Noise and Thermal Testing, Stock

My frame of reference for the Fractal Design Define R3's internal design may be Corsair's line, but for performance I'm actually more interested in seeing how it compares against Antec's elegantly silent Solo II and NZXT's 90%-of-the-way-there H2. The Solo II may have run hot, but it was also the quietest case we'd tested. Meanwhile, NZXT's enclosure suffered from the design flaw of having no real ventilation for the intake fans to pull air through. That was a concern I had with the R3, but the ventilation is definitely there.

CPU Temperatures, Stock

Chipset Temperatures, Stock

GPU Temperatures, Stock

DIMM Temperatures, Stock

SSD Temperatures, Stock

Thermally the R3 isn't as big a winner as we'd really like, but it beats the Solo II and H2, and given its intended purpose a middle-of-the-road thermal performance isn't bad at all. And as I've mentioned before, if you're willing to sacrifice a little silence for more performance, there are plenty of ways to go about doing so.

Stock Noise Levels

The R3 winds up ranking among our quietest enclosures tested at both idle and load, beating NZXT's H2 and trading blows with the Antec Solo II while delivering superior thermal performance. If nothing else, Fractal Design has achieved a nice balance here and easily steals the show from the equivalently priced H2.

Testing Methodology Noise and Thermal Testing, Overclocked
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  • MakingMonkeys - Monday, November 28, 2011 - link

    Its on sale on newegg right now for 80$
  • coffeeman12 - Monday, December 26, 2011 - link

    Holy smoke the Drive bays are in one cage! how stupid is that???????

    you kidding me, how could the designers be so stupid and make a 8 drive bay one cage!
    there should be 4 bays of 2, or at least 2 of 4.
    one cage is retarded. if I buy a graphics card which is to long I can't remove one cage!
    the case is nice.. but I think they need to rework with the inside.
  • Narhinik - Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - link

    I bought my R3 couple of days back (USB 3.0 version) and I have to say I'm really happy with it.

    I didn't have any problems with the interior design/cable management that would have been caused my the case. Some of the power cables from my PSU just were too short.

    This is actually one of the cheapest cases available in Finland and I would recommend it to anyone who is going to build a new PC.

    P.S. My Asus GTX 580 DCII fits like a glove in this case whereas there are lots of cases it doesn't fit. (PC component markets are quite small here so it's wise to order parts abroad)

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