Page 4 - Installation and Conclusion
As with all the installations I do, the first thing on my list is take the power supply and slot it into place. In this build, it is the Cooler Master V750 750W. As I have already mentioned, a maximum length of 175mm is stated by Fractal Design for the power supply. This allows the user to still be able to route the power cables with the bottom hole. The next thing I did was routing the necessary power cables. The rubber grommets do an excellent job in only allowing cables through, while blocking the rest of the opening for a cleaner look. I also took this time to route the USB 3.0 header and the other front connectors. ATX layouts are generally more standardized across manufacturers, so the routing options provided here were quite adequate. Next, I mounted my SSD at the back in the storage bracket.
From the back of the case. I found the overall spacing to be quite adequate, especially in the valley. The three Fractal Design labeled Velcros were useful in gathering all the excess cables. I routed most of the cables through the lane, except for the 8-pin CPU power cable, which was routed up the back side and into the top. In addition, there is quite a bit of wiggle room here to squeeze all your cables in. The extra clearance near the front is much appreciated, and it allows cables to sit here without any issues of securing the back panel. If there is one thing I would change, it would be to add more cable tie points. While the straps are very handy, I think having some extra cable tie points would have been appreciated. Otherwise, I think Fractal Design has done an excellent job in giving ample room at the back.
The next step I took was installing the motherboard. I first mounted the Intel Desktop Board DZ77GA-70K in place. My next steps were to install the RAM and the processor, followed by the CPU cooler. If air coolers are what you are going to choose, the Fractal Design Define C has the width to fit larger heatsinks up to a height of 168mm. For your reference, heatsinks as large as the Noctua NH-D15 measure 165mm in height, which should fit in the Define C. My next step would have been to install a graphics card, but I did not have one for this build. A maximum clearance of 315mm in length is available for the video card, which should be plenty of space. However, your mileage may vary, depending on the front cooling options you have mounted. Lastly, I connected the rest of the power, data, front I/O, and fan connections to the motherboard.
Plugging my monitor and peripherals into the back ports, I powered my system to life, and the system booted up to my login screen. As you can see from the photo above, the window reveals much, including the power supply. Again, cabling this was straightforward and easy with the ample spacing in the back of the Define C. According to the subjectively-objective APH Networks sound scale, where 0 is silence and 10 is loud, the Fractal Design Define C is a very good 2.5/10 in my personal opinion. It is quite silent, even under full load, and the sound dampening on the top, front, and right side panels did an excellent job in softening any noise from within.
As we brought up in the introduction, Fractal Design has continuously affirmed itself of being a case manufacturer built on a solid design and a functional layout. It may not be a surprising or eye-catching product, but you definitely do not need to question its capability. The Fractal Design Define C is yet another solidly built case, with the same Fractal Design principles seen throughout. Starting with its build quality, we once again have a clean and classic look. Some may think it requires a refresh, myself included, but I cannot deny the fact it is the iconic Fractal Design look we have come to expect. With the slimmed down size, you might think there will be a compromise in features, but this is not the case, no pun intended. It may not hold as much storage as the Define S, but with flexible spacing of up to five internal drives, this is quite plenty for most users. Other features like the included sound dampening material and ample cable spacing are brought forward from past designs. In addition, some previous complaints have been addressed, like including a magnetic mesh filter for when you need to use the top ventilation. Building in the Define C once again proved effortless, as with all Fractal Design cases, which is great to see. For everything this case does well, it is quite hard to actually find any negatives to highlight. If anything, it would have been nice to see the larger 140mm Dynamic X2 fan in the front, rather than the 120mm. I would probably also request for some recent features like a tempered glass side panel or a USB-C connection on the front. Even still, it really is a chore to find something Fractal Design does wrong with their cases. With a $90 USD price tag, this is the same price as the Define S, making it a matter of choice between this and the slightly larger case. If you need more working room in general, you might want to lean to the Define S. However, for those who have less in their machines or prefer a slightly smaller footprint, the Define C is there for you. Considering how much we liked the Define S and the Nano S, it is no surprise we think the Define C is a great choice too.
Fractal Design provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.
APH equal.balance Award | APH Review Focus Summary:
8/10 means Definitely a very good product with drawbacks that are not likely going to matter to the end user.
7/10 means Great product with many advantages and certain insignificant drawbacks; but should be considered before purchasing.
-- Final APH Numeric Rating is 7.8/10
Please note that the APH Numeric Rating system is based off our proprietary guidelines in the Review Focus, and should not be compared to other sites.
With the Define C, Fractal Design has proved to us you can cut down on size without cutting down on features.
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1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion