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Fractal Design Define XL R2 Review

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Pookie 28th March 2013, 09:48 Quote
My Only major gripe I have with my R4 is the rubbish feet that are just glued on and keep falling off! I see the XL has the same feet so (or so it appears) I guess that will be an issue.
Spreadie 28th March 2013, 10:16 Quote
Meh. Attack of the clones.
Shirty 28th March 2013, 10:26 Quote
Looks like a P182 without the compartmentalised design :|
Blarte 28th March 2013, 10:49 Quote
I have one of these cases, two fans in and one out and a corsair cpu cooler.. additional x 2 120's in the roof. The temps are great and the case is almost silent you can hardly hear the GPU which is air cooled .I'd personally recommend it.
SchizoFrog 28th March 2013, 10:50 Quote
What hit me first was just how nasty and dull inside the door looks. Did they completely forget to style that area? Not a fan of their Define series but the Arcs are nice.
jinq-sea 28th March 2013, 11:13 Quote
I like it. Minimalist, and just like my R4, which I'm a huge fan of!
Corky42 28th March 2013, 11:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
What hit me first was just how nasty and dull inside the door looks. Did they completely forget to style that area? Not a fan of their Define series but the Arcs are nice.

I think that's due to the sound deadening foam used.
SchizoFrog 28th March 2013, 11:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
What hit me first was just how nasty and dull inside the door looks. Did they completely forget to style that area? Not a fan of their Define series but the Arcs are nice.

I think that's due to the sound deadening foam used.

I didn't mean the back of the actual door, the front of the case, behind the door.
Hustler 28th March 2013, 12:37 Quote
Overclockers suddenly dropped the entire fractal range of cases because of build quality concerns and a dismal procedure for returns, both for trade and retail customers.

They had quite a number of cases arrive from the factory with scratches, dents, poorly fitting panels and missing parts.

Unusual for one of the largest online retailers in the UK to take such a drastic step, so I'm guessing there must be something to it, or it could just be an argument over money, who knows.

I really would like the R4 case, but I am concerned about reports like this, do Fractal owners out there have any thoughts about it?
Baz 28th March 2013, 12:48 Quote
Odd to hear reports of the dodgy feet; we've a number in the labs that have survived the worst an angry tech journo can throw at them.
Gareth Halfacree 28th March 2013, 12:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
I really would like the R4 case, but I am concerned about reports like this, do Fractal owners out there have any thoughts about it?
I have the Fractal Define Mini (which, I note, is now listed as "discontinued" on eBuyer) and I have no complaints: no dents, no scratches, build quality was good, all parts present and correct. Well, okay, I have *one* complaint: the nice cables provided for the front panel (audio, power button, power LED, 2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0, reset button) are a bit stupid, 'cos the reset button cable is too short.

Let me explain: all the cables are exactly the same length; trouble is, every single cable except the reset button cable all go out of a hole in the top-front of the case and to the top-mounted front panel. The reset cable, meanwhile, goes to a reset button about midway down the front of the case - a good six inches away from the rest of the front panel. As a result, the cable ends up being six inches shorter than the rest by the time it's inside the case - and about three inches too short to reach my motherboard. I had to ram it through the hole designed for a second front-facing intake fan as a temporary measure; if you want two front-facing fans, you'd have to extend the cable or drill a new hole for it. Stupid design.

Aside from that, and the lack of hard drive activity light, no complaints.
Dogbert666 28th March 2013, 13:27 Quote
I have a Fractal Define R3. Obviously can't speak for the current generation case but I can echo what Gareth said in that I've had no complaints along the lines that have been suggested.
bawjaws 28th March 2013, 13:27 Quote
My only issue with my Define R3 is the lack of HDD activity light, but I got round that by ripping a HDD LED out of my previous case and ghetto mounting it sticking out of the vents on the side of the front panel :D

Other than that, the build quality of the R3 is super solid (apart from the cable routing grommets which are a little too prone to detaching from the case), and there were no dings, scratches or missing pieces on my case.
Pookie 28th March 2013, 13:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
Odd to hear reports of the dodgy feet; we've a number in the labs that have survived the worst an angry tech journo can throw at them.

It's just the rear ones for me. The front feet are either screwed or held with rivets. Another modding job to add to the list :D
kingred 28th March 2013, 14:35 Quote
I have an R2. What brought me to fractal over the others was the simplicity (AND THE BITUMEN OH GOD YES). When I ruined the included fan controller I emailed fractal about what pots to use as I had cooked the one on the pcb. The technical director of fractal immediately fired an email back saying essentially "don't do it you bloody idiot ill send you a new one goddamnit".

