Fractal Design is one of computer case manufacturers who favor quality and functionality over pure quantity of features. Define R3 is built on the company’s Define R2 case, which was quite popular, but is getting a bit old. Define R3 comes with improved airflow, newer fans, better and thinner isolation material, bigger CPU backplate cutout to ensure maximum compatibility with motherboards, more cable management holes, improved finish, and more.
Where Define R3 really beats the rest of the competition is its versatility. The company calls it ModuVent design – air exhausts come sealed and with sound isolation but users can unseal them and improve airflow in a minute. Many manufacturers of silent cases opt out of having exhausts on top or side panels to make a case even quieter. Define R3, on the other hand, has two exhausts on the top panel and another optional one on the left. If users need more airflow – they can have it in minutes.
Define R3 comes with two fans that provide nice airflow, but are loud. However, you can make them quieter via the provided fan controller. You may need another one or two fans if you’re looking to build a high-end rig, but bear in mind that Define R3 Black Pearl will take as much as seven.
There’s room inside for high end rigs based on ATX motherboards. The case will take maximum 29cm graphics, which should be enough for most users. All standard single GPU graphics cards (including HD 6970 and GTX 580) are shorter than that. You can use CPU coolers up to 16.5cm tall, so most high end coolers are compatible as well.
Define R3 Black Pearl is black but you can choose between Arctic White, Black Pearl, Silver Arrow and Titanium Grey. Fractal Design really did a good job and we’ll remember Define R3 as one of the better computer cases in 2011.