Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
I don't think at this point; most users would need an introduction to Fractal Design. Fractal has been around making some very iconic cases for quite some time now. Fractal showed up on the radar of many enthusiasts with the introduction of minimalists or simple, sleek cases with a quality and silence appeal. Not only that but the hijinks or marketing stunts Fractal has employed to help gain notoriety such as subjecting one of their chassis side panels to a shotgun blast to show its strength. While some of this I'm sure was simply for the fun of the marketing rep, the antics have proven to get some defined attention (pun intended) on the Fractal brand and chassis lines.
The chassis we have today is technically a brand new offering for Fractal, the Vector RS Series. The Vector RS for all intents and purposes is a Define R6 base chassis for the most part with some new exterior panels and some unique modularity to match what you want it to be. The Vector RS is designed for those who want the structural rigidity and overall robust and capable internal skeleton of the R6 but with some style added to the mix, and of course RGB. Fractal has been one of the few holdouts in the RGB game. With the S2 Vision recently coming onto the scene, which was the sign Fractal had finally embraced the new trend and the more flash nature that some users demand.
Some of the key features of the Vector RS series starts with its modularity. The Vector RS can swap between a tempered glass top half panel to an airflow focused panel with a filter allowing fitment of top mount radiators. The case comes default with glass, and in an accessory pack, the parts come to convert the Vector RS into 'airflow mode' should you need the extra mounting locations. Another nice feature is the ability to remove the drive tray panel and relocate it back with the motherboard tray. This will give a more open area for liquid cooling should you find the need. The latter is, of course, a default feature carried over from the R6 and is a very welcome feature to ensure the Vector RS meets as many users' needs as possible.
The Vector RS we have today is labeled the 'Vector RS Blackout (Light TG)' this, of course, denotes the full black chassis with a clear tempered glass side panel. There will also be one with 'Dark TG' which has a tinted window, so users have the choice as to which aesthetic they prefer as the start to their build. One thing to note is that while Fractal is known for producing white versions of most of their cases, the Vector RS as of the time of writing will not have a white version. The Vector RS measures in at 498mm high, 552mm deep and 233mm wide. This falls within the customarily accepted measurements of a mid-tower.
The Vector RS is roughly the same as the R6 as mentioned previously, which means motherboard fitment will be vast with up to E-ATX being supported and everything down to ITX. By default, the Vector RS includes six 3.5" drive mounting trays with space for up to eleven total. 2.5" drives have two trays included with two additional mounting locations available for a total of four. The PSU clearance is up to 300mm and has a built-in PSU shroud to help hide the PSU and any applicable cable mess for a clean build.
Cooling fitment for the Vector RS is interesting as previously mentioned the top panel could be swapped for more airflow and mounting locations. As it arrives, the Vector RS supports up to triple 120 or 140mm fans or 360 radiator or 280mm max depending on fan size preference. Default Fractal includes dual 140mm fans in the front panel. The top by default contains no mounting but when swapped can fit up to 360mm or 420mm radiators respectively. The rear fits a single 120 or 140mm with radiator up to 120mm, but 140mm would be a no go due to clearance issues. The bottom even supports dual fans up to 140mm and even 240 or 280mm radiators. CPU air cooler heights are limited to 185mm if you can even call that a limit as I don't know of many coolers coming close to that height.
The Vector RS comes to market at $179.99, which is getting up there in terms of chassis. This sort of price point means any missteps will be caught. At this price point, users are expecting something that is well thought out and has features and fitment to ensure a premium feel and final products. Looking at the price point of $169 - $189 we get a rough cross-section of chassis the Vector RS would be up against which brings the likes of the Corsair 570x which is iconic in its own right along with the PM01 from SilverStone and another from Corsair in the 500D. All of these are potent chassis which do many things right, so it will be interesting to see how the Vector RS stacks up.
Shannon's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi) Z390 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i7 8700K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair H100i Pro RGB (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB CMW32GX4M4C3000C15 (buy from Amazon)
- Video Card: MSI GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Z (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SanDisk M.2 256GB
- Power Supply: SilverStone Strider Platinum 1000W (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging]
- Page 3 [Vector RS Mid-Tower Chassis]
- Page 4 [Inside the Vector RS]
- Page 5 [Inside the Vector RS Continued]
- Page 6 [Hardware & Documentation]
- Page 7 [Converting the Vector RS for Airflow Mode]
- Page 8 [Tempered Glass, A Cautionary Tale]
- Page 9 [Case Build & Finished Product]
- Page 10 [Vertical GPU Bracket Installation]
- Page 11 [Final Thoughts]