New Fractal Design PC case: It's partly wood

Fractal Design North
(Image credit: Fractal Design)
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Fractal Design has unveiled its latest premium desktop PC case, an ATX mid-tower beauty known simply as the Fractal Design North (opens in new tab). The showbiz feature is the use of real walnut or oak for the front ventilation slats. Brass and steel detailing is also in the mix, along with a modular, easy-access design and plenty of ventilation.

Designed for ATX, mATX and ITX motherboards, the North supports GPUs up to a length of 355mm, or 300mm with a 360mm front radiator. Out of the box, it features two 140mm Aspect PWM fans, three USB ports on top of the front panel including one USB-C port and drive mounts for up to four 2.5-inch drives and two 3.5-inch drive.

The design-savvy Swedes at Fractal say the case is easy access, with quick-release side panels and an integrated tab that allows the top panel to simply pop off. Inside, seven bridgeless expansion slots allow for extensive customization.

Cooling wise, the design includes an open front and integrated mesh top panel. The full mesh version of the case also includes a mesh side panel. A tempered glass side panel is optionally available.

Overall, the form and shape of the Fractal Design North is admittedly quite conventional. It is, ultimately, a rectangular box. Without the wood slats, it would not be hugely remarkable. But they do make for a very attractive design flourish.

At launch, four variants of the case are available. The two colorways are chalk white and charcoal black, with each option available with either a mesh or tempered glass side panel.

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All told, the North weighs in at 7.6kg for the mesh version and 7.7kg for the tempered glass option. It measures 447 x 215 x 469mm including its natty little feet.

As for the sordid matter of money, you're looking at 150 of your Earth dollars, which seems pretty reasonable for what is a very distinctive and likely high quality bit of case engineering. It's also rather refreshing to see a case that majors on aesthetics but manages to do so without an RGB light in sight.

That said, if there is a feature that's slightly disappointing given the price point and overall polish of the design, it's the old school thumb screws used to secure the side panels.

Oh and for a lushly rendered video overview of the new case, head over here (opens in new tab).

Jeremy Laird
Hardware writer

Jeremy has been writing about technology and PCs since the 90nm Netburst era (Google it!) and enjoys nothing more than a serious dissertation on the finer points of monitor input lag and overshoot followed by a forensic examination of advanced lithography. Or maybe he just likes machines that go “ping!” He also has a thing for tennis and cars.