Fractal Design’s Define C case reviewed

Something a little weird is happening in the world of DIY PCs of late. Look at Z170 motherboards—probably the most popular platform for enthusiast system builds these days—and you’ll see an abundance of ATX options alongside just a handful of microATX and mini-ITX boards. Awareness of those small-form-factor boards seems to be higher than it’s ever been, but we’re still a long way away from those form factors becoming default choices for the average system builder.

Even if motherboard makers are still putting the majority of their time and effort toward ATX boards, other developments around those PCBs are lessening the need for huge cases. CPUs and graphics cards are becoming surprisingly efficient, and that trend means hulking power supplies are no longer necessary in most builds. Copious gaming power can come from graphics cards under seven inches long. Storage devices are becoming denser, so one or two spinning disks can replace a hefty complement of 3.5″ drives. All of those changes make full towers and even large mid-towers seem ideal for only the most power- and storage-hungry builds.

In keeping with this new reality, the ATX mid-tower is shrinking. We’ve already seen what’s possible from a compact mid-tower with Corsair’s Carbide Series 400C, and Fractal Design is hopping on board that train today with the Define C. Despite its ATX motherboard tray, the Define C’s wheelbase is two inches shorter than even the microATX Corsair Obsidian 350D’s, and it’s only a hair taller than Corsair’s compact case. When one can have a space-saving ATX case like this one, it’s hard for me to imagine why many builders would want to bother with the limitations of microATX. Might explain the slim pickings for those boards on Newegg right now.

Thanks to its ATX bones, the Define C still offers full seven expansion slots and room for 168-mm-tall CPU coolers, 280-mm or 360-mm front radiators, and 240-mm top radiators. Despite its compact frame, Fractal’s latest can still swallow 12.4″-long graphics cards, too. The only things it can’t hold are tons of storage devices, optical drives, complex liquid-cooling loops, or super-long power supplies. Builders only get two 3.5″ combo sleds and three dedicated 2.5″ mounts for storage in the Define C, and that’s it. For modern system builds that tend to pair one capacious SSD with one hard drive, though, those specs seem just right.

Every time a Fractal case comes through the TR labs, it’s fun to see what new refinements have made their way in. The Define C is the first Fractal case I’ve used that includes a dust filter for the top ModuVent panel—a welcome development after years of badgering on my part. Fractal’s engineers have carried over the best features from the company’s other cases, too. The C gets the Define Nano S’s noise-dampened front panel, and it also gets the Define R5’s full-length bottom dust filter that pulls out from the front of the case. While the Define C’s left-side windowed panel isn’t dampened, the right-side panel keeps the same thin sheet of noise-dampening material common on other Fractal cases.

Up top, the Define C offers two USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack, and a mic jack that flank the company’s signature big round power button. The C’s ModuVent is the same single-panel design that debuted on the Define Nano S instead of the three-panel covers on the Define S and Define R5. While this design is slightly less versatile than those on Fractal’s bigger cases, the included dust filter at least means that popping off the panel won’t allow dust to make its way in through unoccupied radiator or fan mounts.

The Define C rests on four rubber-padded feet. The full-length bottom dust filter seen here will prevent dust from making its way into the power supply or into the case through the optional 120-mm bottom fan mount.

Behind the padded front panel and a pop-out dust filter, Fractal includes one of its Dynamic X2 GP-12 120-mm fans. As many as two 140-mm or three 120-mm spinners can draw air in through the Define C’s front end, though triple-fan or 360-mm radiator setups will require builders to ditch the 3.5″ drive cage. We’ll examine why when we take apart the case shortly.

Around back, we get a glimpse of the Define C’s other included 120-mm fan, its seven white expansion slot covers, and the removable power supply mounting bracket.  Even though the C only has a 120-mm fan mount at its rear, Fractal kept the adjustable mounting system that we’ve praised in its past cases. That sliding fan could prove handy for builders with top-mounted radiators in mind.

