For thermal and acoustic testing, other than fan speeds, we’re running the hardware we have entirely at stock settings to mimic the results you can achieve as closely as possible.
Acoustically, the Louqe Raw S1 performs just as you’d expect: raw. It’s an open mesh chassis, and acoustic performance will depend entirely on the silence of the components you select.
For the optimized idle, generally we run the GPU fan speed at 40 percent (the 2070 Super FE GPU does not have a Zero-RPM mode), and run the CPU and included case fans at the lowest speed they will spin at. But because our GPU doesn’t have a Zero-RPM mode, I’m also including a measurement without the GPU to simulate noise levels on GPUs with a fan-stop mode. In this mode, the system is inaudible, practically matching the noise floor of the room. With the GPU running at idle, the measurement gets significantly louder, so do yourself a favor and find a GPU that has a zero-RPM mode if you value silence at idle.
For a realistic load noise level, I set the CPU fan speed to maximum and the case fan to 1250 RPM, with no GPU running. This produced a pleasant noise level. Adding the Founder’s Edition RTX 2070 GPU to the mix at 75% fan speed made the system annoyingly loud, so if you can, also try to find a quieter GPU to work with. Given that the FE 2070 Super is one of the loudest stock cards in years, that shouldn’t be hard.
Although the difference between having the shell on and off isn’t huge in the numbers, but the shell does take some of the harshness out of the sound profile and creates a much more plasant, contained sound signature, especially with the Noctua spinners.
For the thermal tests, all case and CPU fan speeds are set to 100 percent, and the GPU fan is set to run at 75 percent fan speed.
Thermally, the Raw S1 puts on an impressive show. Of course, removing the outer shell from the chassis nets a significant performance advantage, but the results with the shell on are still very impressive. These figures were what we recorded normalized to a 20 degreees Celsius room, and while I wouldn’t go hard on the overclocks in a system like this, there is plenty of headroom to create quiet fan profiles for silent operation.
A Note About Dust Accumulation
In the optimized idle profile, the Noctua CPU cooler and NF-A12x25 case fan were able to run at just 250 RPM, which is pleasantly slow and quiet. Pair that with the SF750 power supply that has a fan-stop mode during low loads, and a GPU with a Zero-RPM fan mode, you should be able to keep dust levels reasonably well under control, provided you don’t spend hours each day gaming.
What sets the Louqe Raw S1 apart from the crowded world of PC cases is that it isn’t afraid to go in a totally different direction and limit your options. There is no tempered glass, no watercooling support, no RGB, nothing that falls into the typical trends of today’s day PC case design. And that, I applaud. It takes courage as designers to swim against the current and try something like this.
And when all said and done, the Louqe Raw S1 is hands-down the nicest ITX chassis I’ve ever had the honor of working with. From its stunning, elegant single-piece external shell to the simplicity with which a system inside it pieces together, the Raw S1 is a chassis that I’m going to remember.
Is it perfect? From one point of view, no. It doesn’t have air filtration. There’s no real front IO, and no room for expansion. But none of that is what the Louqe Raw S1 is about. Extra fans, filtration, and expansion space would make the chassis bigger and more complex, entirely defeating the point.
Because of this, I would actually say the Raw S1 is perfect – because it does a 100% job at achieving what the designers set out to achieve: a simple, easy-to-work-on minimalist system that looks the part and cools well.
In my book, this case is a massive success. It’s expensive, priced at $329, but keep in mind that this is a chassis that’s designed and built entirely in Sweden because the creators wanted to be able to keep a very close eye on the production process to ensure maximum quality – and it shows.
That, plus the money you spend on the case is money you’ll save on cutting the RGB and not caring about what your motherboard or GPU look like – not only do you not see the internals – you simply can’t fit much in here.
The Louqe Raw S1 is more than just a case – it’s a functional work of art that offers just what you need for a clean, high-end ITX build, and not a thing more. Pre-orders are expected to open on Amazon in May, with units shipping in June 2021.