Fractal Design Define S2 Review

👤by Vortez Reviews Comments 📅03-10-18
Closer Look (Externals)

The most immediate feature we see on Define S2 once it’s removed from the packaging is the large, seamless tempered glass panel. Fractal Design has engineered this panel to have resistance against scratches and it also has the added benefit of not requiring any surface sided bolts to fix it onto the chassis. Instead, there is a push-to-lock latching mechanism and two thumbscrews to lock the panel into place. Having an edge-to-edge panel like this means we can take advantage of a full preview of the internal components and show off the system.

Over on the other side we again have a push-to-lock latch mechanism with thumbscrews. This panel is completely solid and without any significant features – except on the inside, FD has attached a thin layer of noise damping material to keep noise down to a minimum.

In true FD tradition we have a brushed aluminium front panel which oozes that finesse we’ve become accustomed to throughout the Define series. While this panel appears to be completely closed off, there is ventilation down each side which allows cool air into the chassis. On the inside of this panel there is noise damping material and although there is no front mounted dust filter the cooling fans, the side ventilation has detachable filters instead.

Around the back, there is an opening for installing the PSU, seven horizontal PCI expansion slot covers with two vertical PCI expansion slot covers and a pre-installed Dynamic X2 GP-14 cooling fan which acts as a rear exhaust.

Up at the top we have the front panel connectivity which consists of the following:

• Headphone/microphone jacks
• Reset button
• USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port
• Power Button
• 2x USB 2.0 ports
• 2x USB 3.0 ports

This is one of the first cases we’ve seen arrive with a USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port and it’s something we very much welcome. Not only does this port offer up to 10Gbps transfer rates but it allows fast charging of mobile devices. To make use of this port, you will need to have a USB 3.1 header on your motherboard.

The Define series is well-known for its ModuVent design at the top of chassis and with Define S2 we have the third installment. The top section is completely sealed off when the top panel is fixed into place – this panel has noise damping properties which prevents noise from escaping. At the top of the back panel you’ll notice there is a large, black button – pressing this unclips the top panel and this can be lifted away from the chassis. The mechanism here uses a spring mechanism and works really well, it effectively means there are no screws to remove with such quite/easy access.

After the panel is removed we are left with a cooling bracket, which again can be removed if desired. Fans/radiators can be attached externally and then installed in one step later on. On this tray we have a dedicated fill port for custom watercooling loops – meaning there is no need to modify the case for such a configuration.

Additionally, at the top we can install 3x 120/140mm fans.

Cover the entire undercarriage of the chassis is a detachable dust filter – this filter is extracted from the front of S2 and needs to be removed in order to detach the front panel. This can be easily removed/cleaned when necessary and does not need the case to be on its side for successful removal.

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