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Fractal Design Define R4 Review

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salesman 21st July 2012, 16:05 Quote
The reason Bit-tech doesn't use other fans for the review, and I wish I could find where the first said this, is that there is added cost to the build.

Doing a review this way shows what a buyer will get out of box, whereas, if they leveled the playing field and used the same number of fans per review some cases would need 2-3 additional fans increasing the price.

IMO I feel this would skew the results and confuse people.

That said I love this case. I would take the fans in the case out and put in Noctua fans. I have a P180 case right now and I love it. A quite case that keeps my components cooled just enough.

When I upgrade this case would be in the top for my consideration. A good solid case. Thanks for the review.
Hustler 21st July 2012, 21:45 Quote
Nice, but i really cant put up with cases that have the inputs on top, fine if you sit the case on the floor, but if like me, the tower is sitting on your desk, having to stand up each time to plug something in gets old really quick...
maximus09 22nd July 2012, 10:37 Quote
I'm glad they have improved a lot of the stuff that irritated me from the R2. Never bought the R3 as it didn't give enough improvements on the R2.

The only thing I was hoping, like a lot of other users here, that there would be more space at the back of the MB tray for cables.

No word of this though? Even with my R2 my side panel buldges simply due to the ATX power cable. I was hoping that the R4 with the added 22mm wider chasis would add a few mm to behind the MB tray :( I think there is only between 10mm-15mm as it is.

Anyway AWESOME improvements, I'm still going to buy it!! If only just for the removeable HD chasis!! Put a couple of Silverstone Air Penatrators in there without the HD chasis in the way and your hardware will get blasted by air "all day long". ;)

Oh on that note; I DEMAND A RE-TEST WITH ALL FAN MOUNTS FILLED!! NO ONE EVER USES ONLY THE STANDARD FANS SUPPLIED!!
Saivert 22nd July 2012, 11:19 Quote
If it was not for the fact that I already got the Define R3 I would buy this in an instant. No hesitation.
I too dislike the fact that the R3 has so little space for radiator in the top. The R4 seems to fix most of what is wrong with the R3.
faugusztin 22nd July 2012, 11:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by maximus09
No word of this though? Even with my R2 my side panel buldges simply due to the ATX power cable. I was hoping that the R4 with the added 22mm wider chasis would add a few mm to behind the MB tray :( I think there is only between 10mm-15mm as it is.

R4 has 26mm space behind the tray according to OC3D.
Quote:
Originally Posted by maximus09
Oh on that note; I DEMAND A RE-TEST WITH ALL FAN MOUNTS FILLED!! NO ONE EVER USES ONLY THE STANDARD FANS SUPPLIED!!

And even less with all fan mounts filled :D. Majority has 1 or 2 at front and 1 at back and that is it.
fdbh96 22nd July 2012, 19:52 Quote
I don't about anyone else with their R3s, but my hardware never gets what I would call too hot, while keeping really quiet. I also only use the stock fans with it so I assume that is the same with this case

Shame they couldn't give more room round the motherboard tray as the 24pin makes the side panel extrememely hard to put on.
faugusztin 22nd July 2012, 19:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fdbh96
Shame they couldn't give more room round the motherboard tray as the 24pin makes the side panel extrememely hard to put on.

10mm@R3->22mm@R4 is not big enough change for you ?
fdbh96 23rd July 2012, 00:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
10mm@R3->22mm@R4 is not big enough change for you ?

Doubt it, my side panel wouldn't even nearly fit on. I think I would need more than 1cm, but I am a really lazy cable tidyer :D
faugusztin 23rd July 2012, 09:11 Quote
You will have to stack various power cables on each other for ~1 inch not to be enough.
loftie 23rd July 2012, 12:48 Quote
Maybe if Bit-Tech case reviews included tests with the included fans, and then another test with all possible fans? That way you see what performance you get out of the box, and then maximum possible cooling with all fans
Valinor 23rd July 2012, 18:36 Quote
So if they were going to do a review with all the fan mounts filled.. what fans do they use? Should they use the same type of fans as the rest of the case, or the same type of fans across all reviews? How would this affect the noise and ease of construction?

Unless there's a solid slab of metal in front of the spare fan mounts then more fans = more cooling in almost all scenarios. No need to test it to show that.
loftie 23rd July 2012, 20:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valinor
So if they were going to do a review with all the fan mounts filled.. what fans do they use? Should they use the same type of fans as the rest of the case, or the same type of fans across all reviews? How would this affect the noise and ease of construction?

Unless there's a solid slab of metal in front of the spare fan mounts then more fans = more cooling in almost all scenarios. No need to test it to show that.

Fans would be decided on, so long as they are consistent between different cases, otherwise the test would be unfair.

As far as noise and construction, surely that's part of what's to be reviewed. As in this case, it's trying to be a quiet case. If filling out all fan slots makes it quite noisy, they surely it's failing at what it's attempting to be - and yes more fans equal more noise. Same with ease of construction. If the fans are located in poor positions, or difficult to attach, surely we'd what this to show in the review?

And it's pretty obvious that more fans equal better cooling, what the aim would be is to test how much better. Some cases might perform better than others, having extra fans aiming at different locations.

