Introduction and First Impressions
Tempered glass and a new interior arrive in the latest Define case
The Define R6 marks the sixth generation of the Define series, and Fractal Design’s flagship ATX case now sports a cleverly-designed tempered glass side panel and a redesigned interior. Does the new R6 again define the ATX mid-tower market? We’re about to find out!
Looking at the front panel alone it would be very difficult to tell the Define R6 from its predecessors, as it still has the trademark solid front door panel, nicely finished here with aluminum. 5.25-inch drive support is down to a single bay, but it is there if you need it for an optical drive or fan controller – though the Define R6 also includes a new PWM fan hub (more on that later on).
The most obvious change to the design is the tempered glass side panel, which makes sense considering that has been the biggest industry trend of the past couple of years. Fractal Design does it a little differently than you’ll see elsewhere, however, with a pop-in design that makes screws optional. The Define cases were already very clean and simple externally, and this implementation of a glass side panel fits that aesthetic perfectly.
Improvements such as the third-gen ModuVent top panel and additional storage and cooling capacity from the redesigned interior make this release a bigger upgrade than it might at first appear, and in this review we’ll go over the case inside and out to see how this latest Define enclosure stacks up in this ever-crowded market.
- Left side panel:
- Black/Blackout/Gunmetal versions: 33% tinted tempered glass
- White version: Clear transparent tempered glass:
- Right side panel: Industrial sound-dampened steel
- Motherboard compatibility: eATX (up to 285mm wide), ATX, mATX, ITX
- Expansion slots: 7 + 2 vertical
- 3.5"/2.5" Universal drive brackets: 6
- Dedicated 2.5" drive brackets: 2
- Power supply type: ATX
- Front ports: 2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0
- Total fan mounts: 9
- Front: 3 x 120 mm or 2 x 140 mm, 2 x Dynamic X2 GP-14 included
- Standard layout: 3 x 120 or 2 x 140
- Open layout: 3 x 120/140 mm
- Rear: 1 x 120/140 mm 1 x Dynamic X2 GP-14 included
- Bottom: 2 x 120/140 mm
- Dust filters: Bottom fan + PSU Front fans Top panel
- Radiator Support:
- Front: 120/240/360 mm, 140/280 mm
- Standard layout: 120/240/360 mm (max 35 mm motherboard component height)
- Open layout: 120/240/360 mm – 140/280/420 mm (max 35 mm motherboard component height)
- Rear: 120 mm
- Bottom: 120/240 mm, 140/280 mm
- Component Clearance:
- PSU max length: 300 mm
- GPU max length: Max 440mm with front fan mounted
- Standard layout: Maximum width 155 mm (including power connectors) for graphics cards longer than 300 mm
- CPU cooler max height: 185 mm
- Cable routing space: 23 mm
- Cable routing grommets: Yes
- Fixed velcro straps: Yes
- Tool-less push-to-lock: Both side panels
- Captive thumbscrews: HDD brackets, SSD brackets
- Case dimensions (LxWxH): 543 x 233 x 465 mm (21.38 x 9.17 x 18.31 inches)
- Net weight: 12.4 kg (27.34 lbs)
The tempered glass version of the Define R6 releases on 01/15/2018. Pre-orders are available at Newegg.com for $149.99.
Other than the tempered glass side panel, this case looks almost identical to the previous Define R5 when you take it out of the box. But a closer look will reveal some external differences.
The front of the case is that classic Define look, and as before the solid panel is actually a door.
Behind this acoustically-insulated door panel is a pair of 140 mm intake fans with a removable filter, and a single 5.25-inch drive bay. Yes, the Define R6 is down to just one 5.25-inch bay, but it has one!
Top I/O offers the basics, with two pairs of USB ports (2.0 and 3.0), 3.5 mm audio, and power/reset buttons.
The tempered glass side panel is new with the Define R6
Around back we see a couple of other differences compared to the Define R5, with a pair of vertical PCIe slots for alternate GPU mounting.
There is also a button on the upper left, which is the release for the new 3rd-gen “ModuVent” top vent panel.
This panel lifts up and out easily, and can be converted from a solid to an open panel (with full filter).
The bottom of the case still offers a full filter, and the case sits on four rubber-tipped chrome feet.
Next we'll look at the new interior of the Define R6.