Fractal Design Define XL R2 Review

March 28, 2013 | 08:40

Tags: #e-atx #quiet-computing #tower-case #water-cooling

Companies: #fractal-design

Cooling Performance

Our test kit includes an ATI Radeon HD 5870 2GB Eyefinity 6 graphics card and an Intel Core i7-870 CPU, which has been overclocked from 2.93GHz to 3.4GHz using a vcore of 1.305V and a CPU PLL of 1.9V. This is a modest overclock, but our test kit will spend most of its life under high load, so pushing it too far isn't in anybody's interests. More importantly, some poorer-performing cases push the CPU temperature to above 80°C, so even this overclock will prove to be too much for some cases.

The CPU is cooled by a Gelid Tranquillo CPU cooler with a Noctua NF-S12B ULN 120mm fan. The NF-S12B ULN is a low-airflow fan, so it will highlight cases with poor cooling for the CPU. We also locked the fan speed on the graphics card to 30 per cent to prevent the automatic speed control interfering with the results.

We record the temperature of the CPU using RealTemp, noting the temperature of the hottest core, and used GPU-Z to log the temperature of the graphics card. Having recorded the ambient temperature in front of the main air intake of each case, we're then able to calculate the delta T - the difference between the ambient temperature of our lab and the temperature of the hardware. To load the system, we use a combination of the Canyon Flight benchmark in 3DMark06 and the smallfft test in Prime 95.
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-870 CPU overclocked to 3.4GHz
  • Graphics card: ATI Radeon HD 5870 2GB Eyefinity 6
  • Motherboard: Biostar TPower I55
  • RAM: 2 x 2GB OCZ 1,866MHz DDR3
  • Hard drive: 160GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.9
  • Heatsink: Gelid Tranquillo with a Noctua NF-S12B ULN fan
  • Power supply: Seasonic M12D SS-850EM


Case performance - CPU Delta T

Arranged by CPU Delta T

  • SilverStone FT02R-W (max speed)
  • SilverStone FT02R-W (min speed)
  • Antec One
  • Fractal Design Core 3000 (max speed)
  • Cooler Master HAF X
  • NZXT Switch 810
  • NZXT Source 210 Elite
  • NZXT Phantom 630 (max speed; no HDD cage)
  • NZXT Phantom 820 (max speed)
  • Cooler Master HAF XM
  • BitFenix Shinobi XL
  • Xigmatek Elysium
  • Fractal Design Define XL R2 (max speed; no HDD cage)
  • In-Win GRone (max speed)
  • Corsair 550D (without panels)
  • Fractal Design Core 3000 (min speed)
  • Fractal Design Define R4 (max speed)
  • Fractal Design Define XL R2 (med speed; no HDD cage)
  • Fractal Design Define XL R2 (max speed)
  • Lian Li PC-A76
  • NZXT Phantom 630 (min speed)
  • NZXT Phantom 820 (min speed)
  • Xigmatek Midgard II (max speed; no HDD cage)
  • Antec GX700 (max speed)
  • Thermaltake Chaser A31
  • Aerocool X-Predator X1 (max speed)
  • Sharkoon T28
  • In-Win GRone (min speed)
  • Fractal Design Define XL R2 (med speed)
  • Corsair 550D (with panels)
  • Fractal Design Define XL R2 (min speed; no HDD cage)
  • Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 (max speed; ventilated)
  • Corsair Carbide 200R
  • CM Storm Scout 2
  • Fractal Design Define XL R2 (min speed)
  • Xigmatek Midgard II (min speed)
  • Aerocool X-Predator X1 (min speed)
  • Fractal Design Define R4 (min speed)
  • Antec GX700 (min speed)
  • Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 (min speed)
    • 42
    • 37
    • 44
    • 37
    • 47
    • 43
    • 47
    • 47
    • 48
    • 36
    • 48
    • 44
    • 48
    • 47
    • 48
    • 48
    • 48
    • 49
    • 48
    • 50
    • 49
    • 51
    • 50
    • 40
    • 50
    • 47
    • 50
    • 47
    • 51
    • 47
    • 51
    • 49
    • 51
    • 49
    • 52
    • 49
    • 52
    • 51
    • 52
    • 51
    • 52
    • 51
    • 52
    • 52
    • 53
    • 46
    • 54
    • 49
    • 54
    • 51
    • 54
    • 52
    • 55
    • 46
    • 55
    • 50
    • 55
    • 52
    • 56
    • 49
    • 56
    • 51
    • 56
    • 51
    • 56
    • 58
    • 57
    • 55
    • 58
    • 53
    • 58
    • 53
    • 58
    • 56
    • 60
    • 50
    • 60
    • 52
    • 63
    • 55
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
°C, lower is better
  • CPU Delta T
  • GPU Delta T

Case performance - GPU Delta T

Arranged by GPU Delta T

  • Cooler Master HAF X
  • SilverStone FT02R-W (max speed)
  • SilverStone FT02R-W (min speed)
  • Xigmatek Elysium
  • Antec One
  • NZXT Switch 810
  • Xigmatek Midgard II (max speed; no HDD cage)
  • Sharkoon T28
  • Fractal Design Core 3000 (max speed)
  • NZXT Source 210 Elite
  • Fractal Design Define XL R2 (max speed; no HDD cage)
  • In-Win GRone (max speed)
  • Corsair 550D (without panels)
  • NZXT Phantom 630 (max speed; no HDD cage)
  • NZXT Phantom 820 (max speed)
  • Fractal Design Core 3000 (min speed)
  • Fractal Design Define R4 (max speed)
  • Fractal Design Define XL R2 (med speed; no HDD cage)
  • Antec GX700 (max speed)
  • Corsair 550D (with panels)
  • Cooler Master HAF XM
  • In-Win GRone (min speed)
  • Fractal Design Define R4 (min speed)
  • BitFenix Shinobi XL
  • Fractal Design Define XL R2 (max speed)
  • Lian Li PC-A76
  • NZXT Phantom 630 (min speed)
  • Thermaltake Chaser A31
  • Fractal Design Define XL R2 (min speed; no HDD cage)
  • Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 (max speed; ventilated)
  • NZXT Phantom 820 (min speed)
  • Aerocool X-Predator X1 (max speed)
  • Fractal Design Define XL R2 (med speed)
  • Antec GX700 (min speed)
  • Fractal Design Define XL R2 (min speed)
  • Xigmatek Midgard II (min speed)
  • Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 (min speed)
  • CM Storm Scout 2
  • Aerocool X-Predator X1 (min speed)
  • Corsair Carbide 200R
    • 48
    • 36
    • 42
    • 37
    • 44
    • 37
    • 50
    • 40
    • 47
    • 43
    • 48
    • 44
    • 53
    • 46
    • 55
    • 46
    • 47
    • 47
    • 48
    • 47
    • 50
    • 47
    • 50
    • 47
    • 51
    • 47
    • 48
    • 48
    • 48
    • 49
    • 51
    • 49
    • 51
    • 49
    • 52
    • 49
    • 54
    • 49
    • 56
    • 49
    • 48
    • 50
    • 55
    • 50
    • 60
    • 50
    • 49
    • 51
    • 52
    • 51
    • 52
    • 51
    • 52
    • 51
    • 54
    • 51
    • 56
    • 51
    • 56
    • 51
    • 52
    • 52
    • 54
    • 52
    • 55
    • 52
    • 60
    • 52
    • 58
    • 53
    • 58
    • 53
    • 63
    • 55
    • 57
    • 55
    • 58
    • 56
    • 56
    • 58
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
°C, lower is better
  • CPU Delta T
  • GPU Delta T

Read our performance analysis on the next page.
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