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Fractal Design Define R4 Review: An Enthusiast PC Case Minus the Extreme: Page 3 of 5

The Inside

The build quality on the outside extends to the interior. The same black finish is on every bit of metal on the inside as well, save the stark white drive trays and vented PCI slot covers. I don't advise hunting for sharp edges; you won't find any, even around the spacious tray cutout for third party-coolers.

Cable routing is made easier than most mid-tower ATX cases we've used. There are three rubberized cutouts to route cables behind the motherboard tray, although that's not exactly unique these days. Fractal's case is a hair wider than most, with that extra space given to you behind the motherboard tray.   Even that little bit is extremely helpful when routing power, tubing, and other cables - especially with power supplies that have thick-wrapped bundles.

With the center and bottom drive bays installed, there are 8 hard drive trays in total. Each tray is solid, sliding in and out of the bay with a pinch of the side tabs. You do have to attach the drives to the tray with screws, however, and the handily give you screw positions for both traditional HDDs and SSDs. The trays have rubber grommets for 3.5" drives to help reduce vibration noise from mechanical drives.

The trays are split between a middle and bottom section. The middle can be turned 90 degrees or removed completely to accommodate longer graphics cards (295mm installed/430mm when removed). In other words, if you want one of the new 7990 boards from AMD, you'll need to take it out. The bottom cage can also be removed by taking out the screws from the bottom of the case. Because both the center and bottom cages can be removed, thereby removing all the disk trays, Fractal has included the option to mount two SSD drives behind the motherboard tray.

The plethora of storage bays comes at the cost front 5.25" and 3.5" bays. You two 5.25" slots and a firm "don't even think about it" for 3.5" front bays, which I would personally find a bit limiting. An optical is still a relevant component to most, leaving one bay left for either a flash card reader, fan controller like the Fractal Adjust 108, hot-swap HDD bay, etc. If you want more than that, you're out of luck. Also, there are no rails here, it's simply a slide the drive in and screw it in affair.

About the Author

Matt Whitlock's picture

Matt Whitlock is online director and technical editor for ChannelProSMB.com.

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