Fractal Design Gallery

nalc

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Figured that since there are already galleries for a couple other brands of cases, we might as well start a Fractal Design gallery too. Since the Define R3 and Define XL are now available in the US, I'm starting to see a lot more Fractal Design cases on here. So let's get started!

 

nalc

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Guess I'll be the first, now that I'm home with my camera.

Want to do a bit more with cable management, namely right in front of the PSU and right behind the optical drive.

 

Unknown-One

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Posted this in the "Rate My Cables" thread. I guess it belongs here too :p

Just transferred my rig from a Lian-Li PC-65b into a Fractal Design R3 "Black Pearl"







Yes, I know the heatsink is pointed the wrong direction. I can't do anything about it, the AMD mounting hardware for the heatsink is pretty crappy and doesn't allow rotation.

Rest assured, a new CPU heatsink is going to be my next upgrade... The rubber bits that are supposed to hold the fan are even starting to go on me, I had to employ a rubber band to keep one corner of the fan from sagging >_>
 

Bbq

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How is that fan controller in there working for you ? Been thinking of doing something similar (damn door won't close if the fan controller is up front)
 

Unknown-One

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Yeah, I ran into the same issue installing the fan controller in the 3.5" to 5.25" bay adapter. Either the door wouldn't close, or it was recessed inside the case.

It works fine as an internal controller, though I had to use double-sided foam tape to attach it to the R3's mounting plate (the fan controller only has screw holes on its sides, not along the bottom). I generally set fan speed once and then leave it alone, so having it internal didn't really change anything for me :p

One thing is bothering me, though... For all the sound dampening this case has, it's LOUDER than the thin-aluminum-skinned Lian-Li it replaced. Are Fractal Design's stock fans really that bad compared to the Yate Loon's I was using before? I might have to yank the old fans from the Lian-Li to quiet this thing down...
 

bmoody23

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I guess this is the best place to ask about the case.

How is the case? Its so nice looking and I am contemplating between this and a cm haf 912.
 

nalc

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I guess this is the best place to ask about the case.

How is the case? Its so nice looking and I am contemplating between this and a cm haf 912.

It's a very sleek design. Seems pretty well thought-out. Decent amount of room for a midtower. Behind mobo tray cable management is doable. Overall, the only regret with my decision to buy this case was that I paid $109.99 plus $17 shipping, and a week later it was on sale for $99 with free shipping.

My complaints with the case are few - I don't like how difficult it is to use a fan controller with it. The door lies right up against the front bezel, so there is no room for knobs. I have my fan controller mounted so that it's bezel is recessed about half an inch behind the front of the case, which works, but it doesn't look the best. The grommet above the mobo for running the EPS12V connector is awkwardly positioned (the lip from the right side panel makes it hard to run the cable through, and it's positioned a few inches too far forward). Otherwise, the build quality seems very good. The intake fans all have dust filters, which is nice. It only includes two fans, which is a bit disappointing. I am currently running with both Fractal 120mm included fans as front intakes, with a NZXT 140mm fan on the bottom as an intake, and a San Ace 120mm rear exhaust. Keeps my temps pretty good - high 20s idle on CPU, high 30s idle on GPU. The hard drive cage is nice. It has this cool rubber sound absorbing material on the inside.
 

Unknown-One

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After some poking around, I managed to track down the noise issue... First thing I did was yank out the stock fans to do a side-by-side comparison with the Yate Loons I was using before. The stock fans turned out to be excellent, so I reinstalled them.

The problem seems to stem from two pieces of hardware in-particular; the fan on my HD5850, and the hard disks.

The hard disks aren't very isolated in this case, so they end up transferring more vibration than they did in the Lian-Li. It also looks like they might be making direct contact with the side panel, transferring even more vibration, and basically turning the side of the case into a speaker. There's not a whole lot you can do about this, except maybe use 2.5" hard disks and install them in drive silencers before mounting them to the case's drive plates. I may end up replacing two of the drives in mine with a single larger drive in order to reduce some of the noise.

The fan noise from the HD5850 is a weird one. It never sounded this whiny when it was in the Lian-Li, which had no noise canceling in it at all. I can't for the life of me figure out why it sounds different/louder... I might have to replace its heatsink to hush it up.
 