Here are the Define C’s specs in convenient tabular form:

  Fractal Design Define C (with window)
Type ATX mid-tower
Dimensions (W x H x D) 8.3″ x 17.3″ x 15.7″  (210 x 440 x 399 mm)
Supported motherboards Mini-ITX, microATX, ATX
3.5″ drive mounts 2
2.5″ drive mounts 3
5.25″ drive bays None
Fan mounts 3 120-mm or 2 140-mm front fans

2 120-mm or 140-mm top fans

1 120-mm rear fan

1 120-mm bottom fan

Radiator mounts Front radiators up to 280 mm or 360 mm long

(with hard drive cage removed)

Top radiators up to 240 mm or 280 mm long

(motherboard heatsinks cannot exceed 40 mm tall)

One 120-mm rear radiator

(radiator cannot be more than 125 mm wide)

Included fans 1 Fractal Design Dynamic X2 GP-12 120-mm front fan

1 Fractal Design Dynamic X2 GP-12 120-mm rear fan

Front panel I/O 2x USB 3.0

Headphone

Microphone

Max. graphics card length 12.4″ (315 mm)
Max. CPU cooler height 6.6″ (168 mm)
Gap behind motherboard 0.75″ – 1.5″ (19 mm – 38 mm)

Fractal suggests a $79.99 price tag for the non-windowed Define C and a $84.99 sticker for the windowed version we’re reviewing today. Compared to other compact ATX cases, those price tags are quite aggressive—Corsair’s 400C goes for an even $100 for similar specifications. Let’s see what those dollars get you inside the Define C now.

 

Diving in

Getting inside the Define C is as simple as it gets—the side panels both use a swing-away latch instead of the increasingly primitive-feeling tab-and-slot mechanism common on many other cases. Taking off the panels reveals one new feature for a Fractal Design case that I’m not too hot on: a non-removable power-supply-and-storage cover. These shrouds are getting more and more common in today’s cases, and companies seem to have settled on two basic approaches: a removable plastic shroud or a riveted-in metal cover. I prefer removable shrouds for their convenience during the build process, but others might prefer the inherent rigidity of a permanent solution.

Since the Define C is so stubby, its main chamber makes no provisions for storage devices at all. That area is given over entirely to a deeply inset motherboard tray ringed by a set of rubber grommets. Sadly, the power supply cover has no dedicated holes in its surface for PCIe power connectors, as we get in the 400C or Cooler Master MasterBox 5. That decision does make for a cleaner-looking interior, but it might make cable routing a challenge down the line. The Define C does have a pair of large grommets at the forward edge of its motherboard tray, at least.

Flipping the Define C around reveals a bottom chamber design similar to the one we took issue with in Zalman’s Z9 Neo. From the power-supply mount to the edge of its 3.5″ drive cage, the Define C has 9″ of space on the dot. Standard ATX power supplies measure about 5.9″ long, so there’s only about 3″ of space available in front of the PSU for cable storage. Folks looking to add or remove cables from their modular PSUs will probably need to slide the unit out of the case using the thumbscrew-secured mounting bracket to make room for their hands.

The Define C also has only three-quarters of an inch or so of cable-routing space behind its motherboard tray at its tightest point. Fractal Design seems to be nudging builders toward routing as many of their cables as possible through the roughly 1.5″-deep channel at the front of the case. Considering that power and data cables for the SSD mount and the four- or eight-pin EPS connector have to go directly behind the motherboard regardless, we’d have liked to see a slightly roomier area back there.

For builds that do without 3.5″ storage devices entirely, the dual-drive 3.5″ cage can be removed with a quartet of screws underneath the case. Once the drive tray is out, builders also have the option to remove a metal cover that sits above the cage for extra radiator or cable-routing space using a pair of screws behind the front panel. Fractal’s attention to detail shows with this cover: even though most people will never see its underside, all of its edges are nicely rounded offand it fits into its cut-out without the slightest gap.

Personal preferences about removable power-supply covers aside, the Define C’s interior largely appears to uphold Fractal’s reputation for well-designed, easy-to-use cases. Let’s see if those impressions hold up in practice.