The mains reason I think this is it seems that this case is pretty hot on the GFX card. Now I know adding a side fan will help this, but I'm curious to see how much it'll help. Since it's unrealistic to test every case with 1,2,3,4,5 etc fans, having an idea of what you get out of the box to the best, everything else will fall inbetween.
John_T 23rd July 2012, 20:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valinor
So if they were going to do a review with all the fan mounts filled.. what fans do they use? Should they use the same type of fans as the rest of the case, or the same type of fans across all reviews? How would this affect the noise and ease of construction?

I think loftie's idea is good in principal: Choosing to replace all fans with 'x' brand, and to do the same across all case reviews, that's a pretty easy thing for readers to compare and understand. Test 'A' is case out of the box, test 'B' is maximum potential of case. (A bit like the 'idle' and 'load' tests).

I can't see how changing fans would affect ease of construction, and noise differences would be relative across all cases. To say there's no point in testing it, well, you may as well say there's no point testing cases at all.

I think the only problem comes with the time involved. Doing testing that way would double the amount of time it takes to test a case, so in an environment with limited resources that would lead to half the amount of cases being tested.

It may not prove to be a practical idea, but I wouldn't suggest it was pointless.
Valinor 24th July 2012, 10:57 Quote
Yeah, rushing off the last bit of that post because I needed to leave meant I left it a little short. There is a potential issue with swapping out all the fans though; case manufacturers who have invested in better fans, or fans suited to a particular case, will be unfairly penalised if the fans were swapped out (I'm thinking of Silverstone RV02, RV03, FT02 as my first thoughts). I seem to remember they did a fan test at some point (it could have been ages ago though), so I suppose they could try a test as-is, and then do another test with all fan mounts filled with their fans.

But again, it depends really on how much time they have and how useful it would be. I clearly can't speak for everyone, but I've only once bought a case and added extra fans to it, and that was for a friend and because the case only came with 1 fan. Then again, the cases I've owned (P180, 1200, RV02) have been either nearly filled or full of fans anyway...
loftie 24th July 2012, 16:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valinor
There is a potential issue with swapping out all the fans though; case manufacturers who have invested in better fans, or fans suited to a particular case, will be unfairly penalised if the fans were swapped out (I'm thinking of Silverstone RV02, RV03, FT02 as my first thoughts).

True, but this will show in the initial test, as the case will show that out of the box it comes with better fans. As such it will do better ( we'd hope! ) in the tests. If a case has specialised fans that can't be replaced, then fair enough, but then we know the best case scenario would be using the non replaceable fans plus having every other fan slot filled.
Wiseoldfrog 26th July 2012, 21:18 Quote
The link to EBuyer should be stopped as they are now charging £89.99....which is £10 more than the retail price according to the review.
Pookie 27th July 2012, 15:00 Quote
Thanks for the great review. I have placed an order for one of these from BT Business Direct. A great replacement for my ancient Antec 900. Im going to put the rear fan in the front of the case and use my current H50 with 2 x Corsair SP120 in the back.
JamesPearlEX 27th July 2012, 16:09 Quote
Can't wait to order mine, I so nearly ordered an R3 a few days before this was released! I'll be getting the Titanium grey one, hopefully it'll be available soon.
Although if I had known that all shops were going to be charging around £90 I should've just preordered the black pearl one from ebuyer when it was £80.
rd26 3rd August 2012, 03:45 Quote
I'm designing a multiple-radiator water cooling setup using your Define R4, and I have some questions regarding the upper, large HDD bay that holds 5 drives and the lower bay that holds 3.
1. Can the large HDD bay be placed in the lower position? Can the small HDD bay be placed in the upper position?
2. Is it possible to place either of the HDD bays in the upper position, without either bay on the bottom?
Pookie 9th August 2012, 23:27 Quote
Well i got mine and trasferred my rig across, I have to say its a beautiful case to work with and the build quality is great. But the temps are a little dissapointing, i used the rear 140mm as an additional intake and my H50 with 2 x apache blacks is the exhaust. Ive got 2 x corsair SP120's arriving tomorow which i will bung on the H50 and use the apache blacks on the roof of the case.
GeordieGoose 14th August 2012, 11:12 Quote
My rig is in an R2 with the 2 intakes, Top and rear exhausts and I've never had any temp issues. I wouldn't want to run it with the stock fans supplied it would get hotter than a kangaroos pouch in a drought.

If my attempts at chopping most of the drive bays out fail miserably then I may just plump up the cash for the R4.

The design isn't up to everyone's linking but I love the simple looks. I've even disconnected that lighthouse of an LED on the front panel.
faugusztin 14th August 2012, 12:10 Quote
Chopping? Why would you do that. You only need to drill out the rivets.
Jediron 27th August 2012, 13:41 Quote
[QUOTE=salesman]The reason Bit-tech doesn't use other fans for the review, and I wish I could find where the first said this, is that there is added cost to the build.

Doing a review this way shows what a buyer will get out of box, whereas, if they leveled the playing field and used the same number of fans per review some cases would need 2-3 additional fans increasing the price.

IMO I feel this would skew the results and confuse people.

[QUOTE]
Ofcourse. That is why they should do both, one vanilla test and one with the extra added fans (and tell te cost). They should use a widely availibe, good, low cost 12cm fan for that.
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