As the TR staff gears up for our next system build, we've teased two sets of critical components over the past couple of days: our CPU, graphics card, and motherboard plus our memory, power supply, and solid-state drive. Now it's time to round out our build with a case, cooler, and high-capacity mechanical storage.
Fractal Design's Define series of cases are long-time favorites of ours. To house the rest of our swanky components, we snagged the latest and greatest: a Define R6 in black with a tempered-glass side panel. The sixth Define of the line adds a clever top-mounted dust filter and removeable top radiator mount for easier wrangling of big liquid-cooling equipment, as well as a modular hard-drive panel that can hold as many as six 3.5" storage devices or sit flush with the motherboard tray for a cleaner-looking build.
A full-length power-supply shroud and that tempered-glass side panel bring this Define in line with modern styling trends, but builder-friendly features like sound-dampened panels, a reversible front door, and a pulls-out-from-the-front dust filter carry the torch of the Define R5 forward. As a final touch, a handy PWM fan hub lies behind this case's motherboard tray, too.
To keep our Threadripper 1950X cool under pressure, Fractal Design also sent over one of its Celsius S36 360-mm liquid coolers. This all-in-one boasts a couple of unusual features for plug-and-play cooling hardware, like G 1/4 fittings on its pump and radiator and a built-in fan controller for its trio of Dynamic X2 GP12 fans.
This liquid-cooling system can be expanded to include a graphics card in the loop should the builder desire it, and Fractal's built-in fan controller offers worry-free responsiveness to changes in CPU temperature. The wide 500-RPM-to-2000-RPM range of this system's included fans should make manual tuning a snap should we choose to go that route, as well.
Finally, we're complementing our 1-TB NVMe SSD boot gumstick with a pair of Western Digital Red 6-TB hard drives. These 5400-RPM mechanical units, model number WD60EFRX, will likely be ganged together in RAID 1 for peace of mind, and WD Reds' NAS- and RAID-tuned firmware make them perfect fits for that role. We've long used Red drives for archival storage in builds like these, and we're happy to continue the tradition this time around.
Now that you've seen all the parts that will make up this heavy-duty PC, stay tuned as we put it together and reveal just who this system is for and why we're building it the way we did. Our thanks to AMD, Gigabyte, G.Skill, Antec, Samsung, Fractal Design, and Western Digital for their contributions to this project and sponsorship of this build.