Fractal Design Define XL

Cases, Reviews

Installation and Testing

Moving on to the testing, the following system setup was used:

Component
NameCooling
MotherboardGigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2HStock
Processor (CPU)AMD Phenom II X4 B55 (3.8GHz)CoolIT Systems Vantage (all-in-one watercooler)
Memory (RAM)2x2GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-2133 CL9HyperX heatsink
Graphics card (GPU)MSI ATi HD5850 1GBStock
Hard drives (HDDs)2x WD Caviar 16 SE 250GB1x WD Caviar 16 SE 500GBNone
Power Supply Unit (PSU)Zalman Z600-HPPassive

Testing a computer case is hard, but to give you an impression of the case’s cooling potential I’ll post the system temperatures in idle and load conditions. Note that the CPU cooler is an all-in-one watercooler which requires the exhaust fan to be replaced; I put the 140mm Fractal exhaust fan in the spare slot in the front panel.

Following this I had a spare 120mm Scythe from an old MUGEN cooler so I placed that in the optical drive bay as well and replaced the 140mm side panel foam with a Prolimatech 140mm fan. That said, every fan slot has been occupied with decent quality fans since this should be the aim of anyone that wants a cool and silent system.

Temperatures were recorded at 20 degrees Celcius room temperature. All sides and the front door were closed during the measurement. Lavalys Everest software is used to record the temperatures, Prime95 to stress CPU and RAM and the FurMark stability test to stress the GPU (all at the same time).

CPU
MoboGPU
Idle
39
37
50
Load
54
56
66

All temperatures stay within very reasonable numbers. Noteworthy is that the airflow will ensure a  colder environment which typically allows higher component overclocks and prolongs their lifespan.

The noise production of this case, as set up described above, is minimal even under heavy load. This is remarkable since the the Define XL is still mainly a closed case with only a side panel intake that has direct access to outside air.

Pricing and Availability

Probably the most important aspect of a product is its retail price; does it weigh against the features and performance offered? Let’s see.

Fractal does not offer a suggested retail price on their website, like some manufacturers do for their products. Looking on the internet I found that the Define XL case retails for about, please make sure you sit proper: €140.-  – yes, that’s a hundred-forty Euro. Whereas the Define R3 retails for €90.-, Fractal places this case in the range of the higher class computer cases. It must be said though, that the XL case outshines the R3 case by a number of features and technical design and is of course a larger case.

On the bright side of news I can confirm that the Define XL is widely available throughout Europe.

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Last modified: February 25, 2012

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