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Old 02-06-2013, 12:27 AM   #1
Bryson777
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Default Fractal Design Define XL R2 - Massive Fail??

http://www.fractal-design.com/?view=...ory=2&prod=111

I was looking at cases to upgrade into and was instantly disappointed when I saw this case so I thought to myself,"Oh well I'll just wait for XL R3" but it turns out that the R2 hasn't even been released yet. It only holds 8 3.5" drives compared to it's predecessor which held an incredible 10 + 1 5.25"->3.5" converter included. Add a 4-in-3 drive bay and that's an amazing amount of storage space for a server build. It doesn't have the hidden SSD mounts like the R4 so despite being larger it actually holds less drives! It also doesn't have the easily removable front filter of the R4. What were they thinking? I think that they are targeting watercooling community with the design changes but it only holds 240mm rads which plenty of cases can do already. Heck you can even mount a H100 in the roof of the Arc Mini!

Truth is I am actually expecting a Define R4 to arrive in a couple of weeks due to backorder but I am starting to have a bit of buyer's remorse. You see I already have 6 hardrives. I might go raid in the future but I'd need a cache drive and a parity drive so that's 2 more right there not including any more drives I might add. I am tempted to opt for the XL instead before it gets discontinued so that I'd have a case that I won't outgrow so easily. Thing is I'd prefer to build a case with positive pressure but I'm not sure how easy that's going to be with the XL's huge 180mm exhaust fan. I've also never built in such a large case before so I'm not sure if I am going to run into cable length issues with my PSU (Kingwin Lazer Platinum LZP-550). Really not sure what to do. What do you guys think?
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:59 AM   #2
Vectronic
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A. 3TB? If not, go with 3TB?
B. Stop hording?
C. (R4 - have one) take out the 3+5 racks, build a custom rack? (up to 14), and/or get a rack that will mount to 120/140 fan mounts and put it between the PSU/3xHDD rack.

I can fit 8 HDD's and 4 SSD's (2 hidden, 1 under lowest HDD, 1 on bottom fan mount) without modifying anything or using the 5.25" bays. Lots of options with a bit of creativity.

Last edited by Vectronic; 02-06-2013 at 01:02 AM.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:38 AM   #3
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I'm not that impressed by it either. What I do like about it is the rotatable hdd cages and the different locations for them, see the photo on the lower right of the product page. Now if you could only buy an additional hdd cage, it'd hold 12 in total.
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:20 PM   #4
Bryson777
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vectronic View Post
C. (R4 - have one) take out the 3+5 racks, build a custom rack? (up to 14), and/or get a rack that will mount to 120/140 fan mounts and put it between the PSU/3xHDD rack.

I can fit 8 HDD's and 4 SSD's (2 hidden, 1 under lowest HDD, 1 on bottom fan mount) without modifying anything or using the 5.25" bays. Lots of options with a bit of creativity.
I know all about creativity. I've filled every nook and cranny in my P150 (ie. Antec Solo/Sonata) with HDs. A case with more airflow will finally surely be a welcome addition even if I love this case to death! I've waited patiently to pick up a fractal case as every revision has gotten better to the point where I feel the R4 is almost perfect. Installing a rack mount to the bottom 120/140 fan mount is a fantastic idea! Now I know why I come to anandtech! Do you happen to have links to a mount that might fit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lehtv View Post
I'm not that impressed by it either. What I do like about it is the rotatable hdd cages and the different locations for them, see the photo on the lower right of the product page. Now if you could only buy an additional hdd cage, it'd hold 12 in total.
At first glance the rotating hdd cage looks like an awesome feature but it'll interfere with a long graphics card if placed lengthwise instead of sideways. You'll also have to remove the entire cage every time you want to install/remove a hdd if you place it that way. I'd like to see some tweaks to the system. In my P150 for example, the front fans are mounted to a hinged door which opens to reveal access to the inner drive trays which can be removed from the front.

If Fractal did make additional hdd cages easily purchasable, I think that would put the XL R2 back as king of the hill for me. In this review of the XL R2 Lauren mentions at the end that you can install up to 16(!!) hdds with additional hdd cages! Is that even possible? Also even if additional hdd cages are not available can't you just install a rack mount in the 120/140 fan mount like Vectronic mentioned? Any suggestions on one that might fit?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asc9YA32rBc

Last edited by Bryson777; 02-06-2013 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:08 PM   #5
Vectronic
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Quote:
In my P150 for example, the front fans are mounted to a hinged door which opens to reveal access to the inner drive trays which can be removed from the front.
The R4 could potentially do that, by either:
A. not using the front fans
B. tin snips and cut the handles off the HD trays.

The front fans are on a fold-down rack you can access from the front, nothing between them and the HDDs.

I don't know of any specifically that would work, but just doing a quick google, first result. That would work just from top-down... and still make use of the bottom fan (blowing air up through the HDDs)... obviously SLI/Crossfire isn't happening.

It's a bit hard to tell but those 4 knobs on the top of it (look like rubber stoppers) might fit 120mm/140mm... if not... drill.

I'm sure there are ones specially designed for 120/140.... obviously anything that's basically a square box would work with a drill, and maybe some paint... I have lots of old PC's with 3x HDD cages... pop some rivvets, drill a couple holes... done.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:47 PM   #6
lsv
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Massive fail. The whole point of the Define XL was that it's a Define XL. This may as well be called the R5.
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