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Fractal Design Vector RS Blackout (Light TG) Mid-Tower Chassis Review (Page 8)

Shannon Robb | Sep 21, 2019 at 01:48 pm CDT - 2 mins, 58 secs reading time for this page
Rating: 99%Manufacturer: Fractal DesignModel: FD-CA-DEF-S2V-BKO-TGD

Tempered Glass, A Cautionary Tale

I feel like I need to add some foreword here. When we were first disassembling the Vector RS for analysis, we came across something we had only heard as a form of lore in the industry and from some users. Our tempered glass main panel exploded or popped as I call it while it was sitting stationary on the table. When disassembling the Vector RS, we pulled the main tempered glass panel to peer around the innards. The panel was laid flat on the same glass table we use to shoot photos, and the panel was placed sitting on the panels surround bracket/retention balls which the panel snaps into the chassis to hold the panel in place. A few minutes into moving about in the chassis I heard a loud crack or pop as the panel exploded next to me and ejected small bits of glass all over our lab/office. This is something we have only heard stories of happening, but with the countless cases we have reviewed, have never seen it happen on its own.

The reason we are bringing this up is that while tempered glass is cool, it is still glass and as you will see below, it can shatter and even eject shards into your house or on you without warning. Be mindful of this and exercise extreme caution when working on your system with a tempered glass panel as it may be rare but it's worth knowing what can happen.

Fractal Design Vector RS Blackout (Light TG) Mid-Tower Chassis Review 99 |

Here you can see the panel. As you can see, the entire panel is shattered with no sign as to where the damage originated or how it came to pass.

Fractal Design Vector RS Blackout (Light TG) Mid-Tower Chassis Review 97 |

Here we have the pile of glass once the panel stopped crackling and ejecting small bits of glass everywhere. As you can see tempered glass while it may be 'safer' than just plain glass panes, it is still sharp and made for some sizeable pieces which had to be cleaned up. The concern is not with these large pieces though but the tiny slivers and shards that were ejected everywhere.

Fractal Design Vector RS Blackout (Light TG) Mid-Tower Chassis Review 96 |

During the cleanup, I kept finding pieces of glass, so I resorted to a lint roller or a roll of sticky tape to collect the glass bits. As you can see here, this is after several attempts to clean up the area. These tiny pieces are a significant risk to not only myself and my feet (trust me stepping on these suck) but more so children or pets which may come across the glass shards if they are in the area.

Here is the moment after it happened, and I can say that it was a bit jarring. I recorded this to send to Fractal as I was a bit alarmed by this. I understand that tempered glass can shatter for unexpected reasons, and it's rare. I was working within a foot of this when it happened and had I been looking closely at the panel when it happened, the small pieces you can hear breaking off in the video as it crackles could have gotten into my eyes and caused damage or even blindness. This is why I am writing this today. Many manufacturers use tempered glass, but this is the first one we have had such an extreme result from on its own. But this should serve as a cautionary note that even tempered glass is still glass and things can happen, so be safe.

Last updated: Nov 15, 2019 at 01:16 pm CST

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Shannon Robb


Shannon started his PC journey around the age of six in 1989. Now till present day, he has established himself in the overclocking world, spending many years pushing the limits of hardware on LN2. Shannon has worked with design and R&D on various components, including PC systems and chassis, to optimize the layout and performance for enthusiasts.

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