It is currently Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:14 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 42 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Fractal Design Define R2 ATX Tower Case
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 6:28 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11943
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Fractal Design Define R2 ATX Tower Case

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:02 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:51 am
Posts: 464
Location: Sweden, Stockholm
Very nice case. I've had one for a couple of months and have nothing to complain about.
Well, since I bought one of very first ones to hit the market here in Sweden, I did had some issues with a strange smell coming from the case. It turned out to be bitumen fumes and I was not the only one with the issue since forums were filled with ppl complaining about the thing, but since then FD has changed bitumen and have also widened the backplate hole a bit.

Nice review.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 3:26 pm
Posts: 1162
Location: UK
Looks a nice case, thanks for the review.

You mentioned a couple of times that the HDD trays were a loose fit, and the grommets were too hard, but did this actually manifest itself audibly in terms of HDD noise? Also, given that the case seems ideally suited to a home server, did you run any tests with more than one HDD installed?

I guess hard drives in general are a fair bit quieter than they were when the P180 made its debut, so perhaps it's not quite the issue it might once have been?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: hard drive orientation?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:25 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:36 pm
Posts: 6
Should the hard drives really be placed in that direction?
It kind of defeats the "hide cables at the back" theme.

Rotating them would make more sense, if there is enough space.

/J


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:59 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:49 pm
Posts: 305
Location: Sweden
Surprising that the fans measured so quiet. I have two of those bought retail and they are nowhere quiet at 12V, in fact they are louder than my Zalman 7000-Cu @ 5V. At 5V they are pretty much silent though.

The HDD trays might fit a lot of drives but they do interrupt airflow, the case would have a lot better airflow if they where more open. The only real complain I have about the case.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:03 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:55 am
Posts: 127
Location: Greece
Nice review...one complaint I have is that it doesn't make much sense testing cases for silence with just one hdd...even cheap and weak cases will do pretty much fine with one hdd....add up half a dozen there, and then soft mounting and rigidity will have to prove themselves...

I actually bought the case almost a month ago...I can say that I was disappointed because:

- The case is definitely not sturdy, the metal is quite thin/weak, and this is most explicit on the top side and also the rear...it bends considerably when pushing against it in order to remove the side panel

- the motherboard tray is not supported on the top side, it can move back and forth a little as one installs the hardware...it doesn't cause any harm, but it is not good to see...

- The holes for cable management could be just a little bigger, especially for the the main atx cable...the rubber used could also be a little softer, to avoid displacement as one tries to force through a psu cable...

- The psu grill on the bottom is actually small for a psu with a 120mm fan and the stick-on plastic dampeners will very easily be unstuck...this happen to me because as I installed the psu the small round plastic stick-on dampeners on the right actually made contact with/were positioned against the edge of psu's fan grill and got tangled there..so when I tried to remove the psu, the near right dampener got unstauck completely while the other one, the top right was moved to the side, also out of place...(the picture is taken before installing the psu, just for illustration purposes)
Image

- the bitumen material is not well stuck on the side panels...maybe it is too heavy for the glue used? it had become somewhat unstuck in my case, so I had to press down on the whole surface to make sure it was firmly in place...

- The bitumen on the ModuVent on the left side panel was not properly applied, it was stuck in a tilted way, so that the the bitumen material was stretched on its edges to align with the holes for the screws...not a nice picture and I guess the effect of dampening is somewhat lessened...
Image
Image

- Removing the metal plates on the 5,25 bezels in order to install an optical drive was a real pain...it should just snap with a couple of twists...

- There is some serious design flaw in the 5,25 bezels...If two optical drives are installed, there isn't enough room for them to fit properly...the upper optical drive is impeded from being installed properly since its plastic frame is pressed against the case's frame (see picture)
Image

- the same foot that was damaged in your case was also severely scratched in mine...
Image

- The frame's weakness along with bad packaging or handling caused the the back panel and rear side of the right side panel to become bent on the place where the the thumbscrew was (see picture)
Image

- The top ModuVents were not well screwed onto the chassis, some screws were somewhat installed crooked (picture)...not harm done but along with all the rest, it contributes to a bad picture of the assembly quality...
Image

- (and most importantly for me) The function of the so called "indirect noise/airflow path" in dampening noise is very very questionable...the side grills - large ones in this case - actually direct the noise coming from the hdds - especially if you have many of them, so doing justice to the design and the demographic target of the case manufacturer - right towards the user's ears, since most people place their case to right or left of their desk...the user is not standing in front of his personal computer's case to have any benefits from the the front door's blocking noise coming straight from the fans and hdds...
The hdd noise was directed right towards me when working on my desk, (I can also firmly dispute the hdd-cage rigidity based on this experience, in comparison to my older Chieftec case) just pissing me off and distracting me...