The build

If you’ve read any of our other reviews of Fractal Design mid-towers, you already know what’s coming in this section. Getting our motherboard, CPU cooler, and graphics card into the Define C’s main chamber was an effortless process. We didn’t run into a single hitch, and our finished build looks quite slick thanks to the power-supply shroud and cable grommets ringing the motherboard tray.

Running cables to each of those components proved a little tricky, though. Since the Define C has so little space in front of its power supply, we had to carefully stuff any unused cable lengths into that tiny gap. The hook-and-loop straps in the C’s main cable-routing channel helped keep most of the potential cable-routing disorder in check, though. While we did find enough space to stow cables in the end, I feel like it would have been nice to have another half-inch or so of room behind the Define C’s motherboard tray. As it stands, this relatively cramped area is the only minor blemish on an otherwise smooth build.

 

Our testing methods

Here are the specifications of our test system:

Processor Intel Core i5-6600K
Motherboard ASRock Z170 Extreme7+
Memory 16GB (2x8GB) G.Skill Trident Z DDR4-3000
Graphics card Asus Strix Radeon R9 Fury
Storage Two Kingston HyperX 480GB SSDs

WD Black 1TB 7200 RPM hard drive

Power supply Seasonic SS-660XP2
CPU cooler Cooler Master MasterAir Pro 4
OS Windows 10 Pro

Our thanks to ASRock, G.Skill, Asus, Kingston, Western Digital, and Cooler Master for contributing parts to our test rig, and to Fractal Design for providing the Define C for review.

Our case-testing cycle consists of the following phases:

  • 10 minutes idling at the Windows 10 desktop
  • 10 minutes running the Prime95 Small FFTs CPU torture test
  • 10 minutes running Prime95 and the Unigine Heaven GPU benchmark
  • 10 minutes idling at the Windows desktop

We use the following software in our case tests:

  • Prime95 version 28.10
  • AIDA64 Engineer 5.80.4000
  • Unigine Heaven 4.0

Cooling performance

Here are the results of our cooling tests, plotted over time:


And here are the minimum and maximum temperatures of our test system’s components during each testing stage:


You’ll have to excuse us for a couple weird results in these tests—it seems an application was loading our graphics card in the Define C during its idle phase, and AIDA64 didn’t gather hard-drive temperatures in the Define S. Even so, we think we have a pretty good picture of the cooling performance of these cases.

Despite the Define C’s compact size and smaller fans, it’s no less effective at cooling the system inside compared to the larger Define S and its 140-mm spinners. Both cases keep our test system’s components within a couple degrees Celsius of each other, and none of the numbers suggest reason for worry.

Noise levels

Here are the noise levels we measured during the idle and load phases of our tests. Each measurement was made 18″ from the top, left, right, and front of the cases being tested using the Faber Acoustical SoundMeter app running on an iPhone 6S Plus.


At idle, the Define C and Define S are both flirting with the noise floor of our testing environment. The only audible noise from either case is the sound of the hard drive motor in our WD Black 1TB drive. The Define S does emit more noise from its right side than the Define C does, however, possibly thanks to the close proximity of its hard-drive mounts to the right side panel. Under load, these Defines deliver practically identical sound pressure levels at every measurement point. That performance is in keeping with the Define C’s thermal figures: it’s not working any harder than the larger Define S to keep the components inside cool.

From a subjective standpoint, the Define C’s included fans are just as good as the 140-mm fans in the Define S and Define R5. They’re inaudible at any reasonable distance while the system inside idling, and they only add the slightest whooshiness to the case’s noise character under load. That whooshiness is eclipsed by the sound of the graphics cooler on our Asus Strix R9 Fury card, so it’s not a concern for folks trying to minimize component noise.

Honestly, if minimizing component noise is a priority, the best thing one can do for either of these cases is to ditch the hard drive. I measured a 28.5-dBA idle SPL from the left side of the Define C with the hard drive off—a major improvement considering how quiet these cases are to begin with. With the 3.5″ mechanical drive out of the picture, these cases deliver near-silent computing.

