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Fractal Design Define 7 Nano

Darksaber

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The Fractal Design Define 7 Nano offers the same looks and build quality as its bigger brethren, while keeping the general layout wrapped around the ITX form factor. Even so, Fractal has gone ahead and included several updates not found in the original chassis in the hopes that the Define 7 Nano makes just as big of a splash.

Show full review
 
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It has it's audience, the problem is the price, currently it's 45-50€ more than Fractal Design Define Nano S when it should have been only 20€ more imo.
This stuff is why after trying out Mini-ITX once with Skylake, I've since switched back to Micro-ATX. Poor choice of motherboards + absurd price premiums (case & motherboard) + up to 200mm long ATX PSU's + 330mm long triple fan 2.5 slot depth GPU's + weighs 7-8kg + 280mm radiators + hotter running chipset / SSD (due to shared "double-decker" heatsink), etc, there's literally no space saving at all vs the M-ATX it's supposed to be "downsizing" from...
 
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It has it's audience, the problem is the price, currently it's 45-50€ more than Fractal Design Define Nano S when it should have been only 20€ more imo.
It has a fair amount of differences, such as the full sized glass panel, a more elaborate top panel with exchangeable tops instead of just the lame magnetic sleeve, and there's an extra tray separating the power supply plus more USB ports. Just the material cost of those alone would justify the price increase. Most of those additions are the exact changes I disliked about the original Nano S (not counting the glass panel which I loathe but others love them).

It feels more like a more expensive deluxe version of the same case, not a new model replacing the old one.

Also, the review mentions the lack of HDD led - just connect the existing power led to the HDD signal pins. The power led is not that useful.
 
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It has a fair amount of differences, such as the full sized glass panel, a more elaborate top panel with exchangeable tops instead of just the lame magnetic sleeve, and there's an extra tray separating the power supply plus more USB ports. Just the material cost of those alone would justify the price increase. Most of those additions are the exact changes I disliked about the original Nano S (not counting the glass panel which I loathe but others love them).

It feels more like a more expensive deluxe version of the same case, not a new model replacing the old one.

Also, the review mentions the lack of HDD led - just connect the existing power led to the HDD signal pins. The power led is not that useful.
the material cost of a bigger glass panel, exchangeable top instead of magnetic sleeve, the extra tray and more USB ports is €50 more?
The whole Define Nano S is 65€ and 65€ is not its material cost...
 

ppn

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Should have raised the top by 4cm to fit a 45mm radiator. but I guess it can still be mounted on the outside. Whats the point of having a front radiator only to ventilate heat into the case, i've built my unlce's PC like that and the 12700K hits 99C on the 280 AIO with just only 199W, can't even overclock it. And what's the point of having 200mm wide case. make it 140mm, just enough to fit the AIO. ANd if you don't have front AIO installed it can be only 300mm long instead of 390mm. just wasting space and materials like if it's for free. Who believes this case is ready for a 400W GPU. I see a triple slot it may be possible.
 
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Well gee whiz maw, lookie there...

it's ANUTHA boring AF peecee box'em upp'er, just smaller :D
 
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ok, but it has the mounting for a rad/fans on the top and is covered with that plate, were does the air go?

nevermind, I just saw it, I was thinking it was just a filter, sorry
 
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This stuff is why after trying out Mini-ITX once with Skylake, I've since switched back to Micro-ATX. Poor choice of motherboards + absurd price premiums (case & motherboard) + up to 200mm long ATX PSU's + 330mm long triple fan 2.5 slot depth GPU's + weighs 7-8kg + 280mm radiators + hotter running chipset / SSD (due to shared "double-decker" heatsink), etc, there's literally no space saving at all vs the M-ATX it's supposed to be "downsizing" from...

Yup same thoughts about ITX being pointless when used as MATX but smaller.

Even MATX isn't that much space saving than full ATX either (like the Silverstone FAR1B) as long as you don't use gargantuan cases.
 

