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 Post subject: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:25 pm 
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http://www.silentpcreview.com/fractal-r3/


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:52 am 
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Regarding bitumen (and smells), I refer you to http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=61080&p=529154. I'm not arguing the facts but simply pointing out a statement given by what appears to be a legitimate representative of FD.

Thanks for the effort, but here's me hoping for a review of the Mini. I am done with big ATX towers.

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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:18 am 
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One of the differences between the R2 reviewed by SPCR and the R3 is that the R3 is supposed to have somewhat softer hard drive mounting grommets. This isn't mentioned in the R3 review but it would have been nice to have known if they do in fact make any difference in terms of suppressing hard drive noise.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:23 am 
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Das_Saunamies wrote:
Regarding bitumen (and smells), I refer you to http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=61080&p=529154. I'm not arguing the facts but simply pointing out a statement given by what appears to be a legitimate representative of FD.

Thanks for the effort, but here's me hoping for a review of the Mini. I am done with big ATX towers.

Corrected.

The Mini will be reviewed; we're looking forward to it too. Sample isn't available yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:26 am 
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Fantastic, thanks for the heads-up Mike!

I've been giddy to buy one ever since it was announced, FD rep told me they'd start shipping to Finland in April, so I figure any day now.

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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:33 am 
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Great review. It is good to know the fans are pretty solid out of the box. I am also very excited for the Define Mini review.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:39 am 
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It's nice to see that you got the white edition. For some reason right now it's the least expensive one here in Sweden right now. Perhaps they're taking action in advance of the arrival of the NZXT H2, or they simply weren't selling well enough at its initially higher price. To my taste it's a nice solid bright white paint job. Much nicer to take informative photos of too as we can see here.

I'm glad to hear the fans in your sample case did not tick. Perhaps they've improved manufacturing overall or there might be some sample variance since mine do, though not hearable unless close up at 5V. Good to know the fan controller goes down to about 6V, in case I'd ever put it to use.

I found the rear vent to be a little restrictive in its design, significantly adding to the noise of fans with speeds in the range of the included fans. Were mine a black case I'd have taken the tin snips to it, unless the white paint is actually a part of the problem there.

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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:08 am 
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Nice!

Have they improved their packaging/handling? Because one thing that I'm afrad is the number of people complaining that something is broken or bended in their Fractal cases. And almost all of them seem to be shipping damage, not assembly defects. I imagine they have to be extra carefull in this Define series, because F = mg, and the extra mass is due the bitumen, not structural steel. So, the same drop will do much more damage on an Define than on a Lian-li, for example.

Also, is it possible to do HDD suspension on the HDD bays? Or to unscrew it from place to leave room for it? And how well does the default soft-mounting system works? For something like Seagate LP drives (ranking 7 in SPCR vibration metrics)?

And I'm looking foward to Define Mini too... if only someone will bring it to my country.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:16 pm 
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Thanks for the review.

As a side note, the upcoming AmigaOne X1000 model uses a Define case, with a big logo on the door.
For those who still believe that Microsoft Windows, or even x86, won't become a success, the AmigaOne may be an option.
Hopefully it will be released before Duke Nukem Forever.. :P

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AmigaOne_X1000


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:06 pm 
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i was waiting for a review like this. and like others, i'm also waiting for the Define Mini!


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:10 pm 
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While I like smaller cases in general, I can't see how the Mini makes that much difference for buyers:

Mini: Case size (WxHxD): 210 x 395 x 490 mm

R3: Case size (WxHxD): 207.40 x 440 x 521.2 mm

I'd prefer a case like the Lian Li Q11 (200 x 326 x 260 (W x H x D)), if it was made for µATX.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:50 pm 
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Besides being smaller, as you said, the mini will have (one?) removable HDD tray, USB 3.0 support, more space for cables behind the MB (I suppose, because it is wider), and will likely be somewhat cheaper than R3. Make it much smaller, it will start becoming cramped/less compatible.

Also, the cuteness factor will be higher. :P


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:45 pm 
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Manabu wrote:
Besides being smaller, as you said, the mini will have (one?) removable HDD tray, USB 3.0 support, more space for cables behind the MB (I suppose, because it is wider), and will likely be somewhat cheaper than R3. Make it much smaller, it will start becoming cramped/less compatible.


Nailed it. The features I want in a silent computer for my personal and professional use dictate that the case be the current size of the Mini pretty much. Anything smaller would require unwanted compromise, anything bigger and I'll have trouble justifying the purchase to myself (I already own a P182).

Edit1: The P182 is 205 x 540 x 507 mm (WxHxD), so the R3 was attractive from a height standpoint (-100 mm), but the Mini is that and best of all not as "deep", so I can easily fit it where the P182 used to be, leaving more room for cables and ventilation. The R3 would require me to tear off a cabinet door or drill holes in the back.

