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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 9:53 am 
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sneaker wrote:
Board is a DH67BL with an i5-2500K and Noctua NH-U9B SE2. The heatsink fan overhangs the two DIMM slots nearest the CPU, though my Kingston KVR DIMMs are pretty low profile and fit with plenty of room to spare.

Nice pictures!

Did you pick the 92 mm cooler model in case the 120 mm one wouldn't clear the side panel? I've got the bigger Noctua and the clearance is barely a few millimetres.

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Case: Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, 8 GB G.Skill DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, mx100 256 GB SSD, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky TKL, SteelSeries Sensei Raw, Synology DS213j 6 TB NAS
idle-load: CPU 32-44 °C @ 300/600-600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:29 pm 
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Das_Saunamies wrote:
Did you pick the 92 mm cooler model in case the 120 mm one wouldn't clear the side panel? I've got the bigger Noctua and the clearance is barely a few millimetres.


My initial preference was a Hyper 212 Plus but I read one user report that the fit was so tight it left impresssions in the side panel sound dampening material, despite Fractal's claim of compatibility with coolers up to 165mm height (the 212 Plus is 159.5mm high). I guess it could work but I wasn't comfy with it, and that ruled out pretty much every tower with a 120mm fan (though based on your report maybe it would have been fine). Considered Zalman's 150mm tower but it didn't have great low airflow performance in the SPCR review.

Can see there's ample of room at the top and rear for a big top-down cooler like the NH-C12P SE14, but I wanted to leave as much room as possible to allow for the option to use a fanless graphics card with an over-the-back heatsink. The DH67BL/NH-U9B combo leaves about 25mm between the bottom edge of the heatsink and top edge of the PCI-E slot. However, one unforeseen problem is the wires that hold the Noctua fan in place, which jut out and reduce the clerance to about 15mm near the right edge of the PCI-E slot.

The choice of CPU cooler was indeed the biggest pain when it came to selecting components due to the clearance uncertainties, and apart from that I don't like the idea of unwieldy heatsinks thanks to painful installation and removal experiences that are seared into my memory from over a decade ago, so I ended up going with the conservative option. These were some of the pics I'd found on the web while trying to make a guesstimate of clearances:

http://i.imgur.com/N7oV2.jpg

http://img651.imageshack.us/img651/417/dsc0389800px.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:25 pm 
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I should have specified that I only have the specs to judge clearance by. I put my case swap on hold because of my doubts.

At first I was confident the bigger Noctua tower would fit, but then I read negative experiences regarding real-world installations. It seems dB numbers aren't the only specs you can't trust. Glad I didn't make the plunge blind when I had doubts, as I'm not about to retire my old Noctua just to be able to use a new case. Strikes me as odd that the case design makes sure to allow for maximum-size video cards but not regular 120 mm CPU coolers, but there you go - still no perfect case to be found.

Thanks for the input!

_________________
Case: Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, 8 GB G.Skill DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, mx100 256 GB SSD, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky TKL, SteelSeries Sensei Raw, Synology DS213j 6 TB NAS
idle-load: CPU 32-44 °C @ 300/600-600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:39 pm 
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I just got my case and successfully moved my computer over. I can confirm that my Mugen 2 (158mm) does not seem to touch the foam on the side, as it doesn't leave any impressions. Because of the side vent, there is an additional block of foam there that juts out further into the case than the regular foam. I suspect this may affect the clearance of certain motherboard and cooler configurations (on the ASUS P8P67m I have, the heatsink location does not seem to overlap with the vent. If concern about the foam impacting the heatsink is a concern, I suppose one could remove the foam from the vent, as if to install a fan, but this would likely increase the noise from the system.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:26 pm 
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sneaker wrote:
Thought I'd throw my recently assembled system pics up since there were only a couple on the web when I was researching clearances etc prior to purchase. Nothing really special here but it's the first time I've assembled a full desktop since my Antec 3700-BQE based system eight years ago, so I was kinda excited about my little back-to-the-future journey after years with various SFF and laptop systems.


Pics are high res for those who like a good stickybeak. Board is a DH67BL with an i5-2500K and Noctua NH-U9B SE2. The heatsink fan overhangs the two DIMM slots nearest the CPU, though my Kingston KVR DIMMs are pretty low profile and fit with plenty of room to spare.

