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Snowy - A Fractal Design Define Nano S

by kkimic



Date Published

Jan. 11, 2017

Date Built

Jan. 11, 2017

CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

63.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate


GPU Temperature While Idle

43.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

70.0° C


This is an upgrade of my previous build (Quiet Raven) into a new case for the following reasons:

  • I recently moved apartments and a white case matched better the new furniture of the office
  • I watched few videos featuring the Fractal Design Define Nano S Mini ITX and I liked the case very much
  • The Raven case was a little hot whilst gaming due to it having no fans
  • I fancied building something but didn't feel the need for an upgrade

Overall I like that by using a SFX PSU the 980Ti has room to breathe. Before I was not able to touch the Raven case whilst or after gaming, plus the GPU will reach 83ish degrees with ease, and I am guessing the side of the case housing the GPU similar temperature. Not I am able to play with GPU temperatures of around 70, which is a massive improvement. The system is also much quieter during load.

During normal usage, to be honest the Raven case was silent with just the CPU fan (which in my case was a quiet Shuriken) and the PSU fan which will only spin sometimes (and I was not able to hear any noise!).

Few comments about the components:

CPU From previous build. Nothing that has not been said before, the 6700K is a solid CPU. I do not overclock as I just want a quiet system, but when I bought it I knew nothing about computers so I just followed another build from this website and a video featured in YouTube!

CPU Cooler New. This has to be install in any mini ITX build the last, or just before the GPU. Very easy to install once you aligned to holes with the two screws!!! The H5 Universal is perfect for this case as it maximises the height usage (160mm) and it just clears the ram. The fan seems very quiet normally just spinning at 760 rpm. Perfect buy!

Motherboard From previous build. Seems to be performing well. As I said before I do not overclock and I bought this motherboard following another build, could have purchased a more economic one at the time.

Ram From previous build. Purchased one which at the time seemed to have good reviews. It runs at 3000 with XMP on without issues.

M.2 Drive This motherboards does not fit a 2280 so I bought this during a trip to Singapore for what I thought was a good price. OS installed in this drive and from startup to windows screen does not take more than 3 seconds, so OK for me although I was not aware of this brand when I purchased it. I hope it last!

Note 1: With this case the drive has no space and is very tight pressing the plate - see in picture. No problem before with Raven case, the drive was fully accessible due to the larger cut-out.

Note 2: This was a component of my previous build which used to get very hot whilst gaming. Now it seems to hoover around 40°C whilst before around 60°C.

Samsung 850 EVO From previous build. Seemed to have good reviews so I bought it to install the OS before I purchased the M.2 Drive.

2.5" HDD Reused from a laptop I had which I replaced the HDD for a SDD. As it was of no use and I could not fit a 3.5" HDD into my previous build without modifications I decided to put it to good use. It seems to be working fine and I use it to store data and movies.

MSI GTC 980 Ti Gaming From previous build. Works ok for the games I play, at 1080p / 60Hz. I am not planning to upgrade in the next 12 months as I am happy with it for now.

Silverstone 600W SFX PSU From previous build. Put to good use in this build as I did not want to suffocate the GPU with a full size ATX PSU. I read some reviews of fan noise but to be honest I have not had any problems since March and I cannot hear a thing, no matter under load / no load (under load all I can hear is the GPU!)

Case Fans Two came with the case and I purchased another to fit at the front. It does not seem to make any different to temperature or noise, so I could done without this additional fan. Purchased a fan hub from AliExpress (I know!) for next to nothing, I hope it does not short-circuit anything.

Case Very good quality case, heavy, though panels, and I loved the noise insulation. It is very quiet which is what I was aiming for. A bit big for a mini ITX case but I do not mind as I have the space and it looks good.

Easy to build but to be honest I found it easier to build in the Silverstone Raven as I did not have to use any cable extensions and everything seemed to fit in place in that case which no option for coming up with new ways of routing the cables. In this Fractal Design Case you do have to think once or twice about cable management or the panel won't close! Also I am inexperienced so I found it a bit tricky.

I bought the case with no tempered glass as I just wanted a quiet system and the case is on the floor where you can't see anyway.

Cables I got the extensions on a bank holidays hence the colour not matching the rest of the build, this is all I could get that day and I did not want to wait to finish the build. In any case both panels are solid so you can't see what is inside.

English is not my first language so forgive me if the grammar is not good or the description is a bit long winded.

Comments Sorted by:

TheGreenfatman 2 Builds 2 points 9 months ago

When did FD started selling the Nano in white?

kkimic submitter 2 Builds 2 points 9 months ago

Sorry I forgot to say I am based in Asia, Fractal has many distributors here and I saw this case in many shops, in white.

TheGreenfatman 2 Builds 1 point 9 months ago

I would so be all over this case if they sold it in white here.

fletcherhub3 1 Build 2 points 9 months ago

I have a very similar build, I love the white case! I ended up going with the H7 and the Phanteks EVOLV ITX for a case. I actually have the same PSU and motherboard, no problems on either! +1

kkimic submitter 2 Builds 2 points 9 months ago

To be honest the Evolv ITX was my first choice but I could not find any distributors in Asia where I am based, and walking through the IT Mall I saw this white case and liked the looks of it. Myabe the Evolv for the next build!

SwiftSeb 3 Builds 2 points 9 months ago

I like your decision to opt for sfx psu, therefore alowing the gpu to have some breathing space! +1

kkimic submitter 2 Builds 0 points 9 months ago

Yes thanks, I did look at many builds here and that gap between the PSU and GPU was minimal. I was testing the system yesterday and the GPU got up to 73°C, which is a massive improvement over my previous setup.

Ryanboss52 2 points 9 months ago

How do you like the 980, i was thinking about buying one and putting it in my wife's computer, but I put a asus 960, is the 980 ti worth it?

fletcherhub3 1 Build 2 points 9 months ago

Depends on the monitor, I would go for at least a 1080p 144hz monitor or 1440p 60hz monitor if you're looking to get a 980 ti or 1070. If you can find a 980 ti or 1070 for less than $400 then I would go for it if you really want to. Otherwise I'd keep the 960.

kkimic submitter 2 Builds 1 point 9 months ago

I think now it is discontinued, better to buy a 1070 or the 980Ti if you can purchase one at a good price. I have been looking at the second hand market here in Asia and I could but this exact card for about 300 USD, which I think it is a good buy.

I have decided not to upgrade to the newer 1080 card since I will be loosing 300 USD and at the moment I wouldn't see the benefits unless I were to change the monitor / play at higher resolution than 1080p.

seb4s7ian 2 points 9 months ago

I recommend upgrading to 144hz due to the power of that card. Other than that congrats on the move A and nice build, +1

jaka2015 2 Builds 2 points 9 months ago

Dude that is incredible. Godd*mn I have a Define S and I wish to god it came in white that is so so sexy. I love it, that is a build worthy of the gods and wayyyy better than mine (although you can check it out if you want under my profile).