The Front Panel

The Fractal Design Define R4 comes with a front door. While many users don’t like doors, on cases targeted to silent computing they are a necessity, as they carry a sheet of foam to reduce the noise produced by the PC.

Luckily, the buttons and connectors from the case are not behind the door. This was a mistake made by several manufacturers in the past, as you would need to open the door to press the power button. To install devices on the USB ports you also would need to keep the door open, which is counterproductive.

Fractal Design Define R4 caseFigure 4: The front door

The case has two external 5.25” bays and comes with a 140 mm hydraulic-bearing fan (Fractal Design Silent Series R2, 1,000 rpm). On its default configuration, this fan cools down the top hard drive cage. You can move it down if you want to cool down the bottom hard drive cage, or you can install a second fan, which can be either a 120 mm or a 140 mm model. The installation of a second 140 mm fan can be done without the use of screws or tools, thanks to the tool-less mechanism available. There is an air filter for these fans. Optionally, you can remove the front fans to install a 240 mm radiator.

Fractal Design Define R4 caseFigure 5: The front panel

Fractal Design Define R4 caseFigure 6: The front panel

The case has a three-speed fan controller on the upper-right corner of the front panel, which allows the connection of up to three fans.

Fractal Design Define R4 caseFigure 7: The three-speed fan controller

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.