But, man, what were they thinking when they designed the front intake fans? (There are two 120mm fan positions, with one fan supplied in the upper position.) Can these things actually move any air? First, they're each behind a filter. That's fine. Then immediately in front of the filter is a slotted door that is at most 60% open. And then they're behind the completely solid front case door.
I just can't see the reason for the slotted inner doors in front of the filters. The front case door won't normally be left open, so they're really not needed for aesthetics, and all they can do is impede airflow and/or create air noise.
Then, there are nice big ventilation slots that run from top to bottom on either side of the front panel, but these are _behind_ the plane of the fan intakes and they don't even vent the small space between the front case door and the inner doors/filters.
I just don't get it.
I agree on the "fan doors". Their functionality is questionable and, considering the side vent design, almost completely aesthetic.
And speaking of the side vents, it's quite alright if they don't vent the "door chamber"; this avoids dust buildup and leaves a more pleasant exterior, unlike my old P180. Taking apart my Define Mini's front panel I can see the dust the intake filters are gathering has left but a faint trace on the fan doors, and piles in the "vent space". The vent-to-fan air path design seems a poor choice, but this is a compact case and Fractal decided to make this sort of compromise in place of something else (something smarter
, if we are being mean). The case is already quite long, so if another 10 mm was added for fan clearance, it would have made it a full 500 mm. More recessed fans would have pressed the HDD cages deeper inside and possibly in the way of long video cards, perhaps on top of the motherboard even - in the way of cable routing holes for sure.
The intake is my only major gripe with this case too, but so far it has provided adequate cooling and thus not been an actual problem. The poor intake is of course reflected in higher HDD temperatures in my case, with the 6400AAKS reaching over 40 °C on a regular basis (hovering around 42). In the previous P180 it would happily go about any business mostly under that figure, certainly so when not defragmenting etc.
Time will tell how the Fractal fans like the restriction. One of them had a rattle from the start, and it doesn't seem to get any better being stuck behind that awful little door.