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 Post subject: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:21 am 
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This seems to be the earliest review http://www.anandtech.com/show/6102/fractal-design-define-r4-case-review-evolution-not-revolution. There is also this one, in French, as translated to Googlish http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=fr&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.clubic.com%2Fmateriel-informatique%2Fboitier-pc%2Farticle-501716-1-fractal-design-define-r4.html.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:27 am 
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Official specs now on the Fractal Design website eg for Titanium Grey R4 http://www.fractal-design.com/?view=product&category=2&prod=100


Last edited by lodestar on Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:45 am 
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Youtube review here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS45Yhjj4bY. Another much longer video review, around 40 minutes, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NM81822_ag.


Last edited by lodestar on Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:58 am 
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Hmm, kinda interested in it. Currently have a P182... the move to 140mm fans and the easier worked inside sure calls to me. :P


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:21 am 
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Doesn't really do much for me bit Meh design wise.
I also think the cooling is OTT for most bar heavy overclockers. I've nowhere to put an internal card reader (I use 2 optical bays)
I'm sure it's decent enough and will do pretty well

Not exactly a major revolution though is it?


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:35 am 
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Mr Spocko wrote:
Doesn't really do much for me bit Meh design wise.
I also think the cooling is OTT for most bar heavy overclockers. I've nowhere to put an internal card reader (I use 2 optical bays)
I'm sure it's decent enough and will do pretty well

Not exactly a major revolution though is it?


I think it's great, everyone already loves the R3 and this is simply an improvement. I don't get the hate from sites like Anandtech. It's still $109 like the R3, fits larger fans and even something like an H100 at the front.

Seriously, how can you not love this?

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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:39 am 
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The update is nice - especially the removable drive cage.

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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:46 am 
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I almost want to give up my R3 for the R4. It sounds like it improves on a lot of little things.

I'm definitely excited for 140mm fan options. The wider case makes it easier to put on that side panel. The front fan filters pops off easily for clean up. Although probably not that important, I think the "secret" SSD mount is pretty cool.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:39 am 
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dontknow wrote:
Although probably not that important, I think the "secret" SSD mount is pretty cool.


Looks like an afterthought to me, but it's there if you need it. The motherboard has to be out of the case in order to install the SSDs in those positions, so quite a pain if you need to remove them for any reason. Also, how good of an idea is it to mount an SSD in a space within the case with no ventilation? I would have preferred to have additional tie-down points for cable management in that area of the tray.

The other changes look good. Did nobody notice the built in fan voltage control switch? Although, why a switch instead of a continuously variable dial?

My only reservations are

  • The overall size of what was already a large ATX case has increased (are 200mm fans next?). There has to be a limit to what is acceptable for a simple desktop PC. Apparently we've not quite reached that limit yet and/or cases like this are targeted at a relatively few enthusiasts.

  • Air intake design, while now it's much easier to clean the filters, hasn't improved over that of the R3 or Mini, even with the 140mm fans. I guess you need to 'encase' those fans to some extent if you want to control noise, but I think the way Fractal does it is beyond what is reasonable for effective cooling.

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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:43 pm 
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If only it had added a surprise like for instance a removable fan grill for the rear, but that's just me. Still a very sound development that didn't end up adding too much to the cost which is a critical point. The introduction price is pretty much the same as for the USB 3.0 version of the Define R3, which is now hard to beat in its range.

The SSD mounts on the motherboard plate are just there for free, a gift horse. Hardly anyone will need to use them, but they're a possible blessing for those who will. Is the R3 large for an ATX? I see so many that are bigger, even a few m-ATX cases like the P180 Mini rivals its volume. With a decent 140mm fan for rear exhaust that's the only case fan even most modern gaming systems would need, which I think is a lovely prospect.

I sigh when most reviewers don't look at the fans beyond that they're there. I can almost accept it when they bunch any kind and amount of "sound dampening material" together as one and the same because they have no idea what they're looking at. But by god say something about the fans.

