Fractal Design Define R5

Introduction

Fractal Design is a Swedish company known for their minimalist design of their products. The color scheme present in F.D products is black and white, scheme present in cases, power supplies and fans. The concept of Fractal Design is to provide products with an extraordinary level of design, without compromising the important factors of quality, functionality and pricing.

Official product link:

http://www.fractal-design.com/home/product/cases/define-series/define-r5-black

 

Packaging and accessories

The product comes in a simple cardboard box. On the front side we have the image of the case, the name & logo of the manufacturer. On the backside there are listed the features of the case using a diagram. On the sides of the box we have a image of the product and its specifications.

 

Accessories

The product comes with the following accessories:
– 1x Manual
– 4x PSU Screws
– 8x Motherboard Standoff
– 8x Motherboard Screw
– 32x 3.5” Drive Screw
– 32x 2.5” Drive Screw
– 8x Optical Drive Screw
– 4x Front Fan Screw
– 1x Standoff tool
– 5x Cable Tie
– 32x HDD Damper

 

Specifications

Colours available: Black, Titanium (black case, titanium front panel), White
Case dimensions (WxHxD): 232 x 451 x 521mm
Case dimensions – with feet/screws/protrusions: 232 x 462 x 531mm
Net weight: 11.2 kg
Package dimensions (WxHxD): 327 x 615 x 540mm
Package weight: 12.8 kg
Motherboard Support: ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX
Expansion & Drive Bays:
7 expansion slots
2 – 5.25″ bays (removable)
8 – 3.5″ HDD positions (can also accommodate 2.5″ units); 2 – 2.5″ dedicated SSD unit positions
Front I/O:
– 2 USB 3.0 + 2 USB 2.0
– Audio in/out
– Power button with LED (blue)
– HDD activity LED (blue)
– Reset button
Cooling System:
– Front: 2 – 120/140 mm fans (included is 1 Fractal Design Dynamic GP14 fan, 1000 RPM speed)
– Rear: 1 – 120/140 mm fan (included is 1 Fractal Design Dynamic GP14 fan, 1000 RPM speed)
– Top: 3 – 120/140 mm fan (not included)
– Bottom: 2 – 120/140 mm fan (not included)
– Side: 1 – 120/140 mm fan (not included)
– Fan controller: 3 step fan controller for up to 3 fans
– Dust filters: Bottom and front intakes
Water cooling compatibility:
– Front – 360, 280, 240, 140 and 120 mm radiators of all thicknesses (requires removal of drive bays)
– Top – 420, 360, 280, 240, 140 and 120 mm radiators. (A thickness limitation of 55mm for both radiator + fan applies on 420, 280 and 140 mm radiators) (420 and 360 mm radiators require removal of the ODD bay)
– Bottom – 120 or 240 mm radiator (Use of radiators in the bottom position limits the PSU length to 165 mm)
– Rear – 120 or 140 mm radiator
Clearance:
– CPU coolers up to 180mm in height
– ATX PSUs up to 190/170 mm with a bottom 120/140mm fan installed; when not using any bottom fan location longer PSUs up to 300mm can be used
– Graphics cards up to 310 mm in length with the top HDD cage installed; with the top cage removed, graphics cards up to 440 mm in length may be installed
– 20 – 35 mm of space for cable routing behind the motherboard plate
– Velcro straps included for easy cable management

Features:

4 – ModuVent™ plates – three in the top and one in the side
9 – fan positions (2 Fractal Design Dynamic GP14 140mm fans included)
Filtered fan slots in the front and bottom
Front door can switch opening direction via dual mounting system
Left side panel features Quick Release System for easy access and provides a secure closure of side panel
Right side panel features smart captive thumbscrews so no thumbscrews are lost

 

Visual inspection

The Define R5 model has a minimalist design characteristic of Fractal Design and the Define case line, offering endless possibilities for both air cooling and water cooling. The case is black, the HDD brackets, the blades of the two included fans & the 7 expansion slots being white.

 

The front side of the case is protected by a plastic door which can be opened from both sides of the case, the hinges being detachable.

 

The front dust filter is removable, behind it we find a included 140mm fan with the option of adding another 140mm fan next to it. Above we find the two 5.25” drive bays and the included three stages fan controller.

 

On the back side of the case we have a included 140mm fan, below we have the 7 expansion slots and on the bottom we have the space for the PSU.

 

The side panels are simple and sturdy, the main side panel offers the possibility of mounting a 140mm fan on the side. Also this size panel uses a clever combination of clamps and thumb screws to stay in place.

 

The inferior side of the case features a long dust filter which can be removed from the front of the case, this filter covers the entire floor of the case, also the chassis rests on four solid rubber & plastic feet.

 

The top side of the case is metallic, the three detachable panels have sound-absorbing foam on them, these are also made out of plastic. These panels are called ModuVent and can be used individually depending on the cooling method used.
In the front we find the I/O panel and the activity LED of the case. The I/O panel is composed of the following:
– 2x Audio Jacks
– 1x Reset Button
– 1x Power Button
– 2x USB 2.0 Ports
– 2x USB 3.0 Ports
– 1x Activity LED
– 1x Fan controller

 

The Define R5 chassis has a roomy interior optimized for water cooling and wire management. Below we have a chart that explains the R5’s water cooling options.

 

The case can accommodate cpu coolers that are up to 180 mm tall and graphics cards up to 310mm in length with the top HDD cage installed. Without the top cage, graphics cards up to 440 mm in length may be installed. Also the wire management holes are covered with rubber grommets.

 

On the back of the motherboard tray we find two white 2.5″ mounting plates that are fixed using thumb screws.

 

The wire management process is easy due to the included Velcro straps that hold in place the I/O cables.

The interior of the Define R5 chassis is completely modular, the HDD cages & the 5.25” drive bays are removable being held in place by thumb screws. Also both HDD cages & the 5.25″ drive bays can be moved or removed entirely. The Define R5 chassis features eight 3.5” HDD slots which can also accommodate 2.5” SSDs. Below we have a few photos that show the different mounting options for the HDD cages.

 

Testing

The following system was used to test the chassis:
– CPU: Intel i5 4690K
– Motherboard: MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC
– RAM: 8GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical
– GPU: MSI GeForce GTX 660 OC Gaming
– SSD: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB
– HDD: Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB
– PSU: InWin GreenMe 750W Bronze
– CPU Cooler: SilverStone Tundra TD02

 

Wire management is easy even with a non-modular power supply due to the ample space being the motherboard tray, this space measures approximately 36mm.

 

Installing the storage devices into the HDD metallic brackets is done with ease, using metallic screws and rubber washers to reduce the amount of vibration.

 

Installing a SSD into the chassis is easy due to the two dedicated brackets mounted on the back of the motherboard tray.

 

The noise level for the two 140mm fans included with the chassis using the included fan controller was measured at three different distances from the fans (10cm, 20cm, 30cm.) the noise was measured with a margin of error of ± 5 db.

 

Final thoughts

The Define R5 model is a perfect example of Swedish quality & precision characteristic of Fractal Design, offering ample space for installation and cooling.
The Fractal Design Define R5 chassis manages to bring back to the consumer’s attention the Define series using the characteristic Fractal Design stylish look, the Define series becoming the calling card of the company.
In conclusion the Define R5 model is an excellent case, the materials used in its construction being high quality. The interior space is used at maximum potential offering numerous expansion options and can house a complex water cooling or air cooling system. The installation is done with ease and the included two 140mm (Fractal Design Dynamic GP14) fans and the integrated three speed fan controller add more value to the case.

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