Fractal Design Define R5 Review 11

Fractal Design Define R5 Review


Value & Conclusion

  • The Fractal Design R5 sells for 100 euro including taxes or 110 US dollars excluding them. The windowed variants come at a 10 euro / 10 US dollars premium.
  • Well priced
  • Excellent construction quality
  • Great engineering within the chassis
  • Two dedicated SSD placement possibilities
  • Can hold a wide array of liquid cooling - with enough room for up to a 420 mm radiator
  • Velcro strips to hold cables in place
  • Long GPUs and PSUs will easily fit
  • Loads of different HDD cage configurations possible
  • Spring lock and thumbscrews for main side panel
  • Covers for all openings to keep noise encapsulated
  • Two retail quality fans included
  • Fan controller for 3 fans included
  • Door may be set to open any way you like
  • Easy to remove front drive bay covers
  • Dust filters on all intake areas
  • Air vents covers could be more modular
  • Velcro strips are a bit basic
  • Not the best use of space on the floor of the chassis when it comes to HDD-cage mounting
  • Dust filter in the front may not stay in place too well
  • As with all sound-dampened cases, this one is not the lightest
The Fractal Define series is the companies calling card when it comes to cases. No other series has managed to be so successful for such a long time. The fifth iteration continues to innovate - more so than previous updates as other companies have managed to offer similar enclosures. With the Define R5, there are again changes as it manages to offer more than the competition in terms of cooling, noise encapsulation, and internal flexibility.

Let's start with the frame and its construction. The Define R5 cuts no corners as it is solid in every sense. The door and front, the only areas out of plastic, are solid and metal is used where appropriate, as becomes apparent after a closer look at the hinges. The air vent on top have also been punched straight into the metal top, so only its covers are of plastic.

Everything inside is, essentially, out of metal, including the hard-drive trays and their extremely versatile cages. Here, it would have been nice to have the possibility to place a cage just about 2'' further away from the front for a larger PSU in the back to make the most of the space within. Yet given the many different configuration options, including the possible removal of the ODD bay, the layout is excellent.

In terms of cooling, the Define R5 certainly makes the most of the space within, with the ability to hold anything between a 120 mm to 420 mm radiator in the top or up to a 360 mm radiator in the front. One downside here is the large air vent on top - it is not required. It would have been ideal had Fractal Design just offered a vent of up to 140 mm in size and even more modularization with its three top covers by diving them into six, which would have allowed for either 120 mm or 140 mm fans there.

But all of those aspects are just the result of a hard, long look to find any real faults with the R5. Clocking in at just above 100 US dollars with two retail quality fans, excellent construction quality and flexibility within, the Define R5 is not only a great buy, but a chassis that is deserving of the Editor's Choice award.
Editor's Choice
Discuss(11 Comments)
View as single page