 

Conclusions

After my time with Fractal Design’s Define C, I find myself marveling at just how huge and ungainly most of the other ATX mid-towers in my house now seem. If one can fit an ATX mobo, an enormous and power-hungry graphics card, and all the trimmings into a case that’s no bigger than the average microATX tower, I see no reason not to go with the best of both worlds from here on out.

One part of the C’s design suggests a future imperfect. Its permanent power-supply shroud makes clean-looking builds easy, but it also poses some cable-routing and cable-storage challenges. A modular power supply is all but required for this case, and plugging extra cables into such a unit will require builders to slide out the PSU any time an adjustment is required. Once all those cables are in place, owners might also have to perform a bit of cramming and squashing to tame the cable nest underneath the shroud. These are all minor issues, to be fair, but I’ve never used a Fractal mid-tower that I’d call “cramped” in any way before my experience with the Define C.

Those minor quibbles aside, the Define C turned in great performance once we wrapped up our build. Fractal Design’s included fans kept our Casewarmer testing system cool and quiet under load, and a bit of hard-drive noise was the only indication our system was on at all while it idled in this case. Cut 3.5″ storage out of your build entirely—an increasingly attainable dream these days—and this case will treat you to near-silent operation at idle.

Fractal Design Define C

November 2016

All told, Fractal’s latest delivers every bit of the clean styling, quiet manners, modular touches, and solid performance we’ve come to expect from the company’s other cases. For systems with one hard drive, one SSD, and one graphics card—that is to say, every Skylake-powered build in our System Guide—the Define C seems like a perfect fit. Space-conscious builders who still value expandability can rest easy with this microATX-sized ATX mid-tower, as well. That long list of virtues comes with a competitive price tag: $80 for the non-windowed Define C, or $85 for the fenestrated version we tested.

Unless you absolutely need the Define S’s custom-liquid-cooling-friendly insides or the Define R5’s copious 3.5″ bays, the Define C seems like the way to go in Fractal’s lineup for the average new system build. If this case represents the future of the ATX mid-tower, we think it’s a bright one—and it’s made all the brighter for Fractal Design by another gleaming TR Editor’s Choice award.

Comments closed
    • DPete27
    • 3 years ago

    Looks like a nice platform to produce an mATX case with. Just lop off the height of the extra expansion slots and you’re done. That would be a great competitor to the Silverstone TJ08!!

      • DancinJack
      • 3 years ago

      I guess you didn’t see the Mini C?

        • DPete27
        • 3 years ago

        Remembered seeing that news post after I posted this comment. Thanks.

    • slowriot
    • 3 years ago

    So many “No, I don’t know what’s actually available. That’s why I’m going to ask Fractal fix this case by making it into one of the cases they already make.” comments. Sigh.

    • BigDDesign
    • 3 years ago

    This reminds me of when I broke my neck years ago and had bought a Shuttle system. It did the same work and was just this little box. This is a step in the right direction for ATX motherboard systems. Never liked anything smaller. But as a person that does graphics and video like most of us do (even if you’re doing just amateur work)…. there are things that I think to be there for the perfect small ATX case. I still think you can use the same dimensions to do it. And last, the top mount USB Ports (needs 1 more) and Audio Ports on top are a dust magnet without a cover. There is also no reason one of these companies can’t fit an SD slot somewhere. Every Laptop seems to have one, why do we have to buy an external one with a cord that is always too short to reach where you want it to from the back.

    I have been involved in with graphic design on windows machines since 1995. Have had a lot of experience with building workstations. That was a part of my business for many years. Years ago Raid Arrays were the answer for speed. Now we have SSD and everything has changed and downsizing is in order. Enough of that. Here is what I think is missing in a perfect small form factor computer workhorse or just about any ATX machine that can do just about anything in this day and age.

    1:) It still would be good to have a blu-ray player/burner dvd-r burner type item still in a build. People still have DVD players and Blu-Ray players. Along with the fact that some of you are using your monitor to watch content. Redbox $1.50 Rental ring a bell. What if someone comes over with the latest snowboard movie they bought up on the mountain? There are a million reasons that a blu-ray player dcd/cd burner should be in your build. Sheet, you can buy software that you can make blu-ray discs like a pro for below $100.