I believe as they are expanding production to fit increased demand for their products and their quality control engineer has probably been a new hire in the company, leading to quality issues (or the supplier trying to cheap out on their components). 4 years on My case is still fantastic, works silently, the bitumen is slowly falling off the roof of the case but that's to be expected.

Give them a chance to sort things out, they really bend over backwards for customers.
samkiller42 28th March 2013, 23:01 Quote
I've got an R3 in use as my Media Server, and when everything is switched off, the only way to know it's on, is the front LED, it's stupidly quiet, even when encoding a BD or something, full CPU power and it's still silent,and the temps are stupidly low. It's ideling now, but a Phenom 2 X6 1045T at stock is currently 13c. Perfect.

Sam
Christopher N. Lew 29th March 2013, 00:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by samkiller42
It's ideling now, but a Phenom 2 X6 1045T at stock is currently 13c.

13C ~ you must be leaving your windows open too long, that's way below a comfortable temperature for watching/listening to media. I'd be highly suspicious of a figure like that, and since one of my Phenom X6 CPUs reports 7C in a perfectly comfortable room, I wonder if there is a problem across the whole range.

I've got R3 cases and have no complaints about the feet or quality control. I used Fractal Design's USB 3 upgrade kit and found it excellent.
Paradigm Shifter 30th March 2013, 12:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
I really would like the R4 case, but I am concerned about reports like this, do Fractal owners out there have any thoughts about it?
This must be a recent thing, because I've had a Define R4 since... October?... (somewhere around there) and it's fine. The build quality, if anything, is better than most other cases I've worked with recently. As much as I like my Silverstone TJ07, the R4 is far less troublesome to work with, although the Corsair 700D is head and shoulders above the R4... but that is largely due to the extra elbow-room to work with. ;)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Aside from that, and the lack of hard drive activity light, no complaints.
Can't you just plug the power LED cable into the HDD activity connector on the motherboard if it's that much of a concern?
bawjaws 30th March 2013, 13:24 Quote
My main issue with using the power LED as HDD LED is that the power LED on my R3 is so ridiculously bright that the room would resemble a rave with blue strobe lighting! I don't think I could cope with that without suffering some sort of seizure :D
Paradigm Shifter 30th March 2013, 23:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bawjaws
My main issue with using the power LED as HDD LED is that the power LED on my R3 is so ridiculously bright that the room would resemble a rave with blue strobe lighting! I don't think I could cope with that without suffering some sort of seizure :D

I don't like blue lights anyway; I bought the Arctic White model R4, which, happily, has a red LED. If it was blue, I'd just never hook it up - blue lights have a tendency to give me nasty headaches.
fluxtatic 1st April 2013, 04:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher N. Lew
Quote:
Originally Posted by samkiller42
It's ideling now, but a Phenom 2 X6 1045T at stock is currently 13c.

13C ~ you must be leaving your windows open too long, that's way below a comfortable temperature for watching/listening to media. I'd be highly suspicious of a figure like that, and since one of my Phenom X6 CPUs reports 7C in a perfectly comfortable room, I wonder if there is a problem across the whole range.

I've got R3 cases and have no complaints about the feet or quality control. I used Fractal Design's USB 3 upgrade kit and found it excellent.

AMD reports temperatures differently than Intel. Sadly, AMD won't release what the secret formula is, so it's somewhat impossible to tell real temps from the internal sensors. I ran into the same issue with a Phenom II X3 - even overclocked and fully loaded, it never got higher than 42 degrees. I seem to have run across a site at some point using laser thermometers to get real temps, but I haven't gone looking for it lately.
Fractal Design 10th April 2013, 15:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
Overclockers suddenly dropped the entire fractal range of cases because of build quality concerns and a dismal procedure for returns, both for trade and retail customers.

They had quite a number of cases arrive from the factory with scratches, dents, poorly fitting panels and missing parts.

Unusual for one of the largest online retailers in the UK to take such a drastic step, so I'm guessing there must be something to it, or it could just be an argument over money, who knows.

I really would like the R4 case, but I am concerned about reports like this, do Fractal owners out there have any thoughts about it?

