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Fractal Design Define XL Case Review

We decided to use the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition processor for testing alongside the very quite Noctua C12P CPU Cooler.  We have also chosen to use a Zotac GTX 470 GPU as we feel it reflects what those who buy a case at this price level will be using.

Test System

Chassis: Corsair Graphite 600T
Motherboard: Asus M4A89GTD Pro/USB3
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition
Kingston HyperX 4GB (2x2GB) 2133MHz
Corsair TX650W
Graphics Card:
Zotac GeForce GTX 470
Noctua C12P
Thermal Paste:
Arctic Cooling MX-3
Hard Drive:
Kingston SSDNow V+ 128GB

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
Everest Ultimate

For the temperature tests we installed a Samsung Spinpoint F3 hard drive into the system.  We overclocked the system by 10% to 3.5GHz using a baseclock of 220MHz and upping the core voltage to 1.35V. During the test we found that all the core temperatures were identical and moved together so the one listed value is correct for all six cores.  For the duration of the test, the room temperature was maintained at 20c.  The temperatures we achieved are on a par with what we’ve experienced with other cases at this price level.  But the noise emitted by the case is much lower even with the fans on maximum.

As for noise level performance, we weren’t actually able to record any worthwhile results.  For these tests we removed the GTX 470 from the system and replaced it with a passively cooled HD 5550 as we’ve found it to distort results in the past.  The Define XL is so quiet that it didn’t register on our noise level meter which means that it is below 30 dBA.  This was the case when the fans were turned up to their maximum speed – and turning them down made the case even quieter.

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