This is what comes to mind at this point...

EDIT: additions

- The 5,25>3,5 floppy converter is not straightforward to use and install, it is not evident where exactly you should screw the floppy into the converter, just a way to lose time building the the pc...

- Unless one uses a modular psu, the other snap-on fan mount is useless...

- When the psu is on the bottom the sata power plugs/cables are positioned in such a way that have to be run from bottom down, otherwise they are not properly aligned to plug into the hdds' power connectors (the "angle connector is on the opposite side)...so the psu sata cables must climb up and then down again and this causes cable clutter...

The Define R2 proved to be a bad buy for me, actually being much more noisy than the case it replaced...(i'm now back to my Chieftec case)


Last edited by Pierre on Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:58 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:47 am
Posts: 436
Location: Bratislava, Slovak Republic
I have this case as well, but i didn't have problems with the case, except the rubber grommets in the holes - i ended up removing some because they were real PITA :) . On other side, i had zero problems with stock cooling with 1 fan at front and 1 at back in a setup with Athlon II X4 620 passively cooled by Scythe Ninja 2 + 6 hard drives - the CPU was idling at ~40C, hard drives had temps between 35-42C - all at minimum possible fan speed via the bundled fan controller.

I later replaced the fans with Noiseblocker Multiframes, but only because i was replacing cooling in my main PC and i needed 3 fans :D .


ImageImage

As you can see, cable management is not that bad, maybe it would be better if there would be a bigger cutout at side of the motherboard tray (at HDD's) for routing cables.

The LED was relatively bright for my taste, but because i used it as HDD LED instead, it is acceptable with the "once in a while" blinking.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:59 am 
Offline
Friend of SPCR

Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 6:14 am
Posts: 1241
Location: Finland
In the review, there is a picture that says "Case with test system installed (2 x HD 4870 in CrossFireX).". However, I can only see one graphics card there.

_________________
my general purpose desktop system: HP LP3065 30" LCD 2560x1600 pixels, Q9450, 8GB DDR2 ECC 800MHz, EVGA 460GTX 1GB SC (OC@800MHz/2000MHz), WD Velociraptor 300GB, Samsung 2TB, Gigabyte EX38-DS4, Antec P182b, Corsair VX450, Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme, Scythe S-Flex fan, <90W AC idle, 200W AC gaming


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 4:33 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:53 pm
Posts: 44
Location: Melbourne, Australia
A shame the HDD cage isn't removable! Great review, however.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:48 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:00 am
Posts: 78
Location: Perth, Australia
Interesting review, and considering it's only 2/3 the price of a P183 it holds up astonishingly well in comparison.

Cheers!

_________________
Alec. Antec Solo w/Nexus D12SL-12 (rear @390RPM) & Noctua NF-B9 92mm (front @ 540RPM) fans; CPU: i7 860 w/Prolimatech Megahalems & Scythe Kama PWM; MB: Gigabyte P55A-UD4P; RAM: 4GB Corsair 1333; PSU: Seasonic X-650;Graphics Card: Gigabyte 9800GT Silent Cell; System SSD: Intel X-25M G2 80GB; Storage drive: Samsung F3 1TB HD103SJ 7200RPM; Fan control: Scythe Kaze Master 3.5".


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:09 am 
Offline
Friend of SPCR

Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 10:37 am
Posts: 279
A surprisingly well thought out case. I'd normally say that the complaints from users in this thread are just nitpicking, but there's enough of them to show that there are some QC issues. I personally wouldn't have any problems with them though, especially considering the price.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:19 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:55 am
Posts: 127
Location: Greece
PartEleven wrote:
A surprisingly well thought out case. I'd normally say that the complaints from users in this thread are just nitpicking, but there's enough of them to show that there are some QC issues. I personally wouldn't have any problems with them though, especially considering the price.


