Fractal Design is one of the few companies where I love everything they do. It is safe to say that since the first acquaintance with their products in 2013, and up to the present moment, this manufacturer has constantly raised the quality bar and modified its chassis, taking into account the wishes and comments of customers. And the most important thing that has not changed over time is the basic concept of the practicality and functionality of these cases. In this review, we will look at their latest chassis from the flagship series — Define R6, which has eight modifications that differ in color and the presence or absence of side glass.
|Model||Fractal Design Define R6|
|Type of shell||Midi-Tower|
|Dimensions, mm||465 (H) x 233 (W) x 543 (D)|
|Material||Steel, plastic, glass, aluminum|
|Form factor||ATX, MicroATX, Mini-ITX|
|Devices 3.5″ external||–|
|Devices 3.5″ / 2.5″ internal||6 / 2 (2.5″ drives can be installed instead of 3.5″)|
|Supported number of expansion slots||7+2|
|Fans||front — 3 x 120 / 2 x 140 mm (2 x 140 mm installed)
upper — 3 x 120 / 140 mm (optional)
rear — 1 x 120 / 140 mm (1 x 140 mm installed)
lower — 2 x 120 / 140 mm (optional)
|Interface connectors||2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, mic in and headphone out|
|Other||Tempered glass side window, dust filters on the bottom, front and top, built-in hub for six three-pin and three four-pin PWM fans. Noise isolation on the front, top and side panels, easily removable top panel, front door with change of opening side. Modular Drive Bay Design|
|Recommended cost, $||150|
Packing and scope of delivery
The case box looks quite utilitarian and informative. Monochrome printing on the sides of the package contains all the statements necessary for the buyer, which include schematic images of the product in assembled and disassembled form, listing its advantages and technical characteristics. The internal damage protection consists of two foam dampers, one polyurethane foam pad, a plastic bag and two side window films. There are carrying handles on the sides of the box.
Assembly instructions and documentation are right in the box in the package. The parts kit is contained in a separate box placed in the 3.5″ drive tray. On the one hand, it shows the list and purpose of the parts, and on the second it shows where and how to connect the built-in fan controller. The package includes:
- PC assembly instructions and red warranty information sheet;
- six disposable plastic cable ties;
- soft microfiber cloth for wiping glass;
- one brass motherboard standoff;
- an adapter for a Phillips screwdriver for motherboard racks;
- four hex screws for the power supply;
- 32 small screws for mounting 2.5″ drives;
- 15 screws for the motherboard and fixing the 3.5″ drive trays;
- four metal knurled screws for mounting 5.25″ devices;
- 24 flat head screws for mounting 3.5″ hard drives;
- four spare thumb screws for the side panels.
The appearance of the Fractal Design Define R6 at first glance has not changed compared to the R4 and R5 versions — it’s still the same classic rectangular black box. But, already removing it from the package, the differences are felt literally with your own hands. The body has noticeably added weight and strength to its design. The front panel for the first time in the history of the series has a brushed aluminum coating, which only added solidity to this product. In its place, in the cutout in the center near the top edge, there is an indicator of drive activity.
The front panel, as before, is a thick plastic door glued on the back with a layer of sound insulation. The door is held on latches, which simultaneously function as hinges. The hinges themselves can be hung on both sides, which will allow you to adjust the opening of the front panel both to the left and to the right. Behind it, at the top, there is an easily removable plug of a single 5.25″ compartment, and the rest of the space is occupied by the ventilation grille of the inlet dust filter, which has inclined deflectors. The filter is held on by a simple latch at the top and can be easily removed for cleaning. Outboard air in this case is taken in through the holes on the sides of the front panel. Recesses for opening the panel are made in the upper half of the side faces.
From below, just as easily, a dust filter extends, covering the entire bottom panel of the case. Thus, the protection and cleaning of the case from dust is simplified as much as possible.
Both filters, front and bottom, are made of high-quality fine-mesh mesh glued to a plastic frame.
