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Hardware Fractal Design R2 Case Review

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Guest-16, 15 Jan 2010.

  1. xaser04

    xaser04 Ba Ba Ba BANANA!

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    I just thought I would add that I own this case. Whilst its cooling performance out of the box leaves alot to be desired, once it is setup with 2 120mm fans (canibalized from my old Jeantech Phong) in the roof (manual controlled) and non passive graphics cards (I have GTX260-SLI) its cooling improves dramatically.

    To be honest with these case reviews I think you start adding in results for a potential *best case* scenario (for this case, two additional fans in the roof) with a explanation of why this setup was chose. This could be included in the results much in the same way that overclocked cpu / gpu results are shown in their respective reviews. These results would useful not as a comparison to other cases but as a comparison to the stock case, in other words seeing what potential improvement could be made. Whilst this isn't fool proof, at least it would provide us more information for a potential purcase decision.

    Also (and this is a larger step to take) it may be worth moving from the P4 / Passive GPU setup to a more modern representative setup that is more in line with what alot of us actually use (say Core i5 750, HD4890 or similar).

    Constructive critism over, thanks for the review guys. Its nice to see the case I own being well received by bit.
     
  2. shigllgetcha

    shigllgetcha Come at me bro

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    the case looks great, i dont like most of the garish cases
     
  3. tonyd223

    tonyd223 king of nothing

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    Interesting points - but I think a case with that many HDD bays and silent? throw some old hardware in there and run it as a media server with raid 5 for storage. after all - modern HD's are 1Tb in size - so the only way you'll fill this is with old drives...
     
  4. xMathiasD

    xMathiasD New Member

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    2+ (I am so desperate so I count for two)

    i just took a look at this case yestoday and was thinking hmm.. why arent bit-tech making a review of this one? and today! bim ballabuum! here we go. :)
     
  5. xaser04

    xaser04 Ba Ba Ba BANANA!

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    Whilst I agree with your point in ragrds to the R2 (I am actually in the process of changing my to a media server, dropping the GTX260 SLI in favour of a low powered GPU that can encode video) I also think it would be a useful addition to all case reviews to have a potential best case cooling scenario included in the results (as I said just like overclocking results on a CPU/GPU).

    The R2 does seem to be a case that out of the box is designed to be a server (media or otherwise), but can also be a fantastic gaming case with the right cooling setup.

    For reference my setup comprises:

    Two stock 120mm Intake fans (included with case) manually controlled with the included fan controller
    Two 120mm fans (taken from old case) exhausting air through the roof (I have these manually controlled using a fan controller I took from my old case)
    Corsair H50 acting as an intake on the back of the case (the top two fans make their biggest difference in this setup)
    2 x GTX260 SLI (stock coolers) with fans set to 52% manually (fed air from the bottom intake fan)
     
  6. Digi

    Digi The not-so-funny Cockney

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    +5
     
  7. SoulRider

    SoulRider New Member

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    I'd just like to say, this is the case I've been waiting for!! I have been looking for a really quiet case, that I could extreme water cool for absolute silence, I think this case is it!! Would it fit dual graphics cards? The benefits of parrelell processing offered by today's GPU's are certainly interesting me...
     
  8. cosmic

    cosmic New Member

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    +6

    Would be nice to know if an input fan in the side panel would make a significant difference to the cooling
     
  9. smc8788

    smc8788 ...at least I have chicken

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    Having owned this case for a few months, I completely agree with this review. I bought it primarily for its noise performance, not its thermal performance, and in that regard it has performed very well. It's a shame that all people look at is the thermal performance, sometimes neglecting the other features of the case. When I can still run an i5 750 at 3.6GHz which reaches 60-65 at load and a GTX 275 which reaches ~75 at load, that's good enough for me.

    For the crowd that want to see it reviewed with more fans, I'd have to disagree. It's not simply a matter of filling all of the fan mounts - IMO there are too many of them. For starters the bottom fan mount is too close to the PSU for it to be of any real use (the cabling would impede airflow too much), the side fan mount is in a useless position (I want the airflow to go from front to back, not out the side), and the top-front fan mount would only be removing the cool air before it passed through the CPU cooler. Personally, I just added another 120mm fan in the front and a 140mm fan in the top-back (both Fractal Design silent series fans). I didn't measure the temperatures before and after, but I assume they made some difference. However, if you're even remotely interested in this case, it's going to be for the noise performance, so I wouldn't even bother looking at the thermal performance - suffice to say, it's good enough, but obviously not as good as other cases out there like the HAF 922, even with all the fan mounts populated. You could fill it with higher CFM fans for better airflow, but then it would be noisier and remove one of the biggest selling points of the case. If you want the case with the best airflow, this isn't for you and you should look elsewhere. If you want both airflow and quietness, well, like the review said: they're mutually exclusive. For now, at least...

