Fractal Design is not really a well known computer case maker but they do seem to manufacture pretty nice gear. Today the company launched the Define XL, a larger sibling of the Define R2/R3 case. This new chassis focuses on low noise level, without neglecting cooling, expandability and ease of use. The interior is pre-fitted with noise absorbing bitumen material, covered with a soft foam texture, and silicone grommets are used to dampen HDD noise. There are three thermal chambers and Fractal Design includes a fan controller to adjust the RPM of the included fans (2x 140mm, 1x 180mm). Most of the intake fans are equipped with removable and washable dust filters and the side panel features ModuVent, a feature that enables you to choose between a low noise level or optimal airflow.
The Define XL looks like a roomy case, there's support for motherboards with form factors as large as E-ATX, and you can fit up to ten HDDs (the HDD cage in the main chamber can be removed/rotated), four 5.25" devices and seven PCI cards. Three additional fans can be added and the motherboard features cutouts for cable management as well as a door that enables you to access the back of the motherboard to swap your CPU cooler.
Based on the specifications and features this looks like a pretty sweet case, the only thing we don't really like is the net weight of 17.95kg, that's quite a lot of weight to carry if you frequent LAN parties. The Fractal Design Define XL ships in Pearl Black and Titanium Grey colors, pricing and availability are unknown.
As the name implies, Define XL is the larger sibling of the acclaimed and award winning Define R2/R3 case. Similar to Define R2/R3, it offers a number of interesting functions with a very stylish appearance. It’s a case focused on low noise level, without neglecting other important features such as cooling, expandability and ease of use.
* Stylish design
* Pre-fitted with noise absorbing material
* Configurable thermal chamber design
* Great cooling possibilities, 3x fans included (2x 140mm, 1x 180mm)
* 10x HDD slots
* Unique ModuVent™ design in side panel
The XL is pre-fitted with dense noise absorbing bitumen material, covered with a soft foam texture. This material effectively absorbs noise generated by the components and fans inside. Paired with other noise preventing features such as a covered top panel with a 180mm fan mounted with an angle to blow out air in the rear and silicone grommets for hard drive mounting, the XL truly excels in delivering a low noise solution.
An important feature of the XL is the division into three thermal chamber designs. This enables the user to freely choose the best thermal configuration suited for their needs. First is the upper main chamber, containing most of the components, such as motherboard, ODD and one HDD cage. The main chamber is cooled by one 140mm fan in the front (included), one 120mm fan in the front (optional), one 140mm fan in the rear (included), one 120 or 140mm fan in the side panel (optional) and one 180mm fan in the top (included). The top 180mm fan is mounted with an angle, blowing out hot air through the rear side of the case. As mentioned earlier in the text, having the top covered has a clear acoustic advantage, in not letting noise emit from the top of the case. The main chamber is connected to the second thermal chamber, the PSU chamber, with a removable lid. The lid can be removed if the user wants to turn the PSU upside down, pulling out air from the main chamber. Standard, and recommended, configuration is though with the lid closed, letting the PSU taking in air from the bottom of the case, through the supplied filter.
The third chamber is the lower HDD chamber, consisting of room for six hard drives. This chamber is cooled by an optional 140mm fan in the front. The standard configuration is to let the air that has gone through the HDD’s and therefore is hot, go out behind the right side panel (seen from the front) and out in the rear of the case. However, the user can decide to remove the dividing metal panel between the lower HDD chamber and the PSU chamber, to let the air flow over the PSU and out in the rear ventilation holes.
Another unique feature with the XL is the ModuVent™ feature, inherited from the Define R2/R3 case. This is a cover fitted with noise absorbing material, mounted in the side panel fan hole, allowing the user to choose between an optimal low noise level, having the cover mounted or optimal airflow by removing the cover and mounting a fan for intake.
Apart from all these features, XL also offers excellent cable routing possibilities, with large holes and well enough space for cables behind the M/B plate. The cable routing holes are covered with silicone covers, effectively hiding the cable clutter.
A fan controller, which can be mounted in an expansion slot in the rear, is included. It can control up to three fans with one knob.
* 2x 140mm fans (one 140mm included, one optional) with removable and washable filters, in the front. Recommended for intake of air.
* 1x 120mm fan optional with removable and washable filter, in the front. Recommended for intake of air.
* 1x 180mm fan included in the top of the case. Recommended for exhaust of air.
* 1x 140mm fan included in the rear of the case. Recommended for exhaust of air.
* 1x 120/140mm fan optional in the side of the case. Recommended for intake of air.
* 4x 5,25” bays, 1x 5,25” to 3,5” converter included
* mini-itx, micro ATX, ATX and E-ATX motherboards
* 10x HDD trays. 4x HDD trays in the HDD cage in the main chamber. This HDD cage is removable and rotatable. 6x HDD trays in the lower HDD chamber. These HDD cages are fixed.
* A total of two 140mm fans and one 180mm fan included. Front 140mm fans are mounted with removable, washable filter. A fan controller is included, for mounting in one of the rear expansion slots.
* Pre-fitted with dense noise absorbing material in both side panels.
* ModuVent™ feature, allowing the user to choose between an optimal low noise level, having the cover mounted or optimal airflow by removing the cover and mounting a fan for intake.
* Case size (WxHxD): 232x560x561.3mm
* Net weight: 17.95kg
The case will start shipping in Europe by mid-November for 129EUR.