Rated 4 out of 5 by 5
Rated 5 out of 5 by LornArth Good quality case
Well made and quiet case. Plenty of room for components. Flexible layout of drive bays. Fits nicely under my desk. Good airflow with three fans - base, front and rear. Highly recommend.
29 February 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by MickJJ Excellent Case, Quiet, Lots of Room, Well Made, 3 Fans Included and Installed
This is my second Fractal Design case as my first one (R4) was not intended for CEB form factor.
The case is as well made and can accommodate the large motherboards easily. There is plenty of room both below and to the front of the case where the motherboard sits. There is room above the motherboard to fit an extra fan. I found it easy to fit everything in and route all the cabling out of the way - most of it behind the section the motherboard is attached. The rubber grommets and hole in which to rout the cables are easily accessible and I thought were larger than in my R4. The width of the case is wide enough to be able to fit a large CPU heat sink and fan. I have the Thermalright Archon IB-E X2 fitted. I did consider the TRUE Spirit group but the one I was interested in gave dimensions that suggested it may be a centimetre or two, too big for the case. I don't know but decided not to risk it.
The case is well insulated and comes with three fans already fitted. One at the front, One at the back and one on the bottom. There is provision to fit another fan on the front, two on the top and one on the side. There is no room to fit an additional fan at the back of the case.
The case sits on my desk where the previous one was and is no wider (Left to Right) about 3ins longer (Back to Front) and 3.5in taller.
CON. I have just one con and that is the attachment of the motherboard. Because this case can take several sized motherboards there are a lot or fixing points and it was not easy to determine which ones to use Each corner was no problem but with the number of points being offered down each side and in the middle it was easy to miss judge. There was no indication on the board as to which point was for what size board. I had to re-site two of the stand off once I had got the positioning of the motherboard right. Also due to the space available it is easy not to position the motherboard accurately first time. It was not a major problem just an irritation.
I will be using Fractal Design cases again for any other builds I undertake.
15 May 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by rich77 This is a superb case, roomy, well built and oh so quiet!
This is the second case of this type that I bought and being the "gen 2" version is even better than the first gen case. so much room to maneuver when installing components and enough space for triple SLI with lots of airflow. case fans are super quiet too with room to add lots of extra fans if needed and it has more HDD bays that you can shake a very large stick at. It is heavy though, each side panel weighing in at a whopping 3kg each, but this is merely a testimony to it's sound proofing and build quality!
My only bugbear is that someone had clearly dropped it at some point as it has a large crack in the plastic frame of the door on the front so quality control might be an issue, that is my only reason for not giving it 5 star quality.
26 February 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by FreeHat Great but with room for improvement.
I will preface this review by making it clear that I do recommend this case. I like this case... it's just that I have a tendency to point out more cons than pros. I'd buy the case again though and that's coming from someone hose really picky when it comes to computer cases.
I needed a silence optimised case that could hold lots of 3.5" drives so the XL R2 ticked all the boxes.
The case feels solidly constructed and the finish overall us good but there are a few areas that could be better. The thumb screws used to hold the side panels in place are a bit too small and, as with pretty much every computer case, they screw holes aren't quite aligned properly. I latched side panel, such as the one on the Corsair 900D, would be a welcome addition for a future revision. Other than that, the solid side panels have little flex and feel well made.
The front dust filter can't be removed without also removing the fans (which are hard to install in the one piece fan filter and fan bracket), which seems like a poor design choice to me. Vacuuming the filter isn't really an option as there's no easy way to immobilise the fan blades. There are other design elements to the case that just feel a little bit dated or in need of a little polish but the front filter is just bad deign in my eyes. Nanoxia handled the front fans and filters on the Deep Silence 1 in a far superior way.
Moving inside the case, I would have really appreciated SSD mounts on the back of the motherboard tray. The Fractal Design R4 has them, so it seems strange that a larger case at a higher price point doesn't have them. There's a complete lack cable management options to the right side of the motherboard cut-out on the back motherboard tray. It makes managing 8pin connectors more complicated than it needs to be. There cable management above the motherboard could be improved too. For example, routing the 3pin connector from the exhaust fan, or additional fans installed in the roof, could be improved by making access to them a little easier and by adding a few cable tie loops.
The lack of tool free 5.25" bays isn't a big deal for me but I would have preferred it if the bays were completely free of obstruction. There are small metal flaps that help align 5.25" device when installing them but they also restrict what bay devices can be used. Devices, such as certain IcyDock HDD docks, that take up multiple 5.25" bays are incompatible because they have flat sides and the small metal flaps in the X R2 only serve to block the device from being installed. On the subject of the 5.25" bays. on the motherboard tray side of the bays, in the very top left corner of the 5.25" bays; there's a small hole that would be great for cable managing the case fans if only it was a little larger. If it was just twice the size it is now, you could fit all three fan cables through it without compromising structural integrity.
The 3.5" cages restrict airflow too much for my liking but they feel solid and don't rattle like most drive cages with cheap plastic drive sheds. The lack of spare rubber grommets for the HDD sled is only and issue due to how terrible the Fractal Design spare parts website is. There is a more serious issue with the HDD sleds. When installing an SSD, the clearance between the sled and the drive for the SATA cables is non existent. It would have been nice if some kind spacer was provided or the SSD could be positioned slightly further back in the sled. One final thought... for users like me who bought the case for the number of HDDs that can be installed, it would be greatly appreciated if there was better cable management behind the HDD cage when it is in place of the 140mm fan on the floor of the case... perhaps even the ability to install a backplane on the drive cage.
I've read from a reliable source that the fans included with the case are of good quality but I don't think the built in fan controller does them many favours. They're quiet enough on 5v and 7v but at 12v they're too loud for me. However, the inclusion of a fan controller (even just a three position one) is welcome.
Last but not least... the latched power button! Why any computer case manufacturer things it's a good idea to use a tact switch for the power and reset is beyond me.
28 July 2014
Rated 1 out of 5 by sketch 2 cases both with same defects
These cases have poor quality control, I have owned 2 of these. I had them stored in the garage waiting to build.
I did a build for a friend in one last week I found that the motherboard tray is actually warped in both of the cases. This is caused by the 2 central rivets in the motherboard tray being installed incorrectly.
The motherboard sits bent, and pci cards will not slot into the boards.
It was easily fixed with some washers placed underneath the motherboard standoffs in the warped areas, but this is something that could cause potential damage to expensive components and I was not at all happy with fractals quality control
31 July 2013