Fractal Design Define 7 XL
A divine redesign?
For today's article, we head on over to Fractal Design, a company that has built a reputation with its stylish chassis over the past years. We'll have a peek at the Fractal Design Define 7 XL, an all-black, all cool and all silent PC housing for a wide variety of motherboards. The new Define 7 has a new updated body from the R6 and is to be launched with two SKUs initially. Basically you'll spot the Define 7 and the flagship chassis the Define 7 XL. From the outside, these chassis might have a somewhat simplified loo, from the inside however everything has been overhauled with customization and modular options in mind, next to offering a plethora of features of course. It is a product made with airflow and liquid cooling in mind to serve the more performance-oriented PCs builders. You'll be excited about storage, style, USB 3.1 options, and new very handy latching side panels. The new Define 7 XL is the largest and most expandable model yet.
The Define 7 XL can hold multiple water cooling setups fairly easily as the Define 7 XL can hold thick and very big radiators. Should you want to stick to air-based cooling, some Fractal Design Dynamic X2 GP-14 fans are already factory installed, and that means good ventilation versus fairly little noise. You can tie these fans towards an internal Nexus+ 2 fan hub with three PWM and six 3-pin connections logically placed in-line with cable channels. The chassis has many other features that we'll show you in this review, like cable routing space, removable fan filters, CPU cooler sizes limits of up to 185mm, a black paint and a top I/O panel with two USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, audio in/out, power button, HDD activity led, reset button and fan controller. Storage? Well, that's not an issue either, the chassis has plenty of hard disk / SSD locations, and can hold even two 5.25" devices.
The Define 7 XL is Fractal’s new flagship standard for the full tower case, supporting E-ATX motherboards, multi-GPU setups, and almost two dozen (!) storage devices in an altered storage layout. The top panel can be fully removed for easy interior access, and interchangeable covers let you quickly swap sound-damped solid steel for filtered ventilation using the included accessory panel. Define 7 XL also comes with two universal multi-brackets, a newly designed part that converts any unused fan position (of the eleven available in total) to an HDD, SSD, pump, or reservoir mount.
We test the Define 7 Xl, and it's a lot! Here's a feature overview from the company itself:
- Spacious, extensively adaptable dual-layout interior easily accommodates large motherboards up to E-ATX and SSI-EEB
- Mount up to 18 HDD/SSDs plus five SSDs in Storage Layout (6 HDD/SSD trays + 2 SSD brackets + 2 multi-brackets included)
- Configure to Open Layout for extra headroom and even more water-cooling support, including radiators up to 480 mm in front or top and 280 mm in the base
- Two 5.25” ODD bays convert to an additional front fan mount with filtered louver covering
- Silence-optimized construction with industrial sound-damping bitumen on front, top, and side panels
- Top cover can be removed to swap in the included ventilated top panel for additional cooling options • New chassis design opens up to fully expose the case interior on three sides for totally unhindered installation and cable routing
- Anodized aluminum front panel with reversible dual-handed hinges and magnetic latching • Outstanding cooling capacity with a total of 9 x 140 mm or 11 x 120 mm fan mounts and three preinstalled Dynamic X2 GP-14 fans
- Versatile new multi-brackets convert any unused fan position to an HDD, SSD, pump, or reservoir mount
- Three vertical GPU slots for use with the Flex VRC-25 PCIe riser, available separately
- Five front USB ports including one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
- Ultra-slim Nexus+ 2 fan hub with three PWM and six 3-pin connections logically placed in-line with cable channels
- Redesigned HDD cages with sturdy four-point supports
- Tool-less, top-latching panels offer quick access and prevent accidental drops
- Bridgeless expansion slots ensure obstruction-free connections
- Ventilated PSU shroud with two-part removable cover and additional SSD/multi-bracket mounts
- Easy-to-clean high airflow nylon filters on the front, top and base with full PSU coverage and convenient front access
- 13 pass-through holes with ten rubber grommets and two removable covers offer ideal cable routing on any size motherboard
- Detachable PSU cable shield and integrated cable guides with Velcro straps simplify cable management behind the board