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Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst   
Thursday, 14 February 2013
Table of Contents: Page Index
Fractal Design Define R4 Arctic White Case
Closer Look: Exterior
Detailed Exterior Features
Closer Look: Interior
Detailed Interior Features
Final Thoughts
Conclusion

Fractal Design Define R4 Final Thoughts

Not all hardware has a benchmark that can quantify its performance. PC cases are no exception to this rule, so we must actually build a system inside it to gauge its build quality, accessibility and special features. Transitioning from one case to another is a little more difficult than installing a scratch build for obvious reasons, so accessibility is desired when performing a PC case upgrade. Small things like pre-installed motherboard stand-off's save time, and well placed cable routing pass through points make a nicer looking finish require less effort. Clearance behind the motherboard for routing cables is desired, and hard drive orientation is also an important factor affecting looks and airflow.

Fractal_Design_Define_R4_Arctic_White_Case_Build_Inside.JPG

The transition from my previous case to the Fractal Design Define R4 case was very easy and straight forward, there is a lot of room to work with and my only struggle was the top middle motherboard securing screw due to the huge NH-D14 CPU cooler restricting access. Of course I installed the motherboard with the CPU cooler installed as it didn't require any maintenance other than blowing out the dust build up. While swapping out your hardware to your new case it's a good idea to do a little spring clean of your hardware removing dust that builds up over time. The bottom cable pass through can get very crowded since it deals with most if not all of the cables that require routing, and thankfully the Define R4 has an extra large pass through in place to deal with this scenario.

Fractal_Design_Define_R4_Arctic_White_Case_Build_Rear.JPG

There aren't any flashy cable routing channels behind the motherboard tray like you would see in a more expensive PC case, but I don't think the Fractal Design Define R4 really needs them. There is a very spacious 26mm gap between the motherboard tray and side panel to deal with even the thickest of cables, and plenty of cable tie down points should you require a neater cable arrangement. The cable pass though points of the Define R4 were perfect for my motherboard which meant only minimal cables were visible inside the case.

The CPU back plate cut-out requires a trade off between size and structural integrity. Make it too small and it won't suit all motherboards, make it too big and the motherboard tray will be too flexible. Once again I think Fractal design have hit the nail right on the head with this design. The Fractal Design Define R4 Case weighs slightly less than 12kg empty, with my system installed it weighs 19kg. I can only imagine how much it would weigh with two or three video cards and a custom watercooling system installed. Suffice to say the Define R4 is not the sort of case you will be taking to a LAN party, it is best suited to a workstation or stationary home build - designed to blend in and not demand too much attention while still retaining the build quality PC hardware enthusiasts demand.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: Fractal Design Define R4 Arctic White CaseSkidmarks 2013-02-14 23:54
It's difficult to see pictures of a white case against a white background.
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# RE: RE: Fractal Design Define R4 Arctic White CaseOlin Coles 2013-02-15 07:11
I think that they're almost all clear and easy to see, except for one side view photo that displays a flat side panel. It is an alpine white case, after all.
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# ComplimentsBruce 2013-02-15 08:32
I was going to compliment the photographer (Steven) for the quality of the images. I know how hard it is to get good images from all the shiny BLACK cases we normally feature, but over the years I've developed lighting techniques to make it work. I imagine the all white case provided a whole new set of challenges.

One possible tip, try turning down the contrast a bit on your monitor....
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# RE: ComplimentsSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2013-02-15 10:15
You are absolutely right there Bruce. I tried a couple of test shots at first, as I had a feeling the color would be hard to portray. Clever lighting and a bit of manipulation with Photoshop won the day in the end.
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# RE: ComplimentsSkidmarks 2013-04-01 06:58
May as well not have bothered with the pictures.
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# RE: RE: ComplimentsOlin Coles 2013-04-01 07:01
You're going to keep complaining about the pictures? We just covered this with you over a month ago. Find something new to gripe about.
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# RE: Fractal Design Define R4 Arctic White CaseArgos 2013-04-01 05:27
I love the 'black pearl' version of this case.
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# RE: Fractal Design Define R4 Arctic White CaseArgos 2013-04-01 07:53
I think the pictures are fine. I have no trouble at all.
Perhaps some might want to change some of the settings of their monitor, or perhaps buy a new one alltogether.
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# beautiful caseazrael36 2013-04-05 23:28
IMO this case is a study in refined elegance. I have just purchased one and will begin modding it as soon as it arrives. I am going to bring out the dirty wild woman locked away in this cloak of purity!
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# brain stuttercreator 2013-07-23 04:34
"the top caddy will rotate 45 degrees "
:P
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