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Review: Fractal Design Define R4

by Parm Mann on 31 August 2012, 11:30 4.0

Tags: Fractal Design

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qablpf

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Final Thoughts and Rating

HEXUS Snapshot:

...we can think of few sub-£100, sound-proofed chassis that are as well-rounded as the Define R4.

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.

Sure, we'd like to have seen Fractal add more visual appeal, but the manufacturer's insistence on improving functionality shouldn't be overlooked. The Define R4 is great to work with, the removable hard-disk cages are a big plus, the extra width improves cable management, and the addition of a fan controller further enhances the chassis' appeal.

There's still room for improvement and we want to see Fractal rip-up the Define rule book for the eventual R5, but we can understand why there's no hurry. As it stands, we can think of few sub-£100, sound-proofed chassis that are as well-rounded as the Define R4.

The Good

Keeps noise levels in check
Integrated fan controller
Good performance
Very easy to build into
Welcome upgrade over the R3

The Bad

A case of evolution, not revolution
Could be prettier

HEXUS Rating

4/5
Fractal Design Define R4

HEXUS Awards

HEXUS Recommended
Fractal Design Define R4

HEXUS Where2Buy

The Fractal Design Define R4 chassis is 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 :: 21 Comments

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That looks superb - all the things I want in a case with the performance to match it. I'd be sorely tempted to rebuild my current rig into one of these, as the Lian Li I have is too noisy (despite being allegedly built for quietness…).
Great job, Fractal! For me, this deserves more than the 4* you've given it here! :) I guess I should reserve that statement until I've actually used one though.
Roobubba
That looks superb - all the things I want in a case with the performance to match it. I'd be sorely tempted to rebuild my current rig into one of these, as the Lian Li I have is too noisy (despite being allegedly built for quietness…).
Great job, Fractal! For me, this deserves more than the 4* you've given it here! :) I guess I should reserve that statement until I've actually used one though.

Did a build for a mate using the R3 - its a lovely case and has very clean looks.
Very attractive indeed. Wish they have other colours though.
Is the ‘unsightly’ toggle switch a big deal when it is behind a closed door?
Seems like a decent case, but still a bit too much money for what you get IMHO. I've recently put together a system with an Antec Three-hundred Two case, which offers pretty much the same features (albeit without the sound-proofing) for about half the money. For budget systems, I think Antec are hard to beat.