Frac­tal De­fine R6

Sim­ple, ex­pan­sive el­e­gance

PCPOWERPLAY - - Contents - PRICE $ 209 frac­tal-de­sign.com

It’s no se­cret that a num­ber of PCPP writ­ers are fans of Frac­tal cases and have them for their per­sonal machines. In many ways, Frac­tal cases oc­cupy the same space that Lian-Li cases did in the early noughties, of­fer­ing beau­ti­fully built en­clo­sures with plenty of space to build in and a clean, min­i­mal­ist aes­thetic that looks great in an un­der­stated way. The De­fine R6 is the lat­est in the De­fine line, and we can safely say that it’s quite pos­si­bly their best so far. Stand­ing at just over 50cm high, the De­fine R6 comes in a few dif­fer­ent flavours – black, white and gun­metal, each with the op­tion of a tem­pered glass side panel. The ver­sion re­viewed is black with a tem­pered glass panel, but aside from the out­side colour and whether or not you can see in­side the case, ev­ery­thing else re­mains the same.

The case may look rel­a­tively small, but there’s room for ev­ery kind of mobo up to and in­clud­ing EATX, as well as am­ple cool­ing. There are three fans built into the chas­sis – two at the front and one at the back, but there is space at the front for up to two more fans, the top panel can be re­moved to pro­vide ven­ti­la­tion for a liq­uid cool­ing ra­di­a­tor or more fans. The HDD bays are re­mov­able to make even more room for an ex­tra ra­di­a­tor or ex­tra­long GPUs. The bot­tom of the case can also house more 120mm or 140mm fans de­pend­ing on the size of the PSU in­stalled. That said, un­less you’re look­ing at some se­ri­ous over­clock­ing, then the stan­dard ar­ray of fans plus CPU cool­ing should be more than suf­fi­cient for the rig.

The front panel fea­tures two USB 3.0 slots, two USB 2.0 and au­dio jacks. The front face is a big slab of metal sur­rounded by a very thin plas­tic bezel. It can be opened to ac­cess op­ti­cal drives, the op­tional I/O panel, or so the fil­ter fab­ric can be cleaned. There is also an op­tional PCI-E riser avail­able to side­ways mount a GPU if you have a han­ker­ing to show it off. Al­though not the qui­etest of cases around, the De­fine R6, thanks to the steel and alu­minium con­struc­tion as well as some sound-proof­ing ma­te­rial still runs nice and quiet. It’s hard to hear any­thing at all when it’s idling, and the sound of gam­ing will eas­ily drown out any noise that es­capes un­der load. Sand­wiched be­tween the back of the case and the side panel is space for some ex­cel­lent ca­ble man­age­ment, and some in­cluded Vel­cro strap­ping negates the need for any ca­ble ties or any­thing like that. Both side pan­els

it may look small, but there’s room for ev­ery kind of mobo in­clud­ing EATX, as well as am­ple cool­ing

are at­tached with thumb­screws, but un­less the case is trav­el­ling, the pan­els latch into place with­out the need for any ad­di­tional fas­ten­ing.

There are other, cheaper Frac­tal cases on the mar­ket, in­clud­ing the ex­cel­lent De­fine R5, but f or the price, the R6 of­fers am­ple build space, some fan­tas­tic sound damp­en­ing, more than enough room for ex­tra cool­ing, and min­i­mal­ist looks that will never be any­thing but stun­ning. DANIEL WILKS

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