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. It really shows all of the hardware in your system.
This case is made to be quiet. Both side panels are lined with sound dampening material, the front door has a large foam insert installed, there is foam covering the two top fan mounts, the two included fans are Fractal Design’s own Silent Series R2 fans and they are connected to an included fan controller. All of this makes for a very quiet case. When I had the system running it was extremely quiet, even when gaming or doing intensive tasks.
This case sure does have a lot of room for expandability. While there are only two 5.25-inch drive bays there is room for eight 3.5/2.5-inch hard drives and even room for two more 2.5-inch drives on the back of the motherboard tray. With the ability to install all those drives there better be room for all of the cables. There sure is on this case! There is about an inch of space between the back of the motherboard tray and side panel of the case. So you can route all of your cables around the back of the case so the rest of your case looks nice and neat. There are 5 cable routing holes on the motherboard tray to make things easier. There is also a large CPU cutout on the motherboard tray so you have the ability to install an aftermarket CPU cooler without having to remove your motherboard from the case.
When it came to installation things were a breeze. This was one of those cases where I did not run into a single issue when installing my hardware. It really is a refreshing feeling and one that does not happen too often. There are no real tool-less systems in this case, but in my experience many of those systems do not work correctly, plus I trust screws much more than a piece of plastic.
The only real issue with this case is its weight. At just over 27lbs without any hardware installed this case is one of the heavier ones in its class. Once you add hardware that will make it even heavier. It will be a real pain to take this system to LAN parties. Also there is room for a total of 6 fans in this case and the fan controller only supports 3.
Right now this case is available at my favorite online retailer for $109.99, at that price you really cannot go wrong. You are getting a lot for that $109.99! Overall ThinkComputers gives the Fractal Design Define R4 Case a 9 out of 10 score.
– Room for up to 10 hard drives!
– Lots of room behind the motherboard tray to route cables
– USB 3.0 support
– Sleek design
– Pretty heavy
– Fan controller only supports 3 fans