Review: Fractal Design Define 7 XL chassis

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. Hilbert Hagedoorn

    Hilbert Hagedoorn Don Vito Corleone Staff Member

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    A divine redesign, meet the all-new Fractal Design Define 7 XL, an all-black, cool and silent PC housing for a wide variety of motherboards. This product is made with airflow and liquid cooling in min...

    Review: Fractal Design Define 7 XL chassis
     
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  2. clamatac

    clamatac Active Member

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    thanks for the review

    Fractal chassis are my favorite ones for their classical design
     
  3. Kaarme

    Kaarme Ancient Guru

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    They are pricing themselves out of the market. I hope it works for them if they want to go premium and forgo regular people. I bought my Define 6 from the Black Friday sales for 99 euros, but I wouldn't have paid the 150+ euros for a Fractal case that they are going to ask for the most basic model of this new 7 series, according to the table. This is actually my fourth Fractal Design case, so that tells something about how much I've liked them, but I don't like them enough to pay more than what is reasonable.
     
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  4. ontelo

    ontelo Active Member

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    I don't like the size growing trend with this line. Compare for example R6 and R2, latter looks like matx compared to R6
     

  5. tsunami231

    tsunami231 Ancient Guru

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    Look damn nice, but that price on there stuff keep raising the R5 when I got it was on sale for 89 but was regularly like 140+ Love my R5 but it has it drawbacks only 2 spots to mount SSD and the limited number fans it controller can use. and I find something in case is now make humming noise that pulsating, but I think it might be from the psu or something on mother board, cant be fan cause it stops instantly when system is shutdown.

    I buy it with the solid side if and when i make new pc. but damn those prices 159 at lowest and 210 at max? for those prices it better make sure any and all noise or vibrations cause of components are silenced and or not amplified by out parts of case. and good air flow which what R5 is now doing, which was never there if i take that top panels off case that hum i hear is pretty much gone. put back on and it amplified

    Food for thought they need to pack these in something better then cardboard these case are not light, When I original bought my R5 I had to RMA twice once cause side of case was bashed in and 2nd time cause slot plates were bent along huge crack in front cover. and card board box had holes and tears in it
     
  6. Netherwind

    Netherwind Ancient Guru

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    Great case with good build quality, tons of customization, some clever features and a...ridiculous price tag. On top of that cooling performance is quite bad although it's not really marketed as an airflow case.

    I don't buy Fractal Design no more due to them charging so much for their cases when there are better alternatives out there. I still got the Define S cause it's performing damn well but my next one won't be FD for sure.
     
  7. screwtech02

    screwtech02 Master Guru

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    The top "mesh" panel grey, or black?? Hard to tell in pics.

    nvmnd, found pic on their site.
     
  8. Kaarme

    Kaarme Ancient Guru

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    It doesn't matter what the box is made of if someone drives a forklift fork spike through it. What else could damage it so much? The case isn't touching the inside surface of the cardboard box, which is the most important detail. So, if something merely cuts the cardboard, it doesn't yet damage the case itself.
     
  9. bobblunderton

    bobblunderton Master Guru

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    I love my huge Define case and the somewhat similar chassis to the old Arc XL case.
    I specifically bought a scratch and dent model 2nd hand off someone both times, as the cases are normally out of my price range.
    Got a new Fractal Mid-tower from someone who cancelled a system build.
    Love all of them. This one without a side panel window, to hide all the 'alternative night club disco-tech' stuff, and sound-deadening for sanity sake, is GREAT. I think it's a Define something, it's full tower sized. I love it. Would entirely get another as it has room for optical drives yet (yes, I still use them, sheep might not, but I certainly do and have a lot of old games I don't plan on re-buying on CD/DVD).
    LOTS. OF. ROOM. For my almost-40-year-old man-hands. I can put them in the case to do what I need without disconnecting everything, and not look like I was juggling cactus and multiple angry rabid porcupines in the same scene.
    They're up there around Lian-Li quality without quite the price, and so long as it's 150$ or less, I'd grab another full-tower from them.
    I won't be paying 200$ or more for one, or even 170~180$, I have my limits. There's only so much I'll pay for a case.
    For 200$+ though, you might as well take up a new hobby of giving annoyed house cats some mullets.
     
  10. vbetts

    vbetts Don Vincenzo Staff Member

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    Okay but....What's your point?
     

