Fractal Design Define R4 Case Review

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Define R4 Interior Thoughts

Define R4 Inner Side Panel

On both the of inner side of each side panel, Fractal Design uses a sound deadening material. And on each of the non-used fan mounts also contains a removable sound deadening material. This does add quite a bit more to the overall weight of not only the chassis but also to the side panels themselves. You may want to make sure you have a firm hold on these side panels when removing them or replacing them on the chassis; as I almost dropped one because I was not expecting them to be so heavy.

Define R4 Interior

Time for me to give the interior of the Define chassis a good look through; we can see why Fractal Design only uses two 5.25” device bays, that is because this chassis can utilize up to eight 3.5/2.5” HDDs/SSDs.

Define R4 5.25 Bays

Typical mounting style for the 5.25” device bays.

Define R4 Upper HDD Cage
Define R4 Lower HDD Cage

Looking at the two removable HDD cages.

Define R4 HDD Carriers

The HDD/SSD carriers, these carriers can install either a 3.5” HDD or the smaller 2.5” HDD/SSDs. But only the 3.5” HDD will have use of the rubber mounts that will help on keeping these drives quite. These HDD carriers use a multiple 3.5” HDD mounting system.

Define R4 Front IO Headers

This bundle of wires is pretty simple, we get a USB 3 header, a USB 2 header, an front audio header, and the on/off/reset header, and the HDD/Power indicator LEDs header.

Define R4 PCI Expasion Port Covers

Looking at the front side of the PCI expansion ports; Fractal Design uses removable PCI covers that are also vented to help improve air circulation inside of this chassis.

Define R4 Rear 140mm Exhaust Fan

The rear included 140mm exhaust fan.

Define R4 CPU Cut out

It appears that Fractal Design has a rather large CPU cut out on the Define R4 chassis.

Define R4 Upper HDD Cage Removal

Fractal Design, designed the top HDD cage to be able to be removable; to remove this HDD cage we will need to remove the two thumb screws that secure this HDD cages to the chassis.

Define R4 Upper HDD Cage Removal
Define R4 Upper HDD Cage Sliders

The upper HDD cage uses eight round plastic sliders (four on top and four on the bottom)so it can be rotated 90°. I will show you this on the next page of this review.

Define R4 Upper HDD Cage Upper Guides
Define R4 Upper HDD Cage Lower Guides

On the lower part of the 5.25” device bays is a set of channels, and the lower HDD cage has two more channels on the top of it.

Define R4 Front 120mm Fan

Fractal Design includes a single front 120mm fan. In order for us to install a second front fan or replace/remove the current 120mm front fan we have to remove the front bezel.

Define R4 Front Fan Cage

The front 120mm fan(s) are encased in a front fan mount cage that uses a fan filter to help keep dust to a minimum. The removal of the front bezel is pretty simple and did not require a lot of effort, just required me to grab below the front front bezel and gently pull away from the chassis.

Define R4 Front Fan Cage Removal

To remove this front fan cage all we need to do is locate the small clip on the top of this cage and gently press down and remove the cage from the chassis.

Define R4 Measurement
Define R4 Measurement

If you are planning on using both of the HDD cages in the Define R4 chassis, you will be limited to roughly twelve inches of room.

Define R4 CPU Cut Motherboard Tray Measurement

A quick measurement of the area behind the motherboard tray, as we can tell there is roughly an inch of room back here to hide our PSU wires.

Define R4 Right inner Side Panel

As I mention earlier that both side panels incorporate a sound deadening material on the inside.

Define R4 Backside of Motherboard Tray

A quick look at the back side of the motherboard tray.

Define R4 optional SSD mounts

Now Fractal Design includes two more 2.5″ HDD/SSD mounts onto the Define R4’s motherboard tray. These mounting holes are located to the lower rear portion of the motherboard tray itself (I marked these holes with green arrows). The location of these mounting holes will make installing/replacing the 2.5″ HDD/SSDs here a complete pain in the butt and impossible once the motherboard and PSU is installed into this chassis. I did not hold this oversight by Fractal Design against the Define R4 chassis, for the reason that the included HDD carriers can handle both a 2.5″ HDD/SSD, and the larger 3.5″HDD and that with both of the HDD cages installed we can use up to eight of these drives with this chassis.

Define R4 Measurement Motherboard Tray

I re-measured the area behind the motherboard tray to make sure I saw what I saw when I measured the area behind the motherboard tray the first time. This measurement confirms that I do have almost one inch of room behind the motherboard tray.

Fractal Design does make all of the corners of this chassis rounded so that it will minimize cuts and bruises to a minimum.

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