Fractal Design has today announced and released the Era ITX chassis following a collaboration with Intel.
The Era ITX immediately strikes us a change of direction for Fractal. The company is no stranger to understated design, but the Era ITX just has a very grown up and modern aesthetic. It also comes in five different colour choices, and the one you choose dictates what top panel you get. The carbon, cobalt, and gold variants came with tinted temper glass while the silver and titanium grey options have wooden rooftops, specifically white oak and walnut respectively. With an all-aluminium exterior elsewhere, subtle and smooth angles, and some rounded corners, the case oozes class.
‘We were very excited about partnering with Intel in developing this case; it inspired us to take on a project that challenges the convention that elegant design can’t be combined with flexible functionality, and we’re very happy with the result,’ says Fractal Design founder Hannes Wallin.
What flexibility? Well, users can pick between ATX, SFX, and SFX-L PSUs, and the one you pick will determine how many SSDs and HDDs you can use. It’ll be two SSDs (or one HDD) with an ATX PSU installed or four SSDs (or two HDDs, or a combination) if you have an SFX one. PSUs are installed vertically at the front of the chassis, and the mounting bracket’s height can be adjusted to suit the other hardware inside.
That other hardware can include CPU coolers up to 120mm, though side-mounted HDDs will lower this to a recommended 70mm max. The case can also accommodate dual-slot GPUs up to 295mm in length, but if you lower the SFX or ATX PSU mount far enough this will be restricted to 210mm or 190mm respectively.
One reason you’d want to lower the PSU would be to install a 240mm all-in-one liquid-cooler in the roof exhaust position, or even dual 120mm AIOs if you really wanted. The case includes its own 80mm Silent Series R3 fan, and as well as dual 120mm roof fan mounts there is a pair of 140mm bottom fan mounts, though they won’t be accessible with a dual-slot GPU in place. Ventilation appears on the bottom, side, and roof, and there are nylon filters in these positions to prevent dust from entering.
The case measures 166 x 325 x 310 mm (W x D x H) and has an internal volume no more than 16 litres. The magnetic top and latch-released side panels make for tool-free access, and the glass or wooden top can be swapped to a steel-based mesh one to boost airflow.
The understated front panel is populated only by the power button, a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, and a combined headphone/microphone 3.5mm jack.
Pre-order listings on retailer websites suggest an MSRP of around £145. More information is available on the official website.
April 16 2021 | 18:20