    2:) More USB ports below 5.25 slot housing blu-ray player. 3 more USBs would be nice and that would be a good place for that SD slot I mentioned. It doesn’t have to take up the room of a 5.25 slot, just enough room to get the job done.

    3:) Storage. Maybe you’re young and haven’t lost anything yet. I’m 59 and used to have to take care of 70 clients worth of graphic designs and their videos. Cataloging and naming them is another story for another day. But the point I’m trying to make is that in a perfect world 1 SSD and 1 HD with an external for backup is sufficient. Or is it? If you really want the best sleep at night…. without worry of losing your precious stuff …… multiple backups of them is a good idea. So with that in mind…. My best suggestion to all my clients have been to have an extra HD in the machine with a backup image of Windows drive and a backup of your data drive on it too. Your external drive should have this information too, but it should be connected only once a week for backup. I use encryption for my external, so when my computer boots…. the external won’t initialize until I enter the password. What this does is stop those bad people from holding you hostage with those ransom programs. Backup to the cloud is nice too. But the point is that drives fail, and having 2 backups is a good idea. External drives seem to fail more than internals in my experience too.

    So I want a Disc drive, SD slot, more USB ports and more space for HDs or SSDs. Please note: at this time the price of SSD drives have gotten so cheap that mechanical drives are really leaving the building when you can get a 1TB drive for $329. So making the case fit 3 SSDs is not a stretch (nice and quiet too!). That’s perfect for me. I use a Corsair Obsidian 650D on my main workstation now that I’m retired. Enough from the engineer Big D

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      TL;DR but of the bits I skimmed I agree with you.

      [list<][*<]Cases need cleanly integrated SDcard slots like laptops. [/*<][*<]Dust covers would be welcome for ports since they do actually seem to get filthy all the time. [/*<][*<]OMG two front USB ports aren't enough.[/*<][/list<]

      • thedosbox
      • 3 years ago

      IMO, a “backup” drive in the same box as your primary is not a backup.

        • BigDDesign
        • 3 years ago

        no. it’s a second backup for easy retrieval. I’ve seen too many external drives fail. Also it allows you to have scratch space to do other things in duplicate with your files (if you make a design mistake, you can go back with some scratch ones). when I was in business full swing, I would not sleep without some sort of double or triple of my work. On the fly you’re working and it is just so easy to transfer some files over to another drive for safety. Flash drives work too, I know. You spend you money on a latte, I will spend it on another drive and brew my own java.

          • thedosbox
          • 3 years ago

          “External drives… Flash drives… Cloud…” those are not your only options for real backups.

          [edit] nm, old habits die hard

    • espenta
    • 3 years ago

    Very interesting case, probably my next buy.

    There is one thing I’m curious of though, and this applies to most cases. Why do they have openings above the rear exhaust fan and above the PCI slots? If the exhaust fan is moving more air than the intake fan there will be an underpressure inside the case, and air will be sucked into the case through these holes without any dust filters. Does anyone know why almost all cases have these extra openings?

    It seems to be that the best would be to tape shut these openings, so all intake air will go through the dust filters in front and bottom of the chassis. That would also create a more controlled air flow from front to back. I understand that this is not a problem if there is overpressure inside the case, but taping it shut should give both better cooling and less dust in the case of underpressure.

    Any comments on this?

      • mkk
      • 3 years ago

      You’re quite right. I can get the small holes in the slot brackets to avoid trapping of heat, but the grill beside the slots is redundant. Worst is the loose fit around the exhaust, since it leads to recirculation of air and unfiltered dumping of dust. I block any such off.

      The benefit of lining up the exhaust with a CPU tower cooler is also questionable, as the air from a fan is not blown precisely straight out anyway.

