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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Silent PC case
I bought this Fractal case for a new PC build to sit behind my TV in the living room, my main goal was to replace my existing rig with a near silent machine because although my last one looked great, it was extremely noisy and the sound whilst watching films was rather distracting.

Build quality is very high, there's plenty of room inside to make installing new...
Published 22 months ago by A. Burton

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great case, but I've had a few problems
This case is not as quiet as you are hoping. A lot of the separate parts are not put together in a way that stops it from carrying vibrations, and a couple of the plastic parts are loose. This means that if you have a spinning hard drive, you are going to hear it and it is going to annoy you. It is actually louder than my previous cheap & simple Dell case. If you want...
Published 16 months ago by LightninLew


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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Silent PC case, 15 Feb 2013
By 
A. Burton (Up me bum on second shelf) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fractal Design Define R4 PC Case - Black/Pearl (Accessory)
I bought this Fractal case for a new PC build to sit behind my TV in the living room, my main goal was to replace my existing rig with a near silent machine because although my last one looked great, it was extremely noisy and the sound whilst watching films was rather distracting.

Build quality is very high, there's plenty of room inside to make installing new components easy, with lots of places to route cables. I have a 'Gigabyte GTX460 Super Overclocked' graphics card which is certainly one of the larger cards and it fits with ease, should you have something even bigger, the upper hard drive tray is removable for more space and better ventilation.

Regarding sound levels; the two supplied 140mm fans are incredibly quiet, there's a switch behind the door which switches between 5, 9 and 12 volts depending on your requirements I have them running in 5V mode. I have an 'Arctic Cooler Freezer 13' CPU heat-sink and an 'OCZ CSX500W PSU'. I borrowed a sound meter from work to measure sound levels, my living room has an ambient noise level of between 22-25dB (a tropical fish tank produces most of that) and with the PC turned on there was no increase in sound level at all, none. If you listen, you can hear a tiny hum but it is very quiet indeed. For comparison, turning on an Xbox 360 and the sound level jumped to just under 40dB.

Two minor quibbles are the top mounted USB ports are not perfectly vertical in orientation, they're offset by around 5-10 degrees, this makes putting USB devices into them surprisingly tricky as you fumble to get it lined up straight. And the side panels are difficult to get on in a confined space, my previous case had a solid lip running the whole length of the bottom panel, you just dropped it on and slide it around until it locked into place. The Fractal R4 has several hooks so you have to align the panels perfectly whilst holding their weight. It's not a big deal but can be frustrating when you're trying to get the thing on in a tight space!

Those two minor points aside, the case is well built, beautiful, easy to work with, flexible and above all silent, it is a perfect choice as far as my needs are concerned.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Silent Case, 13 May 2013
This review is from: Fractal Design Define R4 PC Case - Black/Pearl (Accessory)
I have had several different configs in the R4 including SLI GTX 580's and currently a GTX690 both watercooled and air cooled

Positives

- At idle(with the right config) this case is silent, I cant hear it at all, my Sky+ box makes more noise. When my monitors go to sleep I sometimes have to check the computer is still on by checking the LED light on the front

- Both windowed and non windowed panel are very good at keeping noise at bay(I own both). The non windowed panel is quieter due to increased sound dampening material. With a side fan installed on the non windowed panel my Gfx card temps dropped 5 degrees at load

- Loads of hard drive space. The mounts are very good at keeping the noise of these down with rubber feet

- Loads of room for cable management. I have 3 SSDs mounted in the back, 2 of which are stacked with double sided tape and I can still close the case

- The look of the case, very slick, understated look. Reminds me of something Apple would make tbh(apologies if you hate them )

- Fits high end hardware, have an ATX motherboard, GTX690 and 1200w PSU. Ive tried both a Corsair AX1200(which is one of the biggest PSU's out there) and a Coolermaster Silent Pro Gold

- The inbuilt fan controller is very useful. When I was aircooling as I wanted to keep noise down I only installed 3 fans, 2 in the front and 1 in the back and used to crank up the voltage only when gaming. This way everything was silent at other times

- There are Spacers which come preinstalled in the Roof fan slots and side panel. There is a thick foam on these spacers which really keeps the noise at bay

Negatives

- This case is definitely hotter than others when gaming and as a result your graphics card fan will spin up to max and you will most definitely hear it although it was `slightly' less audible than some of the other cases ive owned in the past

- Radiator space for Watercooling limited

- Not much else, buy it!

