Fractal Design have been making great sleek looking, high quality cases for years. We decided to take a look at their latest revision of the popular Define series cases – the Define R5 Blackout Edition.
Fractal Design’s Define series R5 blackout edition case is a sleek, soundless and spacious case, that will serve you well for many years to come, no matter what build you put inside it. It’s Scandinavian design screams quality, and what’s most attractive about this case is its configurability and robust construction.
The R5 case already comes in a few different color options (white, titanium, and black), but the blackout edition has been Fractal Design’s response to consumer requests for a spin-off option on the black case.
The regular R5 black case is all black in color, but it has white fans, white expansion slot covers, and white hard-drive tray mounts. In the blackout edition case, all of these components are black, making the entire case solid black. The overall result is that it looks pretty classy.
Besides the minor color change on some case components, the R5 blackout edition is identical to other cases in the R5 series, and includes:
- High-density sound-proofing material throughout the case for maximum sound absorption.
- Extensive cooling support compatible with multiple sized radiators for use in water-cooled systems.
- Tool-less fan slot covers allowing for spare slot coverage or easy installation of additional fans.
- Two low-noise Fractal Design Dynamic GP14 140mm fans.
- Front and bottom air intake dust filters for a dust-free interior.
- Configurable front door with dual side mounting to suit any workspace.
- Two dedicated SSD mounts behind the motherboard tray with tool-free installation and removal.
- Relocatable HDD cage able to accommodate up to eight 3.5″ or 2.5″drives with optimal airflow.
- Removable optical disk drive cage.
- Quick Release System on the left side panel, allowing for quick and easy access inside the case.
- Integrated three-speed fan controller accessible from the front panel.
- Available with viewing window side panel (option).
- ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX motherboard compatibility
- Accommodates CPU heatsink coolers up to 180mm in height
- Accommodates ATX PSUs up to 190/170mm (with a bottom 120/140mm fan installed) or PSUs up to 300mm (when not using any bottom fan)
- Accommodates graphics cards up to 310mm in length (with the top HDD cage installed); or graphics cards up to 440mm in length (with the top HDD cage removed)
- 20 – 35 mm of space for cable management behind the motherboard plate
- 7 expansion slots
- 2 x 5.25″ bays (removable cage)
- 8 x 3.5″ or 2.5″ HDD positions
- 2 x 2.5″ dedicated SSD positions
- 4 x ModuVent™ fan cover plates (One in the side and three on top)
- 9 x fan positions
- 2 all-black Fractal Design Dynamic GP14 140mm fans
- Filtered fan slots in the front and bottom
- Included velcro straps for easy cable management
- Switchable front door opening direction due to dual hinge mounting system
- Left side panel features Quick Release System for easy access yet secure closure
- Right side panel features smart captive thumbscrews so no thumbscrews are lost
- Case dimensions (WxHxD): 232 x 451 x 521 mm / 9.13″ x 17.76″ x 20.51″
- Case dimensions – with feet/screws/protrusions: 232 x 462 x 531 mm / 9.13″ x 18.9″ x 20.91″
- Net weight: 10.6 kg / 23.4 lb
Fractal Design have created the R5 to be highly customizable when it comes to cooling. With spaces for up to 9 fans, there’s a huge number of ways to set up your air cooling system. Here’s the specs showing fan location options:
- Front: 2 x 120/140 mm fans(Included: 1 all-black Fractal Design Dynamic GP14 fan, 1000 RPM speed)
- Rear: 1 x 120/140 mm fan (Included: 1 all-black Fractal Design Dynamic GP14 fan, 1000 RPM speed)
- Top: 3 x 120/140 mm fan (not included)
- Bottom: 2 x 120/140 mm fan (not included)
- Side: 1 x 120/140 mm fan (not included)
- Fan controller: 3 step fan controller for up to 3 fans
- Dust filters: Bottom and front intakes
Water cooling compatibility
For those running a water cooling system, the R5 delivers on configurability as well. It will accommodate a range of different radiator sizes as indicated by the compatibility specifications below.
- Front: 360, 280, 240, 140 and 120 mm radiators of all thicknesses (requires removal of drive bays)
- Top: 420, 360, 280, 240, 140 and 120 mm radiators. (A thickness limitation of 55mm for both radiator + fan applies on 420, 280 and 140 mm radiators) (420 and 360 mm radiators require removal of the ODD bay)
- Bottom: 120 or 240 mm radiator (Use of radiators in the bottom position limits the PSU length to 165 mm)
- Rear: 120 or 140 mm radiator
- 2 x USB 3.0 slots
- 2 x USB 2.0 slots
- Audio in/out
- Power button with white LED
- HDD activity white LED
- Reset button
Final Opinion of the Fractal R5 Blackout Edition Case
When this case first came out we found ourselves asking what is the difference between the R5 blackout edition and the regular Fractal Design R5 case?
The differences are subtle, but it makes for a mean looking box – unlike the regular R5 ‘black’ case color, the blackout edition has all black colored fans, PCI slot covers and hard drive tray mounts, so you get a computer case that is truly entirely black.
We think the features on the R5 are excellent, and it’s unlikely that this case won’t be able to support any combination of hardware. Cooling configurations are plenty due to configurable modules, and the quality is definitely up there. Highly recommended.