    The side panel fan mount was designed as an exhaust (quoting Fractal Design there), hence it doesn't come with a dust filter.
     
  10. xaser04

    xaser04 Ba Ba Ba BANANA!

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    As previously said I am running Dual GTX260s.

    They do run quite close to the HD bracket though so I don't think anything longer (HD5970) would fit (although I can check this later if required).
     
  11. smc8788

    smc8788 ...at least I have chicken

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    A 5870 will fit, but a 5970 won't.
     
  12. tonyd223

    tonyd223 king of nothing

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    I agree that as cases come out of the box does not represent how people like us use them. We always have fans lying around - and we always install them in a new build. Trouble is, we all have different fans, speeds, controllers, noise levels, etc.

    I would like to see the best cooling case (sic) scenario so:

    +1
     
  13. Scootiep

    Scootiep Member

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    I'm thinking there's a weeee bit of support out there for this "Add some fans and give us a more accurate representation of what teh case is capable of" movement that the Bit-Tech crew might want to get on top of. As for me, I think the case is great. My first move would be to bust out the ol' Dremel and give it a nice dragon pattern of vent holes in the front panel and possibly on the top of the case and toss in 2 more silent 120mm's.
     
  14. C-Sniper

    C-Sniper Stop Trolling this space Ądmins!

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    I am going to have to agree with the other people. Even though there is no comparison of other cases other than at stock cooling could you please try some extra cooling with this one? Because this case ticks so many boxes with so many people I think it is worth throwing in a comparison with a couple extra 120s. Any ones will do really. I don't think people will care that the fans are mismatched. We just want some numbers :)
     
  15. cjmUK

    cjmUK Old git.

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    It seems a bit perverse to review a case that is designed for low noise operation and give it a 6 for performance because it it isn't the best cooler... Surely the performance rating should reflect how well it achieves it's stated objective. If you can run it with very quietly with reasonable kit inside, then it deserves a decent mark. Would we mark down a HTPC case because it didn't have 10 disk bays? Would we mark down a 2U server because it was noisy? Sounds like this case is ideal for quiet computing enthusiasts but perhaps not for hardcore overclockers...

    Did I not also see holes for watercooling? Would make it quieter still and an excellent cooler as well...
     
  16. okenobi

    okenobi New Member

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    I don't think low noise and performance have to be mutually exclusive if the price is right the and the engineering is good. As mentioned already, this case has the potential to tick pretty much every box for an awful lot of the BT community and beyond. I'm not advocating filling every hole with a fan. I'm just saying adding an extra couple of the same type of fans (or Sharkoons or Scythes as per the recent roundup) would make this case capable of housing a very powerful system with next to no noise or dust. If that brings it to £100 or so, well so be it. There's nothing else on the market that offers what the R2 does at this price point.

    Given the amount of replies in this thread, I really would love to see BT publish some kind of addendum at least....
     
  17. smc8788

    smc8788 ...at least I have chicken

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    Good point, although perhaps the performance score could be separated into thermal and noise factors since these are the two main variables which decide whether a case performs well or not.

    okenobi - I see your point, but it would be difficult to include as part of the main review since it wouldn't be fair to compare those numbers to other cases. Although I suppose a remark as to what impact adding a couple of fans has wouldn't hurt. Failing that, I could do a quick and dirty test on my system to see what how great the difference is.

    My point about airflow and noise being mutually exclusive was merely that there isn't really a case on the market right now that offers the best of both worlds, not that it wasn't actually possible. Perhaps that can be rectified in the next revision of this case, although I will still always prefer low noise over ultimate cooling.
     
  18. tonyd223

    tonyd223 king of nothing

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    Ok - here's an idea Bit-Tech/Custom PC - get that thermal camera and the test chamber you've used before for case reviews and test just this case with a range of configurations :

    - should the side panel fan intake or exhaust
    - are fans needed in the top if heat rises?
    - positive v negative pressure
    - how much airflow can you get if you do fill all the fan holes with the fans you decided were the best for the particular size (which you did late last year)

    Now that would be a great review! (and justify my magazine subscription for another year!)
     
  19. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Accidentally Funny

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    A fractal case but no mention of Mandlebrot?
     
  20. okenobi

    okenobi New Member

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    NERD :geek:
     
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