Following this recent post with regards to OCUK no longer supplying Fractal Design products and ‘issues’ over quality we would like to make the following comment. Yes it is true that OCUK no longer sell Fractal Design products. However this is due to the fact they were recently taken over by Caseking who are a German Distributor of products including many case vendors. They do not however have an agreement to distribute Fractal Design products. OCUK will no longer buy products from our UK distributor so hence the reason they do not supply.
As for the quality issues they have made reference to, during the time we dealt with them at no point did we have any major complaints from them or their customers as to quality of products or service offered. This you can see from their own forums which we know customers would have commented on as well as being able to track returns from our side.
Fractal Design has built a great reputation in the market from many reviewers and end user on the quality of our products. We only use the highest quality components and give great detail to the product's finish and looks.
That said, like any other product manufacturing, there are the odd occasions that products do get damaged either at production time or in transit and do make their way into the market. This happens with any products be it a case, a car or clothing. To overcome this, we pride ourselves on our aftercare support in which we do our best to sort any such issues in the quickest time with little or no disturbance to the user. This has not changed since we launched our products to market so has not deteriorated in any way. We carry all spare parts within our UK Distributor and also have parts held within our Swedish HQ. Any users with any damaged parts can contact their supplier or us and we will send replacement parts normally within 48 hours. If the part is not replaceable then we will always look to take the product back and replace with new, again within a very reasonable timeframe.
If users of Fractal Design cases do have issue we have the following email address they can contact to receive support. support@fractal-design.com
acemodder 14th April 2013, 23:02 Quote
Oh Dear. I'm the case buyer/PM at OCUK.
The UK distrubitor is a company called EntaTech (they are based in Telford). We buy cases from them still in the UK. Corsair cases for example ae all purchased via EntaTech.

Fractal - what are you doing? I hate lies!

I will quote an email between myself and Fractal.
Quote:

Hi Andrew, Lee

Hope all is well. Seems a few comments have been cropping up on forums that make reference to this on your forum made by one of your staff. Keen to understand why this was put as we have checked records and see no real issue with any returns or QC on products supplied to OCUK

http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/sho...36&postcount=7

Can you comment on this and show us the returns and issues you are referring to ?

Regards
Graham Dark Regional Business Developer
Fractal Design[/email]
Quote:

Hi Graham.

This comes from a lot of cases that were damaged in shipping to customers. They would not have been returned via the normal route, as all damage in transit is claimed for via our couriers (and as a result the items become their property upon claim payment). The damages we experienced were far higher than that of any other case manufacturer we have.

I can only assume poor packaging is the main reason, but to be back up the evidence, a fair few forum users have posted saying they have received damaged unit from other sources (not OcUK also).

Regards
Lee Bryan
Assistant Purchasing Manager
Overclockers UK
Quote:

Just to follow up with the comments from customers, with similar issues with other resellers who stock Fractal too.

See the posts here.

http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/sho...2&postcount=17

http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/sho...4&postcount=21

http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/sho...8&postcount=22

http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/sho...5&postcount=23

http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/sho...3&postcount=24

http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/sho...9&postcount=26

http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/sho...5&postcount=27

http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/sho...6&postcount=33

This just backs up our evidence that Fractal customers are experiencing poor quality products from Fractal.

It really is a shame, because I think that if the quality was there, then the design of the products which is really good would bring the business back. But sustained business cannot continue with such poor items. Customers claiming they have to get through 4 units before receiving a pristine unit is unacceptable 25% hit rate is not good in that instance.

Regards
Lee Bryan
Assistant Purchasing Manager
Overclockers UK
Quote:

Hi Lee

Thanks for coming back, would have been good to see the actual numbers you had and what actual damage. But as you point out it was in your shipping with your courier so not down to build quality as we do not see this ‘high’ number from any other customers around the world.

We also check forums for such comments and have not seen mass remarks, obviously there are always the odd one that does get through the system.

Regards
Graham
Quote:

Graham.

I truly believe the issue is not purely our courier, we don’t see anywhere near the amount of damage from any other case brand. I can only assume the problem lies at the point of packing from the factory; either with poor QC or packaging which is insufficient for the products. We have had customers who claim the boxes were pristine etc but scratched and damaged when taken out the box.

Regards
Lee Bryan
Assistant Purchasing Manager
Overclockers UK
Quote:

OK thanks Lee

Regards
Graham


I'm the case buyer and product manager for OcUK. Caseking have certainly NOT put any limitations into place regarding products that I cannot buy. The buyers at OcUK have full decision making ability regarding product line ups. I'm frankly really annoyed with Fractals comments on that image, if Fractal have any real issue with OcUK I suggest they take it up with OcUK and do not fabricate lies to try to dust over the QC issues.

Fractal I supported you from the start when you first came to market, we helped create the demand - there is a massive thread on own forum discussing the cases, the discussion was started by myself. I am personally targetted on sales and to be frank high returns rate are taken into consideration as it has a cost to the business when a return/replacement is needed, this affects the business in terms of profit and on a personal level affects my performance figures/data. I dont want a brand with higher than normal returns to taint my figures. That is pure and simply the one and only reason we do not stock the Fractal brand.
rjkoneill 15th April 2013, 09:55 Quote
post deleted as it seems ace modders account has been approved ^
Shirty 15th April 2013, 10:33 Quote
How dramatic. So much so that the same post has appeared twice from two different users

Pesky moderation queues for new users ;)
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