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Fractal Design Define XL Case Review

There are two colours of the Define XL available on the market; Black Pearl and Titanium Grey.  The sample we received is finished in ‘Black Pearl’ and we think it’s extremely attractive. Even though some of the product photos on the web make it look like the case is aluminium in construction, it is actually only the front panel that is finished in brushed aluminium.

The front of the case is actually a door which opens to reveal the optical drives and the front intake fan.  This means, when closed, the front of the case consists of a single sheet of unbroken brushed aluminium that creates a minimalist visage akin to that of cases we’ve seen from Lian Li in the past.  These intake fan is a 140mm model which is situated next to an additional fan vent so you can install a further intake fan.

On the top of the case at the front we find the power button alongside a generous selection of front panel connections.  These consist of four USB2.0 ports, an eSATA port and headphone and microphone jacks.  The lack of USB3.0 ports in the front panel is a little dissapointing considering the price of the case but these can easily be added at a later date using a 5.25″ adapter.  The circular power button is located in the centre and is surrounded by the LED blue power light.

Unlike most cases these days, there isn’t any roof exhaust vents in the top of the case.  Instead, the 180mm roof fan exhausts out of the back of the case alongside the 140mm rear exhaust fan.  Fractal have added some flare to the design by colouring the add-in card covers white which contrasts with the black used for the rest of the case.  These have slots in to help improve cooling.

On the underside of the case there is a vent for the PSU intake fan which is covered with a filter to prevent fluff and dust from your carpet from being sucked in.  On the left side panel of the case there is space for a further 140mm fan if desired.

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