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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

Inside the Define XL R2 Black Pearl




Looking inside of either of the panels you will see it is covered from edge to edge with sound absorbing materials. In the instance of the left side panel, there is a cut out of the one part of the material to allow for the ModuVent cover screwed into the panel until you want to install a fan.




Taking a quick look inside, Fractal does a great job of managing the wires for transit with then resting on the floor for the trip. In the lower section of the HDD racks is where you can locate the hardware box.




They opted out of tool-less clips on the 5.25" bays. There is a bag of thumbscrews to be used in these bays for a solid and secure mount with no chance of vibrations or loosening up over time.




These two removable racks hold four drives each in those white trays. Each tray will mount both 2.5" and 3.5" drives through the bottom of the tray into the drives.




If you don't need the extra storage space, or had plans on more water cooling, that is why these can disappear. You can easily fit a dual 120mm radiator in here, along with a reservoir and pump- combo unit on the floor.




As I mentioned, covering the two fan mounts in the roof are these ModuVent panels. This way, if you want more silence, you leave these in place. If you don't mind noise or just need more cooling, remove these and install fans as needed.




The motherboard tray changed too. The grommets in the management holes aren't square, there are more tie points in it, and it can house Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX, and now XL-ATX.




On the floor of the chassis, in front of the PSU, there is a 120mm fan installed with a grill on it so nothing gets into the blades. Along with a tall pair of rubber risers to support the PSU, there is a gasket on the back of the case, both isolating any vibrations from the chassis.




Looking into the back of the chassis you can plainly see the 11 white blades in the black frame of this 120mm exhaust fan. Below are the nine white expansion slot covers and they are held in place with thumbscrews, and is what you mount cards with as well.




Fractal even does some of the management for you if you like the way they have it routed. Otherwise there is plenty of room back here, and since I am in need of an 8-pin EPS cable extension, I have a plan to attempt to fill this area up and possibly cause an issue with the door panel, but I doubt highly I will have an issue.




All of the wiring is black to help it disappear in the chassis. It includes USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HD Audio, the front panel connections and even the fan controller connections in the back.

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