Watercooling

- Ive mounted two radiators a 45mm 120 alphacool in the back and an 80mm 240 alphacool in the front. The sacrifice I had to make was to remove the all hard drive bays.
- There is space for a skinny rad in the roof but it is very tight! And you may need to offset the radiator slightly. Ive seen several videos of people mounting a H100 or other 240 radiator
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent PC case, 22 Feb 2014
By 
C. J. Spencer (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Fractal Design Define R4 PC Case - Black/Pearl (Accessory)
I have had this case for a few months now. It is extremely well built and feels very solid. Ample room inside the case so perfect for building your computer, it will take any size graphics card (and I know some are quite large), along with custom CPU coolers if you wish. I did purchase an additional front fan (140mm, around £10 currently) so it has two for intake instead of the one. I also removed the side panel cushion just so it had improved air flow. There is a front filter (covering the front fan/s) and a filter underneath. Both filters simply slide out and can be cleaned very easily. Even after a few months, there is little to no dust inside the case, which is quite impressive. I took out the middle hard drive rack as I didn't need it - the bottom one housed 3 hard drives, which is the exact number I had. Either of these racks can be removed though, which increases air flow.

The case has a very sleek look and even though I didn't specifically require a 'quiet case', it is still quieter than any case I've had previously, even at the highest fan setting (there's 3 to choose from, I just leave it on the highest for best intake). Yes this is a more pricier case but when you compare it with ones like Corsair Carbide 400R, it is not only cheaper but much better quality too. Obviously, if flashy LEDs are your thing then this probably isn't the case for you. Only the power button is illuminated blue.

Overall I am extremely happy with this case - it is minimal, perfect to build in and extremely well built. It should last me a long time which is great.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice case. Quite heavy and bigger (wider) than my ..., 3 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Fractal Design Define R4 PC Case - Black/Pearl (Accessory)
Very nice case. Quite heavy and bigger (wider) than my old aluminium Coolermaster case which was too narrow to accommodate the Coolermaster EVO 120cpu cooler I bought to use with my new system. Make sure you have plenty of light to work with when putting your system together.. It's all black including the screws.. if you drop one inside it'll be hard to find ! Very flexible case.. which can be pulled apart very easily. 2 dust filters, plenty of room to hide cabling behind the mobo mount.. cutout behind the cpu so that you don't have to take the mobo off to change the cooler. Fan controller is neat.. three fan speeds available. Check out You Tube to see the various videos. Watch out when you pick the case up to move.. the front panel with fan and filter comes off quite easily.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great case, but I've had a few problems, 16 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Fractal Design Define R4 PC Case - Black/Pearl (Accessory)
This case is not as quiet as you are hoping. A lot of the separate parts are not put together in a way that stops it from carrying vibrations, and a couple of the plastic parts are loose. This means that if you have a spinning hard drive, you are going to hear it and it is going to annoy you. It is actually louder than my previous cheap & simple Dell case. If you want this case for its noise cancelling properties and nothing else, do not buy it. Google this. You will find dozens of reports of the same issue. I think the positive reviews are from people who either have SSDs, bad hearing, or aren't willing to admit to regret their purchase. It's either that, or buying Fractal cases is like a very slightly less noisy game of Russian roulette.

One of the side panels is also slightly misshapen. It is longer on the top than the bottom, so there's a ~5mm gap at the top and the screw holes are all misaligned. This is only a tiny problem, of course I don't need to screw the side on and a tiny gap isn't a huge issue. But it does say something about the build quality.

