Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Even though earlier on in the development of the Define cases, we may have missed a couple, what do know of these cases is on the verge of incredible. Throughout the phases of the latest Define chassis at the time, we have seen sturdy cases come through into which high importance was placed on reducing noise. Of course, these cases were essentially built tough as nails, and even though externally they looked a lot alike, on the inside, the layout has always been changing. Today, however, we have moved away from what started the Define Series of cases more than in any other instance of a Define chassis to date.
So what is it that makes this chassis so special? It is a long list of ideas and new features, as well as incorporating things which other cases offer, but doing it the way it should have been done in the first place. Air and water cooling options are as robust as we have seen in nearly any chassis, and this is done inside of the constraints of the mid-tower form factor.
Modularity is key here as well, but not in the sense of just being able to remove drive bays; it goes well beyond that. Tempered glass is all the rage right now, and with that addition, you are about to see one of the smartest uses of tempered glass on a chassis side panel, only seen rarely in much more expensive solutions. Silence is still key, but even with that said, there are options to remove sound deadening panels in favor of better airflow or cooling compatibility. Honestly, with an impressive list like we have only just begun to explain, we are just at the tip of the iceberg here.
For those of you out there who are not aware of the Fractal Design Define Series of cases, now is the perfect time to get acquainted. For many of us, fully aware of the type of chassis you get from Fractal Design, we think you are in for a surprise as well. While many impressive cases have been submitted by Fractal Design in the past, and checking just now to verify, what you are about to see is the best thing Fractal Design has done yet. We have a lot to cover, so get comfortable, as we take you on the ride that is the Fractal Design Define R6 Mid-Tower chassis, as the trip is certainly worth it.
In four flavors, both with and without the tempered glass side panel, we can obtain the Define R6. There is the black version which we have, a blackout version, as well as a gunmetal and white option too. Both versions are made of steel and aluminum, but in the TG versions, the solid left side panel is replaced with lightly tinted, tempered glass. This specific chassis is black inside and out, and the front of the chassis has a bezel covered with brushed aluminum, which is also black. All told, the R6 is 543mm long, it is 233mm wide, it stands 465mm in height, and weighs 12.4 kg empty.
Motherboard support is good too. Not only can you install a Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX or ATX motherboard, but the Define R6 also has room for EATX boards as well. The front I/O panels are the same, with a pair of USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and HD Audio jacks, there is also an option to buy an I/O panel with the latest USB standards present. At the back of the chassis, we are offered a 7+2 arrangement of PCI-E slots, and again, a PCI-E riser cable will be offered by Fractal Design to fill the void if the vertical GPU slots are intended to be used.
Cooling is handled with three fans which are found inside of the chassis. With two in the front of the chassis and another in the back, Fractal Design chose the Dynamic X2 GP-14 140mm fans to do the job. These fans are rated for 100,000 hours and deliver up to 68.4 CFM of airflow, each, into and out of the case. Optionally, Three 120mm or two 140mm fans of choice can go in the front of the chassis. The top of the R6 offers the same options, and the back can accept a 120mm fan instead of the pre-installed 140mm fan.
The bottom of the case, dependent on PSU size, can house a pair of 120mm or 140mm fans as well. Water cooling is the same as the fan options. At the top and front of the R6 you can go as large as a 280mm or 260mm radiator, but at the top, it is recommended to stay within 35mm as not to conflict with taller Phase heat sinks of larger memory. The rear of the chassis can also support a radiator, and the floor of the chassis will take a 240mm or 280mm radiator too.
Of course, the HDD trays are removable to make room for whatever is needed. The support system for the HDD bays is also removable to allow for a larger radiator in the top of the chassis, which opens the front of the case for a pump, reservoirs, and extra length for the GPUs. There is the third generation of ModuVent found in the R6 as well.
The top of the chassis has a button on the back, which releases tabs, allowing one side of the top panel to raise up for removal. The steel cover can be removed from this panel, and under it is mesh and angled vents, which opens up the R6 to fulfill all of the cooling possibilities. The front of the chassis has a cover which opens up, and this cover can also hinge on either side, to make access to the optical bay or to clean the filter much easier, no matter which side of you the chassis is on. No matter where you look at the Define R6, Fractal Design proves to be on point with this design, as literally, nothing has been left untouched, and no concessions have been made.
With all of the talk of how this is the best chassis to leave Fractal Designs warehouse and all of the things we have pointed out still not covering everything you will find in the Define R6, one might assume it will cost an arm and a leg. This is not the case at all. If you prefer the solid steel left panel version of any of the four color choices, expect to pay just $129.99 when it hits the shelves. If you, like us, prefer a well done tempered glass side panel on your chassis, any of the four options will be priced at just $149.99.
If you want the optional I/O panel or the PCI-E riser, you will find them a bit later, but they are said to be sold at $29.99 and $39.99, respectively. So if you want everything this chassis has to offer, at $219.97 you will surely own one of the sickest and most fully equipped mid-tower cases to ever hit the market. Even without the optional I/O panel and PCI-e riser card, what you are about to see in the Define R6 Mid-Tower Chassis is worth every stinking penny you have to dig out of the couch to get one of your own.
Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus IX Code Z270 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i7 7700K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: NZXT Kraken X62 (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: Team T-Force Night Hawk RGB TF1D48G3000HC16CBK
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: Samsung XP941 256GB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: SilverStone SST-ST85F-G (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
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