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Fractal Design Define S2 Vision Case Review: Excellence at a Cost

Editor's Choice

Our Verdict

With great thermal performance, sleek styling, tempered glass panels all the way around, and ARGB lighting options galore, Fractal Design's Define S2 Vision delivers everything an enthusiast could want and more.

For

  • Great thermal performance
  • Very good acoustic performance
  • ARGB lighting strip included
  • Four ARGB lit fans included
  • Great styling
  • USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
  • Interchangeable tempered-glass or ventilated top panel

Against

  • Higher-than-average price
  • Front filters require the removal of the entire panel

Features and Specifications

Fractal Design's Define series has long been a favorite in the enthusiast community for its high-quality construction and class-leading performance. That said, the company had fallen a bit behind when it comes to lighting options--until now. The Define S2 Vision bundles classic Fractal Design styling with integrated addressable RGB (ARGB) lighting and enough tempered glass to show it all off. But at $280 (£215), there might be other options out there.

Specifications

TypeMid-Tower ATX
Motherboard SupportMini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX (up to 285mm)
Dimensions (HxWxD)21.38 x 9.17 x 18.31 inches (543 x 233 x 465mm)
Space Above Motherboard3 inches (76.2mm)
Card Length17.32 inches (440mm)
CPU Cooler Height7.3 inches (185mm)
Power Supply Format300mm
Weight26.7 lbs (12.1 kg)
External Bays
Internal Bays3x 3.5" / 2x 2.5”
Card Slots7 + 2
Ports/Jacks1x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, audio/mic jacks
Other1x 400 mm AR-4020 ARGB strip with 20 LEDs
Front Fans3x 140mm Prisma AL-14 ARGB Fans (included)
Rear Fans1x Prisma AL-14 ARGB Fan
Top Fans✗ (Up to 3x 120 / 140mm)
Bottom Fans✗ (Up to 2x 120 / 140mm)
Side Fans
Damping
Warranty2 Years Limited

Constructed of tempered glass, plastic, and steel that’s painted black inside and out, the Fractal Design Define S2 Vision RGB measures 21.4 x 9.2 x 18.3 -inches (543 x 233 x 465mm) and weighs almost 26.5 lbs (12kg). This $280 (£215.22) chassis comes with a two-year limited warranty.

Aside from its performance and build quality, the case’s biggest selling points are the added tempered-glass panels and ARGB lighting. The Fractal Design Define S2 Vision RGB incorporates the company's latest AR-4020 ARGB LED lighting strip, the Adjust R1 RGB controller, and four Fractal Design Prisma AL-14 PWM ARGB fans. A non-RGB 'blackout" version of this chassis is also available for about $90 less.

The entire front panel and the majority of the top panel are tempered glass, attached to a plastic exterior frame. The front features filtered vents running down both sides, and three of the case’s Prisma AL-14 PWM ARGB fans are mounted behind it.

Two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports and a single USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port, headphone and microphone jacks, power and reset buttons and a hard drive activity light are embedded in the leading edge of the top panel. The top of the chassis is equipped with a strip of LED lights and can be configured in two ways: either with a glass panel that has an unrestricted view of the interior, or with an included cooling bracket and filter set built for fans, radiators and all-in-one coolers up to 360mm. 

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Much like Cooler Master and NZXT, Fractal Design has also ditched the use of rubber-coated locating pins and thumbscrews, opting instead for a tempered-glass panel bonded to a metal frame. This assembly attaches to the chassis via push pins. The opposite side panel is also made of tempered glass. Both side panels are secured in the rear with metal thumbscrews.

The rear of the chassis has a fairly standard layout; here you'll find seven standard expansion-card slots (plus two vertical for showing off your graphics card), a motherboard I/O area, an opening for a bottom-mounted PSU, and a 120mm/140mm exhaust-fan mount with slotted screw holes that let you adjust the position of the fan to fine tune airflow or make room for system components.

A large removable plastic mesh filter cover is the entire length of the bottom of the case. The large, rubber-coated feet keep the case approximately one inch off the ground to facilitate air intake to the power supply.

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Filters cover every intake fan mounting location. And although the filters mounted in the edges of the front panel are less than ideal, the full-cover bottom filter slides out from the front for quick and easy cleaning.

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As mentioned earlier, there’s an optional top panel that is essentially one big filter. Removing the top panel is a simple matter of pressing a large button in the rear of the chassis. 

Although the visual appeal of a case is subjective and will vary from person to person, we believe most people will find the introduction of ARGB lighting to the handsome design of the Fractal Design S2 Vision RGB extremely attractive.

Image Credits: Tom's Hardware

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