Case Layout and Details
The front, is a slick smooth surface, made out of aluminum.
At the very top, we find an activity light for when your SSD or mechanical drive is being accessed. The front also acts as a door to the case. With that, we have a 3.5mm headphone jack as well as a 3.5mm microphone jack. To the right of that, we find the small reset button then the larger Power button. Finally, we also find 2 x USB 2.0 and 2 x USB 3.0 ports.
If you would like to, you can add a USB type-C connection if you purchase the Fractal Design Connect D1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C Upgrade Kit. Sadly, it does not come included.
Pull on the door to the right and you find there is a 5.25” drive bay as well as a filter keeping dust out of the case as well as 2 x Fractal Design Dynamic X2 GP-14 140mm case fans.
A closer look at the inside. I am not a huge fan of the looks here, but the door would mostly not be opened unless you are trying to access you DVD/Blu-Ray drive and even though you might have one, how often do you use it?
Removing the grill, we can see the 2 included Fractal Design Dynamic X2 GP-14 140mm case fans. You can also remove those if you like user 120mm case fans or pop in a 120, 140, 240, 280 or 360mm radiator for some liquid cooling.
The rear of the front panel is covered in this high-density industrial noise dampening material to help keep things nice and cool.
When I received the case, the door opened from right to left, making the front a little awkward. since you have the window facing you but why would the door open the other way? With most cases you are stuck with that, and maybe you have grown complacent with that but yet again, Fractal’s got you covered.
Removing these screws on the top and bottom of the door, allows us to remove the door.
This is with the front panel removed, the we can switch which way the door swings open.
This is what it looks like with the door opening from right to left. Some may prefer it this way, but I like it the other way. It is great that Fractal gives you that option.
One last thing about the front panel is that each side has these vents to pull cool air through.
Let’s pull open the side panel. First opening it, I thought the case was warped, or some how damaged during shipping but Fractal has a different method of keeping the side panels on.
The side panels have these letting pegs.
On both sides of the case, one on the top and one on the bottom where the pegs fit into locking them in place.
The pegs are great because in most cases when you unscrew the screws that hold the side panels in place, the side panels just fall off, so you better make sure you are holding on to them. In this case, you have to prey the doors off, its not very difficult to pull them off…. when you know they are there. When I did the unboxing I fought with it a little because I was not sure these were here.
Removing the tempered glass side panel, we have the inside of the case. Let’s get a little closer.
I removed the Fractal Design logo side panel covering the Modular Storage Plate where the drive trays latch on to. Here you can see 4 of the drive trays of which we will see when we get to the other side of the case. Below that there are 2 more trays, but you cannot see them here.
A few more things to take note on this picture is that here it shows the 5 rubber grommets that can be used for cable management. There is also the opening behind the motherboard tray so that you can easily install the rear panel for the CPU block if you are installing a liquid cooing unit, and even some air-cooled CPU. heatsinks. Not as noticeable, we can see the spots for the 2 rear 2,5” drive trays, but we will look into them more when we look at the other side of this case.
Panning the shot down a bit, we can see the top of the power supply shroud. It is vented, to aid in pushing some air through if you were to be utilizing a 120mm up to 140mm case fans or a 120, up to a 280mm liquid cooling radiator.
The PSU Shroud allows you to also move the 2.5” trays behind the motherboard on house the tray on top here. The bottom right rubber grommet opening and the rectangle opening on the power supply shroud on the left, unlike most other openings on power supply shrouds is close to the motherboard tray which is great in case your motherboard has a 90° angled connector. This also lets you sneak in front panel I/O cables to connect, hiding pesky cables out of sight.
Moving around towards the back of the case, ever thing looks pretty normal. We can see the case includes a rear Fractal Design Dynamic X2 GP-14 140mm case fan, you can change it to a 120mm if you like. You are also able to fit in there a 120mm radiator for liquid cooling. Have you seen it yet, if not, lets get a little closer.
To the left of the 7 expansion slots, we can see 2 vertical slots. Yes, 2 Vertical Slots Compatible w/ Fractal Design Flex VRC-25 PCIE x16 Vertical GPU Riser Kit. You need to buy the rise kit separately but you don’t need to modify your case if you want a vertical card.
The motherboard tray comes pre-installed with 9 motherboard standoffs. Make sure to remove extra standoffs if you don’t have an eATX or ATX motherboard.
On the center, to the right of the legend, Fractal includes this special standoff. This standoff, instead of having threading for you to insert a screw, if reversed so that it can stick out of your motherboard and help you place your motherboard in its correct spot. Fractal did not create this idea, but the case is full of great ideas so far.
Skipping the rear right now and moving to the other side of the case. I did not include the side panel because it is a solid panel, nothing amazing about it but there are sure a lot of things here.
Let’s start off here. These are the 2 removable 2.5” drive trays. You can place 2 x 2.5” drives here but removing them, you can move them over the power supply shroud as well.
To the left of the 2.5” trays we have this. Fractal includes these branded Velcro straps for some cable management because they know, the little things count. We have a few cables coming down into there, let’s see where those cables come from.
The cable came from the PWM Fan Hub that Fractal calls their Nexus+ Smart Integrated PWM Fan Hub.
You can connect 6 3-pin fans on the left-hand side and you can connect 3 x 4-Pin fans to the ones on the right. The 6 x 3-Pin fan headers will make each fan run at 100 percent and the PWN fan headers will let your motherboard regulate those speeds by your configuration in the BIOS. How does it know what the BIOS is saying and where does the power come from to power the fans?
Great question. Those 2 cables you saw that came from the Nexus+ Smart were the SATA power connection and the 4 Pin PWN fan header. With this, connecting a SATA power connection from your power supply will power the fans and the PWM regulation will come when you connect that fan header to one of the 4 PIN headers on your motherboard. Fractal recommends you connect it to the CPU_FAN header. Afterwards, how you regulate that fan header is up to you and how you configure your BIOS.
Here, we have 6 x removable 2.5”/3.5” drive bays.
4 on the upper portion of the case.
To the right of that, we are underneath the power supply shroud. You can fit up to a 300mm power supply here.
The ruler is 12 inches and you can see a little more space than 300mm (11.81 inches) but you need somewhere to put the cables.
These rubber pads help keep some space between the power supply fan on the bottom portion of the case then also help to reduce the noise a power supply fan would make. You can also see the filter
Moving to the bottom of the case, we can see the feet provide over half an inch of space between the bottom of the case and the surface of where you would place the system. The more space, the better so the power supply can breathe.
Looking underneath this case, we can see the bottom is covered almost completely with a removable filter.
Here is a picture of the filter being slid out, you can completely remove it as well. This not only comes in handy to clean the filter if there’s dust blocking the power supply but remember, you can also place a 120, 140, 240, or 280mm radiator there too.
Jumping to the top of the case, we find the hidden 3rd Generation ModuVent panel.
To open up the ModuVent, push this button and the top panel pops open.
This is what the ModuVent3 cover looks like removed. Like the other dust filters, this is a washable filter.
Up here you can fit radiators from 120mm up to 420mm with a Max 35mm motherboard component height. The circle is a fill port allowing you to fill your custom liquid cooling unit’s reservoir if you don’t have a sealed unit.
This photo, curtesy of Fractal Design shows you the case blown up with all of the pieces in this case.
With all that, we need to see how a computer fully built looks like. Let’s check it out in this next section How to build a PC inside of the Fractal Design Define R6 Black TG case and testing.