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Fractal Design Define XL Review

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memeroot 19th November 2010, 14:50 Quote
looks nice though
mi1ez 19th November 2010, 15:04 Quote
I wonder what sort of a difference another 140mm fan would make in the uppermost mount.

Pity Fractal didn't include this fan given the poor stock CPU performance.
Ljs 19th November 2010, 15:13 Quote
"so instead of a single 120mm intake fan there’s room for two 140mm intake fans"

Doesn't the R3 have room for two 120mm fans at the front?
SlowMotionSuicide 19th November 2010, 15:56 Quote
About a bloody time someone actually saw the case. Shame about performance, and also shame this case isn't still available even though Finnish retailers have had it listed for about 2 months now. I got tired of waiting, so I got myself a nice fat 800D instead.

Hope they bring out something in mATX next.
bulldogjeff 19th November 2010, 16:12 Quote
so its bigger and not better. Shame cos it has the potential to be so good
Paradigm Shifter 19th November 2010, 16:40 Quote
I can't help but think this could do with growing about an extra inch taller, and using that increase to put a bit more space between the bottom of the mobo and that internal division...
Lazy_Amp 19th November 2010, 17:49 Quote
Yeah, since both CPU case fans are exhaust, probably not very great there.

All these with big top exhausts would probably do pretty well with a H50 pulling hot air in.

I think the angle on the top... probably doesn't help at all...
HourBeforeDawn 19th November 2010, 19:31 Quote
I have to admit I like Fractals cases.
The_Beast 19th November 2010, 19:42 Quote
If it wasn't for that stupid side panel fan I'd buy about 12


I really ruins the look
Skill3d 19th November 2010, 21:12 Quote
Guys fix your "s" key... There seem to be missing lots of s's in the article...
Phoenixlight 20th November 2010, 00:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Beast
If it wasn't for that stupid side panel fan I'd buy about 12


I really ruins the look

What side panel fan? From the pictures it doesn't look like there is one. I like the look of the case overall and GPU cooling is more important that CPU cooling because you can always buy a cheap aftermarket cooler for a CPU, you can't do that for a GPU though so it's not bad.
Mankz 20th November 2010, 01:15 Quote
Looks like a natural evolution from the P180/P182... without the stupid extra sticky outy bits.
IanW 20th November 2010, 07:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenixlight
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Beast
If it wasn't for that stupid side panel fan I'd buy about 12


I really ruins the look

What side panel fan? From the pictures it doesn't look like there is one. I like the look of the case overall and GPU cooling is more important that CPU cooling because you can always buy a cheap aftermarket cooler for a CPU, you can't do that for a GPU though so it's not bad.

I think Beast means the fan cutout shown in this pic:-
http://images.bit-tech.net/content_images/2010/11/fractal-design-define-xl-review/fractal-xl-20-s.jpg
okenobi 20th November 2010, 09:31 Quote
Is it me, or do E-ATX cases just suck for cooling (pun intended)? The ATCS840 review similarly blames the cavernous interior for ruining airflow from the intakes to the hot stuff. Makes you wonder if they're useful for anything other than servers....
stonedsurd 20th November 2010, 10:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Beast
If it wasn't for that stupid side panel fan I'd buy about 12


I really ruins the look

This. I love the way it looks, I want to watercool one but the side panel is very off-putting. Shame.
azrael- 20th November 2010, 10:50 Quote
At least this time they seem to have managed to have identical case feet all the way round...
xaser04 20th November 2010, 10:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ljs
"so instead of a single 120mm intake fan there’s room for two 140mm intake fans"

Doesn't the R3 have room for two 120mm fans at the front?

Yep, 2x 120mm just like the R2.

Would a HD5970 (and presumably the equally large HD6990) actually fit in this case? It looks to be a bit of a squeeze with a HD5870 (Just like the R2/R3).
Material 20th November 2010, 13:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ljs
Doesn't the R3 have room for two 120mm fans at the front?

Yes you're correct on this, that's my bad, I've fixed it in the review.
Material 20th November 2010, 13:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by xaser04
Would a HD5970 (and presumably the equally large HD6990) actually fit in this case? It looks to be a bit of a squeeze with a HD5870 (Just like the R2/R3).

