Six Low-Noise, Performance-Oriented Cases, Tested

Building With The Fractal Design Define XL

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.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • Tamz_msc
    i7 2600K at 34.5 GHz? o.O
  • the rv03 is out at less $$$ you guys should do a rv02-E vs rv03 round in the cooling side and thats because the rv03 has more fans
  • dragonsqrrl
    Using a SilverStone Fortress Series FT02B-W here. Basically identical interior design, except in my opinion the exterior is more aesthetically pleasing. Glad to confirm the excellent cooling characteristics.
    Another big plus with the Fortress 2 is the inclusion of sound dampening foam on every panel, but to be entirely honest with you, due to the open nature of the case, I'm really not sure how much sound it's actually dampening.
  • henryvalz
    34.5 Ghz...

    Hell, yes! About time, pushing those extreme overclocks!
  • Gamer-girl
    I think there needs to be info on how much space there is for graphics cards.
  • xmaswraith
    34.5 gigahertz? 34.5 gigahertz? Great Scott!

    Marty, I'm sorry. But the only power source capable of generating 34.5 gigahertz of electricity is a bolt of lightning... (begin back to the future theme song!)
    henryvalz34.5 Ghz...Hell, yes! About time, pushing those extreme overclocks!I bet they were overclocking from Pluto.
  • killerclick
    JOSHSKORNI bet they were overclocking from Pluto.
    Didn't you watch the news? Astronomers sent a dwarf in a rocket to remove Pluto so it doesn't exist anymore.
  • Luay
    RV-03 pushes more air and cools better than the 02, but it's also louder.
  • madsbs
    Yet, as a gaming case, the Raven 2 Evolution may not fulfill the aesthetic or storage needs of some computing professionals