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Review: Fractal Design Define C

by Parm Mann on 2 November 2016, 14:00

Tags: Fractal Design

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qadak2

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Conclusion

a smaller option for those wanting to forego 5.25in optical bays while retaining a lot of what's good about a Define Series enclosure.

Fractal Design has expanded its range of award-winning Define Series enclosure with a compact ATX solution designed to go head-to-head with the likes of NZXT's Source 340 Elite and Corsair's Carbide Series 400C.

Dubbed the Define C and priced from £79, Fractal's latest chassis is positioned as a smaller option for those wanting to forego 5.25in optical bays while retaining a lot of what's good about a Define Series enclosure. The end result is a case that's less bulky than the Define S/R5, yet familiar in terms of design and feature set.

Fans of the product line will be pleased to learn that exterior styling hasn't changed, yet while it's nice to see a chassis manufacturer maintaining a distinct brand identity, we'd liked to have seen Fractal bring the Define C up to date with the addition of USB Type-C and a more seamless side window.

What we have instead is the feeling of safety that comes from recognisable surroundings. Sound-dampening materials, a top ModuVent, versatile radiator compatibility, a hidden PSU compartment and a design free of unnecessary frills. Define C ticks all those boxes and serves as a smaller, more affordable alternative to the trendsetting Define R5.

The Good
 
The Bad
Smaller than Define S/Define R5
Enclosed PSU compartment
Available with or without side window
Dust and noise filters throughout
Good cable management
Can easily house a couple of radiators
 
Not a lot cheaper than the Define S
Lacks front-facing USB Type-C
Doesn't include a fan controller
No 140mm fans as standard



Fractal Design Define C

HEXUS.where2buy*

The Fractal Design Define C mid-tower chassis - windowed and non-windowed - will be available to purchase from Scan Computers.

HEXUS.right2reply

At HEXUS, we invite the companies whose products we test to comment on our articles. If any company representatives for the products reviewed choose to respond, we'll publish their commentary here verbatim.



*UK-based HEXUS community members are eligible for free delivery and priority customer service through the SCAN.care@HEXUS forum.



HEXUS Forums :: 7 Comments

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The Define R5 is currently my choice for the new PC, however it's big, bulky, too wide to fit by my desk (just) and I don't need all that space inside. So this would have been a dream if it were as good.

My main objective is noise reduction though and it seems that the space restrictions here (combined with the overall design?) are just too much of a compromise. Shame.
Man that thing is deceptively spacious. I'm not entirely sure not having USB Type-C on the front is worth a note in the “The Bad” section, I mean there's not many cases at that price point that actually do have USB Type-C.

I think arguably the same goes for the 120mm fans rather than including 140mm - if you were to add both these on it would have pushed the cost of the case up slightly and then they're getting into a different market/price point entirely.
The Define C, or C Mini are top of my shopping list at the moment. My current build is a Raijintek Styx which manages to be small'ish but can get noisy when underload. The airflow is really tricky, so I'd been planning a case change and struggling to decide between the S340 Elite and the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv mATX.

Now my choice is between the Define C and the Define C Mini :)

I look forward to seeing the watercooling builds that people manage to fit into these as that's definitely part of my 2017 plan.
Quick question on your nice review. Specs say that only a psu with a length not longer than 175mm is supported. On your pictures i can see that you've used a dark power pro (180mm). Did that go easy or was it a tight squeeze? Did it work with the psu sled?

Thank you in advance for your reply!
Hi, quick question. The psu that you've used for the review is 180mm (dark power pro), specs state that 175mm is the max supported lenghth. Did this go easy or was it a tight fit? Did the psu sled fit, because it seems there is a small ‘bump’ at the end of that.

Thanks for your reply!