      • Airmantharp
      • 3 years ago

      Easy solution: always make sure intake > exhaust by some small margin if using open-air coolers for GPU(s) and/or CPU, and by a larger margin if using blowers on the GPU(s) and integrated watercoolers for the CPU.

      The result is a neatly clean case after years of use.

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      The small vents everywhere are to prevent airflow dead spots. Regardless of whether you have positive or negative pressure from your fan configuration, some areas will remain out of the air path between fans and there will be equal or near-equal air pressure in all directions.

      Between tightly packed expansion cards is a prime area for dead spots, which is why you often find expansion slots covers drilled out even on cards that have heatsinks that orient the wrong way to take advantage of them. As long as your internal case pressure isn’t equal to the atmospheric pressure outside, there will be some airflow through these holes and that will aid in cooling components (or even the backside of components) that would otherwise be sitting in a dead spot of stagnant air.

    • RdVi
    • 3 years ago

    Love the size! So glad there are more cases that aren’t super deep now. For me that has always been the desk/under desk space issue. It also means more direct airflow from intake fans. Not so good for excessive watercooling – but that’s not what I’m into.

    I wouldn’t want a window version personally, but without the window it would actually look a bit bland. Still way better than the many garish OTT designs out there, but there are ways to make steel/alloy look interesting without going into ugly territory. For example my current FT04 has some nice curve and bevel work.

    • Sopor42
    • 3 years ago

    Any idea when we’ll be able to pick one up for ourselves?

    I’ve got a build spec’d out and ready to go in a Define S, but with no optical drives and potentially no 3.5″ or even 2.5″ drives planned, the Define C looks like a better option for me. I’ll wait just a little while if it’s going to be available soon…

    • Shobai
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<]Processor: Intel Core i7-6600K[/quote<] There'll be a single digit error in here, I'd guess.

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      I know what you mean but I always translate that as flipping the bird.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 3 years ago

    If this had been a thing when I bought my Define R4, I might have bought one. It’s considerably smaller, and I really don’t need all the drive bays. I’m down to a single 3.5″ drive and a single 2.5″ SSD these days, and for my use I don’t see a reason to change.

    • mkk
    • 3 years ago

    I can see this working just fine with a lot of builds, but for me personally they’ve cut about an inch too much in each direction.

    My biggest gripe is the 120mm outlet. Then I’d also have kept a front door or hatch to reach the filter, and maybe even an optional 5,25″ cage. And lastly for the non windowed version skip the PSU partition as it’s pure fluff.

    But yeah such changes would move the price up. This should sell really well.

      • kmm
      • 3 years ago

      fwiw my impression was the opposite direction—thought they could’ve cut an extra inch on height and depth.

      Also for a design like this it’s kind of a waste that they don’t put drive mounts on the PSU shroud. That’s what some others do and that makes sense. Most people aren’t filling the 7th slot of an ATX board and might want more storage space.

        • mkk
        • 3 years ago

        The goal of the shroud is to look nice with the window, rather than anything thermal as its perforated anyway. Drive mounts there would go against that goal.
        Making it even shorter would put significant constraints on PSU length, graphics card and radiator support. Not that I’d put a radiator in the front, but it seems the “market” has a lot of demands for radiators these days.
        Lower the height and you might have to employ a design with the PSU in the front section or some other questionable placement.

          • kmm
          • 3 years ago

          Yeah, exactly, I think they should give up (more than rudimentary) rad support. Lower height from cutting out some of the excess space up top. You don’t have to move the PSU, just have less space above the motherboard. Less depth from reducing front-to-back space, cutting down potentially on extra-long graphics cards with front fans in the position or rad space interfering with things. There are more than enough powerful, short-depth PSUs these days, and you could always just remove the drive cage if you really want or need more space down there.

          NZXT H440 and maybe others have drive mounting points on the PSU shroud, with a window. Some people like the look. Besides, there’s also a windowless version.

          Fractal already has the Define S. If they’re making a more compact Define C, there should be a bigger size difference between them. Everyone who wants watercooling uses the S and anyone interested in saving on space gets more of that with a smaller C.

