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Fractal Design Define XL Black ATX Full Tower Silent PC Computer Case

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  • ATX Full Tower
  • 4 USB 2.0, 1 eSATA, Audio Front
  • Mini ITX, Micro ATX, ATX, E-ATX

  • Overview
  • Specs
  • Warranty & Returns
  • Reviews

As the name implies, the Define XL is the larger sibling of the acclaimed and award winning Define R2/R3 case. It is focused on low noise levels while also excelling in other important features such as high-performance cooling, expandability and ease of use. The XL combines minimalistic yet elegant styling with extraordinary performance, noise reduction features, premium build quality, and unparalleled value in this price range. This full-tower case is a great choice for everything from gaming/enthusiast systems to silent home theater and corporate applications. The exclusive ModuVent System, 10 hard drive bays with SSD compatibility, sleek black interior, pre-installed noise absorbing materials, 6 fan slots, unique tilted rear-exhaust 180mm fan, configurable thermal chambers, rotatable/removable HDD bays and superior cable management, are just some of features that put the R3 in a class by itself.

The Define XL is pre-fitted with dense noise absorbing bitumen material. This material effectively absorbs noise generated by the components and fans inside. The sleek top panel has no holes, to also help reduce noise. Instead of putting a fan on the top cover, a 180mm fan is mounted inside near the top at an optimized angle, to blow out air in the rear and further reduce any noise generated by the fan. The side panel has a removable cover, called ModuVent, which also contains noise absorbing material and can be removed to further enhance the air flow characteristics by mounting an additional intake fan in the side panel.

The case has 3 chambers, which can easily be reconfigured in multiple ways to change and optimize the way airflows through the case. If desired, the XL can support up to 7 fans and provide airflow from 3 sides of the case. The cleverly designed, 10 white HDD trays can be used for 3.5” HDDs or SSDs and the rubber mounting grommets further reduce noise in the system. The spacious chassis can support long graphic cards up to 330 mm (or 480 mm if the upper HDD cage is removed). The case also includes several rubber grommeted routing holes and extended cable space behind the M/B mounting plate which allow for efficient cable management. The bottom of the case has a filter over the power supply which can be easily removed for cleaning. It's easy to see why this case has won so many awards; the attention to detail, clever design, high-performance features, understated yet elegant style, quality workmanship, and unparalleled value, put the Define XL in a class of its own.

  • newegg OPTIMIZED FOR NOISE REDUCTION The case includes dense, noise absorbing materials on the front and side panels. Paired with other noise reduction features such as a covered top panel and silicon mounting grommets for HDDs, the XL truly excels in delivering a low noise solution.
  • newegg UNIQUE MODUVENT SYSTEM If cooling becomes more of a priority than noise reduction, the ModuVent panels can be removed to expose additional air vents for optional fans.
  • newegg UNIQUE TILTED, REAR-EXHAUST 180mm FAN 180mm fan is mounted at an angle blowing hot air out the rear of the case. Doing this allows the top of the case to be closed which does not allow noise to escape from the top, giving the XL case a clear acoustic advantage.
  • newegg CONFIGURABLE THERMAL CHAMBER DESIGN The case has 3 chambers, which can easily be reconfigured to change the way air flows through the case. The main chamber has a rotatable and removable HDD cage. A divider separates this chamber from the PSU chamber. The PSU can be turned upside down to change airflow. The 3rd chamber contains 2 fixed HDD cages which are separated from the PSU chamber by another removable divider.
  • newegg CONVENIENT FRONT PANEL The aluminum look front panel has a stunning, minimalistic design with easily accessible USB 2.0, eSATA and Audio I/O ports. The reset button is intelligently placed inside the front door.
  • newegg ADVANCED CABLE MANAGEMENT Cables can be conveniently routed through rubber grommets into a generous compartment behind the motherboard to reduce cable clutter and improve airflow.

Learn more about the Fractal Design Define XL, Black Pearl

Warranty, Returns, And Additional Information
  • Warranty
  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year
  • Read full details
  • Return Policies
    • Return for refund within: 30 days
    • Return for replacement within: 30 days
  • This item is covered by's Standard Return Policy.
Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
Verified Owner
5/ 5
Awesome 3/10/2012 10:39:14 PM

Pros: Perfect case for my first build. Quiet, tons of room, awesome design, and very well built.

Cons: None. It's heavy but oh well. There's a reason you didn't buy a laptop.