One of the expansion bay trays is also bent so the left ratchet doesn't make contact. This was clearly done before or during assembly. Why it wasn't replaced there & then is beyond me.

The instructions leave a lot down to guesswork & googling, so if this is your first build, don't expect to be relying on instruction booklets. Some stuff that would take a few words to describe, such as which screws go where are not even mentioned.

Having said all that, it is a good case. The front door is convenient and well made. The front panel ports & buttons are in a great position. It's spacious, and cable management is easy. There are only two external expansion bays, making room for more internal ones. The expansion bays are very easy to use and feel well made.

Overall I like the case, it's almost exactly what I wanted, neither of the smaller problems are worth the hassle of sending parts back & being without a case for however long it would take to replace. However, I cannot recommend it to anyone who wants a quiet case. If I could go back, I would still consider buying it, but I would have probably gone with something else.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant minimalist case and, it's effectively silent, 7 July 2013
By 
John Boy (Bristol United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Fractal Design Define R4 PC Case - Black/Pearl (Accessory)
If you like a case to look good, not lit up like a Christmas tree and to be quiet; you've just found it. I thought that my previous case was large and quiet (fanless video card), but the R4 is bigger and quieter. It's also heavy due to the thick sound absorption material on the removable case sides. It looks impressive with it's 'piano' black gloss front cover, like a mini version of the monolith in the film "2001 A Space Odyssey".

It's quiet due to the two push / pull 120mm case fans that are controlled by a 5-7-12 volt selector switch inside the front door / cover. The switch is fed by a 4 pin Molex connector, so this method of connecting means that the fans won't be monitor or controlled by the BIOS. However, the plugs on the fan cables look to be suitable for plugging into a motherboard if BIOS monitoring and control is important. I leave the switch on 7 volts and with the computer against a wall I can just about hear the PSU fan; it's silent in free space. My system is an i5 3570K CPU and Triple Copper Heatpipe cooler, nVidia GT 640 graphics card, SSD, a WD Caviar Black HDD, and 450 watt PSU; I've uploaded an image with notes of the interior to the product page so that you can gauge the space for components; click on "see 1 customer image".

The SDD and HDD cages are mounted across the front of the case; however there is only provision for two external bays behaind the front cover. Things to note:

* there is provision for side mounted fans but the separate sound absorption tends to come unstuck; I've used black Duck Tape tape to hold it in place;

* there are two removeable fine mesh filters : one in the base for the case interior and PSU fan intake, and the second at the front fan intake. Ideally the case should not be mounted on carpet;

* the blue LED by the on/off button at the top of the case can be either connected to show on/off, or SDD/HDD activity; I've connected mine for on/off but wired a small LED for the HDD activity inside the front cover so that I can check if the system has hung;

* the two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 sockets next to the on/off button are ideally placed for young hands poking them with a screwdriver, or as a handy drain for spilled drinks! these should have been behind a robust flap;

* lifting the case by holding the base at the front and rear is likely to detach the front with a possibility that 12kg or more will be heading floorwards (not good for toes and large CPU coolers!;

* the front cover / door only hinges on the left.

Despite those minor moans, I'm really impressed with this case.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Case some quality issues, 1 April 2014
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This review is from: Fractal Design Define R4 PC Case - Black/Pearl (Accessory)
I have purchased this case recently and can say it ticks all my boxes except the quality at the front there is a fascia that has a push and release system 2 of these and on mine both don't latch, also the front is very easy to remove so as long as you don't keep moving the case you should be fine other than that excellent space for cables at back very nice and tidy enough room for the largest of air coolers, case appears very strong excellent sound proofing great value for money even with the minor faults I would mark this as a 4 star it loses a star for the minor issues that I have opened a ticked on with fractual directly bit of a pain to send back to amazon as quite heavy I hope this review helps someone
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quiet, 19 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Fractal Design Define R4 PC Case - Black/Pearl (Accessory)
Good case lots of hard drive bays. can be very quiet. I've got a three hard drives which spin at 7200rpm. If there all running and you can hear the vibrations even though there's rubber attachment which separate them from the metal mounting trays. If your just mounting a SSD then it will be very quiet. You can also fit a corsair H100 inside with the fans blowing out its just a little bit tight though. One bad thing is that this case only comes with 2 140mm fans. This case has the potential to have 6 140mm fans and should at least supply you with 3. bottom mounted power supply unit also benefits from the filter underneath. Great case for the price!
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is the case you're looking for., 3 Dec 2014
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This review is from: Fractal Design Define R4 PC Case - Black/Pearl (Accessory)
This is a great case!

