Fractal Design Define S Window Mid-Tower Chassis @ [H]


Just Plain Mean
Staff member
May 18, 1997
Fractal Design Define S Window Mid-Tower Chassis - Fractal Design is known for utilitarian designs that make installing PC hardware easier and keeping it cooler. Its new Define S chassis makes claims enthusiasts will want to see come to true, namely a "layout, providing a perfectly straight airflow path to the CPU heatsink for air cooling set ups or extensive radiator mounting possibilities for water cooling set ups."
Thanks for the review, very well put together. Now THAT, is a nice case! I will definitely be getting one for the next build. I really like where the HDD's sit.
Love the case! Roomy, quiet, sexy and inexpensive. Looks great on my desk. I just wish the activity light on the front was white instead of blue. I have my light disconnected. Besides that, I'm very happy with the overall build quality of the case.

You guys think it's difficult replacing the front led?
Love Fractal cases, but this one isn't for me. Gotta have 5.25 external bays, but for those that don't, this looks like a another winner.
Just a note. On page 5 you mention the Suppressor F51. Are you testing this too?
Nice price, real simple case, I like it.

There are a few issues, which were mentioned in the review.
1. Filters removing from the back, several companies are doing this and it is annoying. Side/Front removal for filters is much preferred, hard to remove them from the back/bottom when it is sitting on the floor near a wall.
2. Hard drive temps, it would be better for cooling if the vertical stand for the hard drives could be pushed almost to the one side of the case and then mounting the drives on the inside and visible. This would allow air to hit them and provide access to them from one side of the case. Additional SSDs can still go behind the motherboard as they run cooler.
Hey Kyle, I've been using the Fractal case for the last 2 years on customer builds, only because a place here in Kansas City, a huge PC recycler got several pallets of them in that they bought as slightly damaged. So I've been picking out the good ones for $30 a case new in the box. These are the highly reviewed original Fractals.

Anyways, not mentioned is how hard was it for you guys to remove the plastic covers off the top of the case? I found it super tricky and ended up breaking some of the plastic tabs. One thing about the their first model cases is that they included the magnetic edged mesh cover for the top of the case. They no longer do this.

Also, the fans used to snap in, now you have to screw them in.

I still like the case but was thinking I might seek out something else since they've started to cut corners. Did they bring these features back in this case?

Thanks for the review. Appreciate it.
I recently built in the Fractal R5, which I believe to be a better case for those of us using air or all-in-one water. It has a number of advantages, including a latching main side-panel, the bottom air filter slides out from the front, it can handle a crapton more 3.5" drives, the 3.5" drives are cooled properly, has a dual 5.25" bay, and its front door and side-panel are insulated for better noise absorption. All the 3.5" and 5.25" bays are removable and movable so you can essentially turn it into an S by ripping them out or position them in a ton of different configurations. The R5 is a couple bucks more expensive, of course. But I believe the additional flexibility is worth it.

(In case it wasn't clear, I LOVE my fractal R5!)

Note the S does have one advantage; the slats/slots in front of the motherboard are designed to easily position custom water loops/reservoirs/etc in that giant empty area. Beyond that, it's an inferior and slightly cheaper version of the R5.
Great review!

But I dislike this style of HDD mounting, not that I wouldn't give this case a fair shot, I would much rather have a mounting tray and one side to open. I like what they are doing here though.
I own this case and love it... Only issue I had is (like others) with the power led... I found that it leaks ALOT of blue light into the interior of the case... Great if you want blue lighting... I however created a small piece with cardboard that sections that light away leaving the case interior dark and thus better able to utilize my own lighting...
Love the 2.5 and 3.5 mounting options but would like to see a PSU shroud/cover. I can't be the only one who likes to hide their PSU.
Been eyeing this and the s340. I currently have a CM Storm 430 so anything is an upgrade
Anyone else have issues with the standoffs stripping the holes that they go into in the case? I can't tighten the mobo screws into the standoff since they keep spinning. I've contacted Fractal, but assume I could fix this myself if I got longer bolted standoffs and used washers and nuts.