Believe it or not we actually answer this in the review ;)
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Article
we could fit an ATI Radeon HD 5970 2GB in the case even with the caddy in line with the fan
Valinor 20th November 2010, 20:41 Quote
As we're on a "let's be picky about spelling and grammar" theme (like most of the comments I've looked at), then you may want to change the "you loved the cae" in the 2nd line to "you loved the case".

I really like the design (looks better than my P180 as it doesn't have the strange fan thingy on the top), but would go for the R3 if I was upgrading.
Phoenixlight 20th November 2010, 22:15 Quote
Oh come on, the small little vent is very subtle I really wouldn't worry about it.
xaser04 21st November 2010, 20:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Material
Believe it or not we actually answer this in the review ;)

Excellent, thanks for that.

I read that line to read HD5870 rather than HD5970. That's what happens when you skim read an article and go straight to the comments.
Pierre 22nd November 2010, 17:29 Quote
I am let down by the review...

...it seems rather basic, even if one were to stick to the "test it as it comes" rationale...

Besides that, you have a large hdd storage case in your disposal and you test it with a single hdd? You believe this is the target group of the case, a gamer without hdds?

No hdd storage testing (with regard to noise and temperature), no review of the functionality of the lower department dividers, the upper (not for cable routing actually) and the middle ones, not much details on cable routing and space, apart from over-insistence on the lacking length of you psu cable.

Moreover, the motherboard cut-out cover can be left open, if I'm not mistaken...

I think this is a poorly thought through and lacking, an indeed hasty review...I knew it was coming, I had been expecting it, checking the webpage every day and yet, because it is so mediocre it does not help me in my decision whether or not to buy the case...
I'll have to wait for a more proper and in-depth review, because this one rather approximates a presentation...
Halk 28th December 2010, 12:58 Quote
I've found Bit Tech case reviews to be the most useful around, particularly the comparison table which I don't believe has any equal. I've just bought the R3 as a replacement case, and it's purely down to the review here that's given me enough confidence in the product to buy it over the Corsair 600T.

What I would request you consider though is adding more fans to cases.

For various reasons manufacturers position their cases at the market in different price points, and in order to hit those price points they will sometimes leave fans out. For this particular case it seems they only fitted two out of a possible 4 fans (not sure on those numbers!). I personally have stacks of fans kicking around as spares, and I'm quite sure most people either have spare fans or would have no issue buying extra fans if the cooling performance improved. While it is fair, in many ways, to punish a manufacturer for selling a case that's better with 4 fans with only 2 fitted... what people will want to know is which is the best case for cooling, even if you do have to fill the blanks.

What I don't know at this stage is if the case is better with extra fans, or if it's only a slight improvement. Regardless of which for my purposes it's going to be just spanky anyway, but I'm quite sure other people would disregard this case because it's not up there with the Dark Fleet and Fortress for cooling. What I believe makes my arguement is that people aren't as concerned with price as you might think when buying a case. In my struggle to assemble as much information as possible to choose a case I've found that like myself people are comparing the £130 600T with the £80 R3 and the £200 Fortress with little or no regard to the price difference. From my perspective money is a very small concern.

So I would have liked to have seen two rows in the tables, one as Fractal Design R3 (Stock fans) and the second as Frac tal Design R3 (Extra Fans).

Keep up the hard work on the case reviews!
ProfQ 18th February 2011, 20:05 Quote
I've actually bought this XL case based on this Review and the two apparent issues with it.

Both, IMHO are rather simple to fix or deal with. Things that we all tend to mod at will. But the looks and 'silence is golden' approach by Fractal beats most out there for me.

I agree that this review would have been more useful if testing with extra fans, and more efficient fans, had been conducted by bit-tech. But in my estimation, this review was all I needed, an honest representation of what the case manufacturer is actually selling. But Fractal has given us a case with the XL that has what it needs at the given price point, and enough flexibility to take it where you want it to be. Expecting that the case will be 1000% of what each individual wants or hopes off the factory floor is not realistic.

For my build, that will have a bunch of hard drives, I've put aside a few extra fans, a 140, and a couple of 120mm, as well as a Fan controller to play with until I find my optimal setup. Will also have to play a bit with the airflow due to the cavernous space. But the case, on looks silence and quality are an excellent starting point, and deliver as promised. That was my tipping point for this price range.

Totally agree with Halk, "Keep up the hard work on the case reviews!"

And thanks for an honest review and excellent graphics.
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