First Look | [2187] Fractal Design Define R5 case review - Full-on minimalism | Case/ PSU reviews @ReviewStudio.net

Fractal Design Define R5 case review - Full-on minimalism

First Look

Define R5 comes in a simple cardboard box; with a drawing of the enclosure on the front, and features listed on the back. The sides come with carrying holes, with one side listing specifications, and the other the case's layout.

Alongside the case you get the standard reading material: a comprehensive user-manual, and a number of accessories, including: 5x black cable ties, 8x MOBO standoffs, 4x power supply screws, 1x plastic standoff screw, 8x motherboard screws, 32x rubber anti-vibration washers, 8x optical drive screws, 4x front fan screws, 32x 3.5" drive-screws, 2.5" drive-screws.

Fractal Design Define R5 - Accessories

Inside, you get the case wrapped in plastic, and positioned in a sturdy styrofoam placers to protect it in shipping. We got the R5-Black version, but there are also Titanium and White colored variants. Each color-pattern also has a side-window premium available for an added $10.

There are some changes to previous generations, the most apparent being the width, but also the materials used in construction. While the front door has a nice texture feel to it, the surface is of higher quality plastic over the R4.

As I wrote at the start of this review, the case looks monolithic, with straight lines and sharp corners. There are no curves to be had, or even any kind of logo or branding present on its surface. That is, until you swing-open the front door, where a small logo is placed in the middle of the ventilation grill.

Fractal Design Define R5 - Front

The front-bezel, aka door, is quality plastic, textured to look like brushed aluminium. There is no dedicated space for intake, that being relegated to the sides at the edge of the bezel.

Fractal Design Define R5 - Front open 

The front-panel swings open to the left by default, but it can be detached and positioned to the right-side if need be. Here's where I remembered the whole "Silence Redefined" advertising, when I noticed the dense foam used on the inside, designed to dampen the noise. 

Split in two, the front-side has a massive plastic dust-filter / grill, kept in place by a locking mechanism at the top. Since there are no screws keeping it in place, you would expect at least a little bit of vibration to come out of it, though I'm happy to report nothing of the sort happened in my time with the case.  Behind it, there's a 140mm white-fan, with the option to add another one right under it. There are mounting holes for the 120mm variants, enabling you to choose the type of fan used.

Above it, there are two 5.25inch drive-cages that can easily be removed via the embedded locking mechanism. There's also a 3-stage fan controller placed right next to the blue LED at the top.

 Fractal Design Define R5 - Right Side

The sides are really simple, with no added accents to any of them. Close to the front-bezel, you have grills for air-intake. On the left-panel, Fractal Design added a metallic cover, which can be taken of, so you can install a 120mm/140mm fan, if you choose to do so.

 Fractal Design Define R5 - Left Side

On the top, right next to the front edge, you have a Power and a tiny Reset button, two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, as well as 3.5mm headphone / microphone ports. A large chunk of the top panel is built into the frame, therefore being metallic, but there are also 3x solid-plastic covers hooked into it. You can remove these if you intend to mount additional fans or a liquid-cooling block atop. However, it's worth noting that doing so, will damage the case's 'Silence Redefined' aspect.

 Fractal Design Define R5 - Front IO 

Turning to the rear, you have the PSU bay at the bottom, which is a standard affair. Right above it, you have the motherboard expansion slots, each painted with contrasting white color. A second 140mm fan has been added at the top, this one using elongated mounting holes.

Fractal Design Define R5 - Rear 

Lastly, there's the bottom side, where you have a dust filter running alongside the entire bottom. It can easily be removed by opening the door, and then pulled out through the front.

 Fractal Design Define R5 - Underside

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