Idle temps after 24/7 running in 18-21C ambient temp with the Noctua and two front Fractal fans all at around 650 RPM are:

CPU: 33
PCH: 61
VR: 35
RAM: 34
HD0 (3.5): 30
HD1 (2.5): 26

It seems you didn't install the 2nd fan on the Noctua (rear). Any particular reason for that?
Did you use the low noise or ultra low noise adapters?


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:24 am 
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This is the exact case I was looking to buy for a Database Server I need to build for a personal project. For those that have it, any advice on particular HeatSinks, or can you give a better idea of clearance? I am going to attempt to run cooled solely by the exhaust fans (65W CPU, no Video Card) but have no idea what sort of Tower Cooler will realistically fit.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:45 am 
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Hi,

i currently own a lian-li 354 which has a very noise hard disk cages (is the only noise I heard from it and I tried to do some tweaking with no success) and i'm not able to leave it on during nights (it is placed a six metres from me). Is the defini mini more silent?

Regards

Ugo


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:47 am
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Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Chuu wrote:
This is the exact case I was looking to buy for a Database Server I need to build for a personal project. For those that have it, any advice on particular HeatSinks, or can you give a better idea of clearance? I am going to attempt to run cooled solely by the exhaust fans (65W CPU, no Video Card) but have no idea what sort of Tower Cooler will realistically fit.


We have now updated our specification to saying that the Define Mini officially supports tower coolers with 160mm height. We had 165mm before, but it will then conflict with the Moduvent w/ foam on the side panel. In some occurences, it is still possible to mount a cooler higher than 160mm, but we can't officially say it's so.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:30 am 
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Fractal Design wrote:
Chuu wrote:
This is the exact case I was looking to buy for a Database Server I need to build for a personal project. For those that have it, any advice on particular HeatSinks, or can you give a better idea of clearance? I am going to attempt to run cooled solely by the exhaust fans (65W CPU, no Video Card) but have no idea what sort of Tower Cooler will realistically fit.


We have now updated our specification to saying that the Define Mini officially supports tower coolers with 160mm height. We had 165mm before, but it will then conflict with the Moduvent w/ foam on the side panel. In some occurences, it is still possible to mount a cooler higher than 160mm, but we can't officially say it's so.


Thank you for the clarification, now we know for sure what configuration the design is meant for.

_________________
Case: Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, 8 GB G.Skill DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, mx100 256 GB SSD, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky TKL, SteelSeries Sensei Raw, Synology DS213j 6 TB NAS
idle-load: CPU 32-44 °C @ 300/600-600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:19 am 
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I've got the Define Mini with the stock fans, using the included fan controller. Running a Core i5-2500K at stock speeds and stock cooler, it's almost dead silent from a meter away. Thanks to the quiet case fans, the HDD bushings, and the bitumen coating, the stock CPU HSF is definitely the loudest thing in the case. I'm shoving a Cooler Master Hyper 212+ into it tonight, so we'll see how whisper quiet I can get this. I have a feeling that I wouldn't know that it's on without seeing the (very bright) blue light on the front. I think my only gripe is that the quality of parts of the front panel doesn't match the quality of the rest of the case, but that's minor. Bravo Fractal Design.

  • Fractal Design Define Mini Black
  • GIGABYTE GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core
  • COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Heatpipe CPU cooler
  • Antec TruePower New 650w ATX Power Supply
  • G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB PC3-12800 XMP 1.5V


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:42 pm 
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Posts: 63
Location: Seattle, WA
Chuu wrote:
This is the exact case I was looking to buy for a Database Server I need to build for a personal project. For those that have it, any advice on particular HeatSinks, or can you give a better idea of clearance? I am going to attempt to run cooled solely by the exhaust fans (65W CPU, no Video Card) but have no idea what sort of Tower Cooler will realistically fit.


I was reading over this looking for a case for my next build, and I happen to have experience in that area. I have run a 65w Pentium E5200 and Core 2 Quad Q8400 (95w!) in a NSK3480, with rear fan only (Scythe slipstream PWM). The CPU cooler I used was the Xigmatek HDT-S1283. I used the E5200 for over a year, not a single overheating issue, and I've had the Q8400 about 2 years, no heat issues even while gaming with a ATI HD4670 passive. This Fractal case has a much better airflow path, so I suspect it would do ok as well. They have some models designed for 120mm fans that are only 160mm high such as the HDT-S126384.