  11. wavetrex

    wavetrex Maha Guru

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    FD has the "Meshify" series for max airflow - For serious gamers with powerful components
    https://www.fractal-design.com/products/cases/meshify/

    Define are about silence and computers that supposed to work 24/7 (or a long time) without destroying your sanity (like my home servers and workstation).
    https://www.fractal-design.com/products/cases/define/

    They also have a "bling-bling" all glass RGB case in the shape of "Vector" (I wouldn't buy it because it really chockes airflow)
    https://www.fractal-design.com/products/cases/vector/

    ---
    But I agree with previous posters, price is getting out of hand. There are just too many options in the $120-150 range ...

    I personally will continue to buy their products when I need them, just because of reliability - The three FD cases that I have so far are all still in perfect shape - and their built-in fans are as noiseless as day 0.

    For now...
    ... but if the price keeps going up I might reconsider.
     
  12. Glottiz

    Glottiz Master Guru

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    @wavetrex Meshify S2 is good, I have it in one of my machines, but it's definitely not "max airflow". There are way better airflow cases out there, but Meshify has good FD quality and layout. I really wish FD would improve their case airflow and reduce temperatures though, it's not very good right now.

    Image removed, sorry.
     
  13. Alessio1989

    Alessio1989 Ancient Guru

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    14+4 HDD slots, the new Graal for Data Hoarder
     
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  14. wavetrex

    wavetrex Maha Guru

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    Somehow I feel it's not going to be enough :D

    Currently there are 15 spinners in my primary server, 10 in slots and 5 just "hanging there". Probably 5 more planned for the rest of the year.
    And a new SATA controller too, running out of PCI-e slots too.

    But 18 is still good progress compared to Define S4 which has maximum 8 "normal" slots and 2 more usable in the 5.25 space.



    I think the only upgrade left is actual server-grade hardware designed for so many drives. But the price... auch !
     
  15. Solfaur

    Solfaur Ancient Guru

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    All in all, both this and the XL are on my radar for a possible case upgrade in the near future. I'll give it some time, as I'm sure there might be issues popping up from users during the next ~6 months. But yeah, design wise they look great to me, understated, but definitely not as understated as Fractal used to be in the past. I'm a bit concerned about the stock config airflow, but there's so much room for tweaking and customization, that I'm sure it can be fixed.
     

  16. TheDeeGee

    TheDeeGee Ancient Guru

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    What is it these days with every brother and his mother putting USB on top of the case?

    I mean, hello!?! how am i going to plug in with the case underneat my desk?

    ...i think i know why, it's the goddamn plague called side windows and expecting everyone to put it on your desk.
     
  17. Kaarme

    Kaarme Ancient Guru

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    There's no other place for it in these designs. Behind the door would be far worse for the vast majority of users. However, if it suits you better, I imagine you could easily enough replace the optical slot shield with a panel with usb slots, assuming you don't have a DVD/BD drive. I bet you'd find solutions on Ebay, might even be some with the audio connections available. Otherwise I suppose you could get a usb 3 hub and attach it to the table or something for easy access. Alternatively you could just look for cases that don't have a front door design in the first place, which would allow for more varied options.
     
  18. EtherPhoenix

    EtherPhoenix Member

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    Can`t choose between Thermaltake Suppressor F31 and Fractal Design Define R5 Black and now a new one appears...:eek:
     
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  19. sykozis

    sykozis Ancient Guru

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    I haven't experienced reliability issues from any case I've ever bought..... How does one experience a case failure? Do the rivets just start falling out?
     
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  20. wavetrex

    wavetrex Maha Guru

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    lol :)
    Well, I was talking more about the built-in fans.

    But case materials can be an issue as well, especially for cases which involve some hinges or no-tool mounting.
    Things might become too loose, fall out, start squeaking, or bad tolerances can lead in time to panels not fitting properly anymore, rattling due to vibration of many HDDs, etc.
    Paint might get discolored or chip off, plastic might be of low quality and scratch easy...

    It did happen with various other cheaper/poorer cases I had or used for building/servicing PCs of other people.


    But none of these happened with my FD cases so far. Thick strong steel, great quality durable plastics, the panels open and close the same as day one. And also, no fan failures.
    So until I have a really really good reason to move away from this brand, I will stick to it. Def 7 XL might be on the list on next home server upgrade due to the many-hdd flexibility !
     
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