Review Fractal Design Define R5

Review Fractal Design Define R5

Unspeakably tired of coming in the nonstop mode of countless (and, unfortunately, more often “faceless”) tablets, phones, smart watches and other gadgets censorship, which now produce almost all and sundry. I was very pleased to be able to play with something new almost all steel body miditower-Define R5 from the infamous Swedish company Fractal Design. According to manufacturers, Define R5 is a logical continuation of the predecessor and modified R4, and this is what the body soup I’ll tell you in this review.

Well, let’s start. About box is nothing particularly telling: simple, not catchy box with 2 notches on the sides and a schematic representation of the body, the assembly model and other informative component at the ends.

Inside the box was a standard body wrapped in plastic and tightly held by two straps and foam (as it’s mostly the case) is located in the front panel upward.

In addition to the housing in one of the 3.5-inch slot a box of screws required for mounting and ties (5 pieces) for wires. Just somewhere in the bottom of the box from the body, we find instructions (User Guide) for the assembly of components and other technical and instructive information with excellent drawings, in which individual parts for clarity highlighted.

The developer has provided the opportunity to choose between three colors: black, white and gray (to be more precise, the Black Pearl, Arctic White and Titanium Grey, respectively), as well as the possibility of observing the Finn during operation (with or without a window on the side panel) . In my case it would be “Black Pearl” without viewing window and ask for comments in the style of Pirates of the Caribbean.

Review Fractal Design Define R5

In order examine the body from all sides, and then look inside.

On the front side there is a door that is (initially) hanging on the hinges on the left, but the “flick of the wrist” (swap the two clamps, each of which is secured by a screw) you can change the position of the design of the suspension on the right side.While the removable part of the hinge allows you to change the direction of the door opening, non-removable part of the role played by the latches. Tolley as a consequence of the choice of such a design mechanism, in consequence felts build quality and materials (and maybe both), but the opening and closing of the door does not require a lot of efforts and will not emit loud sounds unpleasantly. Outside the door mat and therefore not afraid of fingerprints. Inside the door is with sound insulation.

Over the door is a two plugs 5.25-inch slots (non-vented) with comfortable latches, removable dust collection filter grille front fans on one latch, three-position switch fan speed controller, as well as the extraction handle “over” (which, incidentally, very convenient) lattice filter located along the bottom of the housing.

After removing the front filter our eyes the regular, low-noise, 140-mm fan Fractal Design Dynamic GP-14. Its maximum speed is at around 1000 rev / min, no backlight, but there are the traditional buildings of the company’s white color. The fan is located in the upper seats, and a second such fan included is the long screws (120-mm fan attached with screws, which must be purchased separately).

As can be seen from the above – front fans are accessible without opening the housing. Fans can be connected to the motherboard as well as to the existing state governor in the housing with three-position switch. You can connect up to three fans, he is connected to the power supply connector SATA-male, and fans to him – a standard three connectors.

Review Fractal Design Define R5

When the door closed on the sides, the entire height of the housing made air intakes. Spectacular they outwardly, while the air intake hinder rather than vice versa (not essential). Filtration of air they do not affect. Complements this design with a door and “air intakes” control panel, located on the top edge at a slight angle to the top of the housing.

In the center is a large button Power. Pleasant in the press and with a fairly large free lift that (apparently) should in some way to prevent tripping against accidental contact.

Power is left of such a small button Reset, press that it will only be something thin (like a pencil), and not with your finger.Rounding out the panel on the left has all the usual audio connectors “headphone – microphone.”

The right of the Power connector find two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports of the same color. Transverse and spacing of 9 mm allow seamlessly connect devices of different sizes.

Separate indication colored blue has two LEDs and exits through a single optical fiber on the front panel, as well as highlighting some key Power.

The whole front panel is attached to the body of a six round plastic latches. Completely remove the panel will be difficult, because they will interfere with the wiring harness, driven to the buttons at the top and connectors. In defense of this shortcoming and looking ahead, you can use the fact that the body is made constructively so comfortable, when access to all the nodes of the system easily possible at any time and without dismantling the front panel.

Continuing the idea of maximum soundproofing, developers are not spared and the top cover. In the Define R5 were used advanced plate ModuVent ™ (proprietary patented technology from Fractal Design for installation of components with high heat), the outside covering of “corrugated” ventilation openings. All three of them – all under the same 140 – 120 – mm fan.Air filtration is not provided, so when you open the upper plugs opens the way clouds of dust into the holy of holies.

