A Closer Look and Building the System
A Look Inside the Define R5
Opening the R5 requires removing the usual thumbscrews, but without these in place the access door is still held in place with a latch mechanism, which can be unlocked with one finger.
Opening the latched side panel
There is an acoustic foam treatment lining each of the side panels, and the panels feel quite substantial and are easy to remove and replace.
Foam material lines the side panels
The Define R5 is a roomy mid-tower design, and there is a lot of storage room built in.
The metal hard drive bays slide out without tools
All of the drive cages in the R5 are modular, and can be quickly removed with a few screws.
For liquid cooling the additional space created by the removal of the drive cages opens the enclosure up to additional radiator options beyond the top fan mounts, as both the front and floor of the R5 provide the needed space.
At the far left of the case floor we see the PSU mount, which uses a rubber-like material to isolate the power supply from the chassis.
Installing the Components
Motherboard installation is painless with the R5, and all major form-factors are supported. Here a standard 9.6" x 9.6" micro-ATX motherboard is mounted. Note the cable routing openings around the board, which are finished with rubber grommets.
Behind the motherboard is a large cutout which makes cooler installation very easy
With the modular drive cages removed I tried out a 240mm AIO liquid cooler on the front fan mounts, and this Corsair H105 fit just fine.
I ended up using an air cooler for temp/noise testing, but the front (and floor) mounting options are preferable for longer liquid coolers in my opinion, as mounting fans/radiators above requires removal of the insulated top panels, which would negate some of the noise reduction the R5 is capable of.
The build is painless with this enclosure, and in no time I had added my power supply and GPU, and routed the cables behind the motherboard tray.
Next we'll look at the completed build and see how this enclosure performed!