Fractal Design R4 Black Pearl review -
Final words and conclusion
Very little is wrong with the Define R4 really, as much of the Fractal Design PC cases, it is elegant, simple and definitely feature rich for a mid-tower chassis. You get a matte black designed chassis with features wise options to put in many HDDs and devices. The chassis is fairly tool free, but does not have say easy click-in Optical drive clips. You'll still be using the good old thumb-screws, that works fine of course but it's not as modern as some of the others in the competition seem to be able to manage.
A big plus is the sound dampening materials used, you will still have decent airflow but internal noises are simply a thing of the past, something we really like. Then again I'm quite anal when it comes to computers and computer parts making noises. Should you require more fans to be installed or need a liquid cooling mount, then the sound dampening pads can be removed fairly easily of course. But yeah, overall this chassis simply is very silent.
The inside of the chassis does leaves room for improvement here and there, though sufficient, I do find that there is not heaps of space to maneuver in. Cable routing options have been improved though, we spot three grommet holes and more space (26mm) at the backside ensure that you can route cables quite well. The HDD/SSD drive cage work simple enough, though you do need screws to secure the actual HDDs, installation should be very easy otherwise.
The looks are quite nice but remains to be that, however it surely is a complete chassis for its size alright. I mean this mid-tower offers plenty of features and plenty of cooling. You can easily fit seven fans in here, and the upper HDD cage is removable and rotatable. There's room for a cool eight 3.5" HDDs, four USB ports, seven expansion slots and support for even the largest of graphics cards.
The paint job is done well. The looks simply are terrific. The matte black design simply works for me. But each and every individual is different, and thus so is taste. What I might be tagging as good look, you might find ugly. I like clean, simple and stylish. And that certainly is what the R4 is offering. Fractal Design does offer the chassis in three color themes: Black Pearl, Titanium Grey and Arctic White. The three most popular color schemes anno 2013.
So let's finish up this conclusion then. Features wise the Define R4 chassis is very complete really, the black with touches of white design has been done with a certain grace, tasteful. Overall it is a decent sturdy build with the big plus being that is is an extremely silent chassis. You will still have decent airflow, and in combo with the simple yet effective fan controller you can regulate that airflow a little. We will definitely recommend the product for the more professional PC user with a craving need for silence. With an average price tag of almost 100 EUR we feel the Fractal Design R4 is priced where it should be, and if charged per pound... definitely worth it with it's 12 KG of weight :)
Highly recommended and approved.
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