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Fractal Design Define R4 Review

The motherboard tray has plenty of wiring cutouts, each protected by thick rubber grommets.  The backside of the tray is also capable of mounting two 2.5″ drives for some super secret storage.  There is also a very large cutout for easy CPU Cooling upgrades.  There is a full 26mm of space between the back of the motherboard tray and the side panel for some intense cable routing.

Fractal Design - Define R4 (7)

Each of the expansion slots use thumb screws and feature the same white paint as the hard drive trays.  I would have liked to see some tool-less features make their way here, but at least we have thumb screws.  The Define R4 has a bottom mounted, vibration free installation for your PSU.  Not only are there rubber feet that raise the PSU a bit to allow airflow and keep vibration to a minimum, the rear plate is fitted with material to further reduce noise due to vibration.

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Each of the cables are wrapped individually and neatly to keep clutter to a minimum. The power, reset, and power LED cables are all cloaked in black; the USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and the audio connections are as well.  Although the wrapped cables are a nice touch, the HD Audio cable is too short…I would have required at least another inch in length to be able to use it.

Fractal-Design---Define-R4-(24)Fractal-Design---Define-R4-(25)

As for a running system, you can barely hear it; the noise is kept to a minimum.  All this, while looking spectacular.  The Define R4 is an inexpensive steel chassis that can rival some of the best out there.  The plentiful cooling options and a water ready state makes this case a good choice for the overclocker or the late night gamer.  With plenty of room for storage, this chassis can server up your multimedia files to an HTPC without breaking a sweat.  Fractal Design’s idea for easily accessible fans is clever and purposeful.  The only thing keeping this case from getting a perfect score is the HD Audio cable being too short.  Other than that, there is hardly a flaw… even the price, at $109.99, is reasonable for a case with this many features.  Bottom line, this case is literally one inch away from a perfect 10.  With that, the R4 is in a class of its own.

Review Overview

Quality - 9
Value - 10
Features - 10
Appearance - 10

9.8

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About Joe D

I have always had a passion for everything computing. In early 2000, I decided to take my passion to the web. Thus, C.O.D. was born. Through the years we have made many great friends at C.O.D. and hope to continue our journey for years to come.

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4 comments

  1. Well, I built a new rig in one of these a couple weeks ago. Built-in motherboard standoffs would have been nice (they were a bit awkward to screw in all the way….), but other than that very happy with it. Looks subtle, barely audible in a quiet room (with an additional 140mm Fractal Design fan added to the front panel), and plenty of room for a Noctua NH-D14 cooler! Very nice case!

  2. Typo in title: Its Define R4

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