Fractal Design Define R5 case review - Full-on minimalism

Closer Look

Removing the front bezel is quite easy. It just pops up after you gently pressed it out of its holders. You have to be careful since the wiring goes through the frame, and yanking it open might cause something to break of.

To gain access inside you need to unscrew the four thumb-screws holding each panel in place. Like the front-panel, the side-covers are covered in sound dampening material.

Here's where I feel I should bring up the stellar build-quality, since this is a case that has little to no plastic in its frame, and that's something kinda rare these days. 

 Fractal Design Define R5 - Frame

Cable management has been adressed effectively, via 3x velcro-straps to keep the cables in place.

On its right side, there are also two white 2.5inch mounting cages for SSDs, each held in place via thumbscrews.

Fractal Design Define R5 - SSD bay

Cable management has been adressed quite effectively, by adding a pair of velcro straps to hold the cables in place. There also two white 2.5inch mounting place held in place by thumbscrews each. 

At the very top you have 2x 5.25inch drive-bays. To hold these drives in place, thumbscrews are positioned neatly. Below them, there are two hard-drive cages with enough room to hold 8x 3.5inch drives in total. Each tray however, also comes with 2.5inch mounting holes.

Fractal Design Define R5 - Drive bay cage

These cages are removable, and you can even take the front-one and rotate it a full 90-degrees to face the motherboard. While there's no reason to do so, Fractal Design offered the option.

With every additional element being removable, you gain some quite a lot of space, enough to install a 280mm radiator on the floor, a think 420mm radiator at the top, and a thick 360mm radiator in the front.

You can also remove the bottom plastic feet of the larger HDD cage and screw it onto the chassis floor, where the smaller cage was positioned. You can then install the other one next to it, that is, if you have the right power-supply.

Installing & Testing

If you ever installed a PC in a new enclosure, then you shouldn't have any problem with Define R5. The installation is pretty standard, and the added customizability alongside the tool-less design made mounting a PC a fairly easy task. Since Define R5 is a silent chassis, I decided to use a tower air-cooler, and see how the added noise-isolation handles the added hum.

Fractal Design Define R5 - Inside System

To install the SSD to the right-panel took 4-screws strapped to the small cage. After adding the drive, I just had to snap it back in place by using the added thumbscrew.

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