Reviews and Problems with Fractal Design Define XL
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Fractal Design Define XL Case Review
19 December 2011
Summary: We were really impressed by the Fractal Design Define XL. Its construction quality is superb, allowing you to build a high-end system with very low noise level at a very affordable price.
Pros: Superior construction quality, Polycarbonate layer on the side panels, Foam layer behind the front door, Support for E-ATX motherboards, Interior divided into two compartments, Air filters for the front and power supply fans, Mesh for the left-side fan comes closed with dampening foam, Vented 5.2...
Cons: Could have eight expansion slots, Some users don’t like cases with front doors
Summary: The 'XL" in Fractal Design Define XL Case stands for extra large and that's no lie. With lots of room to work, plenty of drive bays, excellent cooling, cable management system, great styling and so much more, this is one of the better cases on the market.
Conclusion: Although we strive for objectivity here at Benchmark Reviews, please remember that each author perceives these points differently, and our conclusions and recommendations will necessarily differ from others.
Pros: Extremely well built, Sound insulated, Tons of space, Ten plus hard drives, Unique compartmentalization, Nice looking, Good value, Excellent mechanical tolerance, Lots of options
Cons: Front fan filter release tab location akward, Only three included fans, PSU cable hole needs relocating, Horizontal divider can limit cable routing, Could use side and top 230mm fan options, Front inner door/filter needs reworking
Conclusion: The Fractal Design Define XL excels in aesthetics with its classy, stylish look, and while testing it I came across several interesting features that I'd never seen before on other cases. Some areas of the case are well thought out, while other aspects could use some retooling.
Conclusion: Knowing the Fractal Design Define XL is an eATX chassis, it probably does not come as a surprise to you that the case is very easy to work with. Combined with a plethora amount of room, the dual chamber design allows the user to install components in any order they prefer.
Summary: Performance of the Fractal Design Define XL was excellent all around. Installation was very easy, cable management was top notch and cooling characteristics for all components was far above average.
Pros: Excellent Noise Absorption For Near Silent Computing, Impeccable Fit and Finish, Engineering and Layout Make Installation Easy, Configurable Three Chamber Design To Tailor Component Airflow, Excellent Airflow With Many Flow/Noise Balancing Options, Top Quality Materials Used In Every Component
Summary: The Define XL may just look like a simple size increase of the Define R3 and from an outside perspective it actually is. It is a bit wider, a bit taller and comes with more external drive bays and a larger number of USB 2.0 connectors, but retains the exact look and feel of the Define R3.
Pros: Excellent cable management possibilities, Very spacious interior, Two types of sound dampening materials used, Can hold 10 hard drives, Three fans included, Top 180 mm fan angled for better sound encapsulation, Fan controller included, Very good paint job, 7+1 expansion slots, Front drive bay cov...
Cons: No USB 3.0, Rather heavy, Fans not the quietest, Upper left corner a bit of a squeeze due to angled fan, Door only opens to the left
Conclusion: We like the Define XL, but it has a number of niggling flaws that disappointed is as well. The poor positioning of the PSU power cable cut-out and the bizarre flap covering the CPU socket cut-out in the motherboard tray both stick out as irritants.