Excellent Expansion: My wife and I build our machines to last with high quality components and plenty of options for expansion. We have three main drives for a multi-boot setup as well as media and backup storage, and we're looking to add five drives for a RAID array at some point. The fact that we can do this with the R4 without having to buy an external case will save money in the long run. Being able to remove the 5-bay cage in the short term will help with air circulation in the short term. This case will deal with anything we throw at, and the price and build quality are exceptional for the price.
Almost totally silent: We use our main home machine as a media and backup server, and so it usually lives in the living room, close to our TV and and A/V setup so we also wanted this machine to be quiet. The Refine R4 ticks all the boxes and more. I cannot hear the fans at all, and the only noise we do hear is a little bit of drive mechanism noise. Before buying this, I heard some people say that the sound baffling foam was a gimmick. I can honestly say that I could hear the CPU cooler (the massive Cooler Master Evo 212) before I put the sides on but not at all after I installed them. I demonstrated for my wife, and her jaw just dropped.
Ice cold: We're only using the two fans that came with the case plus the Evo 212. We really have to work hard to stress the i5-3570K, but even when I have it encoding video, it never goes above 55C. Under normal operating conditions, the CPU cores usually operate from the mid 30s C to the very low 40s. The drives are operating at 37-39C. I would be curious to hear what overclockers are finding, but this case is so cool that you have a lot of thermal headroom before you even have to worry about your system breaking a sweat.
Good in dusty conditions: As for the review giving this case 3 stars because of dust build-up, I can't speak in the long term, but after having it just a couple of weeks, it's a dream to keep clean. Our flat is very dusty, and I used to have to clean out our old case and computer every two weeks. This case has a very effective and easy to clean filter over the power supply fan and slot for a bottom of the case fan plus up front for the drive bays. After less than two weeks of operation, dust was already beginning to accumulate on the front filter. It removes easily, and a quick dusting removed the build-up. That's a lot easier than with our old case. No, it's not maintenance free, but nothing is.
Final thoughts: If you want a quiet case with understated, elegant styling, this is the case for you. It is big and fairly heavy, but for me this was a mark of quality not a drawback.This is a solid, well-built case that will grow with you. It's extremely well thought out, and apart from a few long cable runs for one of the MB power connectors and the CD audio connector, it all went together very well, and frankly, that's just about MB layout. It is full of elegant touches and smart engineering. I would highly recommend it for anyone looking for silence, expansion and solid build quality.