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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:44 am 
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Das_Saunamies wrote:
Nailed it. The features I want in a silent computer for my personal and professional use dictate that the case be the current size of the Mini pretty much. Anything smaller would require unwanted compromise

Yes. The only compromises that I see is the maximum size of the motherboard being m-ATX and 2 less slots for HDs (6 remaining). Both I can accept w/o problems. I don't need so many expansion slots that full-ATX brings, and fully-featured m-ATX boards are becoming more common, and are usually cheaper than their full-ATX counterparts.

EDIT: ... and we are drifting kinda off-topic discussing Define Mini...


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:26 am 
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Manabu wrote:
Das_Saunamies wrote:
Nailed it. The features I want in a silent computer for my personal and professional use dictate that the case be the current size of the Mini pretty much. Anything smaller would require unwanted compromise

Yes. The only compromises that I see is the maximum size of the motherboard being m-ATX and 2 less slots for HDs (6 remaining). Both I can accept w/o problems. I don't need so many expansion slots that full-ATX brings, and fully-featured m-ATX boards are becoming more common, and are usually cheaper than their full-ATX counterparts.

EDIT: ... and we are drifting kinda off-topic discussing Define Mini...


Aye, but I guess it's sort of relevant to the R3 as a comparison. R3 offers a slight size increase for more drive bays and card slots... but who needs those, especially for a higher price? ;)

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Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:03 am 
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My own R3 just came in.

It's beautiful. Definitely one of the better-looking cases I've had the pleasure of working with.
It wasn't damaged during shipping either, but I'm European and it might take more of a beating on it's way to America.
Some of the fan-screws are slightly stripped, but they're still removeable.
Image


Edit: Here is a new set of photographs.
They are HUGE, both in filesize as in proportion, so I'll just link to them rather than decreasing them in size and embedding them in the post.

CPU backplate access:
http://ompldr.org/vOGIyMA
Frontside, door open, fan doors closed:
http://ompldr.org/vOGIyMQ
Frontside, door open, fan doors opened:
http://ompldr.org/vOGIyMg
View of the full case:
http://ompldr.org/vOGIyMw
Backside:
http://ompldr.org/vOGIydg
One-piece drive cage, attached with rivets:
http://ompldr.org/vOGIyNA
Side, total view:
http://ompldr.org/vOGIyNQ
Stripped screws:
http://ompldr.org/vOGIyNg
Topside:
http://ompldr.org/vOGIyNw

This is a beautiful case, but it does have it's share of faults.

Positives:
  • Minimalistic.
  • Well-priced.
  • Isolated with noise-deadening materials.
  • Black screws and an included fan controller which goes as low as 6V (at which point my Slip Streams are inaudible).
  • Heavy (very subjective).

Negatives:
  • A removeable drive cage would've been nice, though it's not required for most users (HD 6950 / GTX 590 both fit. HD 6990 does not and neither do Accelero Extreme Plus-cooled cards.)
  • The plastic fan doors/bay covers are flimsy and locked in place with small plastic hinges.
  • No USB3.
  • A great set of feet, but they are prone to breakage during shipping.
  • Front fans are attached with a rather clumsy mechanism.

This is a beautiful case and I can easily recommend it to anyone looking for a minimalistic, non-flashy exterior for their computers.
The case tends to take a beating during shipment to America, though, so make sure your shop supports RMA. Also, the case is not suitable for those who switch components a lot as the plastic covers are prone to breakage if opened and closed a lot.

Got any unanswered questions?
Feel free to PM me.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:26 am 
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Is rigidity and hdd decoupling at all improved with this new case, compared to its older sibling?

I would love to see the DefineXL reviewed...


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 2:04 pm 
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A bit off topic but still on. Is it possible to suspend a 3,5" HD vertically or horisontally in the HD-cage in the R2/R3/mini?

You could remove the sleds to gain room. How would you mount a drive vertically?

Agree with most of you, the Mini will be great!

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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 2:30 pm 
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By the way, can anyone explain to me why the rear fan is so much louder than the front fan? Aren't they the same?

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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:03 pm 
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The rear vent is relatively restrictive, which is causing turbulence. Reducing fan speed and using standoffs are some methods of mitigation. Cutting away the grill is a drastic but effective solution that is quite popular on case exhaust vents around here.

I'm sure one could suspend a couple of drives vertically in the drive bay area, but exactly how to run the straps/cords in an efficienty manner way is beyond me. Have a look at the big thread on drive suspension in this forum for various techniques.

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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:53 am 
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ok, thank you very much for the answers, mkk! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:26 am 
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Can anyone of you who has bought the R3 (or the R2) tell me how much the vibration from the hard drive is reduced?

