Fractal Design Define R4 Review

👤by David Mitchelson Comments 📅17-09-12

The front of R4 features a front panel door which is plastic and with brushed aluminium appearance. This door closes off the front, adding more noise damping to maintain silence. At the very top is the activity LED (emits a blue glow when powered).

Around the back, the bottom has an opening for mounting a PSU. Above this there are 7x PCI expansion slot covers which have been powder coated white and have ventilation slots. Immediately right, there is another PCI expansion slot cover – this is vertically aligned and can typically be used to install a fan controller. Above this there is a 140mm rear exhaust fan (R2 Silent Series – 1000RPM), there are also mounting holes for a 120mm fan if this sized fan is preferred. Above this there is a honeycomb mesh section to assist with more heat dissipation.

The front and back of R4

Opening this front door reveals a thick layer of foam padding to further aid sound damping. This foam hasn’t just been stuck to the panel but carefully design, placed and fitted. There are magnets at the top and bottom of the door causing the door to move into the closed position adequately. On the inside, we now have access to 2x 5.25” drive bay covers which are removable from the front via a latch and beneath this there is a large ventilated panel covering the majority of the front of R4.

Immediately next to the 5.25” bays is a switch allowing cooling fans to run at 5v, 7v and 12v.

Pressing two points located at the top of this panel allows it to drop down, giving access to an adapter which can accommodate dual 140mm cooling fans. Fractal Design include a single 140mm fan (R2 Silent Series – 1000RPM) – no screws need to be attached, this bracket uses strong magnets to fix them into place. With the front teaming up with intake fans this bracket also has removable dust filters so keep things nice and tidy. So far, I really like what Fractal Design have done here and the lengths they have gone to in order to give a comprehensive product in the R4; this is certainly not slapdash.

R4 door open

Cooling fan adapter with dust filters

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