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 Post subject: Fractal R4 or other case?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:30 pm
Posts: 43
Location: FL
Hello,

I’m working on my 1st PC build, with very limited technical knowledge.
The case that I’m strongly considering buying is the Fractal R4. The minimalistic look of the case really appealed to me. However, I want to make sure that I don’t overlook a case that may fit my needs. Noise, Cooling, and functionality are important to me. Also, it must have USB 3.0 ports in front. I am not looking for a case with a glass panel or a lot of lights.

1) Is there a case that has a better internal configuration than the Fractal R4?

2) Regarding the Fractal R4, does the side acrylic window panel add to the noise level?

3) OT: Any recommendation on which Noctua fans to purchase, if I do decide on the R4?

Below is my current configuration (all products have been purchased):

HARDWARE

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819116504

Motherboard: ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131821

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 FTW 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card 02G-P4-2678-KR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814130787

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Internal Desktop Hard Drive Bulk/OEM - WD1002FAEX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822136533

CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6835103099

SSD Hard Drive: Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 20-148-442

Memory: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820233186

Optical Drive: Lite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive IHAS424-98 - Retail (Black)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6827106335

Monitor: Dell UltraSharp U2412M Black IPS Panel 24" 8ms Pivot, Swivel & Height Adjustable LED Backlight Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 DC 2,000,000:1 (1000:1) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6824260047

Speaker: DELL UltraSharp and Professional Series 468-7412 10 W 2.0 AX510 Flat Panel Stereo SoundBar http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... ll%20AX510

Power Supply: ?

Case: ?

SOFTWARE

Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium
Productivity Suite: Office 2010 Home & Student Edition


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal R4 or other case?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1815
Location: Guatemala
majax79 wrote:
1) Is there a case that has a better internal configuration than the Fractal R4?
Although its a fine choice, also consider Antec Solo II, Corsair 550D, both are not too flashy either, but i would probably go with R4 its a great case.

majax79 wrote:
2) Regarding the Fractal R4, does the side acrylic window panel add to the noise level?
This is hard to say.... SPCR hasnt reviewed one yet. My guess is the none windowed should be a little better. But i doubt the difference is huge, as long as you chose good components, this is more if you desire window or not.

majax79 wrote:
3) OT: Any recommendation on which Noctua fans to purchase, if I do decide on the R4?
The R4 uses 140mm fans, i would test the fans that come with the case first and if you feel you need better fans, consider Noiseblocker NB-BlackSilentPro PK-1 140mm x 25mm Ultra Quiet Fan - 700 RPM - 9 dBA

majax79 wrote:
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 FTW 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card 02G-P4-2678-KR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814130787
Instead of EVGA, consider ASUS GTX670 DirectCUII or MSI GTX670 Twin Frozr, this are better choices in terms of cooling/noise.

majax79 wrote:
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Internal Desktop Hard Drive Bulk/OEM - WD1002FAEX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822136533

SSD Hard Drive: Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 20-148-442
I would suggest against 7200rpm drives, specially since you are already going with SSD for your OS/apps/Games. WD Red 2 TB NAS Hard Drive: 3.5 Inch, SATA III, 64 MB Cache - WD20EFRX its a nice storage quiet hdd. If still want 7200rpm drives i would change the case toward Antec Solo II because of the HDD suspension mechanism. On the Crucial M4... i have nothing but good things to say about it, no issues with 256gb and 64gb, but unless you get a huge price discount or get it in clearance, i think there are better options, as M500 was just released this week, for the money i would go with Samsung 840 250gb.

majax79 wrote:
CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6835103099
I think the 212 is a really nice cooler for the money, but personally i dont like the fan, and if you go for another fan, might aswell go for Thermalright HR-02 Macho, this new iteration has a black/white fan that should match really nice the R4 scheme.