Kamainae

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Well here is mine finally finalized, jurl...
The rig is quite silent and the temps are great, the specs are:
Intel i7 2600K@4,5ghz Noctua NH-d14
Asus P8P67 Deluxe; 16gb G.SkillI ddr3 1600 8-8-8-24 1t
Saphire 6950 2gb with zalman V3000a Crossfire @900-1350
Mushkin dx 120Gb SSd; 3x2Tb WD green+Raid 2tb SamF3
Corsair TX750w; Fractal Define XL.



I have made a few modifications, first in the front there is a zalman fan controller (receded) to control al fans all at slow speed, i have used the 4 hdd bay to improvise a fan duct for the gpus, changed the stock fans to thermalright silent 140mm, wich are in my opinion a tad better. Also added a 120mm at the bottom to create a tunnel of airflow to the hdds (temps dropped 4 degrees), and also removed the plate wich separate the hdd compartment to improve airflow to the bottom 6950.
 
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bmoody23

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It's a very sleek design. Seems pretty well thought-out. Decent amount of room for a midtower. Behind mobo tray cable management is doable. Overall, the only regret with my decision to buy this case was that I paid $109.99 plus $17 shipping, and a week later it was on sale for $99 with free shipping.

My complaints with the case are few - I don't like how difficult it is to use a fan controller with it. The door lies right up against the front bezel, so there is no room for knobs. I have my fan controller mounted so that it's bezel is recessed about half an inch behind the front of the case, which works, but it doesn't look the best. The grommet above the mobo for running the EPS12V connector is awkwardly positioned (the lip from the right side panel makes it hard to run the cable through, and it's positioned a few inches too far forward). Otherwise, the build quality seems very good. The intake fans all have dust filters, which is nice. It only includes two fans, which is a bit disappointing. I am currently running with both Fractal 120mm included fans as front intakes, with a NZXT 140mm fan on the bottom as an intake, and a San Ace 120mm rear exhaust. Keeps my temps pretty good - high 20s idle on CPU, high 30s idle on GPU. The hard drive cage is nice. It has this cool rubber sound absorbing material on the inside.

Thanks for being so through with your experiences with the case.
So you had to add extra fans to keep the case temp down?
I read that this case gets pretty hot because of the of the closed side vent esp for the gpu. Right now I am debating over this case or the HAF 922. I really like how this case has filters and they are easily accessible . One thing that is a given about this case is that its jsut beautiful.

My one direct question would be how does well does the 6950 gpu fit in there and is there room for crossifre setup?

Thanks!
 

bmoody23

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Well here is mine finally finalized, jurl...
The rig is quite silent and the temps are great, the specs are:
Intel i7 2600K@4,5ghz Noctua NH-d14
Asus P8P67 Deluxe; 16gb G.SkillI ddr3 1600 8-8-8-24 1t
Saphire 6950 2gb with zalman V3000a Crossfire @900-1350
Mushkin dx 120Gb SSd; 3x2Tb WD green+Raid 2tb SamF3
Corsair TX750w; Fractal Define XL.



I made a few modifications, first in the front there is a zalman fan controller (receded) to control al fans all at slow speed, i have used the 4 hdd bay to improvise a fan duct for the gpus, changed the stock fans to thermalright silent 140mm, wich are in my opinion a tad better. Also added a 120mm at the bottom to create a tunnel of airflow to the hdds (temps dropped 4 degrees), and also removed the plate wich separate the hdd compartment to improve airflow to the bottom 6950.

So it seems like everyone added extra fans. Along with some tweaking of the case. How do you like the XL case compared to the r3?

Do you have any more pics of your rig?
 

Bbq

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One thing is bothering me, though... For all the sound dampening this case has, it's LOUDER than the thin-aluminum-skinned Lian-Li it replaced. Are Fractal Design's stock fans really that bad compared to the Yate Loon's I was using before? I might have to yank the old fans from the Lian-Li to quiet this thing down...

The fractal fans are rather loud compared to yate loons, and have a lot more fan noise like a noticable ticking. They're not the worst, but they're far from the best.

I guess this is the best place to ask about the case.

How is the case? Its so nice looking and I am contemplating between this and a cm haf 912.

I have one of these fans too, and I really like it.

The hard disks aren't very isolated in this case, so they end up transferring more vibration than they did in the Lian-Li. It also looks like they might be making direct contact with the side panel, transferring even more vibration, and basically turning the side of the case into a speaker. There's not a whole lot you can do about this, except maybe use 2.5" hard disks and install them in drive silencers before mounting them to the case's drive plates. I may end up replacing two of the drives in mine with a single larger drive in order to reduce some of the noise.

