Fractal Design Define R4 Review 16

Fractal Design Define R4 Review

Assembly & Finished Looks »

A Closer Look - Inside

To gain access to the interior, simply remove the two thumbscrews holding the side panel in place. As mentioned before, the entire interior has the same black and white color-theme we have come to love from Fractal Design. A large opening in the mainboard tray should give you access to the cooler backplate, while openings on three sides around the mainboard allow you to route any cables nicely. You have well over 2 cm (almost one inch) of space behind the mainboard tray, along with multiple hooks for zip ties. All of this should make cable management pretty easy.

Fractal Design has chosen to sacrifice some external 5.25 inch bays and includes eight hard-drive bays instead. The top bay may be turned by 90 degrees or taken out completely if you happen to need the space for long graphics cards. The single 140 mm intake-fan has been placed in the upper slot at the factory, while the bottom one remains unused.

You may also move three bottom HDD trays away from the front, which comes in handy if you want a radiator in the front. This feature allows you to keep three hard drive bays with such a configuration.

You could also go ahead and mount the cage on any 120 mm fan location because of 120 mm spaced holes on the bottom hard-drive bay. While a cool feature, there is really no other place to put the cage as there is simply not enough space.

The two 5.25 inch bays are nothing out of the ordinary and are identical to those found in the Arc chassis. Instead of an inadequate plastic locking systems, Fractal Design still offers simple but effective thumbscrews for these drive bays, taking tools out of the equation.

The PSU bay is on the bottom of the rear. A power supply will rest on four foam-mounted knobs, while the rear is also lined with the same material. This should kill vibrations on the spot. Above that are eight, white mainboard-expansion-slots, each held in place by a black thumbscrew. In the very top is another white bladed 140 mm fan to, this time, push air out the back of the chassis.

Instead of a separate fan-controller, the Define R4 has a built-in variant able to connect up to three cooling units to the device. Instead of a dial, you may pick from three speed settings at the front of the chassis. The I/O is modern with a 20-pin USB 3.0 connector and the usual suspects in terms of USB 2.0 and case I/O.

Taking a quick look at the ceiling, the two fan-openings are covered by panels with thick, sound-dampening foam-material, while the fan-opening in the floor, for the 120/140 mm fan, does not come with such a part installed. This should not be an issue since it points downward.
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