Fractal Define 7/Define 7 XL Review

Define 7 - The Special Features

Fractal Define 7/Define 7 XL Review

Define 7 - The Special Features

A lot has changed since the release of Fractal's R6, and in this part of the review, we intend to highlight those changes. For starters, Fractal has opened up the top portion of their case by making their Define 7 enclosure easy to disassemble. Four pop mounts, and the top panel is off. A quick slide of the top dust filter, and it is now off the chassis and ready to be cleaned. A few screws unfastened, and the entire top plate of the case is removed for easy radiator and fan mounting. 

While the whole case isn't designed in this way, Fractal's decision to make their case's top panel removable has undoubtedly improved the Define 7's building experience. The change has gifted PC builders more room to add their favourite motherboards, cooling solutions and more. The Define 7 XL features the same removable top plate design, a feature that's arguably more important on the XL due to the sheer scale of the EATX motherboards that that enclosure is designed to accommodate.  
  

Fractal Define 7/Define 7 XL Review  

Next up is Fractal's movable HDD cover plate, a design feature which allows the Define 7 to accommodate a large number of HDDs or act as a read blocking plate for the enclosure. This contributes greatly to the Define 7's clean and sharp aesthetic and offers users a level of versatility that few enclosures can match. Fractal could have made another case with a water cooling focused front or another enclosure HDD focused enclosure. With the Define 7, Fractal has delivered both, and it is glorious. 

Outside of the Define 7's 3.5/2.5-inch mounts, the case also features two dedicated 2.5-inch drive mounts behind the case's motherboard tray and two additional mounts on top of the case's PSU shroud. 


Fractal Define 7/Define 7 XL Review  
Within the Define 7 and its XL variant comes a specialised mount which can be used to mount water cooling pumps, reservoirs, HDDs and more. While this mount is ugly, due to the need to support an insane number of components and their required mounting holes, it again adds to the versatility of the Define 7 and Define 7 XL and enables the mounting of more components without the need to drill holes into your system. 

This mount can also be used to mount additional HDDs at the top of the enclosure, replacing the case's fan mounts. We don't recommend this solution for aesthetic reasons, but PC builders who simply need more HDD space may find this solution useful. 


Fractal Define 7/Define 7 XL Review  

Fractal's Define 7 and Define 7 XL both feature integrated fan controllers, which feature support for up to six 3-pin fans and three PWM fans. This should be enough to accommodate the need of most systems, By default, Fractal's Define 7 ships with three 140mm Fractal Dynamic GP-14 fans. 


Fractal Define 7/Define 7 XL Review  

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Most Recent Comments

25-02-2020, 09:55:02

Wraith
So much want! I adored the Define S was considering getting another to replace the Define C which really does suffer bad thermals, Fractal have ticked all my boxes and wetted my appetite again. Loving the OC3D inspired features, Angled full length PSU Cover (Myself), Front Filter (TTL) (we know we inspired them). I know who's getting my hard earned cheddar on this upgrade.Quote

27-02-2020, 00:49:21

NeverBackDown
If I were to watercool a massive build this would be the case. BUT on the other hand, why are cases getting more and more expensive? I remember you could get an insane quality case for like $80... good ol' times. At least this case for the money is probably the best you can get in that price bracket.Quote

18-05-2020, 12:51:24

Bartacus
Well I picked up one of these in white, and it's not the best water cooling case out there. It's decent, but it's one compromise after another. You can't stuff this thing with any serious radiator setups. Even having the *slimmest* of rads in the roof with only one set of fans covers up the top of your motherboard, so if you have an LED code display up top, forget about reading that if you have a roof rad. That's with a SLIM rad too, forget about a 60mm rad up top unless you want to cover up half your motherboard and possible interfere with your RAM. So realistically that leaves you with one slim 360 rad up top (forget about a 420, unless you want to cripple the front rad mount). Any thick rads need to go in front, no other choice, and that cripples the top / bottom mounts (bottom rad mounts are utterly useless if you fill the front mount, unless you want to put a single 120/140 rad down there). Like I said, one compromise after another. These things don't become apparent until you start trying to fit rads.



You aren't fitting triple rads in here comfortably, unless you run triple 240s, then what's the point, LOL!


This might be a good airflow / HDD / server case, but for a custom loop, Lian-Li is a far better option IMO.Quote

18-05-2020, 13:22:08

Avet
Fractal shot themselves in the foot with their choice of not supporting rads in the top. I would understand if it was a smaller case. If it had only 3 cm more space above the board it would be the best case in the world by far. That would be enough to put 360 slim rad at the top, and it would clear end tanks on the rad in front.

3 cm isn't much but as we all know it makes all the difference.Quote
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