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Old 20th Jul 2012, 13:50   #1
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Fractal Design Define R4 Review

We get to grips with the latest version of Fractal Design's popular case, the Define R4.

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/201...ne-r4-review/1
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Old 20th Jul 2012, 13:54   #2
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I wish I could buy the removable drive bays for my R3...
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Old 20th Jul 2012, 14:00   #3
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Just swap it for an R4 - the missus will never notice. :P
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Old 20th Jul 2012, 14:11   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreadie
Just swap it for an R4 - the missus will never notice. :P
"Hey, did your case get slightly larger?"

"Noooooo"
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Old 20th Jul 2012, 14:19   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz View Post
"Hey, did your case get slightly larger?"

"Noooooo"
Must. resist. changing. a. word.


Loved the R3, surprised this didn't get premium considering the price. IB chips do need more cooling, or a razor blade, but what great features for 80

Last edited by N17 dizzi; 20th Jul 2012 at 14:25.
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Old 20th Jul 2012, 15:09   #6
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let's see if we can cause the same commotion with the R2 review...


WE DEMAND A FULL LOADED FAN TEST!!!
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Old 20th Jul 2012, 15:16   #7
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Maybe it's just the photos, but it kinda looks cheap. On a less subjective note, it would be nice to find out how well sound deadening materials work. Fancy doing an investigation?


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WE DEMAND A FULL LOADED FAN TEST!!!
Also this, some manufactures seem to only put in the bear minimum number of fans. Which works for me since I either have a pile of fans, or I'll want to buy the fans I want.
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Old 20th Jul 2012, 15:19   #8
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Does it have more space behind the motherboard tray? It's the only fault I can find with my R3. I can cable manage in my R3 but it's hard because the side panel is a bit close to the motherboard tray.
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Old 20th Jul 2012, 15:39   #9
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Given the small changes from the R3, they may has well have just called the the R3 v2.
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Old 20th Jul 2012, 15:47   #10
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Well done review Harry. My only nag is the cooling comparison to Corsair's Carbide. Fractal's "Define" series has always been designed for "Silent" computing, with front insulated bezel doors and exterior, while the Carbide has an "Open Air" design. Two entirely different enthusiast markets.


The R4 is a hybrid of the R3 and Arc Midi chassis. It utilizes the best features from both of these cases.

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Old 20th Jul 2012, 16:23   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Beast View Post
Does it have more space behind the motherboard tray? It's the only fault I can find with my R3. I can cable manage in my R3 but it's hard because the side panel is a bit close to the motherboard tray.
Indeed, this is the only real criticism I have with my R3. I only really appreciated how annoying it was to cable route properly after building up my wife's system in the Arc Mini.

The removable drive bays are also a major plus as height aside the Arc Mini is a much design from a GPU fitting/ cooling aspect when compared to the R3.
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Old 20th Jul 2012, 16:25   #12
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I say well done to Fractal for responding to the ever changing requirements of enthusiasts.

They have:
- added support for roof mounted all in one CPU coolers (or maybe slim radiators)
- made the drive cage(s) removable
- improved dust filters
- improved support for tall CPU coolers
- improved cable routing grommets that everyone moans about
- improved 2.5" HD/SSD support

All in under two years since the R3 was released. How many other case manufacturers are so responsive to their market?

Of course I would love to know what teh cooling performance is like fully loaded but that will come, if not from bit-tech then from t'interwebs.
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Old 20th Jul 2012, 17:16   #13
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Any chance of Fractal updating the Define XL any time soon ?
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Old 20th Jul 2012, 17:25   #14
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I may have missed it, but did you just use the included fans plus cpu cooler? Did you use a side mounted fan at all?
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Old 20th Jul 2012, 17:44   #15
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I may have missed it, but did you just use the included fans plus cpu cooler? Did you use a side mounted fan at all?
Bit-Tech always just use the fans supplied, two in this case(!).

The CPU cooler was the Gelid Tranquilo they use with their test kit.
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Old 20th Jul 2012, 18:21   #16
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I have an r2, the bitumen is starting to peel off on the roof, so I think the r4 will be the case I use when I get a new build.
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Old 20th Jul 2012, 18:43   #17
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I'd swear that I had this case a few years back.......the P182
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Old 20th Jul 2012, 19:13   #18
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It's at the bottom of the graph and you give it 84%.. right..
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Old 20th Jul 2012, 19:40   #19
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@Necrow - Hehe, I think this is what the P182/3 should have been with a sensible drive layout, better cable management and no (silly imo) PSU divider.

Certainly gives me plenty to think about for my first upcoming quiet build. R4, Corsair 550D or (maybe) Antec P280? Looks-wise I think the Corsair wins, but the R4 is cheaper and has better cooling. The R4 it is then, and spend my savings on upgrading the other components.
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Old 20th Jul 2012, 19:49   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fingers66 View Post
Bit-Tech always just use the fans supplied, two in this case(!).

The CPU cooler was the Gelid Tranquilo they use with their test kit.
I assumed as much, but wanted to check :P I'd be curious to see the heat difference with the side fan on, since the GPU temp seemed to let it down

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It's at the bottom of the graph and you give it 84%.. right..
I don't really think it's a 'cooling' case, which is why cooling isnt amazing. It's more of a silent case, like the P180 from antec. It gets 84% because it's built well, has good features, and offers good value considering ( see 550D ). The P180 etc offers similar features, last I saw it it was over 100.

Considering the delta Ts, I assume the GPU hit about 80-90C on low, and the CPU about 70-80C?
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