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Fractal Design Define XL R2 Review


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Fractal Design have chosen to forgo a side window in the case in favour of a large mass of sound-proofing material on the inside.  There is a 120 mm fan vent in the side panel but this is also covered by a thick (removable) pad of sound proofing material.

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There is loads of room to work with inside the Define XL R2 as it is a full tower case with room for E-ATX and XL-ATX motherboard in addition to the more common form factors.  The inside of the case is predominantly painted black but there are white highlights here and their like the expansion slot covers, fans and the drive bays.

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In total there are eight drive bays which are split into two modules of four.  These modules can be removed to boost airflow or can be turned around so the drive bays face towards the front of the case.  The individual caddies can either house a 2.5″ or 3.5″.

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There are eight hard drive bays in total on the right hand side of the case, six of which can be removed to make room for a radiator in the front of the case if required.  Removing these should also improve airflow if you don't require more than two hard drive bays.  Each bay features a caddy which has mounting points for both 2.5″ and 3.5″ drives which must be installed using the provided screws.

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Installing a motherboard into the case isn't as straightforward as it could be as we are first required to attach all of the motherboard stand-offs.  This case supports a wider range of motherboard sizes than most cases, though.

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There is a very large cut-out section in the motherboard tray to facilitate the installation of CPU cooler backplates.

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Installing the power supply is very simple and requires four screws through the rear of the chassis.

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There are a large array of grommets in the motherboard tray for routing cables, in addition to a generous amount of room behind the motherboard tray.

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Expansion devices are secured in place using thumbscrews and there is room for cards up to 480 mm in length.  This means there is room for every graphics card currently on the market.

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2 comments

  1. great cases, have a fractal and am very happy with the sound proofing. only thing is the door is quite flimsy 🙁

  2. I took delivery of my XL R2 case yesterday. One thing I was in awe of is it’s sheer size. It dwarves my old CM 690 II Advanced based system, being about 3″ taller and 1″ wider. Build quality was brilliant, with only one (important) complaint. The supplied motherboard stand-offs were 6.5mm high, should be 8.5mm so the PCIe cards can sit in their slots properly. A quick enquiry led to the correct ones being sent out with a bonus fan for my troubles. I used washers in the meantime to get my system up and running. Apart from that one small issue, I would highly recommend the case (or it’s smaller brother the R4)