If it had proved to be a quiet case, that would have been the same for me...I wouldn't mind about the application of bitumen, about some marks on the case...

But there are things which, regardless of how I have been disappointed by the noise quality of the case, are just unacceptable for the price range of 100€ (I bought it 105€ + transportation = 120€, and now it has fallen down to 95€)
- The unstable motherboard tray...
- The weak/thin structure
- The inability (in my case at least) to mount two optical drives at the top 5,25 bays...this is unheard of really...
- the bad paint-job, prone to scratches
- How even screwing and unscrewing the rear thumbscrews seems to take its' toll on the case...

It is a build-it-and-leave-it case...if one keeps messing around with it, installing and uninstalling, opening-closing, it seems like it will need replacement at some time...

That's unacceptable for a small midi case of the 100€ price range...I could expect that from a case half the price (not true really, I have bought more than a couple of cases at that price, yet they have not let me down so much in such important details) but not from a widely reviewed and acclaimed case like this...

Really, I don't understand the judgments on the "value" of the case...especially if one were to test it according to its specifications...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:31 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11943
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
nick705 wrote:
Looks a nice case, thanks for the review.

You mentioned a couple of times that the HDD trays were a loose fit, and the grommets were too hard, but did this actually manifest itself audibly in terms of HDD noise? Also, given that the case seems ideally suited to a home server, did you run any tests with more than one HDD installed?

The answers depend a lot on the HDD used; with a high vibration one, for sure, these would be problems, but with the typically low noise low vibration HDDs that are used for SPCR builds, not so.

W/ regard to using it as a home server -- this and just about every full size case we've reviewed in the last couple years can hold a half dozen drives. We've never reviewed a case with more than one or 2 drives. It seems too obvious why: With more than a couple of drives, there's hardly any case which will stay SPCR-quiet.

Conversely, it's self-evident that adding more noise sources increases the noise (in complex ways for sure, but it usually adds up and gets louder); a case with HDD mounting that keep one HDD quieter will also keep 6 HDDs quieter.

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:42 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 9:52 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Kenosha, WI
Questions: Any word on if/when/pricing for USA distribution? Also, what about their Mini ITX chassis?

I've actually liked some of the basic design premises of this chassis since I first saw it a couple months ago, especially the "few optical, many HDD" drive bays. IMO for those who need more than 3-4 drives, I think the more likely scenario would be to have many more hard drives. After all, unless cases are cluttered with a bunch of front panel bay bling, who needs more than two 5¼" drive bays these days (assuming both can be used)?

_________________
Zap
Clan of the Bloody Fist


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:42 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11943
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Pierre wrote:
Really, I don't understand the judgments on the "value" of the case...especially if one were to test it according to its specifications...

We simply did not have have kinds of problems you experienced with yours... or did not consider specific issues as important as you do. We recommend it because it's better than most cases in its price, with more features for effective cooling/silence, and it's fairly well thought out. There are weaknesses, for sure, but out assessment always take in market value. Of course, there are lots of better cases, but mostly for more $. (For example, the very best <$100 case for a silencer is still the Antec Solo, imo -- it's selling for $80~$95. But it's not as good if you need cooling for hot graphics card(s) or want to fit more than 4 HDDs.)

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:30 pm 
Offline
Friend of SPCR

Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 1:59 am
Posts: 1630
Location: Portugal
MikeC wrote:
But it's not as good if you need cooling for hot graphics card(s) or want to fit more than 4 HDDs.)


... or want to use a long video card without cutting her up :cry:

_________________
Fractal Define R4 | Corsair AX750 | MSI Z97 Gaming 5 | Intel Core i7 4770K w/TRUE 120 Rev. C | 16GB G.Skill Sniper DDR3-1866 | Sapphire HD 7970 3GB GHz Edition w/Arctic Accelero Xtreme IV 280(X) | Crucial m4 128GB + Crucial MX100 512GB + WD Blue 1TB + WD Red 4TB | JVC HA-RX900 | Dell U2312HM + BenQ G2400WD | Asus Echelon Mechanical Keyboard | Logitech G400s


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:55 am
Posts: 127
Location: Greece
MikeC wrote:
W/ regard to using it as a home server -- this and just about every full size case we've reviewed in the last couple years can hold a half dozen drives. We've never reviewed a case with more than one or 2 drives. It seems too obvious why: With more than a couple of drives, there's hardly any case which will stay SPCR-quiet.

