Fractal Define C Compact Review

Fractal Define C Compact Review

Fractal Define C Compact Review

Fractal Define C Compact Review

When it comes to PC cases size really matters, whether you are just looking to make a small form factor office PC or a fully water cooled EATX performance powerhouse. Some people prefer their PC to be compact while others prefer their PC to dominate their deskspace, leaving space in the market for cases of all shapes and sizes.  
Many of our readers will already be familiar with Fractal Design's Define S series of cases, offering plenty of space inside for both water cooling and large system components, but the builders of more basic systems found that this was a problem, with the case offering what many would say is too much space. 
While water coolers love this additional space for mounting large radiators and reservoirs, a lot of builders cried out for something that was just a little bit more compact, which is exactly where Fractal's new Define C series comes into play. The Define C offers a lot of the same characteristics that Define S fans will be familiar with, but a more compact design where every inch of space is utilised to its fullest potential. 

   Fractal Define C Compact Review  Fractal Define C Compact Review


What is new with the Define C is that Fractal has added a full cover PSU shroud, giving PC builders additional cable management space and a cleaner aesthetic overall. This chassis may be designed to be more compact than the Define S but the C can still fit 

This chassis may be designed to be more compact than the Define S but the C can still fit inside of it a lot of hardware, with the ability to fit in a 40mm thick 360mm, 280mm, or 240mm radiator in the front and a 240mm radiator on at the top of the chassis, all while still offering space for large GPUs like the GTX 1080 or large CPU coolers with 140mm fans of you decide against using an AIO water cooler. 

Storage wise the Define C has the ability to use two 3.5mm drives at the base of the chassis and have three 2.5" drives behind the motherboard tray, giving this case plenty of options when it comes to storage while still offering plenty of cable management room. If users plan on using a 360mm radiator at the front of the chassis this case's 3.5" drive bays will have to be removed, restricting storage options.


       Fractal Define C Compact Review  Fractal Define C Compact Review


At the top of the chassis, Fractal's Define C has the option to either block the two fan mounts with Fractal Design ModuVent or replace the block with a magnetic fan filter, allowing the case to offer a pleasing aesthetic both with and without fan mounts. This will allow this case to please both silence freaks and airflow junkies alike, which is great to see from a case at launch.    




The Fractal Design Define C is designed to be Compact, but surprisingly this has not added many restrictions when it comes to hardware selection. Every inch of this chassis is put to good use allowing PC builders to fit full-sized GPUs, large CPU coolers and even AIO liquid coolers into this case with ease.  

Fractal's older Define S chassis offered PC builders with a lot of room to work with, but often made your components look small unless you filled your PC with a large water cooling setup, but the Define C offer the average PC builder with adequate room to work with acts as a canvas where your PC components can still act as the centerpiece without being dwarfed by the sheer size of your chassis.   

The only real restrictions that Fractal Define C users will have is when it comes to water cooling, but that is always a problem with smaller cases like this. Even so, the Define S still has plenty of space for a 40mm thick 360mm radiator in the front and a 45-60mm 240mm radiator at the top of the chassis. Water coolers will need to remove the case's 3.5" drive bays to fit this kind of water cooling setup and make do with a compact pump/reservoir combo unit at the base of the chassis, making heavy water cooling difficult but far from impossible. 

For the average system builder, the Fractal Define C offers more than enough space for systems with large GPUs, air cooler and AIO liquid coolers while still coming in a smaller than average from factor.  

When it comes to an award the Fractal Design could have won an easy value for money award at the price of £83.99, offering a nigh perfect balance between size and feature set while still coming in at an affordable price. Instead, we have decided to give the Fractal Define C the OC3D Innovation Award, as Fractal has managed to design a chassis with full ATX features in a size that we would usually MATX cases, all while still making the case feel spacious and easy to build in.

In many ways the Fractal Define C is like Dr Who's Tardis, looking a fairly small and simple until you get a peak inside. This case may be small, but it certainly can fit a lot more hardware inside than you would expect, making it perfect for DIY system builders.        

Fractal Define C Compact Review


You can join the discussion on the Fractal Design Define C on the OC3D Forums.  

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Most Recent Comments

02-11-2016, 14:17:24

Another win for the neat freaks. Glorious case.Quote

02-11-2016, 15:04:11

i hope they do a matx/itx version in white!Quote

02-11-2016, 15:07:35

Meh I don't know. Never been a big believer in those PSU shrouds though. I still think the Define R5 is the best case ever from Fractal.Quote

02-11-2016, 15:15:48

oh i forgot, i thought i seen that psu shroud before.... oh yeah i have

02-11-2016, 15:41:07

Irony! We were just discussing this Quote

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