The best thing you can do is not screw the hard drive in so securely. Leave it a little loose so the silicone isolators can work better. Or, you could get an ssd :D
 

Unknown-One

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The fractal fans are rather loud compared to yate loons, and have a lot more fan noise like a noticable ticking. They're not the worst, but they're far from the best.
Mine actually seem quite well behaved. They're audible when running full blast, but they quickly dial down past the ambient noise of the rest of my system after being attached to my fan controller.

Speaking of which, I've just ordered an Arctic Cooling Accelero Twin Turbo Pro to replace my HD 5850's stock cooler. If stopping the video card's fan with my finger is any indication, this should remove a lot of noise.

The Twin Turbo's color scheme also happens to match the Fractal Design R3 perfectly, with its black frame and white fan blades:


The best thing you can do is not screw the hard drive in so securely. Leave it a little loose so the silicone isolators can work better. Or, you could get an ssd :D
Heh, I did exactly that while assembling, though I suppose I could have left a little more slack on each screw than I did. As for getting an SSD, check the slot right above my three hard disks ;)

While on the subject of drives, is there any sort of SATA backplane addition for this case? There appear to be mounting holes (one set per drive) for such an add-on, but I can't find anything.
 

nalc

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Thanks for being so through with your experiences with the case.
So you had to add extra fans to keep the case temp down?
I read that this case gets pretty hot because of the of the closed side vent esp for the gpu. Right now I am debating over this case or the HAF 922. I really like how this case has filters and they are easily accessible . One thing that is a given about this case is that its jsut beautiful.

My one direct question would be how does well does the 6950 gpu fit in there and is there room for crossifre setup?

Thanks!

My pic in the second post is a reference 2gb 6950. As you can see, there's definitely enough room for it. If I was doing CF, though, I'd probably install a fan in the side panel to get the GPU temps down. I get pretty decent temps on mine with just a bottom 140mm intake, and the two front 120mm intakes.
 

Unknown-One

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That many case fans seems like a bit of overkill for just an i5, a single video card, and a couple of 2.5" drives...

I'm keeping a 125w Phenom II X4 + HD5850 + GTX260 cool with just the two stock case fans in their default positions, and they're turned down to low speed with a fan controller :confused:
 

DeltaD

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just curious why you're installing the psu upside down. you're just blowing hot air onto your GPU.
 

Etherton

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Just ordered a Arctic White R3 from NewEgg. Planning on putting a large plexi window in it and a few red or white led fans. Will post pics when done...
 
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Unknown-One

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just curious why you're installing the psu upside down. you're just blowing hot air onto your GPU.
Uh, the fan in the PSU is an exhaust fan, not an intake fan. It's blowing hot air out the back of the case, not into it...

I installed it that way so I had more room to bend the bundle of cables coming out of the PSU around. With it mounted the other way, I couldn't actually rout the bundle through the motherboard tray, too thick.
 
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Etherton

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Overall I love the case. I do think the wire management on the backside could have a little more room. Don't forget to get long wires or extensions for some of your cables. The wiring behind the HDD cage could be hidden a little more... might see if I can get some longer SATA cables to route them better. I swapped out the stock fans with a pair of Enermax and Thermaltake fans for lighting... planning on cutting the side panel for some plexi.









 

nalc

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Swapped out my power supply. If this case were a half inch wider, it would be fantastic. Cable management can be a little tight, but I think I got everything looking good.







 

e2g

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free shipping on the titanium..but not on black...lol newegg (Define XL)
 

Lamont

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Just got mine a couple days ago. Swapped the stock H70 fans with the case fans and it's perfect. My machine hasn't been this quiet in a long time. I was a bit worried about my Asus 580 not fitting, but after taking a look at your pictures I was sure it would.
 

TekJoe

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Thought i should contribute as i have just got this BEAUTIFUL case in Arctic White!

Please excuse crappy pics, and a few messy wires. If you have any tips for me to improve my cable management with a non-modular power supply, please let me know



 

Lamont

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Here's mine. All this used to be shoved in a P180 mini (well 3HDD's not 5). Put the two Case fans in the front bays, and replaced with Gentle Typhoons came in the mail today. This is one sick case for the cost, but the rubber grommets are weak. I should be getting a new front door assembly since my top fan door does not work.