Review Fractal Design Define R5

In the same vein is made and the left side panel of the case: here is pasted inside a special noise removal “rubberized” fabric and a hole under the 140 – 120 – mm fan firmly (on four screws) closed a removable cover, do everything on the same technology ModuVent ™.

Attaching the wall to the body is made not on a “groove – comb” and a U-shaped punching, playing the role of a loop or implied, that the opening panel does not happen “shift” and “rotation”.

Speaking on the left sidebar I can not say about the mechanical latch behind that captures the panel at three points (top, bottom, center) and thus does not allow this panel fall wash away \ open at otkruchennyh cogs. Looking ahead, I will say that perhaps because here and there so that the latch – just for fastening of the left sidebar (and even a couple of places) using conventional screws, whereas in the majority developers have provided the opportunity to use special “do not fall off” cogs.They simply left hanging in the same place after being unscrewed, the solution is excellent, we just forget about the sunset do not understand where the cogs.

The right side panel is held on the above “does not fall off” cogs and of course inside pasted special noise removal “rubberized” fabric. As with the left side wall to the fastening body is made according to the same principle (U-shaped loop).

Review Fractal Design Define R5

Behind our tower see another regular 140 mm (similarly in the front) fan, removable reusable seven caps for the expansion card (attached thumbscrews) and the hole for the PSU.

Bottom of the case is a “corrugated” across the board “length” of the body with seats for fixing two 140 – 120 – millimeter fans, as well as a place for the installation of the PSU. Just repeat, along the bottom of the grill is removable dust collection filter, which can be easily removed “over” from the front of our miditower with the door open (which is very, very convenient).”Relies» Define R5 on four legs with rubber pads for shock absorption and vibration damping.

With an external examination of the body finished. Open the left side panel and see what exactly are the Nordic our friend inside.

Perhaps the first thing that caught my eye – white slides, so that this part and start. 3.5 and 2.5 – inch hard drives HDD / SDD installed using the slide in a removable basket, made in a modular fashion. Modularity is that the basket consists of two parts 3 and 5 under storage, respectively. Between a “podkorziny” connected guides, and suspended to the body from top to similar guides and on the right side mounted above the “miracle-cogs”.

When this is realized both longitudinal and transverse placement. All fasteners are universal, basket can be placed in any arrangement. The only thing that you will not work – is to change the basket places, since Triple frame is simply no special hardware, which would be entered into the upper guide grooves. As mentioned in the beginning of the review, on a basket for storage is the case under optical drives with two 5.25 – inch slots. Drives are mounted on both sides of the thumbscrews, which included eight pieces.

Review Fractal Design Define R5

When you cross the upper basket arrangement of disks is enough space to be able to use SATA-cables with straight connectors, and the maximum length of the video card becomes equal to 310 millimeters (as when removing the basket or the location of the bottom – so at least all 440 millimeters). Moreover, the upper body with a 3.5 – inch slot is also easy to dismantle, which gives more options for the use of internal space. For example, thanks to this “ability” developers have provided us with the opportunity to establish your liquid cooling system in the best way in a given situation. It’s like a game designer, since [all kinds of layout] + [attachment] + [space] + [provided channels] enable us to establish:

  • Front – 360, 280, 240, 140 and 120 mm radiators; 
  • Top – 420, 360, 280, 240, 140 and 120 mm radiators (developers called restriction 55mm thickness for both the radiators, but the place, if desired, will last for more …) 
  • Bottom – 240, 140 and 120 mm radiators; 
  • Rear – 140 and 120 mm radiators. 

In addition, there is a niche between the reverse side of the motherboard and the left side of the system unit, which can run as cables, pipes and the liquid cooling system – it is not only provided for processing windows, but with a gap of 20-35 mm in between the vertical surfaces . The manual, which is attached to the body, is very detailed and easy to understand and in pictures, as we like to show options for layout liquid cooling system (and, in principle, all installation options that can be set only in case).

Sami sled for HDD / SSD entirely of metal, including the handle latch. Fixing them in the basket pretty well, but it is possible, if necessary, also fasten the screw. 3.5-inch drives are attached to the sled through rubber dampers special screws (and those, and others included 32 pieces, that is, for all eight seats). But the rubber washers to 2.5 dyumovyh drives and additional fans this time considered superfluous.

It is worth noting that this design does not provide a normal slide removal of heat from the body 3.5-inch disk, the lower part of the store (where the electronic components) is obtained by a continuous closed lower plane of the slide. Therefore, in terms of cooling such drives have to rely mainly on the fan wheel.