Conversely, it's self-evident that adding more noise sources increases the noise (in complex ways for sure, but it usually adds up and gets louder); a case with HDD mounting that keep one HDD quieter will also keep 6 HDDs quieter.

You surely have greater experience than I do in testing cases (my most particular/uncommon to most experience has been having run a Chieftec BA-01B case with 10 hdds installed for more than 2 years and steadily keeping in more seven or more hdds there), but the reasoning you're putting forth in the last paragraph does not seem to be very sound...

As I understand it you're saying that the "noise production" of a case with just one hdd -the same one in all cases- that is, the quality and volume of noise produced by that case with a given hdd installed, is indicative of what its noise production would be with + X number of hdds of that given type, e.g. whose own characteristics AND acoustics within the particular case are known...So comparisons between different cases with one hdd can be made, and comparative conclusions on how these cases would "behave" with +X given hdds can be drawn...

I doubt this "proportional reasoning", let me call it, would stand to the test...my experience tells me that the noise production of a case with a given hdd is not proportional to that of the same case with, let's say, six given-type hdds, the former is not indicative of the latter and the latter is not deduceable from the former...consequently -and more so- the result of the comparison of the noise production of two cases with a given hdd is not indicative of the result of the comparison of their noise production with six hdds...(also the reverse is true, the result of such a comparison with six hdds would not be indicative of the result of such a comparison with one hdd)

What I mean to say by that is that according to my experience the quality and volume of noise produced by a case with one hdd installed is not proportional/analogous to the quality and volume of noise produced by that same case with six hdds of the same type...
Adding more hdds would reveal more about the construction and the "behaviour" of a case, which is not revealed - and so not able to be inferred - by the testing of that case with just one hdd...that is because one hdd by itself does not present much "challenge" to any case and an existing difference in construction, efficiency of sound absorption etc between two cases is not manifested in the testing of those cases with just one hdd...

If you were to mount 6 hdds on the Antec P183 and the Fractal-Design Define R2 (or in my case, the Chieftec BA-01B and Fractal-Design Define R2), the comparative results between the two might be different from what their comparison with one hdd would indicate...


Quote:
W/ regard to using it as a home server -- this and just about every full size case we've reviewed in the last couple years can hold a half dozen drives. We've never reviewed a case with more than one or 2 drives. It seems too obvious why: With more than a couple of drives, there's hardly any case which will stay SPCR-quiet.

I guess, however, this does not mean to say that at SPCR if you need 6 data hdds, you end up building 6 different cases...

So testing with more hdds (at least four to six I'd say) makes some sense, especially if someone were to make a decision to buy a case, among other things because it offers many hdd bays, based on your review...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:42 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:55 am
Posts: 127
Location: Greece
MikeC wrote:
We simply did not have have kinds of problems you experienced with yours... or did not consider specific issues as important as you do. We recommend it because it's better than most cases in its price, with more features for effective cooling/silence, and it's fairly well thought out. There are weaknesses, for sure, but out assessment always take in market value. Of course, there are lots of better cases, but mostly for more $. (For example, the very best <$100 case for a silencer is still the Antec Solo, imo -- it's selling for $80~$95. But it's not as good if you need cooling for hot graphics card(s) or want to fit more than 4 HDDs.)

My comment was actually referring to PartEleven's post...

Since I had some issues that looked weird - especially the inability to fit two optical drives on the top 5,25 bezels - it might be worthwhile naming the issues I noticed but were not present in the Define R2 case you tested...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:53 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11943
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Pierre wrote:
MikeC wrote:
Conversely, it's self-evident that adding more noise sources increases the noise (in complex ways for sure, but it usually adds up and gets louder); a case with HDD mounting that keep one HDD quieter will also keep 6 HDDs quieter.

You surely have greater experience than I do in testing cases (my most particular/uncommon to most experience has been having run a Chieftec BA-01B case with 10 hdds installed for more than 2 years and steadily keeping in more seven or more hdds there), but the reasoning you're putting forth in the last paragraph does not seem to be very sound...

