Fractal Design Define R6 Tempered Glass Edition Case Review

Fractal Design has a well-established reputation for high-quality, feature-rich chassis that are surprisingly easy on the budget. We have the tempered-glass version of the company’s new Define R6 mid-tower ATX case in house for little review action today.

Specifications

After a brief departure from the company’s signature look—let's call it Fractal Design's Meshify C period—the Define R6 appears to be a return to the style that made the company's cases famous. In fact, this chassis bares a striking resemblance to the Fractal Design Define S .

The Fractal Design Define R6 mid-tower chassis comes in black, gunmetal grey, blackout, and white. Measuring 543 x 233 x 465mm and weighing almost 32lbs, this $150 chassis comes with a two-year limited warranty.

Almost the entire top of the Define R6 is covered by what Fractal Design calls its ModuVent sound-damping vent cover. Directly under the ModuVent is a plastic mesh fan filter, and below that are mounting locations for three 120mm or two 140mm fans. The cover can be removed separately from the fan filter to allow air to flow into or out of the case when fans or all-in-one coolers are installed. At the front edge of the top panel are a pair of USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, headphone and microphone jacks, HDD LED, power, and reset buttons.

Designed to mimic the look of brushed aluminum, the front of the case is a large plastic door with a thin aluminum insert and reversible swing that's lined with a thick layer of sound damping material. Behind the door you will find a single 5.25" drive bay opening and a large removable plastic mesh filter covering mounting locations for three 120mm or two 140mm fans. Vertical vents line both sides of the front fascia, extending from the top to bottom of the chassis. Removing the front panel is a simple matter of grabbing the lower edge and pulling.

In the rear of the chassis you'll find the standard motherboard I/O area, an opening for a bottom-mounted PSU, seven expansion card slots, and an exhaust fan mounting location that supports both 120mm and 140mm fans. The exhaust fan mounting location features slotted screw holes that lets you adjust the position of the fan to fine tune airflow or make room for system components. The bottom of the chassis is covered by a 20.5" plastic mesh filter that is removable from the front. The filter covers two mounting locations for 120mm or 140mm fans and the power supply fan opening. The four large rubber-coated feet keep the case approximately a half inch off the ground.

The tempered-glass side panel is attached to a metal frame that eliminates the need for rubber-coated locating pins or hinges. A push-to-lock latching mechanism keeps the panel in place. Fractal Design includes optional thumbscrews to further secure the tempered glass. The panel on the opposite side of the chassis also features a thick layer of sound damping material and is held in place by thumbscrews.

The Define R6 is equipped with a fairly robust fan filtration system, with large removable nylon filters on every fan mounting location including the power supply. It should also be mentioned that all filters are easy to access with no need to move your system for filter maintenance and cleaning.

Although the "look" of a case is subjective and will vary from person to person, we believe most people will find the minimalist design of the Fractal Design Define R6 Tempered Glass Edition very attractive.

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  • hannibal
    Not bad at all!
    I would hope to see even one USB c-type port in the cases today and would not mind second 5.25" bay. Still use that good ole burner and then there need to be one slot for control panel. But maybe I need bigger case for that...
    But good case in any way!
  • SR-71 Blackbird
    A bit overpriced for what you get in my opinion.
  • TheDane
    Love Fractal Design cases! Only using them now.
  • ddferrari
    It's hard to get excited about a $150 case with "mediocre thermal performance".
  • madmatt30
    You pay for the build quality with the fractals.
    That is expensive though comparitively for what amounts to a tempered glass side panel over the predecessors really.

    32 pound in weight though ?!?!
    That thing aint moving once you've planted it down.
  • hannibal
    Upgrade kit Connect D1 will offer USB c Connection so even that is as it should be. Nice!
    http://www.fractal-design.com/home/product/accessories/connect-d1
  • Centrinox86
    Finally they put audio connector surrounded with metal instead of plastic which was prone to breaking.
  • Jay_29
    I was never too satisfied with their cases; the sound dampening design didn’t really dampen my HDD noise all that much. The plastic cover feels cheap and the side panels warp.
  • waylo
    What exactly has changed since the R5? Only major thing I could gather from my quick read-through was there's now a metal sheet separating the PSU area from the rest of the case? Is that a good thing?
  • madmatt30
    ^ well you're pretty much there , both the drive bays & hard drive cages have removeable sheet metal shrouds so you dont see any non-niceties with the full size tempered glaas panel.

    Didn't matter with the r4/r5 as the panel only had a fairly mini window which hid these anyway (I do wish they included a shroud in both those former cases though -I ended up making my own)

    For me its pretty much an r5 tempered glass edition rather than a brand new case but then thats not such a bad thing.

    Too expensive though imo , retail in the uk is £134.99 - the define c glass is only £70-80, the r4/r5 can be had for less than £70 too & all the r6 really offers is a couple of extra drive bays & room.for an optical drive.
  • Lutfij
    I think Fractal got it right with the design of the tempered glass side panel. The way they got metal to contact the glass panel with adhesive yet not show on the business end would be something of an industry first.

    The price tag would be a downer since the case could appeal to air cooling folks or those who'd want to show off their home servers/NAS. On the flip side, the attention to detail and how it's pretty well geared to the watercooling crowd for custom level cooling puts it right up top for cases that need no modding at all to drop in large radiators, push/pull setups and yet hunker down with storage options.

    Nice write up nonetheless ;)

    P.S: There's a video by Bill Owen from MNPCtech showcasing teh R6 and it's got some nice touches hence my mention of the attention to detail by Fractal.
  • SR-71 Blackbird
    Still it's a $100.00 case tops.
    $150.00 is a little high for what it is.
  • jeff.vandyne
    I've been using the non-windowed versions of the Define series since the R3 for small and quiet media server builds. The loss of two 3.5" bays is a deal killer for me. I guess I'll be looking for a new server case. Bummer...I really liked these cases.
  • cleetose
    "Designed to mimic the look of brushed aluminum, the front of the case is a large plastic door."

    It's not just made to look like brushed aluminum, it actually is brushed aluminum.
  • Crashman
    Anonymous said:
    "Designed to mimic the look of brushed aluminum, the front of the case is a large plastic door."

    It's not just made to look like brushed aluminum, it actually is brushed aluminum.
    I realize that some cases of this style have aluminum inserts on the front panel, but I don't see it on this one. And many cases in this style have a textured grain designed to mimic the look of brushed aluminum. So I didn't think he was mistaken when I edited his review, and I still doubt that he was mistaken since I've seen larger images that still don't show any aluminum insert/skin.
  • cleetose
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    "Designed to mimic the look of brushed aluminum, the front of the case is a large plastic door."

    It's not just made to look like brushed aluminum, it actually is brushed aluminum.
    I realize that some cases of this style have aluminum inserts on the front panel, but I don't see it on this one. And many cases in this style have a textured grain designed to mimic the look of brushed aluminum. So I didn't think he was mistaken when I edited his review, and I still doubt that he was mistaken since I've seen larger images that still don't show any aluminum insert/skin.



    Fractal Design's product page says the cover is anodized aluminum. I guess they could be wrong about their own case, but I doubt it.
  • marksavio
    well if you live in europe. these cases are cheaper than in most other countries around the world (minus all the customs/trade tax). but you cant deny the fact that fractal makes really good and well thought out cases for build enthusiasts. but in the end you cant make them all happy rofl.
  • madmatt30
    The r6 absolutely 100% does have an anodized aluminium sheet insert on the exterior of the front panel .

    You could argue because the main hinged substructure of the door is plastic its a plastic front - id argue the other way & call it a metal front.