Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version

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Since this case is the only reason for our update, it deserves at least a quick run through the key features. You can also check out the official Fractal Design R5 page.

Fractal Design Define R5: The most obvious difference from the R4 is the smooth look of the top panel. Obviously sectional parts that can be removed to expose the full length and with of grill with up to 3 fan mounting points beneath. It looks much nicer than the exposed fan grills on the top of the R4. But the intake grill along the front sides of the bezel are also different, more open.

Behind the door, the grill fan intake features much more open slots than in the R4. This is our biggest quibble about the R4, so the R5 is already batting a thousand.

Even better, the grill and dust filter have been combined into one!

When the door is closed, the space between the dust filter and the side slots is over a centimeter, which means the R5 will draw in air a lot more easily, with lower RPM, than the R4.

At first glance, the interior of the R5 is little changed from the R4.

The biggest difference, internally, is that all the drive cages are easily removeable, mostly with thumbscrews. This is mainly to support a wide array of radiators in many configurations for water cooling.

The flip side is slightly roomier and even better organized for wire management than the R4, with velco straps replacing disposable plastic zip ties. There are also lock-on trays for two 2.5" SSDs, which is a nice use of space that might otherwise be wasted.

The fans in the R5 are also different. The new fan has 7 blades instead of 11, and is rated for 0.25A instead of 0.3A. The geometry of the blades vs. struts is good, similar to the older fan. Fractal says the new fan uses a "hydraulic bearing"; it's not clear whether that's a Fluid Dynamic Bearing or yet another variant. Speeds are unspecified, but generally, a 7-blade fan tends to provide more static pressure than an 11-blade fan, so this might allow for lower speed.

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