Let’s start with the interior design of the case, specifically the high-density bitumen material which lines the removable side panels. The bitumen material lining the case theoretically provides superior noise suppression allowing the whole system to function at almost a non-existent decibel level.
Fractal Design’s Silent Series R2 fans contain hydraulic bearings which contribute to an increased life expectancy of the fans as well as providing very low decibel levels while the fans are operating, thus further aiding the Define XL R2’s noise-cancelling properties.
The internal features of the chassis allows for multiple layout options which can be optimized for the consumers’ needs as required. The case contains four 5.25” bays which can be altered or removed. Therefore, the HDD bays do not necessarily aide the structural integrity of a case of this size and weight (being an XL model) which is quite a remarkable feat in itself.
Below the 5.25″ drive bays are the eight 3.5″ drive bays which are also 2.5″ SSD compatible, as nearly all new model cases are…although what makes the Define XL R2 different from its competitors is the functionality of the 3.5″ drive bays.
The Define XL R2 contains two removable 3.5″ drive bay stacks of four each (total of eight), allowing for consumer customization (preference) in regards to three case factors; airflow, cooling capabilities, and number of drives required for the build. Determined by the use of the case and the factors required for a specific build, the rearrangement of the 3.5″ drives allows for build specificity while maintaining a modest price point for consumers. When all is said and done, between side panels and the back area for cable routing, there is about 1″ of clearance so you aren’t left trying to stuff and wrestle the panels in place.
Speaking on build specificity, the Define XL R2 contains seven fan placements ranging from 120 to 140mm in diameter within the case, and is equipped from Fractal Design with three hydraulic Silent Series R2 fan – allowing for enough airflow in most case builds. With a plethora of large rubber grommets in an already large full-tower chassis, the cable management and ease of housing the largest of components makes the Define XL R2 that much more appealing. The spacious area, coupled with copious fans and ventilation grills makes the chassis an airflow monster.
Manufactured for the avid gamer first, the case allows for a front-mounted water cooling radiator which can range in sizes of upto 240mm, as the 3.5″ drive bay stacks as mentioned earlier can be re-arranged to accommodate larger PC builds. The water cooling capabilities in the Define XL R2 case far exceed those of their competitors, as Fractal designed the XL case to position water cooling units in up to four areas of the case; Front (up to 240mm), Top (up to 280mm), Bottom (up to 120mm), and rear ( up to 140mm).
Consequently, this showcases the Define XL R2’s case design to be multifunctional to all consumer builds ranging from the avid gamer to the first-time novice system builder.