Fractal Design R4 Black Pearl review -
R4 - The one that got away...
To date there has been one chassis that somehow slipped through the mazes of all review materials here at the Guru3D LAB.
So yes, Fractal Design has had the R4 on the market for a while now and we still had to test the Black Pearl edition, aimed at the folks that go for style and silence with this all black mid-tower chassis. This ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX ready tower chassis can house a quite a bit of storage, has a decent amount of space to work in and is stylish in all its ways. The Define R4 features a front interface with USB 3.0 connectors and though a simple one, an integrated three-speed fan controller behind the front panel door.
Storage wise you may house a pair of external 5.25-inch drive bays, for ODDs (Optical Disk Drives) or anything else that uses that form factor of course. Then on the inside, Define R4 made sure you can house... get this, eight internal 3.5-inch HDDs as the bays allow eight of them to be installed with the a top bay being removable and the tray mounts all compatible with 2.5" SSDs.
Tied to a three speed fan controller the chassis comes factory equipped with two fans, two silent 140mm 1000RPM PWM controlled series R2 fans are placed at the rear and at the front. The R4 has plenty of cooling options, up to 7 fans in various sizes can be installed. The front panel bezel is easily removable and pre-fitted with fan filters to ensure a dust free interior. The sleek black interior is matched and contrasted with white expansion slots and HDD trays. Similar to the Define Series, all the HDD trays are fitted with anti-vibration silicon grommets. The upper HDD cage is removable and rotatable, which enables support for the longest graphic cards.
- High density noise-reducing material for an optimal silent case - To achieve a high level of noise reduction, material with mass should be incorporated which is what we strive to achieve with the dense bitumen used on the side panels
- Patent pending ModuVent™ design allowing the user to choose between optimal silence or maximum airflow
- Top HDD cage (5 trays total) can be rotated 90 degrees or removed for additional airflow or to accommodate long graphic cards up to 430mm in length
- Three-speed fan controller is strategically integrated in the front panel and supports up to 3 fans
- Two Silent Series R2 fans included, featuring hydraulic bearings contributing to a longer life expectancy – Silent Series R2 retail fans will now come standard in all cases
- Wider case body that allows for improved cable routing behind the motherboard – now 26mm wide
- New tool-less front fan holder makes switching front fans a breeze
- Two SSDs can be mounted on the back of the motherboard plate in addition to the 8 slots in the HDD trays, for a total of 10 SSD positions available
- ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX motherboard compatibility
- 7 + 1 expansion slots
- 2 - 5.25" bays
- 8 - 3.5" HDD trays - all compatible with SSDs, 2 - 2.5" extra SSD positions
- 3 - ModuVent™ plates - two in the top and one in the side
- 7 - fan positions (2 Silent Series R2 fans included)
- Filtered fan slots in the front and bottom
- CPU coolers up to 170mm tall (when no fan is installed in the side panel)
- ATX PSUs up to 170mm deep when using the bottom fan location, when not using this fan location longer PSUs (up to 270mm deep) can be used
- Graphics cards up to 295mm in length with the top HDD cage installed
- With the top cage removed, graphics cards up to 430mm in length may be installed
- 26mm of space for cable routing behind the motherboard plate
- Thick rubber grommets on all holes on the motherboard plate
- Colours available: Black Pearl, Titanium Grey, Arctic White
- Case dimensions (WxHxD): 232 x 464 x 523mm
- Package dimensions (WxHxD): 320 x 535 x 610mm
- Net weight: 12,3 kg
Cooling / ventilation
- 1 - Front hydraulic bearing 140mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1000 RPM speed (included)
- 1 - Front 120/140mm fan
- 1 - Rear hydraulic bearing 140mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1000 RPM speed (included)
- 2 - Top 120/140mm fans - positions also support some models of 240 radiators, depending on configuration
- 1 - Bottom 120/140mm fan
- 1 - Side 140mm fan
- 1 - Integrated fan controller for up to 3 fans (included)
- 2 - USB 3.0, 2 - USB 2.0
- Audio I/O
- Power button with LED (blue)
- Reset button
- Fan controller (behind door)
It is getting even better as the R4 is all about preventing noise, as such the side, top and front door panels are fitted with seriously thick sound-absorbing material. Space wise all modern graphics card sizes will fit while ventilating well. Well, enough said really... let's startup the review.
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