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Two thoughts

1. I heard a voice say "I'm just a baaaby!"
2. Honestly, this would look better with air cooling. Longer hoses just get in the way
(The AIO issues and short top height make me think that yeah, this is better off with air cooling)


The actual "I read the review before posting for once" comments:

For the PSU, attach the plate to it and slide it into the Define 7 Compact through the rear. This is an easy and straightforward process. Due to the width of the chassis, it is nicely tugged away with space for cable routing.
Tucked?


I love the optional top plate. THAT is what fractal do best - a simple change for silence builds, or fan placement. AIO's may not fit well, but i'm sure custom loops could manage with a thin rad, or even external placement.
Even if you cant put a rad there, you can use that mounting for a res or pump, or a bunch of other random accesories modders love these days
1659758803723.png
With the sealed top and 2x140mm intakes, you'd get some genuine guided airflow to push heat out the rear vents of the case, instead of most builds being more hole than case. Until you've gone ITX/SFF, you don't realize how much that can help - having the cold air pushed into and past your GPU can make an SFF system cooler than the chaotic mess of a larger case without air guidance.



The front air scoop:
This is just unique. But yeah, a nice guided 140mm intake right into your GPU? Yes.
1659758966153.png

Darksaber might think the drive mount hiding under that is too simple, but compared to the ITX case i run (which has its own advantages) in this size category, a 2.5+3.5 in a secured, screwed in drive bay hidden from sight is fantastic. I've had to velcro my NAS drive under my GPU, where this case has a special hidey hole.

100% agree on the silliness of the top of the case being too short.
If nothing else, changing to the open top should have extended it somehow - Why not a copy of the front of the case, with it's very fractal sideways facing vents?

I uh, I don't know how to photoshop.
But imagine an inch taller, with the same vents as the front and an interior hollow space large enough to have at least mount a thin radiator, with the fans inside the case?
1659759428199.png


GPU temperatures are worse than I expected, but if the CPU was on air and not pre-heating the GPU, it's reasonable to assume they'd be slightly lower.
 
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Well it’s a nice case, however if I was going to do an itx build it would be more for portability and I would try to aim as small and light as possible without making too much compromise.

Does anyone actually do itx for typical stationary HEDT??
 
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@Darksaber on the system review page is this
it is nicely tugged away with space for cable routing.

Shouldnt that be tucked?


ahh @Mussels already noted it.

I continue to fail to understand why Fractal keeps its solid front panel. The top vented panel should have been the default panel, but I guess that would mean less area for the sound dampening material. This could have been a number one case for temps but aesthetics won out.
 
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@Darksaber on the system review page is this


Shouldnt that be tucked?


ahh @Mussels already noted it.

I continue to fail to understand why Fractal keeps its solid front panel. The top vented panel should have been the default panel, but I guess that would mean less area for the sound dampening material. This could have been a number one case for temps but aesthetics won out.

Because there is Meshify for those who want mesh and those who need solid, despite temps take this one... just plain marketing stuff, so everyone is happy.
 
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The Define series is specifically based on the old Antec P180 design, where the goal is for the case to block as much noise as possible, hence the solid front with air vents on the side of the front panel. Also some of us want the PC to look like a small unassuming box, not one of Michael Bay's Transformers.
Personally I'd have preferred if they'd kept the door for the mini/nano cases too. With a removable door they could also give an option for those who want airflow... the full sized Define is like that if I recall right.
 
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The Define series is specifically based on the old Antec P180 design,

You sure it is Antec, but actually a 3rd party OEM they both used?
 
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You sure it is Antec, but actually a 3rd party OEM they both used?
Fractal is not using Antec parts if that's what you mean. They looked at the P180/182/183, and used similar design principles and a focus on silence to create the Define series.
 
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Fractal is not using Antec parts if that's what you mean. They looked at the P180/182/183, and used similar design principles and a focus on silence to create the Define series.

I didn't mean it like that. I was suggesting there is actually a totally different vendor on both of them. At least in the early beginnings.
 
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The Fractal Design Define 7 family is a solid design. I have two of the XL variant, a wonderful case to build in, and I would give it a score of 9/10. I would give it a 10 if they fixed two issues;
- Bad threading and overtightened screws, some screws are ruined by the time they are loose.
- The year is 2022, it's time to ditch phillips head screws in favor of torx, which would also help the problem above.
Considering these are premium cases, I think such issues should be addressed.

