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Fractal Design Define XL R2 Review


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The exterior of the Define XL R2 is very similar to the original Define XL case and consists of a substantial steel chassis with a plastic and brushed aluminium effect front panel.

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The front panel is minimalist in design and consists of a large panel which covers the four external drive bays and the dual front facing fan vents.

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There are vents spanning the sides of the front panel which provide airflow for the front fans.  There is a single 140 mm Fractal Design branded fan installed in the front of the case.

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We find the front panel connections along the top edge of the chassis alongside the power and reset buttons.  They consist of two USB2.0 ports, two USB3.0 ports and headphone and microphone jacks.  There is also an inbuilt fan controller which is located just behind the front door.

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We also find a pair of fan vents in the roof of the case which support both 120 mm and 140 mm fans, as well as 240 mm and 280 mm radiators.  This, combined with the large amount of headroom between the motherboard and roof of the case makes it ideal for water cooling.  Both of these vents are covered with sound proofing pads which must be removed to install fans.

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Moving round to the rear of the case we can see a fairly standard design, comprising of a 140 mm exhaust fan and PSU mounting points at the bottom of the case.  There are a larger number of expansion slots than usual though, with nine in total.  The rear vent is populated with a Fractal Design branded fan.

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