Actually I have NO experience whatsoever with any home PC that has >6 HDDs. That would be a nightmare. Your 10 HDD case would drive me bananas. :lol:

Perhaps I should clarify...
Quote:
a case with HDD mounting that keep one HDD quieter than in another case will also keep 6 HDDs quieter.

Pierre wrote:
What I mean to say by that is that according to my experience the quality and volume of noise produced by a case with one hdd installed is not proportional/analogous to the quality and volume of noise produced by that same case with six hdds of the same type...
Adding more hdds would reveal more about the construction and the "behaviour" of a case, which is not revealed - and so not able to be inferred - by the testing of that case with just one hdd...that is because one hdd by itself does not present much "challenge" to any case and an existing difference in construction, efficiency of sound absorption etc between two cases is not manifested in the testing of those cases with just one hdd...
If you were to mount 6 hdds on the Antec P183 and the Fractal-Design Define R2 (or in my case, the Chieftec BA-01B and Fractal-Design Define R2), the comparative results between the two might be different from what their comparison with one hdd would indicate...

This is certainly possible. But we're not prepared to do such testing or comparison on every case we receive for review, we 're not interested in exploring the acoustics of noisy computers... unless/until we come across a case that claims to be made for silent operation with 6 HDDs. There should be enough information in the reviews for you to make an educated guess about which case might be best for holding multiple drives if lowest noise is your goal. But 6 HDDs makes that goal a bit unrealistic. If 1 HDD makes 16 dBA/1m, then 6 identical drives will make something like 24 dBA/1m, and airflow/cooling requirement goes up, which suggests perhaps 25-26 dBA/1m. That's w/o including any of the other noise sources in the PC. Why would you do this if you want quiet?
Pierre wrote:
MikeC wrote:
W/ regard to using it as a home server -- this and just about every full size case we've reviewed in the last couple years can hold a half dozen drives. We've never reviewed a case with more than one or 2 drives. It seems too obvious why: With more than a couple of drives, there's hardly any case which will stay SPCR-quiet.

I guess, however, this does not mean to say that at SPCR if you need 6 data hdds, you end up building 6 different cases...

No, we'd make a NAS box specifically for data storage and put it somewhere far away like maybe a storage closet -- and access via gigabit LAN. This is exactly what we do now -- but not with a 6-HDD NAS; rather a single HDD NAS. When HDDs are as capacious as 2 TB/drive, I doubt most people need 6 drives. I'd guess that only a handful of silence-oriented computer users ever use more than 2 HDD even with any of those cases with multiple HDD bays.

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:38 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:49 pm
Posts: 305
Location: Sweden
MikeC wrote:
Pierre wrote:
Really, I don't understand the judgments on the "value" of the case...especially if one were to test it according to its specifications...

We simply did not have have kinds of problems you experienced with yours... or did not consider specific issues as important as you do. We recommend it because it's better than most cases in its price, with more features for effective cooling/silence, and it's fairly well thought out. There are weaknesses, for sure, but out assessment always take in market value. Of course, there are lots of better cases, but mostly for more $. (For example, the very best <$100 case for a silencer is still the Antec Solo, imo -- it's selling for $80~$95. But it's not as good if you need cooling for hot graphics card(s) or want to fit more than 4 HDDs.)


There are few reviews of Solo and a performance gpu, even fewer with both 92 mm fans in use. Would Solo really perform so bad with a highend gpu? After all, it has really good airflow with so few fans.

There should be an update in recommended cases soon, you have reviewed a couple of good cases since 2007 :).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 7:09 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11943
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
bozar wrote:
There are few reviews of Solo and a performance gpu, even fewer with both 92 mm fans in use. Would Solo really perform so bad with a highend gpu? After all, it has really good airflow with so few fans.

There should be an update in recommended cases soon, you have reviewed a couple of good cases since 2007 :).

I know, I know, I'm working on it.

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:15 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 9:52 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Kenosha, WI
bozar wrote:
There are few reviews of Solo and a performance gpu, even fewer with both 92 mm fans in use. Would Solo really perform so bad with a highend gpu? After all, it has really good airflow with so few fans.


I've done two Solo builds with 92mm fans. Works as expected. The problem with the Solo is that it won't fit larger graphics cards without modding and losing HDD bays.

