The Front Panel

The Fractal Design Define XL comes with a door on its front panel, which opens to the left and features a magnetic latch. Based upon how they are implemented, doors can be an Achilles Heel for the case. For example, some products have the USB ports and on/off switch behind the door, so you must open the door every time you want to connect a USB device or turn on your computer. In such cases, we prefer that the case simply didn’t have the door. On the Define XL, however, all buttons and connectors are not located behind the door, so what we’ve just described doesn’t happen.

Fractal Design Define XL caseFigure 5: Front door

The door, which was added to reduce the noise produced by the computer, is thick and features a sheet of foam behind it. See Figure 6.

Fractal Design Define XL caseFigure 6: Front panel

This case has four external 5.25” bays, using vented covers, and a 3.5” adapter is available. The bottom three bays come with an air filter supporting a 120 mm fan. See Figure 7.

Fractal Design Define XL caseFigure 7: Air filter supporting a 120 mm fan

At the bottom of the front panel, the Define XL comes with a 140 mm fan installed, cooling down the motherboard compartment and the upper hard disk drive cage. This fan uses a standard three-pin fan power connector, but no technical specifications for this fan are provided. It can be installed on the single-channel, analog fan speed controller that comes with the case. The case supports the installation of another 140 mm fan on the front panel, which will be used for cooling the power supply compartment and the lower hard disk drive cages.

Fractal Design Define XL caseFigure 8: Front fan


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.