Should have raised the top by 4cm to fit a 45mm radiator. but I guess it can still be mounted on the outside. Whats the point of having a front radiator only to ventilate heat into the case,
I always cringe when I see radiators mounted on the intake side. A good air cooler would be much better choice, possibly combined with upgraded intake fans (except for the few cases which are hard to do with an air cooler). In a case like this, water cooling is just wrong, as the airflow will never be high enough to outperform an air cooler. People who want to do overclocking should look for a high-airflow case.
 
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airflow will never be high enough to outperform an air cooler. People who want to do overclocking should look for a high-airflow case.

Ke? It just depends on the amount of rads, their properties and their heat capacity and equilibrium. It seems you need more experience with custom loops. There is no harm to put a less fin density wise radiator in the front. Just use your head, as usual.
 
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I didn't mean it like that. I was suggesting there is actually a totally different vendor on both of them. At least in the early beginnings.
I had both cases early on so I'd be surprised if they used the same OEM for any of the parts, everything was completely different in them (and the P180/2/3 was far higher quality).

I always cringe when I see radiators mounted on the intake side. A good air cooler would be much better choice, possibly combined with upgraded intake fans (except for the few cases which are hard to do with an air cooler). In a case like this, water cooling is just wrong, as the airflow will never be high enough to outperform an air cooler. People who want to do overclocking should look for a high-airflow case.
Watercoolers operate on different design principles, the radiators don't get so warm that they'd heat up the entire inside of the case. Or at least the ones I used did not. It was an alphacool GPU cooler for a Vega in a Define Mini C.

What I find more funny is people buying 280/360mm rads to cool a 105W Ryzen. I could keep a heavily tuned up Vega card (~300W) at ~60-70C max using a single 120mm radiator (70C in furmark, never above 60C in games). Granted it was direct die and I used Noctua P12 fans but still.
 
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What I find more funny is people buying 280/360mm rads to cool a 105W Ryzen.

Yeah that's the funny part... I was on HEDT so cooling an overclocked CPU hogging up 300W was a funny task. Now peps are amused about the Intel new gens... Okay, now I am on desktop SKU, I reused a lot of my gear, but the math is still the same. I just push on low noise, because of the heat capacity, I keep fans on low or disabled, leaving the pump the loudest part... but those fanbois...
 

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@Darksaber on the system review page is this


Shouldnt that be tucked?


ahh @Mussels already noted it.

I continue to fail to understand why Fractal keeps its solid front panel. The top vented panel should have been the default panel, but I guess that would mean less area for the sound dampening material. This could have been a number one case for temps but aesthetics won out.
Got beaten to it, but thats the meshify series
Two options for mesh or solid front, makes sense.


Fractal have the best modular options for the tops of their cases, and a unique front mesh/filter design that's pretty much their trademark style by now
I still seriously think they've missed the obvious of putting their fronts, on the top.
Fans inside in the regular position, radiator on top of the case with something like their front panels on top. Blocks sound, vents the heat out sides and rear.
can still have a solid or mesh top option for that


I'm pretty sure i've seen that design used in an SFF/ITX case (or more than one) and it baffles me that it's not used more commonly



Edit:Ahah! It was an expandable ITX case that got me going with this

Phanteks Evolv Shift XT
The case literally grows vertically to fit an AIO, or shrinks without it.

You can totally see how a case could have the top fan mounts internally for people to see that RGB bling, but have the radiator on top
1659854002999.png



Then we have examples of cases that almost, ALMOST do this

1. My VR systems cheap and stupidly large coolermaster case.

Front and top use the same venting style - looks great, cooling is god-tier, but lets all noise out. Any coil whine or mech drives are clear as day.
(Top is mesh with no solid option, while front has plastic/glass/mesh options)
1659853628062.png


Dark base pro 900
Holy crap this ones expensive in Au, at $400 before shipping... but you get that mesh around the entire case. Positive air pressure from the intakes, pushing the heat out everywhere
1659853709509.png

You can see how this system could have room for a radiator or fans at the top, and vent out the hot air easily without letting the sound out too
1659853838807.png




The top of the case has so much structural support, mounting a rad there just makes heaps more sense out of the way of tall VRM heatsinks, tall RAM and with an opening at either end (with the modular tops this already exists) theres zero issues with AIO tubing
 
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Radiator on the outside isn't that good idea because their fins are fragile, so it's safer to keep them inside. The best I can think of is what some Be Quiet cases allow you to do, but they just have a recess on the front for the fans, and on the top they have a removable tray for easier removal of radiators.

