Fractal Design Define R4 Full-Tower PC Chassis Review

/ 4 years ago

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Today I’m taking a look at the Define R4 chassis from the masters at Fractal Design, a chassis that sets out to maximum sound reduction, while staying highly configurable and functional, while maintaining a minimalist design. The R4 is now the latest in Fractal Design “Define” series which is already proving popular with enthusiasts of all kinds, from gamers to people who just love a great looking PC chassis.

I’ll be taking a look at the windowless black pearl edition today, but the chassis is also available in Titanium Grey and Arctic White, both with and without a windowed side panel in each of the colours. Kitted out with a heavy helping of sound absorbing materials and a heavy duty build quality, with room for 8 hard drives, large graphics cards compatibility and plenty of expansion room for extra ventilation and cooling throughout, two pre-installed high quality fans, a built in fan controller and more, it’s certainly going to be interesting to take a closer look inside this decidedly premium quality chassis.

“The concept of Fractal Design is to provide products with an extraordinary design level, without compromising the important factors of quality, functionality and pricing. The computer of today has come to play a central role in most people’s home, creating a demand for appealing design of the computer itself and its accessories.” –

Fractal have set a high standard for themselves, and its something that is reflected in the spec sheet for the R4, as you can see below the Define R4 comes well equipped and on paper it sounds like they’ve gone a long way to justify the retail price of around £95, assuming of course the chassis holds to their claims of high quality and design, sounds like we could have a winner on our hands, so come and take a look at the next few pages as I take a closer look at exactly what is on offer with this chassis.

Technical specifications

  • ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX motherboard compatibility
  • 7 + 1 expansion slots
  • 2 – 5.25″ bays
  • 8 – 3.5″ HDD trays – all compatible with SSDs, 2 – 2.5″ extra SSD positions
  • 3 – ModuVent™ plates – two in the top and one in the side
  • 7 – fan positions (2 Silent Series R2 fans included)
  • Filtered fan slots in the front and bottom
  • CPU coolers up to 170mm tall (when no fan is installed in the side panel)
  • ATX PSUs up to 170mm deep when using the bottom fan location, when not using this fan location longer PSUs (up to 270mm deep) can be used
  • Graphics cards up to 295mm in length with the top HDD cage installed
  • With the top cage removed, graphics cards up to 430mm in length may be installed
  • 26mm of space for cable routing behind the motherboard plate
  • Thick rubber grommets on all holes on the motherboard plate
  • Colours available: Black Pearl, Titanium Grey, Arctic White
  • Case dimensions (WxHxD): 232 x 464 x 523mm
  • Package dimensions (WxHxD): 320 x 535 x 610mm
  • Net weight: 12,3 kg

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  • Looks like a decent chassis but it has way too many HDD bays & not enough 5.25 in. bays. The door, although it adds a bit of style is a deal breaker for me not to mention it opens the wrong way. Glad to see they use decent quality fans though unlike other manufacturers who use basement bargain fans which are usually ripped out, chucked away and replaced with better fans which also adds to overall cost.

    • Peter Donnell

      I thought there was something strange about the door panel, couldn’t pin what is was, so well spotted on that one.

      2 x optical bays is more than enough for most, personally I have a DVD/Fan Controller and an SD card reader, using 3 spaces, but given this has a simple fan controller built in, 2 x would be enough for me.

      I would guess it only has two so that you can take advantage of fitting a front mounted radiator though, any more would then make the chassis taller and its already quite large.

      Chassis manufacturers seem to have upped their game over the last year though in terms of quality of fans, with a few exceptions on budget models of course, but it is always welcome to see some quality fans installed.

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