The Define R3 USB3.0 Black Pearl from Fractal Design won me over in the end. There are only two things I can even think of that this design lacks - about two inches more HD Audio cable and a docking station or removable hard drive area. This may make some buyers pass over this more elegant solution.
The goal here was to produce a sleek looking chassis that offers the user the most silent gaming experience possible, yet still allowing you to easily customize the air flow in this chassis from every angle, literally! Even with the things that may sell other cases, for those who want silence now and may want to force induct the case later, this solution is exactly what you want.
At no time during the build or removal of any of the components did I find any weak spots or flaws in the workmanship. Fractal Design delivers a really sturdy chassis! While I did find some of the wire management holes to be a bit off for my slightly longer PSU, I was able to manage a very clean resulting build with some wiring up front and some behind the tray. As I mentioned though, with a full panel door, it can be thrown together with bubble gum and duct tape, nobody will ever know until you go out of your way to show them. It doesn't matter if you are the first time builder looking for a bit of understated appeal outside and some classic black and white on the inside, or even a seasoned builder, the Define R3 still holds up well against the competition today and this is the better part of a year old already!
I wish things would have worked out better earlier in the TweakTown and Fractal Design friendship, but either way we are building one now. I for one do see what all the hype was about, finally and I am eager to get a look at what their flagship chassis has in store as I missed that as well. Really for $110 you are going to be hard pressed to find a chassis that is this quiet, doesn't blind you with useless LEDs and looks this good sitting in any room for that money. As I said, the cheapest I can find this chassis as I received it from Fractal Design is over at Newegg.com for $109.99 and I've got to say that is a great price for the case I just looked at.
For those of you like me who missed this chassis on its release, for an aging entry, Fractal Design proves they are onto something good with their designs if I am still recommending this over the Phantom 410, Xigmatek Midgard II and even the Viper! The Define R3 is just that nice!
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon's website.
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Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [Specifications, Availability and Pricing]
- Page 3 [The Packaging]
- Page 4 [Fractal Design Define R3 USB 3.0 Black Pearl Mid-Tower Chassis]
- Page 5 [Inside the Define R3 Black Pearl]
- Page 6 [Inside the Define R3 Black Pearl Continued]
- Page 7 [Accessories and Documentation]
- Page 8 [The Build and Finished Product]
- Page 9 [Final Thoughts]
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