Fractal Define 7 Compact Review
Published: 3rd June 2020 | Source: Fractal Design | Price: |
Fractal Define 7 Compact Review
If imitation is a form of flattery, then Fractal Design is one of the most flattered case manufacturers in the entire business. When it comes to storage-oriented or silence-optimised cases, most have design similarities to Fractal's Define series. Even now, it's hard to beat Fractal's Define R-series if you want a solid case for a home-built storage server, despite years of attempted catch-up from competitors.
Today, what we have to show you is the Fractal Define 7 Compact, a successor to Fractal's Define C, a no-nonsense ATX chassis which offers users everything they need for normal systems, even those that utilise large 360mm all-in-one liquid coolers.
No, the Fractal Define 7 Compact is NOT a MATX case. Fans of the MATX form factor may have been excited to hear the term "Compact", but we can assure you that this case is an ATX enclosure.
Why does the Fractal Define 7 Compact exist?
I know what some of you are thinking, why does the Fractal Define 7 Compact exist? Can't the standard Define 7 do everything its Compact variant can and more? That's true, but the question that we'll ask you is whether or not all PC gamers need the full feature set of the Define 7?
The Define 7 Compact is a compacted version of Fractal's standard Define 7, offering users less space in the length department to offer a sleeker, lighter case with a lower price point. Yes, you will not be able to support as many HDDs with this enclosure, and yes, this smaller form factor will limit your liquid cooling options, but customers will be rewarded with an enclosure that ships with a much lower price tag and takes up a lot less desk space.
With pricing starting at 96.99 in the UK, the Define 7 Compact is almost £50 cheaper than the Fractal Define 7. The same cost benefits apply to this case's more expensive windowed version. These savings can be put towards other parts of your system, such as a better motherboard, an aftermarket CPU cooler or a larger SSD. If you don't need the extra features of the Define 7, the Define 7 Compact appears to be a great option for budget-conscious users.
Follow this link to read our Fractal Define 7 and Define 7 XL Review.
A Define C Successor
As we mentioned previously, the Define 7 Compact is a successor to the Fractal Define C, a design which utilised many of the same parts as Fractal's premium Define 7 chassis, but offers a feature set that's better suited to the average consumer.
When compared to Fractal's Define C, the Define 7 Compact supports longer graphics cards (up to 360mm without front fans), support for a bottom-mounted 120mm fan (or radiator), integrated cable guides, and enhanced front I/O capabilities.
Fractal's Define 7 Compact supports USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C connectivity, dual USB 3.0 Type-A ports and two USB 2.0 connections. The case also features a front-mounted 140mm fan, a removable top bracket (to make PC construction easier), and support for both a sound-dampened top cover or a full-length ventilated cover. The Define 7 C also features nylon filters, not the plastic mesh filters that Fractal's older Define C offers.
Define 7 DNA
The Define 7 Compact shares that same DNA as Fractal's larger Define 7 cases, so much so that the Define 7 Compact features many of the same parts as Fractal's standard Define 7. Both offer the same front panel design, the same front radiator support, the same front I/O options and more. Yes, the Define 7 is a higher-end enclosure, and much better suited to storage-oriented systems, but in many other regards, the Define 7 Compact is almost identical.