Fractal Design Define R2 ATX Tower Case

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The Define R2 can take up to an ATX-sized motherboard, 2 x 5.25" drives, and 8 x 3.5" drives; an appropriate choice given that most users only have a single optical drive. It also has the space to accommodate graphics cards up to 290 mm (11.4") long, and power supplies with a depth of 170 mm (6.7"), longer if you remove the fan holder located on the case floor.

Hard drives are installed using the side-mounting drive trays pioneered by Antec in the original Sonata case. These ones are arranged a little looser for a bit better airflow when the HDD bays are all full, and the rubber isolators are rather hard. (Editor's Note: Fractal says that in standard production models, the isolators are made of softer silicone rubber.) Expansion cards are secured with thumbscrews. There is a large cutout in the motherboard tray to aid in the installation of large third party heatsinks. There are also five large cable management holes protected with rubber grommets as well as a series of smaller holes for cable-ties.

The top and side fan placements have noise isolating mats covering them. The interior of both side panels and the rest of the case ceiling is covered in the same material. It is made of bitumen, is a tar-like substance essential in the production of asphalt and is used for waterproofing and insulation.

The case floor has a 120/140 mm snap-on fan mount and a power supply vent with four rubber feet above it to dampen vibrations and lift the power supply so it isn't flush with the vent surface.

As it has to be able to support the weight of eight hard disks and trays, the hard drive cage is very strong.

While cabling is easily hidden, there isn't much room behind the motherboard tray, so overlapping cables may make it difficult to get the side panel on.

One noticeable area where the Define R2 falls short compared to the P180 is the thickness of the panels. They are only 0.7~0.8 mm thick and aren't as nearly as sturdy as the frame of the case. The thick bitumen sheet however makes it deceptively heavy. The side panels also stick a little during removal — it takes a bit of fidgeting to get them off.

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