Fractal Torrent Review - The Ultimate Air-Cooled Case
Published: 18th August 2021 | Source: Fractal | Price: |
I'll be honest; we were sceptical of the Fractal Torrent when it arrived. Surely there was a reason why case manufacturers always mount their PSUs at the bottom of their enclosures? Surely the past decade of case design hasn't been bad enough to utilise such an old-school design feature?
Fractal's Torrent is an unorthodox design, but its classic PSU orientation is what the PC market sorely needs, especially as GPUs have seen their TDPs rise with the launch of Ampere GPUs from Nvidia and RDNA 2 cards from AMD. Fractal has seen this trend and has answered with what gamers worldwide have been crying out for; airflow.
With two front-mounted 180mm fans and three bottom-mounted 140mm fans, Fractal's Torrent offers airflow in excess and more than enough space to install even the largest of graphics cards. Should Nvidia and AMD push their GPU power draws even higher with their next-gen setups, Fractal stands ready with a case design that will deliver the airflow needed to push clock speeds high while maintaining relatively low thermals.
In our thermal testing, Fractal's Torrent delivered the best results that we have seen from a modern PC enclosure. The Torrent delivers enough airflow to keep any air-cooled system cool and quiet under load even at low fan RPMs. That's an impressive feat, so much so that we can see a lot of case designs being influenced by the Torrent over the next few years.
When it comes to cable management, the Torrent, like many Fractal cases, ships with a generous number of cable tie mounts and pre-installed velcro mounts for cable management. The enclosure even features some externally mounted velcro ties to help manage the case's PSU cable and your case's externally connected I/O.
With a standard price of £164.99 for this case's White Tempered Glass Non-RGB edition, we honestly can't complain. For a well-designed EATX case with five premium fans, we are honestly impressed that this model doesn't cost £200. With a chassis this large, worldwide shipping can't be cheap, and while many will cry that any case over £150 is too expensive, we'd ask you to buy this case's fan separately and see how much money you have left for a case of this size.
Fractal's choice to ship this enclosure with five fans out of the box is a bold one. It gives customers an enclosure that doesn't need any more chassis fans to remain adequately cooled. Too many cases rely on the installation of additional fans to achieve their potential, and Fractal's decision to release their Torrent with its full potential unlocked is noteworthy. That said, had this case lacked its front or bottom-mounted fans, the Torrent wouldn't have delivered thermals this good.
By delivering low noise levels, tonnes of airflow and some of the best thermals that we have ever seen, Fractal's Torrent is easily the best case that we have looked at this year. For that, The Fractal Torrent deserves our highest award, the OC3D Ultimate Award. This is currently the best airflow case on the market, and for that, it deserves high praise.
You can join the discussion on Fractal's airflow-focused Torrent enclosure on the OC3D Forums.