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Fractal Design Define XL R2 Black Pearl Full-Tower Chassis Review

By: Chad Sebring | Full-Tower Cases in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Feb 7, 2013 10:29 am
TweakTown Rating: 99%Manufacturer: Fractal Design

Specifications, Availability and Pricing




Since the original has been put out to pasture and discontinued now, let's move right into the second revision of the Define XL. The chassis keeps the same thick and heavy steel construction that put almost a "professional-grade" impression on you as you get to look closer at the chassis. The front of the chassis is again all enclosed behind a door, and said door has an aluminum plate installed in to the plastic bezel to dress up the front, while just behind that plate, air is being sucked in through vents on the sides. This is also a chassis that sorts three ModuVent covers, two on the top and one in the left side, as well as heavily sound proofing both of the removable side panels. The last thing I want to say about the outside of the Define XL R2 is that is stands on some very sturdy legs, of which are natural aluminum in color and are padded to keep this chassis in place.


Inside a lot has changed, and some things stayed the same. In the front you still get four 5.25" bays at the top for optical devices or any bay device for that matter. Below that is where the changes start. Instead of three drive cages allowing for ten drive placements, this chassis offers two removable cages that can house eight in total. Behind the cages you will see a motherboard tray that now supports XL ATX motherboards on top of its previous compatibilities. The false floor has been removed, so that there is more room for the motherboard and wire management options, but also to allow the increase from a 7+1 expansion slot setup to now offering nine slots to fill with cards. The last thing Fractal Design has to brag about on the inside is that that awkward fan duct from the top of the chassis has been removed, and the fan has been placed in the floor this time, leaving both ModuVent panels in place to fill the pair of holes in the roof of the chassis.


It took me a moment to actually locate this chassis for sale. I Google'ed for a moment with the search of "Fractal Design Define XL R2", and while I got news and listings of posts pertaining to the case, nothing was showing up for sale. As I then searched it by "FD-CA-DEF-XL-R2-BL", I was finally able to find four listings for this chassis. A place called is listing this case at $118.99 on the low end, and at the high end is a listing of with a price of $129.95. Even if you have to buy at the high end of the scale, $130 isn't out of the realm of reasonable for a full-tower chassis with a lot to offer.


Hang tight as we look at how the packaging did getting it here, so we can start to look at the Define XL R2 in fine detail and see if this is the next must-have case for you.

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