Fractal Design Define R4 Mid Tower Review - Final Thoughts

 

Final Thoughts

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Fractal's goal with the Define R4 was to improve on the already quiet Define R3 with more builder-friendly features for added value. If my building experience was any indication, then they certainly succeeded. The modular drive cages can be arranged for a number of usage scenarios or can be completely removed to open up a massive amount of room for big graphics cards, radiators, or reservoirs.  The fans are whisper quiet, and the sound-dampening bitumen foam does an excellent job of keeping sounds emitted by hard drives, fans, and optical disks from escaping. The elegant, monolithic enclosure would look great on any desk, and the three color choices give buyers a chance to express themselves.

An MSRP of $109.99 ($119.99 with window) makes the Define R4 a tantalizing option for someone wishing for more space, less noise, and minimalist looks. There are similarly designed options out there like the NZXT H2 ($99.99), Antec P280 ($139.99), and the pricier Corsair 550D ($159.99). I could pick one or two things from each that I wish Fractal might have implemented, like better clearance up top for large radiators, however Fractal's offering just seems like the better overall package for the money. It is after all a direct evolution of the Define R3, which was hailed a favorite among enthusiasts. If you're looking for an ultra-quiet mid-tower on a budget, then I would definitely recommend moving the Define R4 near the top of your list.

 

The Good

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The Bad

  • Excellent sound dampening qualities
  • Sleek and simple design
  • Lots of options for cable management
  • Reconfigurable drive cages
  • Built-in fan 3-setting controller
  • Highly competitive price
  • Hard drive mounting system is not screwless, nor does it use thumbnails screws
  • Only two fans are included
  • Mounting a 240mm radiator could be a tight squeeze
  • Power LED is extremely bright

 

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