Fractal Design Define R4 Review 16

Fractal Design Define R4 Review


Value and Conclusion

  • The Fractal Design Define R4 sells for around 100 € in various eShops. That is around 10 Euros more than the R3 at launch.
  • Same core features as in previous Define cases
  • Sound dampening installed everywhere
  • Improved flexibility between air cooling and sound dampening
  • Space for eight hard drives
  • Front drive-bay covers may easily be removed
  • Excellent cable routing possibilities
  • Plenty of areas to hide cables
  • Built-in fan-controller
  • Black interior
  • Two USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 I/O
  • 7 + 1 expansion slots
  • White accents look excellent
  • Thumbscrews for the expansion slots
  • Dust-filter for all intake-fans
  • Two fans included
  • Clips of front covers won't last long
  • No possibility to install 3.5" drives out of the box
  • Front-panel design not as flexible as in previous Define cases
  • Fan controller no longer with a dial, only 3 settings are available
  • Door only opens to the left
  • Somewhat heavy
The Fractal Design Define R4 has taken the R3 and successfully fused it with the backbone of the Arc chassis. The newest revision adds USB 3.0 support, a new front panel design, and more options for fans. Thanks to the modular HDD bays, you may also install extra-long graphic cards. All these improvements warrant the new revision. The Define R4 looks like the series on sight, but comes with core differences. It should be mentioned that the competition is not resting and is also offering cases geared for the silent user, but their offers include a few extras, like hot-swap bays, LED lighting, more fans, even more flexibility between silence and performance, doors that open to both sides, hot-swap bays, and the likes. I mentioned these concerns in my R3 review and feel that Fractal-Design has gone in the right direction with the Define R4, but it may not offer enough to stay atop of the competition which seems to evolve at a faster pace than Fractal Design does with the Define series. One could consider the lead that Fractal Design had back in the day void, and they better step up their game with the R5.
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