33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 15 February 2013
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.
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 13 May 2013
I have had several different configs in the R4 including SLI GTX 580's and currently a GTX690 both watercooled and air cooled
- 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
- 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!
- 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
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 22 February 2014
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 September 2014
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 September 2013
I bought this case for a development machine for work. First off, the case is really really big--if you're planning on hiding this in a corner, it won't work. This is definitely more of a specialist case for someone that wants lots of room. This means, however, that there's tons of space. There 9 3.5" hard drive bays (compatible with 2.5" SSDs as well, but not tool-less for either) and two optical drive bays at the top. Only need 2 drives? That's fine--6 of the hard drive bays easily remove to allow for better airflow. Speaking of airflow, the case comes with 2 140mm fans, one in the front and one in the back. It has space for a LOT more, too. All case fan ports support either 120mm or 140mm fans. The front fans are tool-less for 140mm only, however. Easily removable dust filters are included for the front fans and bottom fans.
This case is very, very quiet. When I turned it on the first time, the ambient noise completely blocked the case running with 3x 140mm fan (one on the CPU, one in the front, one in the back). Since then, I've added another 140mm to the front, and the noise is still barely audible. The case includes an onboard fan controller on the front that controls up to 3 fans, allowing you to modify the voltage to either 12v, 7v, or 5v. When I set the fans to 7, I can't hear a thing. I usually keep it at 12 due to the general quietness of the case. Unused fan spaces are covered with a noise-dampening foam. The front cover is also covered with foam.
The case looks great, too--very minimalist. A windowed side panel is available for separate purchase.
Overall, this isn't a case for grandma. But if you want a quiet case for a powerful PC, and you need a lot of storage space, you can't go wrong with this one.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 April 2014
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
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 October 2013
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!
on 16 January 2015
After enduring a painfully loud PC that was frequently compared to a helicopter, I decided to upgrade my fans. To cut a long story short, I bought a 140mm CPU Water cooler that would not fit in my old case, hence the reason for this case. The water cooler was nicely accommodated at the back of this case, that seemingly makes it difficult to put a 140mm fan above it, however if that was installed first, it might be possible. I settled for a 120mm alongside it so it wasn't a tight fit.
The two fans that come with this case are superb. At full speed, they can be loud but no louder than you would expect a 140mm fan to sound like.
The case comes with a built in fan controller for up to 3 fans, with 3 options: 5v, 7v & 12v which for all intensive purposes shall be considered low, medium and high. This works brilliantly if you don't own an external fan controller but be aware what setting you have yours on to what task you are doing.
The padding on the doors provide great noise reduction and 3 of the empty fan slots come with a padded cover that helps block off any holes that would produce extra sound. This would also help direct airflow but I would recommend anyone fill all fan slots if possible.
The top HDD cage can be rotated 90 degrees for airflow or removed, which benefits having a case full of fans and the option to implement very large GPUs.
My only criticism is the instructions. They are straight to the point but don't go into detail with minor things. An example of this is behind the front door, the dust cover for the front two fans is removed extremely simply by pushing the top left and right in to unclip it, and the same to clip it back in. Without knowing this, I have broken the top right clip trying to install the optional front fan despite it being painfully simple and easy to open. This does not detract from the case and its functions however and isn't likely to trip up more patient people out there.
on 3 December 2014
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.
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)