_________________
Zap
Clan of the Bloody Fist


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:40 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 1:34 pm
Posts: 5
MikeC wrote:
When HDDs are as capacious as 2 TB/drive, I doubt most people need 6 drives. I'd guess that only a handful of silence-oriented computer users ever use more than 2 HDD even with any of those cases with multiple HDD bays.


My own home server (which is, of course, hidden away in a closet, and doesn't even have a monitor attached to it) has six hard drives, though not (strictly) for capacity reasons.

I'm presently using 2 750gb disks; 2 1tb disks; and 2tb disks. You can probably guess one reason for the large number of disks from this suspicious level of similarity; each disk is in a RAID-1 setup with its counterpart. I'd be very upset if I were using a single disk to store 2tb of AppleTV-converted DVDs, and it happened to go belly-up on me.

The other reason is performance -- I don't want to create a situation where there's a single data path that has the potential to become a bottleneck. Nor do I want the operations of my system disks to interfere with the performance of my data drives. So I've spread the data across multiple drives and spread the drives across multiple controllers.

Of course, I'm very much in the minority when it comes to what I do with my home computing setup. Still, DVDs are noisy compared to video files viewed over a LAN. :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:49 pm
Posts: 305
Location: Sweden
Zap wrote:
bozar wrote:
There are few reviews of Solo and a performance gpu, even fewer with both 92 mm fans in use. Would Solo really perform so bad with a highend gpu? After all, it has really good airflow with so few fans.


I've done two Solo builds with 92mm fans. Works as expected. The problem with the Solo is that it won't fit larger graphics cards without modding and losing HDD bays.


Yeah, that's the real downside with solo. R2 fits most cards but I couldn't live with that poor HDD cage, without it R2 would probably beat most cases with cooling in mind.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:16 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11943
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
cwp wrote:
MikeC wrote:
When HDDs are as capacious as 2 TB/drive, I doubt most people need 6 drives. I'd guess that only a handful of silence-oriented computer users ever use more than 2 HDD even with any of those cases with multiple HDD bays.


My own home server (which is, of course, hidden away in a closet, and doesn't even have a monitor attached to it) has six hard drives, though not (strictly) for capacity reasons.

I should have been more specific:
Quote:
I'd guess that only a handful of silence-oriented computer users ever use more than 2 HDD in their desktop PC even with any of those cases with multiple HDD bays.

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 3:26 pm
Posts: 1162
Location: UK
MikeC wrote:
We've never reviewed a case with more than one or 2 drives. It seems too obvious why: With more than a couple of drives, there's hardly any case which will stay SPCR-quiet.

I'm a bit puzzled by this - have you forgotten the P180 you reviewed?

MikeC wrote:
"The SPL measurements make clear the difference between the P180 and the SLK3000B: The three extra hard drives add as much as 6 dBA/1m to the system noise in the SLK3000B, while adding only 1-2 dBA/1m in the P180. The difference in even more marked subjectively. The SLK3000B pulses with sound as the resonances of the different hard drives interact with each other; the result is a low frequency hum that rises and falls in volume over a period of ten seconds. The variable nature of the sound makes it hard to ignore. The P180 didn't exhibit a trace of this sound; even with four drives installed, no significant resonance could be heard."


This is exactly the kind of information I'm sure many people would find very helpful, and much more useful than having to make an "educated guess" which may or may not be confirmed by the facts.

I'm not denying that multiple HDDs are less than ideal from a quietness POV, but they do represent a necessary compromise for many people for reasons of space, performance or redundancy (for example, those living in rented accommodation may not have the option of setting up a remote server and laying GbE cable wherever they choose)...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:06 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11943
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
nick705 --

You're right I did forget that. Several things...

1) choices for quiet HDDs are better now than ever before. There's little reason for silence seekers to keep using noisy drives.

2) the difference described there (P180 vs SLK300B) is between what was then the king of the quiet cases vs a middle of the road value case good for silent modding. You might still hear that kind of difference --but only if drives of that noise/vibration caliber were used. I would venture to say that with the typical quiet HDD on our recommended pages today, the difference would be smaller.

3) The difference would also be smaller between two case both optimized for low noise. There are more of those.

One of the reasons we did try that many HDDs in the P180 is because it was the first time a case claimed to make HDDs run quieter. We were working to verify that claim. We were particularly vigilant about being thorough and neutral with that review, given my public admission of deep involvement in its design.

