Fractal Design Define XL

Cases, Reviews


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The plastic front door has a nice black gloss. When opened it shows that the front door has foam on the inside for noise dampening. The top four 5.25” bays can easily be accessed by a simple click-in system on the right of each bay. Also hidden behind these bays is an optional fan slot. At the bottom of the case there is a single door to access the fans behind it (one supplied, one optional).

When swinging the front door it falls shut due to a small magnet; neat.

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When opening the single door at the bottom one can easily access the fans, take them out and/or clean the dust filters. As you can see in this picture some dust comes through the double front doors so it’s advisable to clean these every now and then.

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The front panel can be removed as a whole. Upon receiving this case for review the front panel hung a bit loose and I wasn’t sure whether this was intentional or not. Because I wanted to access the fans first I tried removing the front panel and found this was done through pushing the push pins (dôh) that fix the front panel to the case. The only problem: most of mine were broken; that’s why the panel hung loose.

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Rest assured that this usually doesn’t happen and I hardly believe Fractal sent a reviewer a broken case. Luckily, one mail with above picture made Fractal send me a new front panel, without the standard fan of course.

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The front panel of this case is actually on the top-front of the case, a very neat position with the provided connections build around the brightly blue lit power button. The front panel supports four USB ports, one e-SATA port and (both black) a microphone and speaker jack. As you can see here, the material of the case is glossy black aluminum which give the case a nice and simple look.

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Moving on to the back of the case, we find not only the pre-installed exhaust fan and standard I/O-shield opening but also another wide exhaust grid which serves the 180mm fan inside fixed to the top of the case. There are also two tube exits for external watercooling.

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On the bottom of the case we find the white Fractal signature expansion slots with another to the right, possibly to mount the provided fan controller. Fractal made sure that air has a way out at the bottom of the case too, to optimize airflow and make sure that no hot air gets stuck in an unpractical corner. The case stands on small chrome feet. The PSU bay that has a removable dust filter underneath it to allow for better PSU cooling, thanks!

Last but not least: The side panel (not on a picture) has a typical 140mm grid which can either be covered internally with the same noise absorbing material as both side panels have inside, or you can mount a 140mm fan in there.

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Last modified: February 25, 2012

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