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Fractal Design Define R3 Review

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stonedsurd 29th October 2010, 11:23 Quote
Another fantastic case. Those folks at Fractal definitely know their work!
Mattmc91 29th October 2010, 11:25 Quote
Looks great, shame I've already got my new case ;(
memeroot 29th October 2010, 11:30 Quote
Great review of a lovely case.

just out of interest this comment worries me slightly
"make sure their graphics card cooler exhausts air out the back of the case rather than into the case."

Given the increasing use of aftermarket coolers on oveclocked gpu's how should this affect our views of cooling results on other cases.

How should we read GPU results now, previously they could be (largely) ignored if you had a rear exhaust gpu but now you are simply measuring the intake temps of the GPU...
xaser04 29th October 2010, 11:35 Quote
Quote:
The case feels more solid and sturdy

Given the R3 is structurally identical to the R2, could you elaborate a bit on this comment please.

It's good to see Fractal Design taking on constructive critisism and acting on it. The R3 is an improvement to the already very good R2.

Get some low noise 120-140mm fans in the roof and another one in the front and you have an excellent cooling case as well.
Cei 29th October 2010, 11:48 Quote
What's an "Admiral job" for a PC case? Does it command a navy of small RAM ships and hard drive cruisers?

Yeah, typo on first page ;) Looks like a lovely design for a case though.
Baz 29th October 2010, 11:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cei
What's an "Admiral job" for a PC case? Does it command a navy of small RAM ships and hard drive cruisers?

Yeah, typo on first page ;) Looks like a lovely design for a case though.

For your sharp eyes, it's too the crow's nest with ye!
facwit 29th October 2010, 12:13 Quote
So glad I got one of these cases. It looks fantastic and I can hardly hear my gtx480.
Claave 29th October 2010, 12:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cei
What's an "Admiral job" for a PC case? Does it command a navy of small RAM ships and hard drive cruisers?

Yeah, typo on first page ;) Looks like a lovely design for a case though.

For your sharp eyes, it's too the crow's nest with ye!

I seriously hope that 'too' was ironic Harry... :S
azrael- 29th October 2010, 12:46 Quote
They still have those disparate case feet. Shame... :(
Cei 29th October 2010, 14:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claave
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cei
What's an "Admiral job" for a PC case? Does it command a navy of small RAM ships and hard drive cruisers?

Yeah, typo on first page ;) Looks like a lovely design for a case though.

For your sharp eyes, it's too the crow's nest with ye!

I seriously hope that 'too' was ironic Harry... :S

Everybody knows sailors can't spell. Yarrr.
devilxc 29th October 2010, 14:48 Quote
Excellent to see they took on board the feedback and improved it. They seem to have done as much as possible while avoiding the price hike associated with changing the manufacturing process.

If I was looking for a case atm I would have this near the top of my list.
julianmartin 29th October 2010, 14:50 Quote
My R3 arrived last week and I am very, VERY happy with it. I have 4 120mm fans in there, 2 from Fractal and 2 Gelids, and it is still very quiet. Most of the noise comes from my GPU. Very impressed and great value too, IMO.
Pierre 29th October 2010, 14:53 Quote
As I know, the Fractal Design Define XL is (or is expected shortly) in bit-tech's labs...

Since the full tower case is actually much different in configuration, I can't wait for it to be tested...I am particularly interested in seeing how well hdd cooling is for the bottom compartment...

If I could make a request, that would be to fill the bottom 6 hdd bays of the Define XL and see what the hdd temperatures are, since there is no direct airpath...

Someone else said it before in the comments... Was this case improved sturcturally, as rigidity is concerned? Was there wider steel sheets used? Were they folded better?

How rigid is the HDD cage against vibration (these were all mediocre qualities of the Define R2)

Can't say I favor the switch to faster spinning fans...it will most likely mean that I might have to replace them, increasing the overall cost...
Fingers66 29th October 2010, 15:17 Quote
For those wanting to see what a difference additional fans made to the R2 case, check out the follow up here: http://www.bit-tech.net/blog/2010/01/25/fractal-design-define-r2-follow-up/.

Note: the R2 was tested using different kit (as mentioned in this R3 review) so bear that in mind when reading the follow-up.

The bottom line is that additional fans can make a huge difference to the cooling ability of the R2 & R3.
lp1988 29th October 2010, 15:25 Quote
I think I have just found my new case :)

whenever I decide to change that is
Yslen 29th October 2010, 18:40 Quote
My overclocked 4850 dumps hot air inside my case (an R2) and it's absolutely fine. I'm only using the two top fans as exhaust because my H50 takes up the slot at the back. It's actually cooler than it was in my Antec 900 because I can get cool air to the underside of the graphics card using the 120mm intake on the bottom.