Finally, OK, there are times when comparisons of cases with multiple drives could be useful. Add another few hrs to every case review... hmm. No promises whether this will come to pass.

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:59 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:55 am
Posts: 127
Location: Greece
Reviewing a case with more than one hdd installed does not only test the construction and acoustics of a case; for example, it can be used as a measure to test cable routing/hiding features of a case, since even a case which does not offer such option may look uncluttered with just one hdd...but with four or six that is more of a challenge...
MikeC wrote:
But we're not prepared to do such testing or comparison on every case we receive for review, we 're not interested in exploring the acoustics of noisy computers... unless/until we come across a case that claims to be made for silent operation with 6 HDDs.


I'd say there are a few cases out there who's manufacturing company has built them to hold six or more hdds and still argues they will run silent, e.g.:

Quote:
Finally, a chassis that is designed for the enthusiast that combines noise dampening features with expandability and storage. Introducing the Whisper silent full tower chassis from NZXT, improving upon the successful of the NZXT HU-001 chassis, the Whisper is another step up from the Hush. Featured in a large size E-ATX Full Tower, the Whisper can support up to NINE hard drives and a total of SIX 5.25"; bays with ample space for large expansion cards. 10mm dampening foams, rubber grommets, and padded PSU holder are some of the major features in silence. The NZXT Whisper is the complete solution for the enthusiast who is not willing to sacrifice silence for performance. The Whisper also provides mounts for the new smaller 2.5" SSD drives


I understand you're saying that the silence-orientated user will avoid running many hdds in his personal computer, since this would be causing more noise...but the concern for silence might not be the only characteristic of that user...he/she might still be a gamer who uses a top range power-consuming and high temperature-running vga with active cooling (the card could still have been picked for lowest possible noise emission) or he may be a data collecting user with limited space (who may also pick lower noise-vibration hdds)...

As the former may need to install a fan on the side panel of Define R2 to keep his vga running cooler, even though that might cause the noise level to rise, so will the data collecting user install more hdds in the case, even though that might also increase noise-levels...
Both silence-orientated users will look to make the best compromise with regard to cooling, noise emission/production, data storage etc...

As you may test a chassis with a heat-producing vga like the 4870 (the particular card may have been selected for less noise), or with the available side fan installed (the fan may have been selected for less noise), so it makes sense testing that case with a number of hdds (they may have been selected for their acoustic properties), even though in this case, as in all aforementioned, that will have an impact on noise, direct or indirect...
You will not tell any of these users not to install either a top range, high temperature, heat producing vga/cpu or a number of hdds, because that does not agree with the concerns of a silence-orientated user...you might tell them to get the best possible cooler and fan, or the less vibrating/noise producing hdds...but when all that has been taken care of, there still is left to see how different computer cases will fit their configuration...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 9:24 am
Posts: 169
Location: Earth
I don't like it.

Why fill it with Bitumen? Seems like a third grade solution...

Can't be good for planet earth either. Plus the smell...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 4:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2005 4:02 pm
Posts: 1608
Location: United States
outbackyak wrote:
Interesting review, and considering it's only 2/3 the price of a P183 it holds up astonishingly well in comparison.

Cheers!

Agreed. This paragraph sums it up pretty well IMO.

Quote:
It is rare to see a rookie manufacturer come out of nowhere with a well-thought out design right off the bat. Luckily for Fractal Design, much of the trail was already blazed by Antec: The Define R2 is a kind of homage to the P180. Fractal Design engineers kept true to its core design, added a few simple improvements, and cut corners in areas they believed were not fundamental to thermal performance and noise reduction. The result is an affordable, versatile, minimalist case that is suitable for housing a simple quiet PC, a well-cooled gaming machine, and anything in-between. It may not have the highest build standards, but it's good value.

Appears to be lower quality than a case like the P183 and lacks the same fit and finish, but at 2/3 the price you can't really complain.

_________________
Corsair Obsidian 650D | Seasonic X-650 | Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 | Phenom II X4 955 | Noctua NH-D14 | 2x4GB Corsair DDR3-1600 | ASUS HD6950 DirectCU II 2GB | OCZ Vertex 2 120GB | 2x WD Green 1TB


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 42 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group