Reviews and Problems with Fractal Design Define R4
Showing 1-10 of 37
16 October 2013
Excerpt: There are two main schools of thought when it comes to enthusiast case design.One can be thought of as attention-seeking: make it as flashy, splashy, and eye catching as possible.The other is most often described as minimalist: strip the design down to bare essentials, keep the design accents subtle.Fractal Design has an established reputation in the second school, and today we’re going to be taking a look at one of their latest efforts: the Define R4.
Summary: Final Thoughts
I have been hearing really good things about the Define R4 since it was released and I can see why. Fractal Design has another solid product here in this case. Starting off with looks the Defire R4 has a really sleek but simple design. If you are a fan of crazy designs this is not going to be the case for you, but if you want something that looks solid the Define R4 is just that. I do like that the version we received for review had a side panel window.
Pros: Room for up to 10 hard drives!, Lots of room behind the motherboard tray to route cables, USB 3.0 support, Sleek design, Price
Cons: Pretty heavy, Fan controller only supports 3 fans
Excerpt: From what I hear, not all the best cases are made from Aluminum. However, I can’t think of the last case I used for my primary workstation that wasn’t. Fractal Design has set out to change all that with the Define R4. This case is sleek, sturdy, and may just be the one to displace my aluminum tradition.
Excerpt: The first question you’ll ask yourself when you unscrew the thumbscrews and remove the side panel from the Define R4 will probably be, “Where are the 5.25-inch bays?” Like its predecessor, the R4 comes with just two. That’s not the best of news for those looking to do anything but slap an optical drive into their rigs. Water coolers will have to look elsewhere to place a reservoir.
Pros: Plenty of drive storage; built-in fan controller; good connectivity (and lots of fan mounts).
Cons: Nothing’s screwless; tougher design for more extreme system builds; limited 5.25-inch bay support.
Summary: The Fractal Design Define R4 Case is a perfect combination of style & functionality. What separates this mid-tower case from others is it's spacious design and acoustic-dampening material for a near silent build. It comes with plenty of drive bays, fan options, dust filters, USB3 ports and much more.
Conclusion: Important: In this section I am going to write a brief five point summary on the following categories; Performance, Appearance, Construction, Functionality and Value. These views are my own and help me to give the Fractal Design Define R4 PC case a rating out of 10. A high or low score does not necessarily mean that it is better or worse than a similar PC case that has been reviewed by another writer here at Benchmark Reviews, which may have got a higher or lower score.
Pros: Very functional case, Minimal noise, Fan speed control, 2 x USB 3.0/2 x USB 2.0 on front I/O panel, Plenty of room for expansion and future upgrades, Very spacious interior, Very sleek and stylish design, Big hardware supported, Hard Drive caddies are configurable, Supports up to 8 HDD/SSD, Excellent Build quality, Cable management is very good, Support for custom watercooling hardware, Plenty of ventilation, Locations for a further five 120/140mm fans
Cons: Very Heavy ATX PC Case, Paint job not very durable, easy to scratch/mark, Needs better side panel fitting, Minimal looks may not cater for all
Excerpt: The mid-tower chassis is what I would consider to be one of the most versatile chassis types in the computing world. Since our computer components are getting larger the role of the mid tower chassis has taken on an entirely new meaning, it not only has to be able to keep our components cool, these types of chassis’ have to be handle a large variety of computer components; while also, retaining a small enough form factor so that it can be easily moved from one place to...
Summary: The Fractal Design Define R4 was excellent from start to finish. Installation and cable routing were easy, due to the excellent design, and cooling performance exceeded expectations for a near silent case.
I get to see and do builds in a lot of cases, of varying shapes, sizes, manufacturers and price ranges. Some are good, some….well, not so good.
Conclusion: Knowing that the well-received Define R3 made its debut almost two years ago, we expected the long-awaited R4 to be a significant upgrade with fresh thinking and bold new ideas. What we have instead is a modest upgrade that improves on the original design in numerous ways without really pushing the boat out. Yet, somehow, that's arguably not a bad thing.