Did you find this review helpful?
Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
Verified Owner
5/ 5
Awesome case 10/27/2011 3:09:28 PM

Pros: - Sound dampening material
- Optional fan placement in lower department and upper if only using one 5.25 drive
- Removable dust filters in front of ALL intakes
- Flexible air flow control and thermal compartments with removable dividers
- Plenty of space to work in, will fit large video cards, won't end up struggling to plug stuff in or having trouble tucking stuff away
- Removable hard drive tray in upper compartment, can also be turned to act as funnel for intake fan
- Great cable management, plenty of rubber grommets, lots of space behind motherboard so the side panel doesn't end of bulging
- Thumb screws everywhere for convenience
- Easy to use hard drive trays with rubber sound dampeners

Cons: - It includes a cheapy fan controller but one the pins in the 4-pin power adapter broke. It's really flimsy, and you need to push very hard to get the power cable into the 4-pin adapter. It ended up pushing one of the pins back and now it's unusable.

- The front dust filters are technically "removable" but it's not as easy as you think. You can put in screws to hold the fans, or not because it also clamps the fans. I put in screws because I wanted the fans on tight to avoid any vibration noise. So you have to pop the whole thing out of the front, remove the screws, then unclamp the fans. It's not as simple as just popping off the dust filter like in the old P180 cases.

- No hard drive activity LED

Overall Review: FIRST: Don't end up delaying your build. Buy a 8-pin power cable extension if your motherboard 8pin connector is at the top. You will need it! I'm using a Corsair TX850 V2 which has fairly long cables and it was still not enough.

It's a full tower case so its huge. And heavy! The side panels alone are fairly heavy. But unless you're carrying this thing around, the weight doesn't matter that much.

Personally I think it's a little too big - I didn't get an R3 is because the R3 doesn't have a removable upper hard drive cage for better airflow.

I'm coming from a Antec P180B and I love this case.

My build:
- MB: Asus P8Z68-V Pro
- CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K
- COOLER: Corsair H80
- MEM: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) F3-12800CL9Q-16GBXL
- VIDEO: EVGA SuperClocked GeForce GTX 580
- HD: Intel 510 SSD 250GB
- HD: 2x Western Digital Caviar Black WD2002FAEX 2TB
- DVD-RW: Asus DRW-24B1ST
- PSU: Corsair TX850 V2

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
Verified Owner
5/ 5
LOVE THIS CASE 10/18/2011 11:10:01 AM

Pros: Where to start! This is my third build. The last 2 were Antec P-180 (06) and Antec P-182 (09). This case is FAR superior to each of them. Wire management is excellent. Plenty of room to work and no sharp corners. Inside is BLACK! I needed a flash light a couple of times when wiring the motherboard. Air flow is excellent. I installed the extra 120 and 140 front fans. With all fans on high including the 2 120's on the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus it is very quiet. I needed 8-pin and 24 pin extenders on my Sliver Stone 750 modular power supply. No big deal, just be aware of it. It's not heavy, it's my computer! With all my "stuff" installed, it is around 50lb. As with my other builds, I put them on a wooden platform supported with casters for easy moving. At 65, I'm not picking these monsters up! This is a well engineered case that I will have for many years with upgrades I'm sure.

Cons: If there are any, I'm not aware of them. Weight is not a Con for me, it is a Pro.

Overall Review: Fantastic case for the price. If you use it for LAN parties, you will look like Hulk Hogan by the end of the year without using steriods!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
Verified Owner
5/ 5
Nice case 9/18/2011 8:06:01 PM

Pros: Huge very nice well built case will most likely never need a new case again.

Cons: None so fare

Did you find this review helpful?
Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
Verified Owner
5/ 5
A Real Joy 9/17/2011 10:25:24 AM

Pros: This case is an absolute joy to work with. I've yet to find a single unfinished part of it. Beyond that it is truly elegant and very quiet even with all the fans (stock + additional 120 mm and stock CPU heat sink.)

Nice paint and finish.

Pretty good cable management.

Tool-less is VERY nice!

Packed remarkably well. Box came looking like it lost the fight with the UPS guy but the contents were completely unmarked.

I took a chance never having heard of this company, but I'd buy another of their products after this experience.

Cons: ALL minor nits, but they are cons for this product. Together these DON'T add up to even -1 egg

1. No ATX cable extenders. YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED THEM! Buy at least an 8-pin extender. I had to run the 8-pin cable through the mobo compartment while an extender was shipped to me.

