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Fractal just made the classiest mini PC case I’ve seen

With its tiny footprint and elegant, fabric-covered shell, the Fractal Mood is a stunner, and it uses just one 180mm fan to keep cool.

Fractal Design has been hitting it out of the park with its PC case designs recently, with its wooden-accented North, Terra, and Era all wowing us with their classy looks. Now Fractal has seemingly done it again with the launch of the new Fractal Mood, which swaps wooden accents for a gentle fabric-covered exterior that looks quite simply stunning.

This tiny mini-ITX Fractal case has a footprint of just 212 x 212mm, making it among the smallest contenders for a spot on our best PC case guide, at least in terms of the desk space it takes up. The case rises to 453mm tall, making it reminiscent of the Corsair One series of PCs and, of course, the cylindrical Mac Pro, as well as several other small and tall-style cases. However, the Mood has to be among the classiest-looking yet of this type.

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The fabric and overall coloring of the outer metal parts of the case are available in either a light or dark gray, making it suitable for a range of styles. However, if you’re after a window to view your components or RGB to sync up with your mouse pad and microphone, this won’t be the case for you.

Instead, the fabric here wraps all the way around the front and sides of the case, leaving only the back uncovered. Here, instead, there’s an evenly round, hole-filled metal plate that provides direct ventilation for your vertically-mounted graphics card.

The fabric also provides some ventilation, and natural dust filtration along with it, but the whole fabric-covered section doesn’t act as an air intake. The sides are in fact blanked off, so it’s only the front fabric section that provides ventilation.

Providing the push and pull for that air circulation is one massive 180mm fan that sits on the top of the case – again similar to the Corsair One and Mac Pro. This fan pushes air out the top of the case and relies on those side grilles to then provide the intake for the airflow.

Slide off the entire outer casing and inside there’s room for a mini-ITX motherboard with 114mm of CPU cooler height clearance, which does leave room for some low-profile air coolers, but means an AIO cooler would be a sensible option. To that end, there’s room for up to a 280mm radiator which sits at the front of the case, behind the front ventilation grille.

The motherboard is vertically oriented, so you actually lose any direct access to its in-built IO ports. Instead, cables plug in underneath the case, while the case’s front panel has three USB ports and a headphone jack, along with the power button.

A small form factor SFX power supply is required, but only graphics cards up to 325mm in length can be housed. That means delights such as the cutest graphics card ever can easily fit inside the case, as well as much larger cards, along with any that conform to Nvidia’s new SFF-Ready certification. These use a PCIe 4.0 riser cable to allow the card to sit at the rear of the case.

There’s also room to mount two 2.5-inch SSDs or hard drives, but we recommend getting a mini-ITX motherboard with at least two M.2 SSD connectors to get access to large and fast SSDs, while also minimizing cable clutter.

The Fractal Mood release date is set for June 28, 2024 and its price is $149. That’s a premium price, particularly for such a small case, but it looks reasonable for what’s on offer.

While we wait to get our hands on the Fractal Mood, you can check out our Fractal Torrent review to see how the company’s more traditional case designs hold up.