Fractal Design Define XL Full Tower Case Review - Final Thoughts


Final Thoughts

Fractal Design took all the elements you'd look for in a case: good airflow, quiet operation, ease of installation, flexibility, cable management, and good looks and boiled it down to its simplest form.  What they ended up with is a very clean, functional chassis that is ready to serve a wide-range of builders.  The cable management is excellent, and the sound-dampening foam really makes your computer whisper quiet.  Quality fans provide good airflow at low noise levels, and slide-out HDD mounting trays, a removable HDD bay, a removable power supply mounting bracket, and plenty of strategically-placed cable management holes make installation simple.

The front I/O port includes two USB 3.0 ports with an internal header, so you'll have access to a high-bandwidth connection externally.  The large feet on the bottom of the case give plenty of clearance for good airflow from the bottom of the chassis, and will help prevent intaking dust into your power supply.  Everything on the Define XL is well-built and solid, including the plastic front door.  The case is on the heavy side at nearly 40 lbs, but it's not much heavier than comparable full tower chassis on the market.

We only had two minor gripes with the Define XL.  The first being that the watercooling grommets in the back are a bit flimsy and fall out rather easily, and the tight fit between the front door and the front panel don't allow fan controllers with protruding knobs to allow the door to close.  Other than that, Fractal Design included an innovative way to exhaust out through a large fan on top by angling the fan and exhausting out of the back, which again allows for that ultra-quiet operation you may be searching for.  In almost every other way, the Define XL takes a very functional design, and packaged it in a very neat and stylish steel chassis which is built durably enough to survive even the roughest of LAN parties.


The Good


The Bad

  • Simple, clean aesthetics
  • Great cable management
  • Separate thermal chambers
  • Included expansion port fan controller
  • Two USB 3.0 ports
  • Excellent build quality
  • Ultra-quiet operation
  • Rather heavy with no handles
  • Watercooling grommets fall out rather easily
  • Front door doesn't accommodate larger knobs on fan controllers


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