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Fractal Design Define 7 Chassis Review: Versatility and Refinement

Fractal Design Define 7 combines a striking aesthetic design with a bevy of convenient build features and impressive performance.

Fractal Design Define 7
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Fractal Design)

For comparison purposes, we brought in the iBuyPower Snowblind, NZXT's H710, the Maingear Vybe, and the Corsair iCUE 465X RGB, to give you a good idea how the Fractal Design Define 7 chassis compares to its competitors with similar sizes and feature sets.

Heat

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Despite the somewhat smaller size of the intake vents lining the side of the front panel, the dual-140mm intake fans feeding the large 140mm exhaust fan provided more than enough airflow into the chassis to keep our test system from overheating, even under constant load. CPU temperatures leveled off at 57 degrees Celsius over ambient. These results put it in a three-way tie for the lead, though just by a slim margin over the chassis. GPU temperatures maxed out at 48 degrees Celsius over the ambient room temperature, putting the Fractal Design Define 7 into a tie for first place.

Noise

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

We took sound level readings with two off-the-shelf dB meters from two different angles. Thanks to the thick sound deadening material and the tempered-glass side panel, the Define 7 registered barely 28dB at idle and 30dB under load. These are some of the best numbers we've seen to date from any chassis.

Value

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Cooling efficiency and noise levels are both ways to measure performance. Determining acoustic efficiency, also referred to as cooling-to-noise ratio, is a matter of averaging all of our tests to determine a base value. The Define 7 performed better than the majority of our test group, even if just slightly.

Bottom Line

Added features such as the dual-layout interior, vented top panel, dedicated fill port under the top filter for refilling water loops, and a Nexus+ 2 PWM fan hub will make the Define 7 a favorite with performance enthusiasts and water-cooling aficionados alike. The overall construction of this chassis is extremely solid, and the fit and finish are top notch. If you're looking for top notch performance with a strong feature set, the Fractal Design Define 7 is worth the money.

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  • Newtonius
    That moment in 2020 when the only CON for a PC case is, "No RGB lighting". We've become moths attracted to RGB lights.
    Reply
  • baylesje
    Guess it's not for sale? All the links are.. not for the case.
    Reply
  • sstanic
    Shouldn't "No RGB lighting" go into the pros column? Also, where's the handle to pick it up? Or we shouldn't vacuum our homes for 4-5-ish years until we change our PCs?
    Reply
  • Newtonius
    sstanic said:
    Shouldn't "No RGB lighting" go into the pros column? Also, where's the handle to pick it up? Or we shouldn't vacuum our homes for 4-5-ish years until we change our PCs?

    Well, it is a box. Simply lift with your legs.
    Reply
  • King_V
    I'd like something quiet but with good cooling like this, but 35 lbs is . . uh . . a lot. Then again, I also won't need the ability to convert to "storage" type of feature.

    I am pretty impressed with the combination of cooling ability and quiet, though.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    Why are you putting cases on the ground? If you come to my workspace, you fill find that I put mine on a stand. You will find that some people have a shelf, and that others have room on their desks. For those who have neither, you will find a finished floor to the left or right of the desk.
    Reply
  • Jake Hall
    No RGB is a pro
    Reply
  • Skhelter
    no RGB is so much a PLUS imo

    I am not a moth.
    Reply
  • namtrooper81
    Newtonius said:
    Well, it is a box. Simply lift with your legs.
    What? Lift with my legs like some kind of bodybuilding savage!? ;)
    Reply
  • Nick_C
    sstanic said:
    Shouldn't "No RGB lighting" go into the pros column? Also, where's the handle to pick it up? Or we shouldn't vacuum our homes for 4-5-ish years until we change our PCs?
    Indeed - it's an elegant box - and RGB is, for some, a waste of power and heat.
    Reply