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Fractal Design Define R3


As soon as you take off its protective packaging, you get blinded by the brilliant whiteness of the Define R3 in its Artic White coloring. This system case has a more restrained exterior than the previous two. It lacks any fancy grids or anything. You can only see the straight lines of the plastic front door and the snow-white gloss of the side panels.

It must be acknowledged that the white coloring makes the Define R3 the most elegant product among the four.


The Define R3 has a blank front door which has a layer of foam rubber on the inside for soundproofing.

Behind the door you can find two smaller doors leading to cooling fans, faceplates of two 5.25-inch bays, and a small Reset button which is separate from the I/O connectors.

The 5.25-inch faceplates have a latch that helps install and remove them easily from the outside.

You have to use your screwdriver if you want to remove the dust filters of the front fans.

The design of the I/O connectors block is different from the previous two products but, like with the others, it's on the top of the system case. One of the Arc's USB 3.0 ports is replaced with an eSATA connector here. The connectors are placed with the same spacing as on the Core 3000.

The Define R3 lacks a LED indicator of disk activity, but features beautiful highlighting of the Power button. It is a shiny rim with a beam that is visible from the front.

The manufacturer’s website offers an upgrade kit for the Define R3 to replace both USB 2.0 connectors with USB 3.0 ones which are connected to mainboard's headers. There's also a newer version of this system case, called Define R3 USB 3.0, which has a USB 3.0 port instead of the eSATA connector.

The accessories are almost the same as those of the previous model.

The speed controller’s knob isn’t long. It needn't be because the Define R3 lacks an additional sunken-down expansion slot bracket.


The front feet are larger than the rear ones, as in the Arc model, but their design, although composite like in the other products, is different, showing the manufacturer's utmost neglect of unification.


As you may have guessed from the descriptions of the other Fractal Design products, there are black disk guides and some other black elements inside the otherwise white interior.

The disk rack lacks a top removable section but still offers the same eight disk bays as the Arc.

Like the rest of the Fractal Design products, the Define R3 provides vibration-absorbing elements from below and a soft pad on the rear panel.

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