And yeah, the Be Quiet cases are monsters, probably the most feature full cases I've seen in a while. I so wish they made a high-end mATX or ITX case, not just something cheap like the pure base 500, but more like a mini version of the silent base 802. There aren't many silence focused mATX cases, only Fractal and Cooler Master still makes them.
 
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This case is not going to be good for a powerful rig in my opinion. The front and side are solid piece of metal and glass. So airflow is limited. Also, with components getting more power hungry, things like GPU may not fit in since the cooler is getting more and more obese.
 

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Memory Samsung low profile 2x8GB \ Patriot 2x16GB PVS432G320C6K
Video Card(s) eVga GTX1060 SSC \ XFX R9 390X +Antec P12 fans
Storage 2xIntel 80Gb (SATA2) Crucial MX500 \ Samsung 860 1TB +Samsung Evo 250GB+500GB Sabrent 1TB Rocket
Display(s) Samsung 1080P \ LG 43UN700
Case HTPC400 \ Fractal Design Torrent.
Audio Device(s) Yamaha RX-V677 \ Yamaha CX-830+Yamaha MX-630 Infinity RS4000\Paradigm P Studio 20, Blue Yeti
Power Supply Seasonic Focus 650w \ Seasonic Prime TX-750
Mouse Steelseries Sensei wireless \ Steelseries Sensei wireless
Keyboard Logitech K120 \ ROCCAT MK Pro ( modded amber leds )
Benchmark Scores Meh benchmarks.
Two thoughts

1. I heard a voice say "I'm just a baaaby!"
2. Honestly, this would look better with air cooling. Longer hoses just get in the way
(The AIO issues and short top height make me think that yeah, this is better off with air cooling)


The actual "I read the review before posting for once" comments:


Tucked?


I love the optional top plate. THAT is what fractal do best - a simple change for silence builds, or fan placement. AIO's may not fit well, but i'm sure custom loops could manage with a thin rad, or even external placement.
Even if you cant put a rad there, you can use that mounting for a res or pump, or a bunch of other random accesories modders love these days
With the sealed top and 2x140mm intakes, you'd get some genuine guided airflow to push heat out the rear vents of the case, instead of most builds being more hole than case. Until you've gone ITX/SFF, you don't realize how much that can help - having the cold air pushed into and past your GPU can make an SFF system cooler than the chaotic mess of a larger case without air guidance.



The front air scoop:
This is just unique. But yeah, a nice guided 140mm intake right into your GPU? Yes.
View attachment 257101
Darksaber might think the drive mount hiding under that is too simple, but compared to the ITX case i run (which has its own advantages) in this size category, a 2.5+3.5 in a secured, screwed in drive bay hidden from sight is fantastic. I've had to velcro my NAS drive under my GPU, where this case has a special hidey hole.

100% agree on the silliness of the top of the case being too short.
If nothing else, changing to the open top should have extended it somehow - Why not a copy of the front of the case, with it's very fractal sideways facing vents?

I uh, I don't know how to photoshop.
But imagine an inch taller, with the same vents as the front and an interior hollow space large enough to have at least mount a thin radiator, with the fans inside the case?
View attachment 257102

GPU temperatures are worse than I expected, but if the CPU was on air and not pre-heating the GPU, it's reasonable to assume they'd be slightly lower.

well that that not depend on how long your vcard is and on how fast the gpu fans are running ?, or else it's going right to the CPU.

Idea looks good on paper and that's about it imo.

Makes me sad they went from the torrents to this but then again not everyones requirements are the same


For me it's a fail.
 
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