3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Quality, stylish and well designed case,
This review is from: Fractal Design Define R4 PC Case - White (Personal Computers)
I bought this recently for a new i5 IvyBridge build, and I have to say I'm impressed. Lovely design, spacious and for a silent case, cooling is good. Just need to add another fan at the front intake to maximise the air flow, but currently I'm running the i5 3570k overclocked to 4.5ghz, Gigabyte Windforce Radeon 7970 GPU, with a Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler. Under load the GPU maxes out at circa 60-65 degrees, and the CPU circa 40 degrees. The ambient temperature in the room is around 20-23 degrees with those component temps, and this is with the case fans only on 500RPM! - in short, this runs very cool and is quiet.
There's plenty of space inside, and even with all drive cages in the rather long 7970 fits perfectly. Personally, I removed the middle drive cage (which just slides out once you've removed two thumb screws) which has also helped with airflow. Quite a few cables to route, but pleasingly the USB 3 cable has a motherboard header on it, and aside from the usual audio/usb cables you also have fan connectors as there is a basic fan controller built into the case. There are rubber grommets on all of the hard drive bays too, to minimise vibration and the final point of note is that there are dust filters on the main intakes, as well as in the bottom of the case. The spare fan mounting points are also covered with acoustic material by default, which helps with noise and also stops dust getting in.
In regard to cable management, it's pretty good with a reasonably deep slot behind the motherboard, although I'd like a little more room, particularly if you don't have a modular psu and you need to hide lots of cables behind the main tray. The only thing that could be improved is a few more cable tie slots on the back plate, but it's not really a big deal.
I bought the windowed version and it looks great. You really don't need a side intake unless you're overclocking your GPU, and I like to see inside my PC :-) But you can't go wrong with either version. Overall a fantastic design with a real quality feel which looks fantastic in white.
As for the negatives? Only a few minor issues, as follows:
The power light on the front of the case is red (makes you think something's wrong!) Blue LEDs would go better with a white case, or even white - although this point is simply a matter of taste.
The SSD drive mounting options on the backplate are a bit pointless, as you need to install them prior to the motherboard being fitted. Regardless of what anyone says, SSD drives can and do fail, and if you ever change the drives either to upgrade or because of failure, you've effectively got to rebuild the whole PC!
It's not a tool-less design like some other cases, but it's not really a big deal and frankly the Design R4 is a bargain for the price.
After going through many cases over the years this is by far the best one. If you want a case that's quiet, stylish, and doesn't look like it's just come off of the set of Transformers, then you can't really go far wrong with this. Not quite 5 stars, but it's pretty damn close and given the price point I don't think this can be beaten. High recommended.