Simple, expansive elegance, Fractal’s best case yet is gorgeous, spacious and quiet.
It’s no secret that a number of our 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 naughties, 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 extra-long 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 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 for 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.