Fractal Design Define XL Case Reviewed

Fractal Design Define XL

We have had the opportunity to look at a number of Fractal Design’s cases lately, including the Define R3 and Define Mini, but we have not had the opportunity to try the big boy of the Define line, the Define XL. Finding big cases that are designed to also run quiet can be a challenge, but the Define XL seems to be just such a case with room for nearly a dozen hard drive. This case is already on my short list of cases to check out when it comes time to upgrade my home server, but from the sounds of things it might be worth considering for my next gaming PC build as well. 

The Fractal Design Define XL full-tower case is targeted to users building a high-end gaming PC who want a huge cooling performance and, at the same time, the quietest computer possible. Let’s see how the Swedish manufacturer was able to achieve this goal.

Hardware Secrets

  • That is more like a server

    That is more like a server case than a gaming case. I don’t see how the front fans could be very effective with a door over them or cause some strange noises trying to pull air through small openings. When I first saw it I was thinking it would be an awesome WHS. Who reviews a case labeled as silent and doesn’t build it out and test it.

  • The front door is definitely

    The front door is definitely not an inherently bad thing. I currently use the Antec Mini p180 for both my server and my gaming PC. It has a front door and is designed to be quiet, and indeed, my server is all but inaudible. My gaming PC on the other hand, though certainly not silent, is very quiet and plenty cool. I’ve tested with and without the door because I had the same concerns and found no measurable difference in component temperatures. Now, whether the Define XL can boast the same is, unfortunately, impossible to tell from this review. I would love to see two reviews of this case. One as a fully loaded server and one as a maxed out gaming PC of the sort that they allude to at the end of the review. I would love to see if it can pull off both roles.