I must say I never really understood why you guys at bit-tech mostly review cases at their stock configurations, given most of your readers like customising their PCs... that's why they buy "Custom PC Magazine" not "Stock-Configuration PC Magazine", I'm pretty sure.

Fractal Design could have packed their case with expensive fans but that would have driven the price up. As you yourselves proved some simple alterations to fan/airflow setup makes a big difference so why can't we have reviews with stock AND custom cooling configurations? Please?

These cases would come off very well in such a test as there are so many different places to put fans to optimise airflow for your specific hardware. Many cases are less customisable and their "decent" stock cooling might be the best you can ever get out of them. It would be nice to know this information before buying stuff, so I'd like to see it in reviews.
Picarro 29th October 2010, 20:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yslen
I must say I never really understood why you guys at bit-tech mostly review cases at their stock configurations, given most of your readers like customising their PCs... that's why they buy "Custom PC Magazine" not "Stock-Configuration PC Magazine", I'm pretty sure.

Fractal Design could have packed their case with expensive fans but that would have driven the price up. As you yourselves proved some simple alterations to fan/airflow setup makes a big difference so why can't we have reviews with stock AND custom cooling configurations? Please?

Do you have any idea of how many cooling configurations that would be? Combined with time for setting it all up, testing it and deciding on which fans you use it would take years. It would probably result in 1 case review pr. 6 months.
Yslen 29th October 2010, 22:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Picarro
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yslen
I must say I never really understood why you guys at bit-tech mostly review cases at their stock configurations, given most of your readers like customising their PCs... that's why they buy "Custom PC Magazine" not "Stock-Configuration PC Magazine", I'm pretty sure.

Fractal Design could have packed their case with expensive fans but that would have driven the price up. As you yourselves proved some simple alterations to fan/airflow setup makes a big difference so why can't we have reviews with stock AND custom cooling configurations? Please?

Do you have any idea of how many cooling configurations that would be? Combined with time for setting it all up, testing it and deciding on which fans you use it would take years. It would probably result in 1 case review pr. 6 months.

I'm sure it could be done quicker than that. If they can't do it then fine, but I generally read CPC/bit-tech for their quality reviews, so I thought i'd voice my opinion on what they could be doing to improve them further.
Necrow 29th October 2010, 23:11 Quote
Are Antec engineers are still wondering where their deisgn plans for the P182 dissapeared off too? lol
d3fiant 30th October 2010, 00:10 Quote
I've recently built two systems using the R2 and this week have upgraded my own system to the R3 and have found the imrovements subtle but very much in the right direction. I have been able to build the system using less fans with the same cooling results and am loving the move from my old akasa eclipse which while fugly was a very very good case :)
ADJB 30th October 2010, 11:36 Quote
At last a case that does what I want. Quiet with plenty of 3 1/2" bays. (Never understood why case designers put so many 5 1/4" bays in cases, does anybody use more than 2?). So I dive over to quietpc and find there all out of stock for 5 weeks except one model with 5 available. Looks good so I don't mind, I am willing to part with my cash. I then spend 20 minutes trying to buy the damn thing because paypal is down. No message on paypal to say "were having problems" just a strange message about referring the page being wrong, which is worrying when its paypals home page. I gave up in the end and paid by card and then spent far too long trying to find out why paypal wouldn't let me in. By the time I managed to pay for my order there was only 3 left. I wonder how many sales were lost across the globe by paypal having a little lie down?.

I would also be interested in how many of these cases were ever actually available. It's fine pointing us to a supplier but if the stock hasn't arrived yet its a bit of a waste of time.
bw67958 30th October 2010, 12:19 Quote
This was on my list the otherweek when i went shopping for a new case. I eventually decided on the behemoth corsair obsidian 700d cos of the seperate cooling zones.

BTW when are you gonna review the 700d?
eddtox 30th October 2010, 13:31 Quote
I've just bought an Antec Mini P180, and I'm starting to question my decision :(
Material 30th October 2010, 16:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADJB
I would also be interested in how many of these cases were ever actually available. It's fine pointing us to a supplier but if the stock hasn't arrived yet its a bit of a waste of time.

Two suppliers are listed at the start of the article, one of which currently has stock.
HourBeforeDawn 30th October 2010, 20:17 Quote
I use this as my server case, really nice build.
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