majax79 wrote:
Motherboard: ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131821
This is more a personal choice, but i dont like the small fan next to io shield... i fear it will be noisy/wear in time... so im going to suggest to stay with Asus for the FanXpert2, but another mobo, ASUS P8Z77-V LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard, this is the cheapest that still has fanxpert2 there are others but $200+.

majax79 wrote:
Power Supply: ?
Depends on how much your want to spend, but consider the following,
KINGWIN Lazer Platinum Series LZP-550 550W ATX 12V v2.2 / EPS 12V v2.91 / SSI EPS 12V v2.92 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS PLATINUM Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply (it should even match the R4 theme with black/white)
SeaSonic G Series SSR-550RM 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply (cheaper and still very good psu for the money).

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal R4 or other case?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:28 am 
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Friend of SPCR

Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 12:25 pm
Posts: 102
Location: St. Louis, MO
When I was in the market for a new case last summer I considered the 550d until I saw it in person at Micro Center. The aluminum looking i/o strip was dull and not shiny. Though in fairness it was in a dusty store. I was moving from the classic Antec P180 and was really tired of the front ports as I am using USB flash drives more and more. I had it on the floor under my desk. IMO, the top ports of the R4 are better. If on a desk, the 550d front ports may be a better location. I wasn't overly impressed with the build quality as it seemed more plastic was used. The 550d weighs 16.5 pounds and the R4 weighs 27 pounds. :shock:

What really turned me off was four 5.25" bays. I prefer just the two on the R4. I did install one optical drive as I occasionally use it, but 4 seemed like overkill.

Lastly, I really like the R4 different configurations of the drive cages.
http://www.fractal-design.com/img_prod/ ... er-hdd.jpg
I removed both of mine. I have two stacked 2.5" dives on the floor of the case. I took one drive tray and removed the rails and then secured it with Velcro. My motherboard has eSATA so I just use a drive dock for my 3.5" and 2.5" drives.

I didn't think the fan controller was a big deal until I had it. Runs @ 5, 7 and 12 volts. I hate the stupid molex connector the controller uses. Since I ran a cable all the way up to the optical drive, I just got a molex to SATA adapter and avoided running a separate molex cable altogether.

I agree with Abula about the Fractal fans. I use the two included fans in the front and a Corsair AF140 Quiet Edition for exhaust. I built mine for quiet, not silence. If it wasn't for my EVGA 560 Ti FPB it would be pretty silent. I use the HR-02 Macho btw.

Edit: The OP already purchased 95% of his/her components. Unless they can be returned. If not, I'd suggest changing out the 212 or at least the fan.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal R4 or other case?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:26 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1815
Location: Guatemala
suchageek wrote:
Edit: The OP already purchased 95% of his/her components. Unless they can be returned. If not, I'd suggest changing out the 212 or at least the fan.
Yea i missed that =(, though he was about to buy them. Noctua NF-F12 PWM would be my suggestion for the 212, but wont match the theme of the r4 =(.

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal R4 or other case?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:47 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 685
Location: Gefle, Sweden
Just a tip for the case fans. From my experience with a similar setup it will be just fine to settle for using the single rear exhaust together with one or two intakes in the front. The two included fans proved to be perfectly usable as intakes at 5V using the built-in controller. No ticking and they run slow enough not be pretty quiet.

_________________
i5-3570K at 4 GHz Turbo, HR-02 Macho w/o fan, MSI R9 290 Gaming, Fractal Design Define R4, 2 front fans, 1 exhaust. 2 SSD's and a quiet Seagate 4TB (ST4000DM000) HDD, Seasonic P-460FL (no squealing).


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal R4 or other case?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:30 pm
Posts: 43
Location: FL
suchageek wrote:
I didn't think the fan controller was a big deal until I had it. Runs @ 5, 7 and 12 volts. I hate the stupid molex connector the controller uses. Since I ran a cable all the way up to the optical drive, I just got a molex to SATA adapter and avoided running a separate molex cable altogether.


I haven't learned about that yet. I figure it's going to take me quite a lot of reading/watching YouTube vids as I install each item.