Edit: A detail I didn't like to see was the strip of stamped holes in the top rear above the main exhaust. Though I don't care for the estethics of the rear side and can fix it with a strip of tape, it has no logical purpose that I can even take a wild guess at.
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:45 pm 
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The 140mm rear fan is an interesting choice. It can now fit the tallest CPU heat sinks.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:18 pm 
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mkk wrote:
Edit: A detail I didn't like to see was the strip of stamped holes in the top rear above the main exhaust. Though I don't care for the estethics of the rear side and can fix it with a strip of tape, it has no logical purpose that I can even take a wild guess at.


Right. I've never really understood passive venting like this when you have fans that are trying to generate directed airflow. Same thing with the vented slot covers and even the bottom fan opening, which isn't covered. At least the "moduvents" keep the usual side and top openings closed.

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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:52 am 
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Still the 550D > R4 imo :(


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:14 am 
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http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Fractal-Design-Define-R4-Case-Review/1600


mkk wrote:
Is the R3 large for an ATX? I see so many that are bigger, even a few m-ATX cases like the P180 Mini rivals its volume.


In my opinion, yes. Even too large, imho. My question would be: Which case(s), if any, will yield comparable temps and sound levels by using less volume? Assuming single gpu and a slight overclocking without upping voltage?


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:18 am 
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mkk wrote:
Is the R3 large for an ATX? I see so many that are bigger, even a few m-ATX cases like the P180 Mini rivals its volume. With a decent 140mm fan for rear exhaust that's the only case fan even most modern gaming systems would need, which I think is a lovely prospect.

232mm width and 523mm depth are huge.
What's the definition of a modern gaming system? mATX, 1x CPU, 1x GPU, 1x HDD, 1x ODD, 1x SDD?
Should be doable with < 350mm depth.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 12:39 pm 
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Olaf van der Spek wrote:
232mm width and 523mm depth are huge.

Well the 232mm width is partly explained by the 26mm available for cable management and given that the Antec Solo II for example is 205mm wide does not seem unreasonable. The 523mm depth is in fact the height, the depth of the R4 is 464mm. Again compare this to the Solo II which is 440mm in height and 470mm in depth.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:25 pm 
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The review on Anandtech is a bit surprising. It shows the 550D performing better than the R4. SPCR's Corsair 550D review shows it performs a bit worse than the R2. The R4 is basically the same case with 140mm fans so it should perform better than the 550D and R2.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:08 pm 
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While I find reviewing the cooling performance of cases outside a lab environment about as interesting as performance testing motherboards, I wouldn't be surprised if the opening above the rear exhaust is measurably detrimental to the general airflow through the case.

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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:29 pm 
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lodestar wrote:
Olaf van der Spek wrote:
232mm width and 523mm depth are huge.

Well the 232mm width is partly explained by the 26mm available for cable management and given that the Antec Solo II for example is 205mm wide does not seem unreasonable. The 523mm depth is in fact the height, the depth of the R4 is 464mm. Again compare this to the Solo II which is 440mm in height and 470mm in depth.

523mm is NOT the height. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:22 pm 
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mkk wrote:
While I find reviewing the cooling performance of cases outside a lab environment about as interesting as performance testing motherboards, I wouldn't be surprised if the opening above the rear exhaust is measurably detrimental to the general airflow through the case.

When someone here can get their hands on one, it would be great if they could do a comparison with and without that vent blocked off. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:17 pm 
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Olaf van der Spek wrote:
523mm is NOT the height.

Ooops sorry about that, yes are quite right.:D The depth I guess is dictated by the need to accommodate the longest high end graphics cards, so the R4 is probably more comparable with something like the P280 in that respect. The need to handle such lengthy video cards is presumably also the reason why the upper drive cage can be removed.

To me the main selling point of the R4 will be the retail price, in the UK around £80. There's nothing else to compete with it at that price point.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:57 pm 
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While I totally agree about the vent holes across the top back, and the vented PCI slot covers being unwanted, at least they have removed the 4 water cooling holes as well as the extra vent holes that were lower down on the back on the R3 and placed a vertical slot cover in that area instead. Overall, I think it is a much cleaner layout. And probably at least as easy to cover up if you wanted to.

