Fractal Design Define R4 ( Blackout )

Clocker

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The last system I built was m-ITX in a Bitfenix Prodigy. Decided to combine my WHS and Desktop into one machine so I moved my desktop system along with the drives from the WHS into a Fractal Design Define R4 Blackout (without the window) that I got for $80 shipped on Newegg (and switched back to a standard ATX size motherboard). I'm still a lightweight compared to you guys, only about 9TB of storage.

I must say, it's a very nice, quiet, well built/thought out case that shows a lot of attention to detail. I have absolutely no complaints with it and would get one again.

Anybody else have any Fractal Design products?
 

Handruin

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The last system I built was m-ITX in a Bitfenix Prodigy. Decided to combine my WHS and Desktop into one machine so I moved my desktop system along with the drives from the WHS into a Fractal Design Define R4 Blackout (without the window) that I got for $80 shipped on Newegg (and switched back to a standard ATX size motherboard). I'm still a lightweight compared to you guys, only about 9TB of storage.

I must say, it's a very nice, quiet, well built/thought out case that shows a lot of attention to detail. I have absolutely no complaints with it and would get one again.

Anybody else have any Fractal Design products?
Yes. My desktop system is a Fractal Design R4 (no window) and our photo editing workstation I built for the fiancee is also a Fractal Design R4. I'm very happy with this case. One complaint is the location of the power button. I have two cats and the power buttons are positioned perfectly for cats to step on them and power off the machines as they use the case as a stepping stool. Changing the BIOS to require the 4 second delay is a workaround.

One other pain is that I can't fit the 140mm fan on the bottom where the PSU sits because there isn't enough space. Last slight nit-pick would be the three position fan switch. It offers three speeds for the fans but I wish the middle setting was slightly higher voltage. Low is almost too low, medium is almost enough, and high is a little loud. I bought several of the Noctua 140mm Premium Quiet Quality Case Cooling Fan NF-A14 FLX to cool both cases and they seem to work pretty well.

Along with the three speed fan switch I noticed something the other day that was slightly alarming. If the front face of the case is accidentally popped off, there is a chance that the cable connecting the fan switches will become disconnected. I did not notice this had happened on our photo workstation and it was probably running without fans for a couple days. It was quite toasty inside because it was running folding @ home on both CPU and GPU. Just be mindful that if you are moving the case and the front pops off, make sure the cables didn't become disconnected.

None of my gripes would stop me from buying another one of these cases. I'm really happy with the cost and the attention to detail that they offer.
 

Clocker

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Thanks for the tips. Noctua makes inline resistors of different sizes that you might be able to use either with or without the FD fan controller to get your desired speed. The Noctua fans I used in the Prodigy came with two different size resistors that I actually used together because I wanted a really low fan speed.

Do you have a particularly large PSU that would interfere with the bottom mount fan? My Corsair RM750 (oversized for sure but left over from mining right) looks like it will just barely fit with a 140mm fan. Have not tired it though.
 

Handruin

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I saw the in-line resistors in the packaging and considered playing around with them but I never did. Maybe I could find a way to make the 12V position be more like a 9V, but then I'd have to check and see if the 3V would actually still work.

My PSU is probably 5 years old now. It's a PC Power and Cooling 750W quad SLI. It's non-modular which makes it trickier for fitting the fan because of all the cables. I remember only needing like another couple millimeters to get it in there but it just wouldn't fit. Overall I didn't care that much because two top fans, two back fans, and two intake fans, along with a side fan was more than enough to get proper cooling at low fan speeds. When I use the 3V setting I can barely hear any of the fans. During the day while I'm at work I leave it on 12V to give it a lot more air flow while running Folding @ Home. It's still not that noisy but it's subjective.
 

Howell

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Anybody else have any Fractal Design products?
I have a Node 304 I'm using for a storage/media server I like quite a bit. It has mounts for 6 full size hard drives and will fit double the number of notebook drives. I run each pair in raid 1.
 

snowhiker

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Welcome to the Fractal Design Define R4 club.

My R4 case pic here. Love the case. Great looks. Drive sleds are metal not cheap plastic like my Corsair 250D, very quiet even with four 140mm fans (two stock, two Corsair AF fans) and downright cheap in price. Win all the way around.

I added a 2 TB MHD that sits below the 1 TB MHD, a 140mm fan on the bottom and a second 140mm fans in front so there is a bit more than in the pic.

I was thinking of ditching the optical drive and putting the two MHD in the upper bay, locate the SSD on the bottom of the motherboard tray then I could eliminate the bottom drive cage for a really clean look. ;)
 

Stereodude

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I saw the in-line resistors in the packaging and considered playing around with them but I never did. Maybe I could find a way to make the 12V position be more like a 9V, but then I'd have to check and see if the 3V would actually still work.
You could just get a small DC/DC power supply like this or this. Then you can dial the voltage down to whatever you want.
 

Handruin

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You could just get a small DC/DC power supply like this or this. Then you can dial the voltage down to whatever you want.
Those look neat and I'm ready for my next soldering job, but I still don't understand how to change the voltage once it's wired in? Some pictures show a tiny potentiometer and others don't (I'm assuming that's where I change it). I'd want to be one step beyond that with an external potentiometer. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. This video has the basics for what I'm looking for also.
 

Stereodude

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Those look neat and I'm ready for my next soldering job, but I still don't understand how to change the voltage once it's wired in? Some pictures show a tiny potentiometer and others don't (I'm assuming that's where I change it).
They both have tiny potentiometers to adjust the voltage. If you want to adjust it on the fly they're not terribly useful.
 

Handruin

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I know I'm bumping an old thread but it's mostly relevant on the next revision of the Fractal Design Define R5 case. I picked one up over the weekend to finally put my previous system into a real case vs it sitting all open on a cardboard box on my desk. I picked up the Define R5 in black from Microcenter and I have to say it is even nicer than the R4. They paid really good attention to detail on most everything. From the cable management to the pre-set motherboard post with a ball-tip point on it to help with positioning the MB when mounting made for a breeze of an install. The two SSD drive mounts behind the motherboard are useful and a nice way to leave the 3.5" bays for my leftover 1.5TB drives from my previous NAS that I wasn't using. There are a bunch of reviews out there that go into way more detail than I've covered but I will concur with them that this is a very nice case for the money. It's well thought out and flexible in design if you want to do more advanced water cooling or fan configuration. It's also very quiet with the two included fans running at full speed. If you're ever looking for another case I'd give this one a look.
 

Mercutio

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I bought a couple Node 804s last time I was at a Microcenter. They were only $50 instead of whatever they normally are. I haven't done anything with them yet, but they're 10-bay cube shaped enclosures that I'll probably not have a problem using.
 

ddrueding

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R5 actually looks like a really good case for my water-cooled "Home1" machine. Radiator is external, drives are M.2, GPUs are in the first and second slot, no optical drives. All I need is room for the motherboard, slightly long PSU, and room at the top of the back of the chassis for me to drill the two water pass-throughs.
 

Handruin

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R5 actually looks like a really good case for my water-cooled "Home1" machine. Radiator is external, drives are M.2, GPUs are in the first and second slot, no optical drives. All I need is room for the motherboard, slightly long PSU, and room at the top of the back of the chassis for me to drill the two water pass-throughs.
Newegg has it on sale now for $89.99 with free shipping. It's a good price for a good quality case.
 
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