Quote:
I agree with Abula about the Fractal fans. I use the two included fans in the front and a Corsair AF140 Quiet Edition for exhaust. I built mine for quiet, not silence. If it wasn't for my EVGA 560 Ti FPB it would be pretty silent. I use the HR-02 Macho btw.

Edit: The OP already purchased 95% of his/her components. Unless they can be returned. If not, I'd suggest changing out the 212 or at least the fan.


Did you make the fan in the back an exhaust? Also, do you leave the top vents closed?

I was going to buy the PSU next and then the fans would be last as I figure I'll have to do another round of forum post. Based on what I've read lately I do see that the Noctua are highly recommended as well as the Gentle Typhoon series. It does suck that the Noctua fan's color are brown? I wonder who thought of that.

Regarding the 212 EVO, It's past it's return period and I figured that I'm not going to overclock for a while, if at all, so it should be fine for my needs. I absolutely intend to replace the stock fan though. It seems that I need a 120MM fan for the Hyper 212 EVO but there also seems to be fans that are 140mm which have 120mm connector holes? I'm too tired to do further research on that, lol.

@abula, thanks for all your help as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal R4 or other case?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:25 am 
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Friend of SPCR

Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 12:25 pm
Posts: 102
Location: St. Louis, MO
majax79 wrote:
Did you make the fan in the back an exhaust? Also, do you leave the top vents closed?



Yes, the third fan is for exhaust. It ships with one intake in the front and an exhaust one in the back. I use both of the supplied fans in the front for intake. I do keep the top and sides closed. It's quieter.

In the below link, you can see the 3 fan connectors and the molex 4-pin connector.
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Frac ... lesfan.jpg

You can pick up a molex to SATA adapter to eliminate a separate cable for the fan controller.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal R4 or other case?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:30 pm
Posts: 43
Location: FL
suchageek wrote:
majax79 wrote:
Did you make the fan in the back an exhaust? Also, do you leave the top vents closed?



Yes, the third fan is for exhaust. It ships with one intake in the front and an exhaust one in the back. I use both of the supplied fans in the front for intake. I do keep the top and sides closed. It's quieter.

In the below link, you can see the 3 fan connectors and the molex 4-pin connector.
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Frac ... lesfan.jpg

You can pick up a molex to SATA adapter to eliminate a separate cable for the fan controller.


Thanks for the help. How does the molex to SATA work though? I've looked at images of the molex to SATA cable and I don't understand how the connections work.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal R4 or other case?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:18 pm 
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Friend of SPCR

Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 12:25 pm
Posts: 102
Location: St. Louis, MO
It's just an older power connector that was used before SATA replaced it. It is the vernacular for the company that made them and became synonymous with the 4-pin connector.

It supplied power to everything. The adapter just enables it to use the newer SATA connection. Once you have your power supply it may make more sense. All the power supplies back then delivered power to devices using molex. You'd hookup a hard drive for example with an IDE cable to the drive on one end and attach the other end to the motherboard (same ith SATA). Next to it was the molex connector from the power supply.

On the R4, molex is still being used for the fan controller. Your power supply may include one molex cable.. Mine did. The DVD drive bay is all the way at the top as is the fan connector My DVD is SATA. By using a molex to SATA adapter I eliminated running another cable all the way up with molex to hookup the power to the fan controller. They are much wider and bulkier too.

The adapter has a SATA connector on one end and female molex on the other end and enables them to join.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812119262 Roll your mouse over the photo to see both ends.
http://www.microcenter.com/product/346566/SATA_15-Pin_Power_to_Female_Molex_4-Pin_Adapter

Just choose a modular PSU. That way you only plug-in only the cables you need. Do you have your R4 yet? If so, look for the molex plug inside up near the very top.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal R4 or other case?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:30 pm
Posts: 43
Location: FL
Nope, still have a little bit more to save up for. I should have enough in a week. I'll post then.

Thanks for all the help :)


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