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Building With The Fractal Design Define XL

Six Low-Noise, Performance-Oriented Cases, Tested
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Fractal Design beautifies its steel-and-plastic case with a textured finish and aluminum door insert.

USB 3.0 is made possible on this case via a $10 upgrade part. Fractal Design is the only company in today’s test to use the now-universal internal USB 3.0 interface, and almost qualifies for an “automatic design win” because of that, if not for the fact that this part must be purchased separately. Unfortunately, it's not yet available, though Fractal Design says it'll go on sale in June through Newegg.

The included installation kit contains a wide variety of screws, a fan controller, cable ties, and a 3.5” front-panel adapter plate. The drive adapter itself is factory-installed in one of the 5.25” bays.

Each drive tray comes with rubber dampers, used with shoulder screws in the installation kit. These dampers may be moved to alternative holes, depending on how the drive tray is oriented. No dampers are used for 2.5” drives, since the option is intended to support noiseless SSD drives.

Optical drives screw directly into the Define XL’s 5.25” bays, following the methods discussed in How To Build A PC.

Fractal Design felt that its case didn’t need additional fans in order to do its job, but nonetheless provides additional fan mounts in its design. The company sent along a 120 mm and 140 mm fan to be used as intakes in an alternative test configuration, using the case’s 5.25” bay adapter and side-panel mount.

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