bit-tech.net

Fractal Design Define R4 Review

Comments 1 to 25 of 48

Reply
Ljs 20th July 2012, 12:54 Quote
I wish I could buy the removable drive bays for my R3...
Spreadie 20th July 2012, 13:00 Quote
Just swap it for an R4 - the missus will never notice. :P
Baz 20th July 2012, 13:11 Quote
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"
N17 dizzi 20th July 2012, 13:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
"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
C-Sniper 20th July 2012, 14:09 Quote
let's see if we can cause the same commotion with the R2 review...


WE DEMAND A FULL LOADED FAN TEST!!!
Jehla 20th July 2012, 14:16 Quote
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? :D

Quote:
Originally Posted by C-Sniper
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.
The_Beast 20th July 2012, 14:19 Quote
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.
Parge 20th July 2012, 14:39 Quote
Given the small changes from the R3, they may has well have just called the the R3 v2.
mnpctech 20th July 2012, 14:47 Quote
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.

VS45Yhjj4bY
xaser04 20th July 2012, 15:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Beast
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.
Fingers66 20th July 2012, 15:25 Quote
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.
megadriveguy 20th July 2012, 16:16 Quote
Any chance of Fractal updating the Define XL any time soon ?
loftie 20th July 2012, 16:25 Quote
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? :)
Fingers66 20th July 2012, 16:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by loftie
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.
kingred 20th July 2012, 17:21 Quote
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.
Necrow 20th July 2012, 17:43 Quote
I'd swear that I had this case a few years back.......the P182
billysielu 20th July 2012, 18:13 Quote
It's at the bottom of the graph and you give it 84%.. right..
pbryanw 20th July 2012, 18:40 Quote
@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.
loftie 20th July 2012, 18:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fingers66
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
Quote:
Originally Posted by billysielu
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?
modd1uk 20th July 2012, 18:52 Quote
The case deserves 84% because of its overall features and price, yes its temps aint the best but then its not aimed to be a high airflow case..its designed to be a quiet case.
MrTeal 20th July 2012, 19:02 Quote
And the airflow can always be improved, quite easily, if the buyer needs better cooling. But surely most people who are seriously considering buying this case are as, if not more, interested in it's USP of being a 'silent' case, in which case you almost always have to take something of a hit when it comes to cooling/temps.

For those wondering about cable management space, Fractal have mentioned this on their website.
Quote:
Wider case body that allows for improved cable routing behind the motherboard – now 26mm wide
Quote:
26mm of space for cable routing behind the motherboard plate
When they say wider they mean it as well; the R3 was 207mm wide, the R4 is 232mm wide.
jrs77 20th July 2012, 19:25 Quote
I've got myself the Define Mini last week and my temps are waaaay better, just because I optes to install 4 fans instead of only usung the two the case was shipped with.

Allthough I do understand that you test the cases with stock-fans delivered and all that, but please do us all a favour and test the case with two intakes and two vents, and then let's see where the case sits in the list.

Even with four fans running at 800-1000RPM the case will be very silent, without sacrificing cooling.

Oh, and the built-quality of Fractals cases is totally awesome imho.
azrael- 20th July 2012, 20:15 Quote
Four iterations of this case and they still haven't managed to use 4 identical case feet. TBH, it's my main gripe with the Define cases. Asymmetrical features like this just turn me off... :(
jakobfrimmel 20th July 2012, 21:22 Quote
hmm interesting… but I wouldn't wanna stick a high-end pc into that case just from the fear of heat....
jrs77 21st July 2012, 03:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakobfrimmel
hmm interesting… but I wouldn't wanna stick a high-end pc into that case just from the fear of heat....

Heat is no issue with this case when you use both front-intakes and atleast one of the top-vents. Using a full setup of fans will drop the delta T another 10°C at full speed.

The problem with the method bit-tech is using in their case-reviews is, that they never use a full array, or atleast reasonable amount of fans, but only the little amount of fans delivered by the manufacturer - usually two.
Imho bit-tech should test every case with the same amount of fans and with the same fan-model if possible to show the real capabilities of a case.

The fans delivered by Fractal Design run at max 1200RPM and are low-noise-models. These fans are not ment for maximum cooling and are another factor for the rather mediochre review-result.

So, I wouldn't really take this review into account, but rather ask people who actually use the case and ask about their experiences.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums