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Old September 14, 2013, 06:53 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: North East Alberta
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My System Specs

Default My Fractal Design R4 - Titanium Window version

My Fractal Design R4 arrived on Friday - unfortunately the red LED fans and others extra's I ordered did not arrive at the same time ? ? Monday I guess.



In the mean time I moved my current components into my new case. This would be my second build (well I guess it's more of a re-build) so it took me the better part of the day. After all was done, or so I thought, plugged it in, pressed the button and nothing. A little troubleshooting revealed that the main power connection was not in snug enough. Then all was well. Well it did take me a while to figure out that my old DVD needed both power to the SATA3 adaptor and power to the DVD itself - two power connections to one device - who knew?

Cable management is great. I had no problems. I took advantage of the rear mounted SSD placement. Downside you have to take your mobo off to remove your SSD. I don't intend to remove them any time soon. I only have seven sata connections on my mobo - two SSD's, two hard drives, two DVD's and room for one more right now. I have one e-sata drive too off of the mobo. By using the back of the mobo tray I only used two of the three drive bays on the bottom cage. I could take the top cage out if I want - I did take advantage of the option to turn it 90 to improve air flow. Others may have opinons on my cabling skills, but this is a big improvement over build one.



I'm happy with it.

The build quality is great. I love the space. The HDD cages are nice. That black and white thing inside is kinda cool. The fan controller on the front sure beats little tiny switches on the back (Antec's P280).

I'm glad it has filters - boy was my old rig full of dust (no filters on that case). BUT I'm picky I know but the bottom filter which does cover the PSU and the bottom fan is a bit of a bother to get into it's slots. Pretty much have to tip it over and hold the filter as you slide it in. Design could use some refinement. Front filter is great.

It came with two 140mm Fractal Design fans - I moved the one on the back up to the front and have the fan controller control just that pair of intake fans in the front. I put four fans in (not counting my CPU fan). One on the bottom, one on the back and a pair on the top.

I have four CM R4 red LED fans coming in the mail yet. Two will be push-pull on my C.M. Hyper 212 CPU cooler and the other two will go on the back and bottom. I broke off one of the fan blades in the pair of Scythe fans I put on the top. (Note to self: "Keep fingers away from moving fans".) I'll see if I can crazy glue it back on. The fan does not seem to mind running with one less blade but I suspect that it's days are numbered as it must be out of balance. but it is running now and silently. I'm in Edmonton next week maybe I'll just pick up a pair of 140mm red LED's for the top. It does have mounts for 120's but I think the 120's look undersized with the 140mm grill - and I guess 140's move more air. I'm going to Memory Express and I think I'll have to get either Bitfenix or NZXT as these are the only two red LED's in 140, either that or I live with the 'undersized' look on top - it ain't like I'll see it once it is pushed under the desk and either one will give off that nice warm red glow. I can get two more CM's for less than the price of either of those two fans.

Speaking of silence - this is a silent runner. Even with the fans on full I can't really hear anything.

One other downside to this case - I like the 'minimalist" design - I think it looks cool, but did they have to carry that forward to the manual. Two pages of print and one diagram. Had this been my first build I would not have been impressed. As it was they seem to have a "figure it out yourself" approach. A little more help would have been appreciated.

The other downside is the door - they need to take note of how Antec gets the 270 swing and/or how Bitfenix lets you change it to left or right opening on their Ghost. I still use CD ROM based games (rural internet being what it is) so I do open and close the door periodically - well when I get tired of the two games I have in my drives and want to change to another. I've downloaded my last couple of games and expect I'll have to do that more and more so less and less opening and closing of the door.

It only comes with two bays and I might take the one DVD out and use it to rebuild another rig from spare parts I now have, and then I might use that bay for a fancy fan controller - not because I need to - ASUS FanXpert is doing a great job of controlling all the other fans - the built in controller is only good for three fans. Although I suspect that you could use splitters and put more than three on the controller. A good manual would have spelled out how many max can be stacked on that controller. I just think the fan controllers look cool (pun intended). On the other hand with a door who would see it anyway?

Once I get the red LED's loaded and lite I take another couple of pics.

One little thing that I already appreciate - the top of the case at the front is nice and flat. I can lay my camera or Blackberry (yet still BB) or other device that I plug into my front USB. Simple but handy.

And it fits under my desk.

I am going to build a dolly for it with coasters. Another drawback that I noticed right away is that when I reach down to pull it out from under the desk it is very easy to pull the front panel right off. It is designed to come off but it comes off too easily. It is somewhat awkward to pick up because that release for the front panel is right under the front edge where you pick it up. So a small sheet of ply and four coasters I had in the workshop will put this thing on wheels and it will slide in an out easily. I don't think that qualifies as a mod eh?



Sounds like lots of "downsides" but over all I like it a lot.
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FKD
Fort Kent, Alberta

2012 - A10 Rig

Last edited by fortkentdad; September 14, 2013 at 07:01 PM. Reason: just 'cause
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