Fractal Design Define XL Black Pearl Case Review

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The outside of the Define XL

The first thing we noticed when we received this case is something you might have missed on the front page specifications.  This beast weighs in at almost 18kg (40lb) and we felt every bit of that empty weight when we were moving this case around for our photo shoot.  

Fractal XL front
The front of the case is a smooth aluminum panel set in black plastic to form a door.
Fractal XL right side
The right side is just a solid black steel panel.  This view also shows the vents behind the front door and the silver feet the Fractal Define XL sits on.
FractalXL_back.jpg (255×550)
Moving around to the back, Fractal throws in a little bling by using white ventilated covers for the rear ports including the interesting perpendicular one above the others.  This is used to mount the optional included variable fan speed control.  Between these are two ports for water cooling tube and the rear facing 140mm white Fractal fan.
Fractal XL left panel
The left side of the case has more vents along the side of the front door to provide air to the intake fan(s).  There is also a unique feature that Fractal has named ModuVent.  This simply means the door has a 120mm / 140mm fan vent right above where the GPU(s) would go for maximum cooling, but it is sealed with a plate mounted over the opening to maximize sound proofing.
Fractal XL ports
The top is just a solid piece with a bezel that has a headphone and mic jack, e-SATA port, power button that glows blue when on, and four USB 2.0 ports.  As we mentioned earlier this case comes as either USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 with the option to upgrade to the USB 3.0 with an upgrade kit.
USB 3.0 Upgrade kit
This is a picture of the upgrade kit to convert two of the four ports to USB 3.0 that you can install into your USB 2.0 Define XL case if you choose.
Fractal XL bottom
Turing the case on its side we get a view of the bottom.  This view shows off the rubber dampened metal feet and the downward facing PSU fan filtered vent.
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