Viewing page 4 of 4 pages. Previous 1 2 3 4
These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording
system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to
LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no
audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent
a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.
Each recording starts with ambient noise, then 10 second segments of product
at various states. For the most realistic results,
set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then
don't change the volume setting again while comparing all the sound files.
The new version of the Fractal Design Define case has a few notable improvements
over its predecessor. The bitumen sheets to dampen noise has an improved look
and finish. The rubber grommets that were the source of the smell that some
users compained about is gone. For users who wanted a little more airflow, the
updated model delivers minor improvements in ventilation and fans that are not
only faster but sound smoother overall. And lastly, the added hooks on the back
of the motherboard tray allow the use of more zip-ties and twist-ties to rein
in rogue cables.
We have but one minor quibble: The overall noise level of the new fans cannot
match the old ones without an undervolt to about 5V which the included fan controller
can't quite deliver. If you want to use the R3 for a super quiet system, extra
measures will have to be taken to silence the stock fans. Front USB 3.0 ports,
quickly becoming a standard case feature, would also have been nice.
The Define R3 provides more airflow and better cooling than budget noise-conscious
cases like the Antec Sonata series and the NZXT
H2. It does not match the build quality or features of decked-out enthusiast
cases like the Antec P183 or
series, but with a street price of US$110, it is considerably more affordable.
With little competition in the midrange sector, we can recommend the Define
R3 without hesitation.
The Fractal Design Define R3 is Recommended by SPCR.
Our thanks to Fractal Design for the Define R3 case sample.
* * *
Articles of Related Interest
Silverstone Fortress FT03 microATX Tower
NZXT H2 Classic Silent Midtower Chassis
Antec ISK 100 Mini-ITX Case
Zalman Z9 Plus ATX Tower Case
HDPLEX H10.ODD Fanless microATX Case
Lian Li PC-V354 MicroATX Mini Tower Case
* * *
this article in the SPCR Forums.
|Help support this site, buy from one of our affiliate retailers!|