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Fractal Design Define R5 Mid-Tower Chassis Review

By: Chad Sebring | Mid-Tower Cases in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Nov 24, 2014 12:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 98%Manufacturer: Fractal Design

Inside the Define R5




On the inside of both of the side panels, almost edge to edge, you will find this heavy, multi-layered, sound deadening material. You can easily pull the screws and remove the ModuVent panel to install a fan of your choice.




Since the front I/O panel is molded into the top of the bezel, the wiring for the ports on the panel and the leads for the fan controller are all attached. So, be sure to install drives and get the tinkering done here long before you wire the chassis.




With the bulk of the interior in black, and the bays, slot covers, and fan blades in white, the chassis screams Fractal Design. As we take our first look inside, we find the wiring is bundled and passed through the motherboard tray for transit, and there is a hardware box in the lowest drive bay.




At the top of the chassis, there are two 5.25" drive bays that use thumbscrews for mounting drives and devices. Keep in mind that both of these bays can be removed to provide additional room for radiators and fans at the top.




For now, the HDD cages are set in two sections, one cage of five, and another of three bays. Of course, they are all removable, and either section can go in at the top or bottom where you see them now. If the PSU isn't too long, you could even attach them to the floor just to the left of their current position.




Along with the ODD and HDD bays, there is yet another panel at the top that can be removed to fully open the top for a trio of fans. We also get to see the installed intake fan, and just how much room this R5 has to play around with.




The top of the chassis will allow for thinner radiators and fans without obstruction to the motherboard. In this image, we find two things. First, we can see the size of the mesh won't block much flow at all, and we also see that there are squeeze clips for releasing the ModuVent.




Rather than offering a flat tray, the motherboard tray is inset to provide more room for wiring, and will not allow for anything larger than an ATX motherboard. The tray offers a large access hole, four well placed management holes, and is clearly marked for the three motherboard sizes and standoff installation.




Of course, the floor of the chassis offers room for the PSU, but it is also open to rearranging the HDD cages in the middle, or possibly even a fan. Once the cages are completely removed, two fans should fit on front of the PSU.




Inside of the back of the R5, we find the same three-pin powered GP14 fan we saw at the front of the chassis. The expansion slots and future cards are, and will be secured by the thumbscrews seen there.




Off to the left, there is plenty of room for any wiring needed, but to the right, Fractal has done a bit of the wiring for us, and tended to it with the Velcro straps sporting their name. We can also see the two dedicated 2.5" trays that slide on and off the back of the motherboard tray.




As for the chassis' wiring, what we see here is only part of it. All of this is done up in black sleeve, including the LED, buttons, the USB leads, and HD audio cable; there are also a few three-pin fan power leads, and a SATA power connector for the fan controller.

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