          I’m not a fan of the every-case-tries-to-play-to-multiple-audiences design philosophy that everybody uses, though I suppose it might make more business sense. Fractal is big on the flexibility thing since a while back with the Define series vent covers.

    • Chrispy_
    • 3 years ago

    You’re showing your youth now, Jeff 🙂

    This is the size ATX cases were when ATX [i<]launched[/i<]. They became the XL, oversized bloated monstrosities because at some point the marketing people decided that they weren't competing unless there was room for eleventeen drives, quad-SLI and an E-ATX dual-socket board all cooled by multiple radiators. If you go back 15 years, cases were 7 slots and an ATX PSU tall, had minimal cable clearance around the back of the motherboard and weren't wide enough to mount 3.5" drives sideways. Many of them would put a lot of modern mATX cases to shame! I certainly remember being able to carry one under each arm with ease. I'm glad there's at least a hint that case manufacturers are finally starting to think about case space-efficiency again; With modular PSUs, the death of optical bays, the replacement of 3.5" drives with SSDs and the major add-in card functions now motherboard standard features, it's actually still quite ridiculous how big the popular ATX cases are, even when you put long GPUs and ATX boards in them.

      • hans
      • 3 years ago

      I wish there was an abundance of cases with eleventeen drive bays. There are few options with more than 8, without going to a 4U, or $200.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 3 years ago

      I even had an Antec case from that 15-years-ago timeframe that was smaller still. It was only wide enough for 5.25″ drives and 92mm rear exhaust fans, and since 2.5″ SSDs didn’t exist the 3.5″ drive cage hung over the RAM. Building that system was an enormous pain, and I bought a Chieftec full-tower clone to compensate. Kinda veered too much in the other direction. 😆

      • GatoRat
      • 3 years ago

      My ATX case is an inch taller and deeper than this one and it has two external 5 1/2 inch bays, one of which holds my Blu-Ray burner. Unfortunately, its cooling sucks so I’ve been looking around. This looks very attractive, but why not at least a vertical 5 1/2 slot for a burner? It baffles me.

        • slowriot
        • 3 years ago

        Because they’ve built this case specifically to a market that DOESN’T WANT THAT. If you do want that go take a look at the Fractal Design website because guesssss what? They already make a case an awful lot like the one you’re describing!

          • GatoRat
          • 3 years ago

          You miss the point. The C is only slightly smaller (except width) as my current “standard” ATX case, but with fewer features.

        • GatoRat
        • 3 years ago

        One reason is the bottom mounted power supply, which means it will be sucking in carpet fibers. Put the power supply back on top and you instantly have room for two 5.25 drive bays. Or they could put one bay at the bottom.

    • Voldenuit
    • 3 years ago

    The old Lian-Li PC-A05 was 210x381x490 and also ATX, but had a weird front-mounted PSU setup that won’t suit everyone.

    The Corsair 350D is just obnoxiously big for its motherboard size, but then the same is true for all Corsair cases and always has been.

    • colinstu12
    • 3 years ago

    Awesome looking case.

    • JosiahBradley
    • 3 years ago

    Looks great and capable for work systems. Corsair seems to have some competition in the clean build game now.

      • DeadOfKnight
      • 3 years ago

      Fractal has been bringing the competition for years. If you want a steel tank of a case, Corsair obsidian. If you want a better value and don’t mind having extra plastic bits in your case, Fractal Define. I would have sworn by Corsair if they kept on the path of cases like the 650D, but I don’t like the changes they’ve made to their designs of late. Fractal Design retains a very nice appearance. Funny thing about cases though, once you have one you never need a new one, especially with a Corsair. 🙂

        • James296
        • 3 years ago

        “I have found the case of my dreams now I can get rid of this pita”*buys case*……. *six months later* “I have found the case of my dreams now I can get rid of this pita”*buys case* rinse and repeat. so far since I started building comps in 2007, every motherboard I have ever owned has been in 2 to 3 different “new” cases. This past summer I had to clear out a quite few of them (to make room for more 😛 ).

          • Airmantharp
          • 3 years ago

          wat

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