|Name||PC case: Fractal Design Define R3|
|At a glance:||Pre-fitted with noise dampening material,Great cable management system,Attractive and sturdy design,Mid-size form factor|
|Summary:||A well-built case with minimalist aesthetics and an effective noise dampening system.|
Swedish tech company Fractal Design have been busy forging a name for themselves as purveyors of high quality, well designed PC cases and accessories. The Define R3 lives up to that name, proving an excellent addition to their product portfolio.
I was impressed with the R3 before I installed a single component. The build quality is top notch – there are no sharp corners, it’s reassuringly hefty, and every inch of it is covered in a black, scratch-resistant coating.
Just as important as the quality is the design of the case, especially when it comes to cable management. The R3 has a very intelligent system for tucking cables out of the way – first you have a raised motherboard tray which has enough room to slide cables underneath, then you have slots in convenient locations such as near the power supply. With a bit of planning, you can make most of your cabling disappear.
A lot of emphasis has also been put into making the R3 a low-noise case with noise dampening material lining the inside panels. Effectively the only areas from which fan noise is audible are the rear exhaust fan and the video card.
I installed a full system into the R3: an ATX motherboard, a huge Prolimatech CPU cooler with 120mm fan, two hard drives and two AMD Radeon HD 6870 video cards in a Crossfire configuration. While I wouldn’t describe this case as big or roomy, it definitely accommodated all that gear with ease.
For the same price you can get bigger, flashier cases, but overall the Fractal Design Define R3 is one of the most practical, attractive, and functional mid-size cases I have ever had the pleasure of using.