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Fractal Design Define R4 Black Pearl Mid-Tower Chassis Review (Page 4)

By Chad Sebring from Jul 23, 2012 @ 1:13 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 98%Manufacturer: Fractal Design

Fractal Design R4 Black Pearl Mid-Tower Chassis


Looking at the front of the Define R4 you can definitely see the influence of the R3 design on the outside. The very front of the chassis has a brushed, yet shiny appearance to the door with venting down the side to allow the intake fans some place to grab clean air from.


The door is held to the chassis with a magnetic catch. The inside of the door has rubber pads to keep the door from slamming and the bulk of the inside of the door has foam applied for sound deadening. The face of the chassis offers two removable 5.25" bay covers and the slotted screen for the fans are easily removable from here.


Moving much closer to the top right corner of the inside of the front bezel you run into the three way fan switch. Here you have the option to use 5V, 7V or 12V to supply to the fans. On the back there are three leads with 3-pin fan headers to power the fans and a 4-pin Molex connection to power the controller.


The front I/O panel at the top of the bezel contains the HD Audio 3.5mm jacks for both headphones and a microphone. It also has a reset button in the I/O unlike the R3 and the large power button with a blue LED backlit ring around it. On the right you have a pair of both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 connections.


Looking down the top of the chassis, you see there is a break from the I/O panel to allow for the 5.25" bays, but then you are given the option to add a pair of 120mm or 140mm fans here. If you don't wish to add fans, just leave the ModuVent panels screwed in place to dampen any noise that would otherwise leak out of the large holes.


The left side of the chassis uses a full steel panel that has a textured paint finish applied to it. Just a bit lower than center of the left side of this panel also has a ModuVent panel installed where you can also put either a 120mm or 140mm fan.


Behind the chassis you see the entire top is ventilated to allow passive cooling of any trapped heat if top fans are not used. On the left is the rear I/O next to the 140mm exhaust fan. Below is a 7+1 arrangement of the eight expansion slots leaving the area at the bottom for the power supply.


The right side of the chassis is very plain with only an expanse of the textured paint on the steel panel. There is a hand hold at the rear of both doors, but I focused at the front to show the ventilation on this side of the bezel.


Under the chassis you can see that the feet in the back are smaller than the pair at the front to allow the passage of the long dust filter that covers the PSU and an optional 140mm fan hole in front of the PSU. Also notice there are four screws at the right under the drive cages, these will be removed soon enough.

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