Here's the full setup for reference:
Nexus Value 430 (top bay, doesn't really affect CPU/GPU thermals)
Q8400 95w
Sapphire Ultimate 4670 (passive cooled) - former
Asus EAH6850 DirectCU (fan) - current
Scythe Slipstream 120mm rear fan - plugged into CPU's header in case things get hot
no front fan

The back fan definitely spins up when the GPU is running full throttle in games, but not during typical usage since the GPU is in power saving mode.

Upgrade I'm considering:
i5-2405s
keep ATI HD6850
Fractal R3 or mini - should be quieter with fewer leaks and more damping than NSK3480
MB - not sure
cooler - probably try stock cooler. From what I've seen, they're essentially silent as-is. If not, then I'll find a bigger tower and run fanless again

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Current build: Bitfenix Prodigy, Intel DH77DF, Core i5 3550, Antec Kuhler H2O 620, 2x8G Corsair XMS3, Samsung 830 & 840 SSDs, MSI GF750 Ti TwinFrozr, Nexus Value 430 power
Previous build: Q8400 passive with Xigmatek HDT-S1283, 8g Mushkin DDR2-800 5-4-4-12 @ 1.8v, Intel DG33BU, Sapphire HD4670 Ultimate passive, Antec NSK3480, Nexus Value 430, 1 Scythe PWM 120mm rear fan


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:04 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA
Newegg seems to be out of stock for the last few weeks. Does anyone know where I can find one in the USA?

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Current build: Bitfenix Prodigy, Intel DH77DF, Core i5 3550, Antec Kuhler H2O 620, 2x8G Corsair XMS3, Samsung 830 & 840 SSDs, MSI GF750 Ti TwinFrozr, Nexus Value 430 power
Previous build: Q8400 passive with Xigmatek HDT-S1283, 8g Mushkin DDR2-800 5-4-4-12 @ 1.8v, Intel DG33BU, Sapphire HD4670 Ultimate passive, Antec NSK3480, Nexus Value 430, 1 Scythe PWM 120mm rear fan


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:23 am 
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I can't wait to see a full SPCR review of this case. It may be the case which makes me NOT buy the Silverstone FT02. I love the concepts of FT02, but the Define Mini is half the weight, and I really don't think I need a full ATX MB. Hopefully Fractal Design will be sending a demo case ...
Speaking of which, is there any sort of 'coming soon' list of SPCR articles?


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:15 pm 
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Deactivated at Newegg? Glad I ordered mine as soon as they returned to stock this week.

Is this permanent Fractal Design?


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:07 pm 
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I really hope they get them back in stock. I got the autonotify email on Friday, didn't have a chance to order until Saturday AM and they were out of stock by then. And now marked deactivated :(


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:01 am 
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It's now back in stock at Newegg. They just ran out of stock for a short while. There's absolutely no plans to discontinue this product.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:03 am 
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Thanks for the reply :)

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:14 pm 
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Most mATX form factor motherboards have only two USB3 connectors, which are external ports located on the rear of the board.

The Fractal Define Mini has two USB3 ports on top. Is it possible to use those without having mid-board USB3 connectors?

Of the two builds described in this thread, both appear to use motherboards without mid-board USB slots. Do these systems have nothing connected to the top USB3 ports?

Is it possible to connect USB2 to those USB3 slots instead?


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:22 pm 
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Any plans on putting out a non-black version?


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:43 am 
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stylishpants wrote:
Most mATX form factor motherboards have only two USB3 connectors, which are external ports located on the rear of the board.

The Fractal Define Mini has two USB3 ports on top. Is it possible to use those without having mid-board USB3 connectors?

Of the two builds described in this thread, both appear to use motherboards without mid-board USB slots. Do these systems have nothing connected to the top USB3 ports?

Is it possible to connect USB2 to those USB3 slots instead?


In the top of Define Mini, it's 2x USB2 ports and 1x USB3 port.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:39 pm 
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Anyone know where to buy a Define Mini? newegg is out of them.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:24 pm 
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Posts: 1980
Location: Guatemala
mingus wrote:
Anyone know where to buy a Define Mini? newegg is out of them.
Maybe the Fractal Design Representative that has posted on this thread can help you, to my knowledge, for the US, the only place you can get it is Newegg, or if you can get Ncix to ship it from canada, Fractal Design Define Mini mATX Computer Case.

