A PC case with great build quality that's also very quiet
There is something about white PC cases that seems to catch people's attention more than any other colour, so when the Arctic White version of Fractal Design's excellent Define R3 appeared it was met with a fair degree of cooing and oohing.
The Define R3 has been around for a while, but has recently been updated to include a USB3 port on the front panel (if you have the previous version of the R3 then there is an upgrade kit to add the USB3 port). The midi tower format case (which supports ATX, MicroATX and MiniATX motherboards) has the build quality, design features and attention to detail that runs throughout Fractal Design's range of cases.
Open the Define R3 and the first thing you notice is that both side panels, as well as the front panel, are lined with sound deadening foam so you have the basis for a quiet PC. There are two 120mm fans already installed – this should be enough cooling for a monster system. There are seven fan mounts in all including the two already in use; a single 120mm mount in the front bezel, two 120/140mm mounts in the base and in the side panel as well as a further two 120/140 mounts in the top of the case.
Unlike the Fractal Arc Midi case, the drive bay cage in the Define R3 is fixed. This means that using extra-long (up to 290mm) graphic cards isn't possible. The cage can hold up to eight 3.5in hard disks. The cage is designed so that tools aren't needed to fit the trays into place. However, you will still need a screwdriver to fit a disk into a tray.
Handily the trays can accommodate either 3.5in or 2.5in drives. The cage sits at ninety degrees which means accessing the drives presents no problems and it enables tidy cable runs, as the power and data cables can be routed out of the back of cage and through the rubber grommet holes in the motherboard backplate. Sitting above this cage is a smaller one with enough space for two 5.25in drives.
The most surprising thing about the Define R3 is its reasonable price which makes it good value.
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A generally well-designed PC case that's ideal for building a quiet desktop computer
Superb build quality and attention to detail; low price
Fixed disk cage prohibits very long graphics cards
Phone no UK number supplied
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