Located below the seat in the form of four-feet of rubber gaskets for the installation of the PSU. For “exit” for BP expanses housing usually intended hole in the wall of the housing with the connector (screw) without any cushioning pads (to be honest it is strange that they are not). Due to the structural features and corrugated bottom with mesh filter imposes no restrictions on the location of the PSU (ie, both up and down the fan). Regarding the dimensions, may then Define R5 to shelter BP length 170 – 190 mm to 300 mm, depending on the presence of the lower fan.

Angle to the inner wall “50 points plus Gryffindor” (thickness 0.7 mm and which will later be mounted motherboard) and a carrier baskets is “Front” with two holes for the cable wires to facilitate connection of devices reduces the degree of kinking and damn tasty look. The same hole (different in size) are at the top (2 pieces) and the bottom (1 pc), all the same inner wall. As is usually the case, the holes have rubber plug-lining was cut with petals that only adds structural integrity, aesthetic appearance and ergonomic use.

In addition to the wire hole on the inner wall there is a large window provided (primarily) to improve the usability of the CPU cooler.

To the inner wall of the motherboard mounted on the customary hexagonal pillar, of which only one is installed with a special projection. Another eight pieces have included accessories. The chassis can be mounted mainboards ATX format and more compact versions. As for the graphics card, when disposed transversely upper half baskets maximum length is 310 millimeters devices, and when you remove the basket – increased to 440 mm “Go, find another like that!”.

If you open the right-hand wall of the housing, everything on the same side under the motherboard we find two nice features.Firstly, it is immediately struck by two removable fixing a 2.5 – inch SSD (thus has increased the number of seats under the HDD / SDD in a basket with 8 to 10). They represent a metal plate with holes in the corners of the screw to secure it to the drive. The plate itself is bent on the sides, which creates an air gap “plus 30 points to Gryffindor! I’m sorry could not resist “between the drive and the wall on which to work the system board. Moreover, on the wall itself stamping embossed place in which to be attached our SDD, which increased air gap and usability. On the right side fastening ends with two petals, which are inserted into a special slot in the wall, and on the left side – lobe with the screw hole. Thus were achieved: the convenience of working with hard drives, elementary dismantling (replacement) drive, free access to the drive.

Second, the three “simple but comfortable” Velcro cable. What the say, it’s convenient, it’s beautiful, it’s “web of wires say: not this time!”, This thank you. Incidentally, these mounting are aligned with the aforementioned corner post with holes for leading cables inside the housing, and means are wires that are collected inside the housing will go directly from the main harness, without branches apart.


On examination of the body finished. You can take the tests. To test, I used the following system:

  • CPU:Intel (R) Core (TM) i7-3820, 3.60 GHz, 4 Cores, Sandy Bridge – E, SSE4.2 with FSB 100 MHz;
  • GPU:AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series;
  • OS:Windows 7 x64 build 7601;
  • HDD:WD1002FAEX-00Z3A (1000 GB).

The tests were conducted first in one of the buildings with three firms ZALMAN cooler, then the system going easy on the desktop, and only then – in the case of Fractal Design Define R5 (with two factory cooler). The tests were conducted on the CPU, GPU and HDD and below I present the corresponding results.


To check CPU I used a program OCCT. Results of testing for the sides of the body (ZALMAN), without housing (cooling) tower and Define R5, respectively (top to bottom) are shown below.


To test the GPU, I used a program FurMark. In Benchmark + Fullscreen mode without smoothing and smoothing (8X MSAA) in the shell Define R5 obtained the following results:

In the case Define R5 C 33 0 C to 69 0 C GPU with anti-aliasing (8X MSAA) warmed over 400.9974 seconds. Without housing GPU «passed this way” for 319.1400 seconds. Below is a graphical representation of test results GPU.


To check the HDD I used the program HD Tune Pro. Results of testing systems differ very slightly (if not long-term tests) and fluctuations in temperature is + – 1 0 C.


In conclusion, I will try to be brief. Fractal Design Swedish company released a very, very worthy product. I can not say about the “best of the best”, but Define R5 – a serious competitor on the market buildings that can not be ignored. Quality assembly, smooth face, a lot of pleasant things, as well as opportunities ergonomic interior space of the tower is more than cover those minor flaws that I could find. Rather massive nordic friend showed good (closed top and side covers, and only two factory cooler) the results of testing the system and deserved, in my opinion, a solid top five.

Source: Fractal-design

Review Fractal Design Define R5 updated: April 5, 2015 author: John Malkovich