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Radiator Installation

System Builder Marathon, Q4 2013: A $2400 PC That Costs $2700

If you saunter over to page five of Quiet Gaming Cases, Part 2: Corsair, Fractal, And Gigabyte, you'll find a walk-through of the basic hardware installation in Fractal Design's Define R4, and our review of Thermaltake’s Water 2.0 Extreme shows how the CPU mates with the motherboard. Now we just need to figure out how to put that cooler into this case!

The Define R4 has dual-fan radiator mounts on both its top panel and front intake fan bracket. Indeed, front mounting gives us the coolest air for reduced CPU temperatures, even if that option requires removing the bottom and center hard drive cages. A second set of mounting holes lets us reposition the lower hard drive cage. But the upper cage can't be used once the lower one gets moved.

Fractal Design doesn’t mention this side bracket, which is designed to keep the cage from flexing front-to-rear. It’s not needed with the center cage taken out, and the bracket itself must be removed to make room for the front-mounted radiator.

One of the screws securing that bracket isn’t accessible from the fan filter door, so the entire front panel has to be pulled off. Thankfully, Fractal employs a snap-off design. After removing the four bottom screws and two front screws, the lower drive cage falls out.

A single top latch secures the Define R4's fan bracket, and side latches clip its fan in place. Sliding out the filter, we find screw holes.

This dual-fan radiator can be mounted at several heights, but only the lowest mounting holes allow its tanks to slide past case obstructions.

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