I've had this for almost 6 months now and there is basically nothing I dont like about it, so ill start with what I dont like (its really short)

Negatives: The blue LED on the front can be a little bright at night, its hardly a negative and I almost never notice it.

The positives

This case is very well build. It doesnt budge, nothing really flexes, the doors fit perfectly. Its got a very nice matte finish all round, the front panel is a high quality plastic front door with a shiny metal looking finish, its looks very good. I actually didn't realise I was a plastic front at first, it blends in very well with the rest of the metal body.

This is a mid sized case so you could easily put this on a big enough desk or on the floor. It has raised feet that gives enough clearance on carpets. I get about 1/2cm of clearance on carpet which is plenty of room for the ventilation on the bottom of the case.

The case is slightly wider than some cases this size, this gives you masses of room and the extra width allows them to put in a good amount of cable management room in the back of the plate that holds the motherboard.

The inside is somewhat modular, There is room for 7 hard drives or SSDs and an additional 2 SSD mounts on the back of the motherboard plate. The 7 hard drive mountings are in a set of removable and rotatable rack or 5 and rack of 3 bays, this gives you some options if you need more room in the case or want more airflow in the case. But if you need a case for a workstation that needs hard drive space there is masses of room for hard drives in this case.

It has plenty of room for fans or radiators, it comes with two top vents and one of the side that are covered by sound proofing material that can be easily removed or put back on. You get dust filters on the bottom of the case where the power supply will be and front of the case that are easy to remove and clean.

The fans that come with the case are pretty good, I find they do a great job at moving air and are pretty quiet, you can use the 3 stage fan controler on the case to control these fans. I find leaving it at the middle setting allows it to push plenty of air and you can just hear it.

Speaking of sound. The case is quiet, the sound proofing really helps and if im not gaming I sometimes forget its even on.

It looks great too. Its very minimalist and I like that. I think you could probably put this anywhere and it would look like it belonged.

Long story short, if you're looking for a high quality, quiet, modular case that will do you a long time, definitely consider this. Alternatively look at the Define R5, its the R4 just with a bunch of refinements and improvements.

(you also get a bunch of accessories for installing hardware into the case, screws, ties etc)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best all-round PC case for a generation? I think so., 21 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Fractal Design Define R4 PC Case - Black/Pearl (Accessory)
Lots of pros, very few cons.

It's cheap to buy, it's subtle and stylish.

It's pretty small but can hold quite a lot.

It's nice and quiet, assuming your PSU and other internal components are not too noisy.

The quality of the materials is very reasonable for the price. They are completely ok and acceptable even next to full aluminium cases etc.

I've managed to route cables and make it all look nice and tidy inside.

I've built my own computers and ones for my family since the mid 90's, and this was a pleasure to work on. You can do a quick build and get great quick results, and be happy. Or you can really spend some time doing cable management etc and get a really nice result that would make any enthusiast happy.

Any short-comings can be completely ignored when you then view the price of the case. It really is hard to beat or ask for anything more.

I'd buy another but I want to build a mini ITX system next, and am very tempted by the Node 304 also by Fractal Design. Another case that seems to get completely universal praise and fit the wide and varied needs of almost any one who buys one.

Fractal Design just seem really good at these products and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend one or buy again.
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