a bad result.

Our 600 RPM fan tests are designed to help us see which cases benefit most from higher fan speeds. A strong result in this test is a great thing for any PC case, especially for buyers who value low noise levels.

1,000 RPM

After setting our fans to 1,000 RPM, we see that the Fractal North continues to deliver strong CPU cooling results. The higher fan speeds here also give us much better GPU cooling results. This makes the North XL one of the better cases that we have tested. These are very competitive results, and shows that the North XL has the cooling chops required for high-end gaming or workstation systems.


The fans on the Fractal North max out at 1750 RPM, and at this speed this case’s fans remain fairly quiet. At these fan speeds the North XL continues to deliver strong cooling results.

Mark Campbell

Mark Campbell

A Northern Irish father, husband, and techie that works to turn tea and coffee into articles when he isn’t painting his extensive minis collection or using things to make other things.

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