Fractal Design Define R3 USB 3.0 Case

Fractal Design is a Swedish computer hardware company that specializes in the areas of enclosures and power supplies.  When I think of other Swedish companies, Ikea and Volvo come to mind, and like their Swedish brethren Fractal Design designs and engineers its products with a Scandinavian design philosophy.  Following the major pillars of this style of design result in the creation of products that are functional, minimalistic and modern in style.

For a computer case, I consider one to be highly functional when it has a combination of good cooling performance, quietness and wide hardware component compatibility.  According to Fractal Design, the Define R3 that we are looking at in this review should appeal to users looking for both high performance computing and silence.  As you'll find out later on, the Define R3 has the versatility to either have great cooling performance, extreme quietness, or a good balance of both.

Manufacturer Specifications

Key features
* Stunning front panel design
* Patent pending ModuVent™ design, allowing the user to either have optimal silence or optimal airflow
* Pre-fitted with dense, noise absorbing material
* 8 white painted HDD-trays, with silicone mounting
* A total of 7 fan slots (2x120mm in front, 2x 120/140mm in top, 1x120mm in back, 1x 120/140mm in side panel, 1x 120/140mm in bottom)
* 2x 120mm Fractal Design 120mm fans included
* Fan controller for 3 fans included
* Easily removable front fan filters with clip-on holders for 120mm fans
* Supports graphic card lengths up to circa 290mm and CPU coolers with height of maximum circa 165mm
* Supports PSU's with a depth of maximum circa 170mm, when using bottom 120/140mm fan location. When not using the bottom 120/140mm fan location, the case supports also longer PSU's, typically 200-220mm.

Cooling system
* Fan controller for 3 fans included
* 1 rear Fractal Design 120mm @ 1350rpm included
* 1 front Fractal Design 120mm @ 1350rpm included
* 1 front 120mm fan (optional)
* 1 bottom 120mm/140mm fan (optional)
* 1 side panel 120mm/140mm fan (optional)
* 2 top 120mm/140mm fan (optional)

Specifications
* 8x 3,5 inch HDD trays, compatible with SSD
* 2x 5,25 inch bays, with 1x 5,25>3,5 inch converter included
* On top of front panel: 2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0 and Audio I/O
* No PSU included (removable filter below PSU)
* M/B compatibility: Mini ITX, Micro ATX and ATX
* 7x expansion slots with sleek white painted brackets
* Supports graphic card lengths up to ~290mm
* Supports CPU coolers with height of ~165mm
* Supports PSU's with a depth of maximum circa 170mm, when using bottom 120/140mm fan location. When not using the bottom 120/140mm fan location, the case supports also longer PSU's, typically 200-220mm.
* Case size (WxHxD): 207.40x442x521.2mm
* Net weight: 12.50kg 

A Look at the Outside

Fractal Design's vision for the design of the Define R3 revolved around a modern minimalistic style.  This is especially evident at first glance of the case.  The model we have on hand for this review is Arctic White in colour, and looking at the Define R3 from the front, white is pretty much the only colour you see.  Lending to it's minimalistic design, the only other colours that appear are the black of the vents and the I/O ports on the top of the case.  It's very plain looking, but the almost pure white box of the Define R3 really stands out in a room.


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