External ports are traditionally placed on the top edge of the front panel. There are two 3.5mm audio jacks, a recessed system restart button, a beautiful round start button, two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 connectors, all painted black. The system power indicator is integrated under the bezel, around the perimeter of the PC start button.
Since our version of the case is called Black TG (Tempered Glass — tempered glass), it has a solid, fairly transparent (more precisely, 33% tinted) window in place of the left panel. It is interesting that it is not attached to the usual screws in the corners, but is glued to a metal frame that opens in a guillotine type, turning to the side.
The quality of the glass is impressive. As well as fitting the details of this case. By the way, the vents on the sides of the front panel also increased significantly in size by reducing the profile of the grille partitions and turning them into transverse deflectors.
Due to the use of a metal frame and stiffeners, the transparent panel turned out to be very reliable. In addition, this made it possible to reduce the thickness of the glass to 2.5 mm and reduce its weight. The panel is held on by two thumbscrews and has two stamped handles at the back. They are needed in order to snap the door to the side. The fact is that it holds perfectly even without screws. There are metal pins with a round head in the back at the top and bottom.
When closing the door, the pins snap into plastic clips on the body, and the panel is completely fixed. It can only be opened by applying force directed to the side. Use of normal screws is only recommended when transporting the chassis.
The right panel of the case is solid and metal. It also has two stamped handles and two metal thumb screws.
Inside the right door is glued with a thick layer of soundproofing. It is very strong and also has pins in the back for quick locking in the closed position.
The top panel is metal. Most of it is occupied by a removable cover, which snaps off when you press a round plastic button in the upper left corner of the rear panel of the chassis. This solution has come to replace the dismountable plastic ModuVent segments that were used in previous versions of the housing.
It looks like this. To insert it back, you need to press the edge of the lifting cover along the entire length, from the side of the lock button.
After dismantling the cover, access to the inside opens. The metal grill on the bottom is also removable, held on by four small screws. And it even has a slot for the CBO filler hole with a diameter of 25 mm. Mounting holes here are shifted towards the left panel, away from conflicts with motherboard components. As a result, three 120- or 140-mm fans or radiators of the appropriate size, 360 or even 420 mm long and of any thickness can be hung here.
But that’s not all. A filter can be removed from the metal cover of the top panel, similar to the one installed at the bottom and front. This is done with difficulty, I had to use a screwdriver as a lever to disconnect these parts. This point was either not thought out, or not fully described in the instructions. On the reverse side of the cover, a layer of soundproofing material is glued.
The metal cover can then be set aside and the filter placed over the top vent, greatly improving case cooling. Or return it back and increase the noise suppression from the internal components.
The rear panel of the case looks generally standard, but has a number of its own features. In the upper left corner there is a large plastic button, pressing which releases the lock of the upper metal panel. The seat behind the ventilation grill on the right can accept 120 or 140 mm propellers and their vertical position is adjustable within 20 mm. In addition to the seven regular PCI slots covered with white ventilated reusable plugs, there are two more expansion slots on the right, where you can install the video adapter vertically using a special extension cable (not included). These slots also have standard white end caps, held in place with regular screws and a decorative overlay on top of them. The seat of the power supply is equipped with a separate frame, which is held on by two screws with a metal knurled head. The PSU is screwed to this frame with conventional screws, after which it can be attached to the case in either fan-down or fan-up orientation.
The entire base of the chassis is covered by a single solid dust filter that pulls out towards the front and is held in four separate plastic sleds. It is especially nice that on the left side of the base of the case there is now a metal plate with the model code and serial number of the product.
At the bottom we see two arrays of ventilation grilles with large cells. On the front, you can install two 120- or 140-mm fans or even a CBO radiator. Behind is the ventilation of the power supply.
The legs are metal, with a rubber base, 17 mm high to the body and approximately 11 mm to the level of the dust filter. They hold on to the table surface very tenaciously.
Now let’s evaluate the interior of the chassis.