 

Shaman

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Hmm only pictures of the Define R3/XL so far.. are none of their other great looking cases available for sale yet?
 

faugusztin

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Nope, there is only R3, XL and Array R2 on sale. R2 is EOL and the rest is not on sale yet.
 

compslckr

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Great thread, I have a define XL Titanium on the way, and this thread got me excited to see what I can do with it.
 

E^vol

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I just ordered an R3 today and I am getting a Coolit Eco cpu cooler for free (free is a good price).
I currently have a P180 with a 240mm rad, 655 pump, & Apogee GTz block. Cpu is an old c2d e6300 (1.86Ghz) currently running at 2.8Ghz. Gpu is a 5870 (stock cooler).
In your collective opinions, which setup should I use? My current water cooling or the new Coolit unit.
This system will become my htpc / storage very soon, so I'm mainly looking for this to be quiet, not a gaming rig.
If I were to run my water cooling setup, I would need to open up the top fan mounts to mount my rad. Can the sound foam which covers the fan vents be re attached after I remove it? Or is it "one time sticky"?

Any other advise would also be greatly appreciated.
 
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compslckr

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Is the coolit some sort of combo deal? or are you getting it from a friend or something similar?
 

nalc

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I just ordered an R3 today and I am getting a Coolit Eco cpu cooler for free (free is a good price).
I currently have a P180 with a 240mm rad, 655 pump, & Apogee GTz block. Cpu is an old c2d e6300 (1.86Ghz) currently running at 2.8Ghz. Gpu is a 5870 (stock cooler).
In your collective opinions, which setup should I use? My current water cooling or the new Coolit unit.
This system will become my htpc / storage very soon, so I'm mainly looking for this to be quiet, not a gaming rig.
If I were to run my water cooling setup, I would need to open up the top fan mounts to mount my rad. Can the sound foam which covers the fan vents be re attached after I remove it? Or is it "one time sticky"?

Any other advise would also be greatly appreciated.

The part that covers the fans can be re-attached. It's a hard plastic sheet with threaded screw holes in it, and the sound deadening foam on one side. So you can just unscrew the panels and remove them. One of those nifty things that never got mentioned in a review.
 

compslckr

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Here's how mine looks so far. Still waiting on my black 90degree sata cables and some split loom tubing.

Still waiting on my HD 6970 to arrive, but here is a sneak peak.










I am thinking about cutting off most of those other power supply connectors since I won't need them for anything. Then I can get rid of that awful ball of rainbow colors in the corner.
 

nalc

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compslckr, for cable management, one thing you could do might be to run the front panel connector cables along the rear edge of the drive cage. It has all those small holes in it, which are perfectly sized for a small zip tie. You could also bring your PSU cables all into the first rubber grommet, instead of some in the first and some in the second. Otherwise, cables look pretty good. The 24-pin ATX is a rough cable to run behind the mobo on these cases, as it will make the side panel a very tight fit. Probably not worth it unless you're extreme OCD.
 

compslckr

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Yeah, i had the 24pin cable going through the grommet and could not get the side panel back on. I wish they left an extra half inch of space behind the motherboard tray for cables

Once the new video card arrives I will do a little more work on the odds and ends, but overall I am super happy with the case. The quality is amazing, and it is completely silent right now.

I am also planning on adding a few more fans, but I am not in a huge rush. Right now I just have the two stock fans.
 

E^vol

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Just re-built my system last night with my new Fractal R3 and I ended up using the Coolit Eco cooler because the 2 top fan mounts are spaced too far apart to mount my 240mm rad up there. The 120mm mounting holes are centered within the 140mm mounts.

So far, my experience building with this case has been very good. Fit and finish are very good, and the case just looks nice and elegant in my opinion.

My wiring job was somewhat clean until I got to the PSU wires and all hell broke loose. To my defense, it was 2:30am and I was falling asleep. Since they're not really blocking any airflow, they'll stay the way they are for now.

This will become my HTPC soon, as a full upgrade is in the works. (Do I upgrade to 1155 now, or wait for LGA2011 this fall?)

Here are a few pics...







 
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nalc

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Why do you have fans mounted in the top if you are running your watercooling fans as exhausts?
 

E^vol

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Just trying to maximize airflow while keeping all fans on lowest speed to minimize noise.

P.S. Aside from the two 120mm fans which came with the case, all other fans were transplanted from my old P180. I might pick up some quiet 140mm fans one of these days.
 

Valshistixol

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Cracked and ordered one of these, my Lian-Li is going to my sister. The fan filters and whatnot were a big turn on. Anyone know where I can buy a second matching fractal design fan for the front though?
 
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