Final words and conclusion
Right, have you noticed that I didn't mention something? That's right folks, no RGB fans, no RGB LED strips no RGB nothing :-) Well, haters will hate, lovers will love. But it's almost a little weird to see a product that does not have anything RGB. Movin on. With the new R6, Fractal Design once again offers a product that we like very much. The chassis itself is refined, stylish and has been designed in a tasteful fashion. Nothing screams out Fractal Design with logos and RGB, nope it is an elegant yet intricate model, and I like that. The R6 offers plenty of storage, whether that is HDDs/SSDs, your power supply size or radiators, it can take them all. It, however, does look a smaller than it, in reality, is, that;'s because of the right side shield inside covering the HDD trays. Mounting an SSD or HDD will still require good old screws, that work fine of course and at this point, I do wonder how tool free a chassis really needs to be these days.
A big plus of the chassis is the excellent air intakes combined with very low noise levels. You can argue the effect of the noise dampening materials, but combined with the 140mm fans you will be hard=pressed to hear this chassis. Up-to 40~50% fan RPM is smooth sailing and without noise. And trust me, I'm quite picky when it comes to computers and computer parts making noises. But overall yeah, it's fine really.
The Define R6 is a high-end product, that shows in build quality. Everything was thought through well, that doesn't mean the execution and end results are perfect everywhere at any level though. The right side HDD cover looks a little weird, new topside moduvent is often a bit stuck, and hard to remove. One a more serious sidenote, one downside with this chassis is that you can only mount 35mm thick radiators. That means at with a top mounted radiator you'll very quickly run out of space. On that white chassis, I installed an X399 ASUS Zenith, a pretty big motherboard. In this particular situation, I could not mount say a 140mm radiator fan properly. So yes I wish the top would have had more clearance. Fortunately for Fractal Design, my moaning ends there as otherwise the chassis is simply excellent on all fronts. It offers a lot of room for pretty much anything you like to install. There's enough space to maneuver in which will make component installation a breeze really. Absolutely lovely is the option to vertically mount the graphics card, but that does cost you the pretty penny of 40 USD/EURO for the kit alone. It does mount that graphics card excellently and very secure. Cable management options are good, nothing is marginal. I like a good 2~3cm clearance for cable routing behind that motherboard tray, and you get that space. Good to notice is the rubberized grommet holes, excellent for tucking away all cabling. The HDD/SSD drive cage works simple enough, though you do need screws to secure the actual HDDs, installation otherwise is easy. We like the fact that you can hide two SSDs at the motherboard backside tray, but also may mount them on the front side at the PSU cover.
The looks are quite nice with the tempered glass (closed model also available) and the PSU and HDD compartments hiding that gear. With the new glass side panel window, you can actually peek at your hardware while not being bothered by some plastic see-through window. It surely is a complete chassis for its size alright. The matte black (if you choose this color combo) paint job on both in and outside has been done well and the front side brushed aluminum door brings in that higher-end feel. The looks are simple yet sophisticated. But as we always state, each and every individual is different, and thus so is taste. What I might be labeling as a good look, you might find revolting. I like that sterile, simple and stylish look. And that certainly is what Fractal Design is going for.
The chassis channel is dense and saturated with brands. All of them are jumping onto RGB and Tempered glass, it has been the trend of 2017. I for one am glass to see that Fractal Design did not jump onto that RGB hype. Make no mistake, obviously you yourself can replace the fans with RGB ones and add LED strips and LED motherboards with your LED activated graphics card and LED cooler. So yes, it's actually refreshing to see something a bit more basic in design. The R6 is a tasteful design, but also a design that others offer, the Corsairs, NZXTs and so on all offer black design chassis with tempered glass, component covers, and a PSU compartment. In that respect, it is a little more difficult to differentiate the R6. Regardless of the that, it is a feature-packed stylish box alright. You can house many HDDs and SSDs, the biggest graphics cards and power supplies will fit. Your cable routing is spot on and your fans versus airflow are silent. Add to that the handy fan HUB and sound dampening materials and you'll quickly realize that the Define R6 is a true quality product. You can purchase the Define R6 for roughly 150 EUR, we do recommend you to opt that riser kit and go with a vertically mounted graphics card, but that options might be too steep at 40 bucks (which is a fair amount still). My biggest conundrum with the R6 is the mediocre top radiator clearance, 35mm and you are out of luck. For a chassis in this class, that should have gotten more clearance. If your rad doesn't fit, you'll have to revert to the front side. The Define R6 will be available in black/white/gunmetal color combinations as well as a non-tempered glass version (closed side panels on both sides). One note here, if you do not want the tempered glass version, in all honesty, keep the older R5 in mind? So yeah, once again Fractal Design brought a really nice chassis in the high-end segment market. If it fits your bill and design preference, we would highly recommend it.
Keep an eye out this week in the December competitions, we're actually giving away a Define R6 chassis + extra Fractal Design goodies like a liquid cooler and power supply all in one kit. Heck yeah!