Inside the Define 7 Continued
Here we have the PSU shroud of the Define 7, and it is vented to allow airflow between the chamber, which will significantly help if a radiator or fans are installed in the lower chamber. To the front of the PSU shroud, we find the removable panels toward the front panel, which allow for radiators or other devices to pass through into the lower PSU chamber. This feature, unlike what we have seen in the past, now comes in two pieces; this should allow you to install fans or even thin radiators into the lower area without opening the massive hole unless needed due to thicker radiator fitment or even reservoirs.
Here we look at the rear of the chassis from the interior. We see the preinstalled 140mm DC fan here along with the massive CPU cutout, which should easily service any cooler we have seen as of recent. There are seven internally accessible expansion slots along with two externally accessible, which are the vertical option for the GPU and require a VRC riser cable, which is sold separately.
The cable management area surprised me a bit when I removed the rear panel. The first thing I noted was the lower PSU and HDD cage area cover, which obscures the view of this lower area, so you do not see any bundled PSU cables or anything else like mechanical HDD, which you may not care to look at. This is less necessary with a solid side panel but had a window panel be back here; this could make a huge difference. We also see a combo bracket for HDD or SSD mounting on the left, and more can be added if you need them and can be purchased separately.
There are also two SSD trays on the back of the motherboard tray, and a couple more can be added depending upon your needs. The preinstalled cable management guides back here with Velcro straps are excellent and help to give a natural flowing place to route your cabling. You may notice the wiring coming from the top-mounted fan hub, and that's where we will be looking next.
Under the middle of the top lip of the Define 7 chassis, we have the new fan hub, which supports up to three PWM and six DC 3-pin fans. The leads coming from this unit are a SATA power cable and a 4-pin PWM header to pass the PWM signal to the attached fans. I do like this design as it can be superior to the mid-mounted options we have seen on other chassis. This requires managing large bundles of fan cables to the middle of the viewable area; this one moves it up top where cables can be tucked into the lip channel.
The lower section cover has two pull latches that are retained with ball and socket style retention. Once pulled away, the plastic shield will bow a little to pull the small side tabs out of their slots, and the panel can be removed. As you can see from above, the shield has a gap that allows cables to pass between the area behind the shield up into the exposed area for a neat transition between chambers.
With the lower panel removed, we can now see the vast open space for a PSU to be installed along with its adjacent HDD cage. Another cage can be added if you need additional 3.5" storage in the chassis. Otherwise, this area allows for more than enough for a large PSU along with a massive bundle of unused cables to be hidden down here. We can also see the front panel cables looping over down here form the front area, and they appear to be adequately long enough to attach to any system you choose, with some excess just in case. The PSU area has four raised rubberized foam feet where the PSU can rest to avoid vibration or abrasion from metal to metal contact.
The integrated chassis front panel cables are as follows:
- USB 2.0 10-pin connector
- USB 3.2 Gen 2 connector
- HD Audio connector
- USB 3.2 Gen 1 20-pin connector
- Power, Reset, and Power LED connectors
I know I have said it, but it bears repeating, as I am pleased to see Fractal offer a full I/O with five usable ports. This is great as sometimes you need to plug in something like a dongle that does not require USB 3.2 speeds, and it would be unfortunate to waste that performance on a device like that. Here you can install two USB 2.0 devices and still have plenty of high-speed connectivity left over for your needs.
Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:34 pm CDT