After over 10 years of owning the ThermalTake Armor Full tower PC Case I have decided it was time to look for a new home for my PC.
Below is my list of the main features I was looking for:
- Save space in my office
- Reduce noise
- Maintain good airflow
- Ability to add water cooling and mount a couple of radiators if I ever decided to go that way.
- Reduce the cleaning required inside the pc case
- Get something that will be modular enough to modify around existing and new components
- Good cable management
- Cost less than £100
So last week a friend said that he bought a Fractal Design tower and he was really happy. I never have heard the brand but I went to take a look and couldn’t believe that at a price point of around £80 I would be able to fulfil most all of my above requirements and possibly even more.
Below you can see a timelapse video of me transferring all the components from my old PC case into the Fractal Design Define R5 with the Titanium front.
Without going into any detail, I found this case very practical and giving the average PC builder plenty of freedom on setting everything up. As it might be obvious from the above video I built everything without any prior planning neither a lot of care to make everything neat and tidy but still managed to have a good looking interior.
So what has really made the difference to me?
- Very Quiet operation. I never thought you could get so quiet fans.
- Hard Drive Cage can be split, change orientation, remove and/or reposition to accommodate water cooling radiators and generally is designed for good airflow
- Space for 2 SSD drives behind the motherboard
- Plenty of space for the cables to run behind the motherboard
- Noise dampening throughout the case (side, from and top having insulation and hard drive mounting rubber dampeners)
- All screws can be attached tool free apart from 2 screws that hold the small HDD cage at the bottom (Even though I like to tighten a bit more that I would with my thumb so I used a screw driver)
- Comes with all of the required hardware (screws, velcro, cable ties, motherboard stand-offs etc)
- Integrated fan speed controller
- The front door can easily be converted to open on either side.
Space for improvement:
- Some of the plastic parts feel cheap
- The front air intake is filtered up to where the 2 x 5.25in Drive bays start, so in the future this may attract some dust that I wouldn’t anticipate.