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Review: Fractal Design Define S

by Parm Mann on 28 April 2015, 15:01

Tags: Fractal Design

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Eschewing optical drive bays in favour of enhanced liquid-cooling support, the Define S targets a niche audience compared to the all-encompassing Define R5...

Fractal Design has expanded its range of award-winning Define Series enclosures with a new addition geared toward a specific audience.

Eschewing optical drive bays in favour of enhanced liquid-cooling support, the Define S targets a niche audience compared to the all-encompassing Define R5 and is able to do so at a keen price point.

For £65, Define S offers enough rad-mount opportunities for extreme users, and with integrated fixings for reservoir and pump, it could become the go-to solution for enthusiasts looking to put together an elaborate liquid-cooled rig without breaking the bank.

A sleek exterior and good cable management all add to the appeal, but when considering the Define S, remember to keep expectations in check. This is a solid foundation for liquid cooling, and if you choose to go down that path, the Define S should be on your shortlist.

The Good
The Bad
Good value at £65
Sleek, unfussy exterior
Keeps noise down to a minimum
Outstanding liquid-cooling potential
Good quality Dynamic GP14 fans
No built-in fan controller
Looks sparse when air cooled
Only five drive bays


Fractal Design Define S


The Fractal Design Define S chassis is available to purchase from Scan Computers.


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HEXUS Forums :: 9 Comments

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IF they did a version of this for MATX BUT with…
- a solid side panel with no removable vent bit.
- sound dampening material on the front panel.
- support for 2x3.5“ and 2-3x2.5”
…I'd snap it up ASAP.

But at £65 it's a steal IMO.
I think it is going to be either this or an R5 for my next case.
The bad points are really clutching at straws considering the price.

Its a very simple , clean and practical case - and to boot very good value.
If this had come in white it would be replacing my R4 case.
With the focus of this case, and indeed your review, being about how this is more suited to a liquid cooling system, it would have been nice to see how a standard setup would look in it.

As you say looks are a big part of the internals, and you note how barren it looks on air, maybe for future reviews for cases where liquid is a selling point, you could bung in some props ? Because liquid cooling is as much about style as it is substance nowadays, and seeing that a case offers a great frame for a loop/resevoir as standard without having to mess around too much could help out - I know if I wanted to build a liquid cooling system, how it was going to look is probably more than half of what I think about, as nowadays ALL liquid cooling will chill it enough, but done right it can be your own personal art project