Just a few days after the Torrent case, Fractal Design presents us with another novelty with the Lumen water cooling. This is an AiO series available with radiators in sizes of 240, 280 and 360 mm. All versions come with an optional illuminated pump cover, and the customer can choose between plain black Aspect fans and the ARGB version of the Aspect fans. In terms of price, the AiOs start at 99.99 € for the Lumen S24, the next larger model follows with a surcharge of 10 € in each case. For RGB, another €10 surcharge is due, so the Lumen S36 RGB is the most expensive model at €129.99.
We took a closer look at the Lumen S28 in the RGB version. In the following test, we clarify whether the Lumen is convincing in terms of cooling performance and volume.
|Model||Fractal Design Lumen S28 RGB|
|Dimensions Radiator ( H x W x D)||312 x 140 x 27 mm (without fan)
312 x 140 x 52 mm (with fans)
|Compatible sockets||Intel LGA 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1200, 1366, 2011, 2011-3, 2066
AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, AM4, FM1, FM2, FM2+
|Hose length||400 mm|
|Special features||ARGB fan, illuminated pump cover (rotatable)|
Scope of delivery
The Lumen S28 RGB comes in a compact black cardboard box, on which the AiO including RGB lighting is shown. On the back and bottom you can also see some technical details, features and the supported motherboard manufacturers regarding the RGB lighting.
After opening the box, you see the blue manual, which is typical for Fractal Design. This is very detailed and more than adequately illustrated. Underneath the manual, the radiator including radiator block and pump, a connection cable for the RGB lighting as well as the ARGB fans and several bags with mounting materials are well and safely stowed. The thermal paste is already applied to the heatsink and protected by a cover. Additional thermal paste for later rebuilds is not included.
Design and workmanship
Fractal relies on a matte black finish throughout for the radiator and radiator block. This gives the AiO a very classy look and makes it one of the sleeker representatives, especially when unlit.
The cooler block is very compact, round and with a height of 43 mm also very flat. The bracket and the pump lid are black, only a small Fractal logo on the lid stands out. The lid can also be removed and rotated in 90° increments to ensure the logo is always perfectly aligned. The ports can also be rotated for an optimal alignment of the hoses. The latter are made of rubber, sheathed in glossy black nylon, and are sufficiently long at 40 cm. The base plate of the Lumen is made of copper.
The radiator is matte black, except for glossy black Fractal logos on both sides. A unique feature of the Lumen is the feed-through cable of the pump. Fractal places this from the radiator block to the radiator so that it can be connected along with the fan cables and hidden better.
The fans are Fractal’s Aspect 14 RGB PWM. These have a black frame, and the fan blades are white. There are no anti-vibration pads on the corners. The controllable LEDs are placed around the scar and can display various color gradients and effects. The fan cables are flat, and the power connectors can be plugged together for better cable management.
The ARGB lighting of the Lumen can be configured within your motherboard software, all major manufacturers are supported. Due to the variety of colors and effects, there are almost no limits to your creativity. The illumination is well visible through the black but translucent pump cover and also on the fans, there is nothing to complain about the display of colors, gradients and effects.
Material quality and workmanship of the Lumen can convince all around. Sharp edges or minor flaws do not exist, and the casing of the hoses also leaves a very good and high-quality impression. Only the fans look a bit cheap due to the chosen plastic as well as the missing rubber coating.
The scope of delivery includes mounting material for all currently common CPU sockets, regardless of whether AMD or Intel. The instructions are very detailed and easy to understand, the assembly turns out to be very simple and straightforward.
In the first step, we attach the fans to the radiator and then to the case. We decide to install them in the front. Since we are testing the AiO in the new Fractal Design Torrent, there are still two plates between the radiator and the fan in our case. The length of the hoses is 40 cm, which is long enough for most cases.
In the next step, we now attach the backplate using the included screws and rubber rings. The latter also prevent slipping during installation. In the last step, we put the cooler block on top and then screw it tight. Fractal gives you the freedom to choose on which side of the cooler block you want to have the connections. If you decide to have the ports on a different side instead of the right, you can remove the pump cover and screw it back in place.
The installation is done within a few minutes, and finally we connect the cables. The cable included in the delivery comes between the cooler block, the connection is there on the side, and the ARGB header of the motherboard. In addition, the three power cables and the two ARGB cables of the fans and the pump, which is also located on the radiator, as already mentioned, must be connected to the motherboard.
Cooling performance and volume
For the comparison of cooling performance and volume, we tested the ASUS ROG Strix LC II 280 ARGB again, but now in the Fractal Design Torrent. The rest of the system as well as the settings are the same.
For a better and easier comparison, at different room temperatures, we give the difference between CPU and room temperature, i.e. the heating of the CPU compared to the environment. The real CPU temperature is thus the sum of the room temperature and the difference given here.
We use Prime95 for maximum CPU utilization. We record the temperatures over a period of 30 minutes and consider the maximum values. To avoid readout errors, we also look at the exact course.
Our test system:
- ASUS ROG Strix B560-F Gaming WiFi Motherboard
- Intel Core i5-11400F processor
- 32GB G. Skill RipJaws V 3200 RAM
- MSI Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming X 8G Graphics Card
- TeamGroup T-Force Cardea IOPS 1TB SSD
- Crucial P5 2TB SSD
- Samsung 860 QVO 1TB SSD
- Seasonic Focus GX-550 Power Supply
- Fractal Design Torrent Black RGB
The pump of the Lumen-AiO cannot be regulated and thus runs at a preset speed of 4000 ± 10% rpm. For the fans, on the other hand, we test two different settings, once with 50% and once with 100% of the speed.
|Cooler||Settings||Difference CPU to room temperature|
|ASUS ROG Strix LC II 280 ARGB||
|Fractal Design Lumen S28 RGB||
The Lumen S28 offers high cooling performance, coming within 2°C of the much more expensive ASUS ROG Strix LC II 280 ARGB in both tests. The fans are clearly audible from the airy and only slightly noise-insulating torrent case, but they are also not particularly loud. At maximum speed, the noise increases significantly. The pump of the Lumen makes itself felt in the test with a loud whirring. In a case optimized for low noise, the background noise can be reduced considerably, but the Lumen S28 is probably not suitable for extremely noise-sensitive users due to the pump.
Fractal’s Lumen-AiO doesn’t reach new best values in cooling performance, but it can convince. There is still potential for optimization in terms of noise, especially with regard to the pump.
The Lumen S28 RGB scores points in the test with good workmanship and a classy matte black design. The RGB lighting also appeals to us. The cooling performance of the AiO is on a good level, only the noise, especially that of the pump, offers greater cause for criticism. For the future and a possible successor of the Lumen AiOs, we would wish for an adjustable pump. The adjustable range often doesn’t even have to be particularly large; even small adjustments usually contribute to a significant reduction in volume.
A big plus point of the Lumen is the aggressive price. With an MSRP of €119.99, the Lumen S28 RGB is one of the most affordable AiOs with a 280mm radiator on the market and also comes with a 5-year warranty. If you further limit the available selection to AiOs with RGB, it is even better priced and further away from the majority of the competition.
We recommend the Fractal Design Lumen primarily to those who place a high value on value for money and can accept small sacrifices in volume.