It is not mentioned in this review, and in the original review of the R2, Fractal apparently told SPCR that the rubber used in the reviewed example was not the same type as the one that was used in the retail version.

Thanks in advance.

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Cooling: AC Alpine 64 Pro, rear exhaust Scythe Slipstream 800 rpm @ ~5 V


"SSD's: The difference between a casual jogger and a dog chasing a ball"


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:25 am 
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kuzzia wrote:
Can anyone of you who has bought the R3 (or the R2) tell me how much the vibration from the hard drive is reduced?

It is not mentioned in this review, and in the original review of the R2, Fractal apparently told SPCR that the rubber used in the reviewed example was not the same type as the one that was used in the retail version.

Thanks in advance.

Perhaps this information is not as widely disseminated as I believe: There are very few rubber grommets of sufficient mass/size to really stop HDD vibrations completely. It's hard to put a number to the vibration reduction, but if pressed I would guess 50% is the best we've seen, with the biggest softest HDD grommets used in cases. The silicone rubber ones used in the Antec P18x series probably ranks about the best... but there have been others that are similar, tho I can't say which ones off the top of my head. No HDD rubber grommets reach the anti-vibration effectiveness of the NoVibes -- or even better, home-made clothing elastic suspensions "fine-tuned" by ear to just the right amount of spring. The latter can stop all HDD vibration from reaching the case.

So getting back to your question... we don't think the grommets in the R3 are quite as good as the best, but they're OK, as far as grommets go. With a low vibration drive, they are probably good enough for most folks, but if seek noise/vibration bothers you, then SSDs or DIY elastic suspension of a HDD, perhaps inside a noise-blocking enclosure are the only options.

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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:19 pm 
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ok, thank you for the answer.

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Cooling: AC Alpine 64 Pro, rear exhaust Scythe Slipstream 800 rpm @ ~5 V


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:11 am 
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Pierre wrote:
Is rigidity and hdd decoupling at all improved with this new case, compared to its older sibling?

I can't compare it to the R2, but the case is pretty rigid, thanks to the noise-deadening panels inside.
HDD decoupling is pretty bad, but better than the average case.

kuzzia wrote:
A bit off topic but still on. Is it possible to suspend a 3,5" HD vertically or horisontally in the HD-cage in the R2/R3/mini?

Vertically? Yes.
Horizontally? You can, but the benefit will be minimal as there's very little room for the elastic to stretch.

My HDD is suspended in the optical drive bay, of which I'll upload a photo when my replacement VGA cooler arrives.
The GELID Icy Vision didn't make any contact with the GPU itself and one of the thin mounting screws broke off as I gently removed the cooler.
I cannot recommend this cooler to anyone looking for a decent product; get the Thermalright Shaman instead.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:26 am 
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ffha wrote:
The GELID Icy Vision didn't make any contact with the GPU itself and one of the thin mounting screws broke off as I gently removed the cooler.
I cannot recommend this cooler to anyone looking for a decent product; get the Thermalright Shaman instead.

We`ve installed & reinstalled our sample half a dozen times on different cards, and have had no similar issues with mounting -- other than it not fitting on cards that it was not meant for.

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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:56 pm 
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Any chance when you receive the Define Mini for the review, you could ask them if there would be more colour options like the R3 has, especially the Polar White.
Have asked them on their website a long while ago, but have not received a reply.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:52 pm 
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I just installed a 140mm fan in the top of my R3 case (blowing air IN) but the fan noise is very annoying. This is not due to it being a loud fan (it is no, completely silent) but seems to be caused by the grill pattern at the top. When I place my hand over it (or a very thin paper handkerchief), it gets a lot less noisy. Any idea how to fix this?


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:54 am 
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lapino wrote:
I just installed a 140mm fan in the top of my R3 case (blowing air IN) but the fan noise is very annoying. This is not due to it being a loud fan (it is no, completely silent) but seems to be caused by the grill pattern at the top. When I place my hand over it (or a very thin paper handkerchief), it gets a lot less noisy. Any idea how to fix this?


The top vents are meant to be exhaust not intake. Turbulence caused by air being pushed in in that area may be the cause of the noise you are describing.

If you are looking for positive pressure (= more air pushed in than is pulled out), you may want to have 2 intakes at the front (filtered) and leave the top vents fanless. If done right, positive pressure can lead to very good temps and as a bonus - a clean case. Just adding fans to the case typically just makes it louder. Think about air flow, not air amount.

Just my $0.02

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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 4:56 am 
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Ok thanks for the info. Just got myself a Corsair H60 too, maybe this will help too to keep the warm components inside the case to a minimum. Going to move the top fan back to the bottom, then I have 1x140mm sucking air in at the bottom, 1x120mm sucking air in at the front (top one) and 1x120mm sucking air out through the radiator.


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