The removable drive cage, wider width, and improved filters are three things I like a lot. The larger fans I'll like as long as they don't have any weird problems. The size isn't too much bigger, and apparently weight is actually down slightly from the R3. Which brings into question exactly how that was accomplished. Hopefully, not by using thinner gauge metal.

If the define mini was available in white, I'd have bought one already because I prefer a smaller case. But I think this R4 is going to be my next case anyway.


Last edited by toronado455 on Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:03 am 
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Lower weight ? Simple :
- the front panel fan mount is now a big plastic piece. In R3 there was some metal, even between the two fans. First source of weight loss.
- hard drive cages - before you had these huge vertical fixed mounts, one of them was long to have the cable routing holes at the back side. These are gone now, replaced by the removeable hard drive trays. Second source of weight loss.

These two by itself would explain the 0.2kg difference.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:07 am 
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faugusztin wrote:
Lower weight ? Simple :
- the front panel fan mount is now a big plastic piece. In R3 there was some metal, even between the two fans. First source of weight loss.
- hard drive cages - before you had these huge vertical fixed mounts, one of them was long to have the cable routing holes at the back side. These are gone now, replaced by the removeable hard drive trays. Second source of weight loss.

These two by itself would explain the 0.2kg difference.


Thanks. That makes sense. I just hope those changes don't compromise things structurally to the detriment of quietness.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:55 am 
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Fan were mounted on the plastic pieces before as well, it is just that they simply replaced two separate plastic fan mounts with one huge piece, and removed the bar between them and of course the material which would block a 14cm fan in R4 compared to the 12cm fan in R3. 14cm fan means less metal and more air :). The hard drive cages are simply smaller and less metal was used due the smaller size. And less metal means less weight. 200 grams is not a big change anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:30 am 
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lodestar wrote:
Ooops sorry about that, yes are quite right.:D The depth I guess is dictated by the need to accommodate the longest high end graphics cards, so the R4 is probably more comparable with something like the P280 in that respect. The need to handle such lengthy video cards is presumably also the reason why the upper drive cage can be removed.

Probably, but most people don't have such long videocards, hence the request for a more compact case.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:54 am 
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Olaf van der Spek wrote:
Probably, but most people don't have such long videocards, hence the request for a more compact case.


Let think about it. ATX board specification requires 24,5cm in depth. 3-4cm is needed for a bit over the ATX spec boards (EVGA Z77 FTW for example, which is 26,35cm) and for 90° SATA connectors = we are at 28,5cm now. 3.5" hard drives are 10-14,5cm depending on the orientation of the hard drive, so you are already at 38,5-43cm. Then you have the front fan, which is 2,5cm. And that means you are at 41-45,5cm. Define R4 is 46,5cm. Where do you want to save space then ? Sure, you could not have hard drive and 5.25" bays in the case, but that is not the point of this case. It is like asking why doesn't silverstone HTPC cages have 15 hard drive bays :D .


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:17 am 
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The R4 depth is 523mm...

My idea for a compact case would be to have 1x 5.25" above the board and 2x 3.5" below the board (next to PSU).
Then a depth of 350mm would still allow full length GPUs.
You'd also have unrestricted front to back airflow from 2-3x 120 or 140mm intake fans.

Quote:
Sure, you could not have hard drive and 5.25" bays in the case, but that is not the point of this case.

The R4 is ok, some are just requesting a more compact variant.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:51 am 
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But that is not the intent of this case and the market for such case is very small anyway. If you want to go small, you buy mATX or mITX cases.


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 Post subject: Re: Fractal Design Define R4 launches
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:12 am 
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faugusztin wrote:
... the market for such case is very small anyway.

Why's that?
Quote:
If you want to go small, you buy mATX or mITX cases.

Sure, but the Define Mini has a depth of 490mm too, so it's not that compact.


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