Fractal Design Define C Review
Fractal Design Define C Review
Another member of fractal design Define family came to our test lab to show its features and muscles. Fractal Design Define C was release a while ago together with the Define Mini C case. Both are available with or without window side panel. We received the non-window version for our review. So let’s have a closer look at what’s inside the magic box. The packaging is standard cardboard with two Styrofoam holders.
After unboxing, every user will recognize that this case has all characteristics of Define case family. The minimalistic outside design with I/O on top-front with audio/mic plugs, reset, power button and two USB3.0 ports. The front panel features kind of “brushed aluminium imitation” finish. The vents are on both sides along the front cover. There are some other features which were also used by other Define cases. Let’s have a look at them.
Typical hollow case interior offers space for bigger graphics cards without any restrictions. Unfortunately, the PSU has only restricted space due to overall chassis dimensions and drive cages. So we would “as always” also here recommend to think twice before you start with your cable management. And use only so many cables you really need. The PSU is hidden behind a cover which features a mesh on top for a better air flow. Using a fanless PSU is also not a problem, as the vents will allow the heat to dissipate and so prevent against overheating. It also covers all cables keeping our build nice and clean looking.
Fractal Define C offers two 3.5″ HDD cages hidden behind the cover. You can slide the whole HDD cage closer to PSU if you need more space for 360mm radiator in front. You can also install 2.5″drives here as well. The cages features rubber spacers to eliminate vibration made by HDD. Also PSU sits on rubber spacers at the bottom.
The most important is, that this case can accommodate a fully sized ATX board. It offers 7 motherboard expansion slots. These are covered with typical fractal design white painted covers. One 120mm fan is pulling the air out of the case at the back. Its position can be slightly adjusted thanks to slotted holes. A dust filter at the bottom of the case is easy to remove and clean, by simply pulling it out.
As we can see there are no drive bays anymore in front which offers us some space for liquid cooling or radiator up to 360mm. After removing the front panel we have found another 120mm fan as intake. Of course there’s a dust filter as well. All cables are bound with velcro ties and cable holes are protected with rubber grommets. There’s a SSD holder mounted behind the mainboard tray cut-out for 3 SSDs. It’s easy to remove, should you need more access to mount a CPU socket backplate.
Also included are screws and some cable ties to help with cable management at the back.
The case is small, but still capable of small liquid cooled system integration. Although, for less experienced user, we would recommend to use AIO in this case.
- ATX, Micro ATX and ITX motherboard compatibility
- 7 expansion slots
- 2 – 3.5″ HDD positions; 3 – 2.5″ dedicated SSD unit positions
- 7 – Fan positions (2 Fractal Design Dynamic X2 GP12 120mm fans included)
- Filtered fan slots in the front, top and bottom (ejects from the front of the case)
- CPU coolers up to 170mm in height
- ATX PSUs up to 175mm deep
- Graphics cards up to 315mm in length with front fans mounted
- 15 – 35mm of space for cable routing behind the motherboard plate
- Velcro straps included for easy cable management
- Both side panels and rear HDD/SSD brackets feature smart captive thumbscrews
- Dense sound dampening material on front, left and right side panels
- ModuVent™ on top of case for further silent computing or additional ventilation
- Colours available: Black
- Case dimensions (LxWxH): 399 x 210 x 440mm
- Case dimensions – with feet/protrusions/screws: 413 x 210 x 453mm
- Net weight: 7.4 kg
- Package dimensions (LxWxH): 543 x 290 x 484mm
- Package weight: 8.9 kg
- Front: 3 – 120 or 2 – 140 mm fans (includes 1 Fractal Design Dynamic X2 GP12 fan)
- Rear: 1 – 120 mm fan (includes 1 Fractal Design Dynamic X2 GP12 fan)
- Top: 2 – 120/140 mm fan (not included)
- Bottom: 1 – 120 mm fan (not included)
- Dust filters: Bottom, top and front intakes
Water cooling compatibility – Radiators
- Front – 360, 280, 240, 140 and 120 mm. Max width 144 mm
- Top – 240 and 120 mm radiators. Max component height on motherboard 40mm
- Rear – 120 mm. Max width 125 mm
We found nothing critical to complain at all, as the case is a result of plenty years of experience and was designed on users feedback. It’s based on design of Define cases family. Overall build quality is at high level, no sharp edges at production issues. It was fun to build liquid cooled system inside for us, as we could easily remove part we didn’t need inside. For €77 for non-windowed version and €84 for window version, we can consider this as acceptable price. The case has earned our Gold Recommendation.
ATX, Micro ATX and ITX motherboard compatibility
Water cooling support
Limited space for cable management