Fractal Design Define R6 Tempered Glass Case Review

Installation

With the case thoroughly inspected, it is time to start building a system with its confines. First in is our ATX-sized ASUS Crosshair VI Hero motherboard, and getting it into the correct position was a breeze, thanks to the center-mounted peg. This feature lets you get the board into place and lowered down over the peg, which then allows you to easily install the remaining eight screws. We have seen this feature before, and really appreciate its inclusion with the Define R6.

Next up is our videocard, and the Define R6 utilizes a mounting mechanism that places the mounting hardware within the case, as opposed to a tab that sticks out from the back of the case. We really like this mounting method, as it allows for much easier installation of over-sized videocards, like our PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 580, which seem to be becoming more and more prevalent.

Mounting our power supply consisted of first removing the mounting bracket by loosening the two captive thumb screws, and then attaching the bracket to our EVGA power supply. With the bracket in place, we simply slid the power supply into place, resting it on the rubber pads below, and then tightening it into place with the thumbscrews.

 

Our storage solution for this build utilizes both an on-board M.2 SSD, as well as a 2.5″ SSD. We chose to keep the 2.5″ drive hidden, and mounted it behind the motherboard via one of the included drive brackets.

 

With all of the major components in place, it was time to supply them with power and make the final connections from the front I/O panel to the motherboard. Routing the necessary cables to their respective components couldn’t have been easier, and the two Velcro straps really came in handy when getting things laid out.

We utilized the Nexus+ fan hub to connect the three included 140mm fans, and attached its 4-pin PWM plug to one of our motherboard’s PWM headers to give us software control over our fans. While the Define R6 is designed to be a quiet case, that will all depend on your fan configuration and the speed at which you run them. Our build took advantage of the Nexus+’s ability to control fan speeds via its PWM cable, which allowed us to set our case fan speeds to a level that was inaudible from our seat, which is about two feet away from the case.

We chose to leave the interior panel in place, but removed all of the 3.5″ drive trays to give is a bit of additional working room. This design choice allowed us to use both the grommetted cable management cutouts, as well as running cables from behind this panel for added ease of installation and to keep cable bends from being too tight.

With a large tempered glass side panel giving a wonderful view into the Define R6, we wanted to add a bit of interior case lighting via a few RGB LED light strips attached to our motherboard. A common mounting option is to utilize the interior frame of the case to hide the strips from direct view in order to allow them to provide a nice indirect source of light. Unfortunately the spaces we normally mount our light strips were not ideal on the Define R6. At the back of the case we couldn’t find a good way to hide a vertical strip because of the limited room between the rear case fan and the side panel. On the bottom of the case interior, the gap between the power supply shroud and the side panel was again too thin to fit a light strip in a way that it would remain hidden. The front border was similar in that any way we mounted the light strip it was quite visible. We finally ended up just mounting two light strips along the top of the case, one shining down onto the components, and one shining back towards the motherboard. This looks fine, but left us wishing we had a tiny bit more room to work with to get lighting from all directions.

When working with the Define R6, we noticed that the brushed aluminum front panel was getting a bit scuffed looking, and quite a few fingerprints were showing up on the other painted surfaces. Thankfully the front panel wasn’t actually scuffed, it was just dust and the like showing up from all of our handling. Additionally, Fractal Design includes a nice little cloth to clean off the case surfaces, which really made the final build look nice.

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