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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 Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:11 am 
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Sorry for slow reply. Define Mini is now on stock at Newegg.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:21 am 
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I have one sitting here :)

just trying to decide on the rest of the parts. the Gene Z motherboard looks nice, i'm not a gamer and would of preferred a PCI slot.

thanks again.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:58 am 
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Got my Define Mini recently.

A few observations:
  • Very precise work. No rough edges or brainfarts found, immaculate finish. Do not like superbright blue LED though, door should open 180 or even 270 degrees.
  • Weight is a good thing for silence, working compromise from mobility perspective (LAN parties). Panels feel like good acoustic elements, perform as such too.
  • Paint job excellent. Parts a bit stuck together until you move them in and out a few times. Black screw on black plate annoying to find, even when glossy on matte. White painted parts have nice texture and high quality feel.
  • Included screws are quality, no warped threads. Reusable zip ties too few and of inferior design though (hard plastic, tapering too wide, finicky release mechanism - need to be more elastic, tapered sharply, and quicker to release, see Antec Performance One series ties).
  • Very quiet out-of-the-box with the included fans.
  • Fits 158 mm high Noctua cooler as advertised, does cause mild paranoia when closing panel though.
  • And most importantly: no smells whatsoever.

This last observation may be related to my setup only, but I find that there is a distinct thrum on the ModuVent side of the case. It is the sound of mechanical HDDs, no question, but the ModuVent side is bleeding it out. The sound is completely missing in front of the case and makes a very muted return on the non-ModuVent side. The area where the sound is audible is also more limited on the non-ModuVent side, but this may be due to better soundproofing on that side lowering the volume more than anything else.

All in all an excellent, solid case. Specs in signature. Would recommend for most builds in mATx.

_________________
Case: Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, 8 GB G.Skill DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, mx100 256 GB SSD, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky TKL, SteelSeries Sensei Raw, Synology DS213j 6 TB NAS
idle-load: CPU 32-44 °C @ 300/600-600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:03 am 
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Das_Saunamies wrote:
All in all an excellent, solid case. Specs in signature. Would recommend for most builds in mATx.

It's nice, but it's so deep. I'd like to see a depth of around 35cm while keeping support for long GPUs.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:30 pm 
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Olaf van der Spek wrote:
Das_Saunamies wrote:
All in all an excellent, solid case. Specs in signature. Would recommend for most builds in mATx.

It's nice, but it's so deep. I'd like to see a depth of around 35cm while keeping support for long GPUs.


The Mini is indeed not the smallest of the mATX bunch, same problem the P180 Mini has. At least it's straightforward and easy to work in though, i.e. not a puzzle like the SilverStone TJ08 (385 mm for the E) and GD05 (325! mm). I'm sure we'll see more of Fractal in the future, maybe they'll go even smaller after this (sort of) in-between model. It's certainly doable.

_________________
Case: Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, 8 GB G.Skill DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, mx100 256 GB SSD, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky TKL, SteelSeries Sensei Raw, Synology DS213j 6 TB NAS
idle-load: CPU 32-44 °C @ 300/600-600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:22 am 
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Hi guys, I'm working on my first build since 2007 where I used a Antec Solo to pretty good success in getting noise down.
I am currently shopping between the Solo II and the Fractal Design Define Mini. The Fractal Design is about $30 cheaper locally.

Has anybody here cross-shopped the two?


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:48 am 
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Location: Sweden
Has anyone tried HDD suspension in the 3,5" bays!? Im going to buy this board with the Asus Gene Z mATX mb but hdd vibration might be a issue with the rubber gromets so im thinking of doing hdd suspension. Will the 3,5" bays work for this or is it too tight to get good decoupling from the frame/cage?


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define Mini
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:27 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:41 am
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Location: Denmark
AckeDman wrote:
Has anyone tried HDD suspension in the 3,5" bays!? Im going to buy this board with the Asus Gene Z mATX mb but hdd vibration might be a issue with the rubber gromets so im thinking of doing hdd suspension. Will the 3,5" bays work for this or is it too tight to get good decoupling from the frame/cage?


I've seen someone here at SPCR post pictures of hard drives suspended in the 3,5" bays. Look around and you'll probably find it. You could also use 2,5" bays or suspend the 3,5" drive in the 5,25" bay. Perhaps using an aftermarket suspension solution?

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Cooler Master Elite 341, Athlon II X3 425, Radeon 5750 (passive, fan zip-tied on), Crucial M4 64 GB.
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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