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 Post subject: Fractal Design Define S
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 8:01 pm 
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Posts: 30
Anyone else checking out this new case? It's being advertised and reviewed as a flexible water cooling case, but I think it looks like a beautifully free-flowing air cooling case too. It's a somewhat refined R5 with the main feature that they've removed all the drive cages, and instead provided 3x3.5" and 2x2.5" mounts on the back side of the mobo tray.

I'm planning a Skylake build for later this year, and it'll probably only have one main system M.2 SSD (backups and everything else use an old file server PC, silently tucked away in a spare room) so I won't really need any drive mounts at all. Some wonder about the lack of any optical drive mount provision, but I've maybe used my current DVD like twice in the past 2 years, so I'm fine with just keeping an external USB DVD around for the very rare times I need it.

And the airflow looks so sweet... I figure I'll put 3 Noctuas in the front, tape off the extra holes in the bottom, and remove the rear hex fan grill and a couple of slot covers under the GPU. The 3 intake fans vs one back exhaust fan will be enough to give some positive pressure even after subtracting the front dust filter's resistance, then a straight, clean shot directly across the CPU and GPU and out the back. Fans dead silent at 200 RPM at idle, and probably even just 400-500 RPMs or so will be plenty to keep the case flushed even at load.

Add in a semi-passive stopped-fans-at-idle GPU like a nice quiet MSI Twin Frozr V... yeah.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define S
PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2015 4:38 am 
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That looks awesome - who uses more than 3 3.5" hard drives and more than 2 SSD's? My only question is air flow for the HD's - it appears to have an intake in the front, but the exhaust is less obvious.

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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define S
PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2015 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 1:24 am
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Yeah, there's a vent all along the front edge by the 3.5" mounts, which would allow air to exhaust for a positive pressure case, or be intake for negative pressure, but it looks like any airflow past the drives will have to basically ooze around the mobo and/or through those mounting slots where the drive cages normally go, so there's wouldn't be a lot. But I think there'd be enough slow airflow to keep it from being stagnant, good enough for modern cool-running drives like WD Reds or similar. You wouldn't want to put anything that runs hot back there, but none of us will be using Velociraptors anyway. Especially since there isn't any room to suspend them, either. Really, I think this kind of design reflects a new option for SSD based systems, with spinning platters kind of deprecated but still usable as long as you don't push your luck, instead of their management being a big focus of the case.

I also noticed that soft-mounting the front fans might be a bit tricky, with those fan mounting slots instead of holes, the pretty much flush mounted dust cover, and no real access to the far inside edges of the fans. Rubber mounts won't grab the slots very well so the fans may tend to slide down and touch each other. Gelid style fan mounts that go on the fan first and then stick out of the case would interfere with the dust cover, and flat-top Noctua style mounts that go in from the outside will be hard to pull through the fan frames. I guess those extra-long ones would work, but I've had a lot of trouble with that kind tending to snap when pulled through. But maybe those, with extra mounts inserted between the fans to keep them apart? Hmm.


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