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Time and again we have pointed out the difficulty consumers may have when trying to choose the ideal Midi tower to house their new system especially if they happen to enter a store with countless models around. However the same issue doesn’t' really apply with Full towers since nowadays most hardware manufacturers focus their efforts in reducing the size of components and so it goes without saying that PC case manufacturers also follow the same path. Now as you all know we are not much into small PC cases since the entire process of adding and removing hardware requires as much space as possible (others for example choose open rigs/test benches) thus we are always on the lookout to get our hands on every Full tower model we can. Fractal Design has been around for quite some time with sole aim to cater the needs of even the most demanding consumers out there in search for high quality PC cases offering noise insulation right from the box. Today with us we have their latest Full tower the Define XL R2.
Without a doubt, computers are more than just technology - they have become an integral part of our lives. Computers do more than make living easier, they often define the functionality and design of our homes, our offices and ourselves. The products we choose represent how we want to describe the world around us and how we want others to perceive us. Many of us are drawn to designs from Scandinavia, which are organized, clean and functional while remaining stylish, sleek and elegant. We like these designs because they harmonize with our surroundings and become nearly transparent. Brands like Georg Jensen, Bang Olufsen, Skagen Watches and Ikea are just a few that represent this Scandinavian style and efficiency. In the world of computer components, there is only one name you should know, Fractal Design.
Since the Define XL R2 Full Tower is the successor to the highly regarded Define XL i had the chance to review over 2 years ago i was quite eager to get my hands on it to see what Fractal Design had improved/changed. So this time over the Define XL R2 supports up to XL-ATX mainboards (the old had support up to E-ATX ones), comes with 9 PCI expansion slots (the previous had 7 plus 1 for the bundled fan controller) has more fan mounts available (one at the bottom and two top 120/140mm ones compared to the single 180mm one placed diagonally in the Define XL), offers USB 3.0 connectivity (instead of an eSATA one featured in the original), has room for up to 8 HDDs inside two drive cages (its predecessor had room for 10 in 3 drive cages), a build-in fan controller at the front (the Define XL came with a separate one you could mount at the rear) and finally for unknown reasons the new Define XL R2 lacks the two rear rubber grommets for water cooling tubes featured in the Define XL. Leaving out these differences chances are that if you see both towers placed next to each other from the front you will not be able to tell them apart this is also why we took the time to point out their differences. The time has come however for us to dig even deeper so let's see what Fractal Design has done with the latest Define XL R2.