Watch us build bigger in the new North XL PC case

fractal design north XL pc caseImage: Foundry

The Fractal Design North might just be the most desirable PC case around, at least if you’re not enamored with a Vegas Strip’s worth of RGB lighting. The understated geometry and gorgeous wood accent makes it a popular choice for anyone who wants their setup to look a little more grown-up. The company just released an XL version, and we’re playing with it in the latest PCWorld YouTube video.

Unsurprisingly, the North XL is a super-sized version of the North, its extra space in all dimensions allowing for even more cooling configurations and extra-long graphics cards at up to 413mm. That gives it room for E-ATX motherboards and super-deluxe cooling setups, including 420mm-long radiators in the front or 360mm radiators on top. You can even have massive 180mm fans up there, as seen on the Torrent, if you like. Air CPU coolers get up to 185mm of clearance.

You also get an extra 140mm fan in the box, three versus just two in the standard North case. Otherwise the defining features, like the removable wood front panel, pull-tab top, and the top-mounted I/O ports and brushed metal power button remain the same. It comes in the same color options as the North, both black and white with either a mesh side panel or tempered glass.

In terms of actual building, the extra grommets on top of the motherboard are a great way to use the extra space, making connections to tricky parts like the CPU power supply rail and fan headers much easier. The side grommets now come in two rows, though an E-ATX motherboard will cover up half of them. The rear panel now has two separate cable channels and the extra space does give you a little more room behind the back panel for cable routing.

Willis Lai/Foundry

That extra GPU room is probably going to be the biggest selling point for discerning gamers, An RTX 4090 fits no problem, something you couldn’t say for the standard North. Like the original, the XL needs a sold-separately adapter kit if you want to mount your GPU vertically, which includes the necessary replacement bracket and a PCIe 4.0 riser cable.

The Fractal Design North XL will cost $180 for either mesh or tempered glass editions, a $40 premium over the North. For more looks at the latest and greatest in PC hardware, be sure to subscribe to PCWorld on YouTube.

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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