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Old 28th Mar 2013, 08:44   #1
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Fractal Design Define XL R2 Review

We take a look at the new revision of Fractal's big yet stealthy Define XL chassis.
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cases/2013/03/28/fractal-design-define-xl-r2-review/1
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 08:48   #2
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My Only major gripe I have with my R4 is the rubbish feet that are just glued on and keep falling off! I see the XL has the same feet so (or so it appears) I guess that will be an issue.
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 09:16   #3
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Meh. Attack of the clones.
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 09:26   #4
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Looks like a P182 without the compartmentalised design
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 09:49   #5
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I have one of these cases, two fans in and one out and a corsair cpu cooler.. additional x 2 120's in the roof. The temps are great and the case is almost silent you can hardly hear the GPU which is air cooled .I'd personally recommend it.
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 09:50   #6
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What hit me first was just how nasty and dull inside the door looks. Did they completely forget to style that area? Not a fan of their Define series but the Arcs are nice.
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 10:13   #7
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I like it. Minimalist, and just like my R4, which I'm a huge fan of!
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 10:19   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
What hit me first was just how nasty and dull inside the door looks. Did they completely forget to style that area? Not a fan of their Define series but the Arcs are nice.
I think that's due to the sound deadening foam used.
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 10:52   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
What hit me first was just how nasty and dull inside the door looks. Did they completely forget to style that area? Not a fan of their Define series but the Arcs are nice.
I think that's due to the sound deadening foam used.
I didn't mean the back of the actual door, the front of the case, behind the door.
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 11:37   #10
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Overclockers suddenly dropped the entire fractal range of cases because of build quality concerns and a dismal procedure for returns, both for trade and retail customers.

They had quite a number of cases arrive from the factory with scratches, dents, poorly fitting panels and missing parts.

Unusual for one of the largest online retailers in the UK to take such a drastic step, so I'm guessing there must be something to it, or it could just be an argument over money, who knows.

I really would like the R4 case, but I am concerned about reports like this, do Fractal owners out there have any thoughts about it?
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 11:48   #11
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Odd to hear reports of the dodgy feet; we've a number in the labs that have survived the worst an angry tech journo can throw at them.
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 11:54   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler View Post
I really would like the R4 case, but I am concerned about reports like this, do Fractal owners out there have any thoughts about it?
I have the Fractal Define Mini (which, I note, is now listed as "discontinued" on eBuyer) and I have no complaints: no dents, no scratches, build quality was good, all parts present and correct. Well, okay, I have *one* complaint: the nice cables provided for the front panel (audio, power button, power LED, 2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0, reset button) are a bit stupid, 'cos the reset button cable is too short.

Let me explain: all the cables are exactly the same length; trouble is, every single cable except the reset button cable all go out of a hole in the top-front of the case and to the top-mounted front panel. The reset cable, meanwhile, goes to a reset button about midway down the front of the case - a good six inches away from the rest of the front panel. As a result, the cable ends up being six inches shorter than the rest by the time it's inside the case - and about three inches too short to reach my motherboard. I had to ram it through the hole designed for a second front-facing intake fan as a temporary measure; if you want two front-facing fans, you'd have to extend the cable or drill a new hole for it. Stupid design.

Aside from that, and the lack of hard drive activity light, no complaints.
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 12:27   #13
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I have a Fractal Define R3. Obviously can't speak for the current generation case but I can echo what Gareth said in that I've had no complaints along the lines that have been suggested.
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 12:27   #14
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My only issue with my Define R3 is the lack of HDD activity light, but I got round that by ripping a HDD LED out of my previous case and ghetto mounting it sticking out of the vents on the side of the front panel

Other than that, the build quality of the R3 is super solid (apart from the cable routing grommets which are a little too prone to detaching from the case), and there were no dings, scratches or missing pieces on my case.
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 12:56   #15
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Quote:
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Odd to hear reports of the dodgy feet; we've a number in the labs that have survived the worst an angry tech journo can throw at them.
It's just the rear ones for me. The front feet are either screwed or held with rivets. Another modding job to add to the list
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 13:35   #16
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I have an R2. What brought me to fractal over the others was the simplicity (AND THE BITUMEN OH GOD YES). When I ruined the included fan controller I emailed fractal about what pots to use as I had cooked the one on the pcb. The technical director of fractal immediately fired an email back saying essentially "don't do it you bloody idiot ill send you a new one goddamnit".

I believe as they are expanding production to fit increased demand for their products and their quality control engineer has probably been a new hire in the company, leading to quality issues (or the supplier trying to cheap out on their components). 4 years on My case is still fantastic, works silently, the bitumen is slowly falling off the roof of the case but that's to be expected.

Give them a chance to sort things out, they really bend over backwards for customers.
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 22:01   #17
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I've got an R3 in use as my Media Server, and when everything is switched off, the only way to know it's on, is the front LED, it's stupidly quiet, even when encoding a BD or something, full CPU power and it's still silent,and the temps are stupidly low. It's ideling now, but a Phenom 2 X6 1045T at stock is currently 13c. Perfect.

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Old 28th Mar 2013, 23:51   #18
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It's ideling now, but a Phenom 2 X6 1045T at stock is currently 13c.
13C ~ you must be leaving your windows open too long, that's way below a comfortable temperature for watching/listening to media. I'd be highly suspicious of a figure like that, and since one of my Phenom X6 CPUs reports 7C in a perfectly comfortable room, I wonder if there is a problem across the whole range.

I've got R3 cases and have no complaints about the feet or quality control. I used Fractal Design's USB 3 upgrade kit and found it excellent.
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Old 30th Mar 2013, 11:35   #19
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I really would like the R4 case, but I am concerned about reports like this, do Fractal owners out there have any thoughts about it?
This must be a recent thing, because I've had a Define R4 since... October?... (somewhere around there) and it's fine. The build quality, if anything, is better than most other cases I've worked with recently. As much as I like my Silverstone TJ07, the R4 is far less troublesome to work with, although the Corsair 700D is head and shoulders above the R4... but that is largely due to the extra elbow-room to work with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree View Post
Aside from that, and the lack of hard drive activity light, no complaints.
Can't you just plug the power LED cable into the HDD activity connector on the motherboard if it's that much of a concern?
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Old 30th Mar 2013, 12:24   #20
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My main issue with using the power LED as HDD LED is that the power LED on my R3 is so ridiculously bright that the room would resemble a rave with blue strobe lighting! I don't think I could cope with that without suffering some sort of seizure
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