2. Needs another cable access port at the bottom of the mobo tray. Had to route the front panel cables under the mobo to get to the corresponding headers which are on the bottom edge of my mobo.

3. Cable access port in the bottom compartment needs to be longer and/or moved forward. With my PSU, it's OK, but if you put a longer unit in there, you wouldn't be able to use the port.

4. With the top HDD cage rotated to act as a duct, you can't mount a 3.5" drive in the cage. The cables bump into the front fan.

Overall Review: This thing is VERY black, both inside and outside. It is so dark inside I had to deploy a work light to see what I was doing.

It is NOT as heavy as everyone makes it out to be. Yes, it weights 43 pounds, but unless you're carrying it around daily does it matter? Picking up a sack of cement makes me grunt; I don't feel like making any noise when picking this case up, even with all my gear in it.

***With the side panels off, you can see all the clips on the front panel that hold both upper and lower fan mounts in place. You can use that to make it EASY to take the fans out and to put them back, because you can "help" push the clips clear to take the fans out, and you can see when the clips are in the right slot when putting them back.***

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
Verified Owner
4/ 5
Nice Case, NO Support 9/10/2011 9:31:03 PM

Pros: Generally, a very good case for the $. As with any "silent" case, there's a trade-off between quiet & additional heat. I replaced every fan except for the top 180mm fan--& I'd replace that ineffectual fan also if I hadn't already installed an efficient CPU cooler which would need to be uninstalled to replace it. So if low noise AND low temperatures are a priority, plan on spending at least an add'l $50 for decent, quiet fans with useful airflow--both intake & exhaust.
That said, you ARE getting what you pay for: a (generally) well-designed minimalist-looking (a + in my book) case that's large, & very heavy--steel & lots of plastic up front (the nice shiny front case door is actually all plastic). That said, even with 2 front 140mm Gelid fans, a side 140mm Noiseblocker fan & a AeroCool 140mm exhaust fan--ALL of which move a lot more air--this case is pretty quiet while significantly reducing internal temps. The add'l width is also useful for cord control--but an 8-pin power m

Cons: WHAT YOU DON'T GET: ANY SUPPORT. The Fractal "Contact Us" on their website seems to be an inside joke. Both a request for a more detailed manual (what with plastic clips throughout the whole front panel--not real forgiving if you guess wrong) & a later request for an alleged USB 3.0 front header replacement part (promised as "available soon!" in every review I've read--only not actually sold by Fractal or ANY authorized distributor--supposedly available in June) were not acknowledged nor ever responded to. Sort of disgusting if you ever convince yourself that there's someone who thinks you're worth anything after purchase.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
Verified Owner
5/ 5
Very Positive 9/7/2011 7:46:05 PM

Pros: Built a machine for work and purchased this case to go with it. After doing so I immediately came home and purchased this case for myself. Very spacious, excellent air flow, very easy to add/remove drives. Lots of cable management possibilities. Sturdy door. I/O on top front is nice for me. Lots of open space on top of the machine to sit things. Room for large cooling systems. Room for 10 Hard drives. I dont know what else to say. No stupid windows for weirdos to look into to watch the blinking lights Just a serious case with serious room and no.

Cons: I cant think of anything off hand, these guys thought of everything. A con could be that it doesnt come with 1 more fan. I had to salvage one from my old machine.

Overall Review: If you are not one of those windows and blinking lights type of freaks then this is the case for you. just my opinion!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
Verified Owner
5/ 5
Great case 9/2/2011 8:24:45 AM

Pros: Agree with other reviewers: it's a really nice case, plenty of room, plenty of HDD bays, very quiet, good air-flow etc. A few specific notes:

Need power connector extender(s): 8-pin ATX extension is a must; 24-pin ATX power cable *may* be ok if you rotate power supply so PSU cables are located closer to the back wall/partition (the main power cable just reached the motherboard socket with not even 1" to spare in my case :) Or, get PSU with extra-long cables.

Case if really quiet; using Corsair H80 liquid cooler for my Phenom X8 1090T CPU allows to run with the lowest "quietest" fan setting without exceeding +47C core temp (or +43C using "middle" fan setting). If using H80 (or similar) the supplied exhaust fan can be used as second inlet fan (chassis come with only one inlet fan). Upper-mounted exhaust fan is nice, air exits to the back, no "holes" on the top surface of the chassis (a great feature for me). Now, the biggest "noise-maker" is spinning DVD drive :)

Cons: Case in heavy (steel, as advertised), not really a con for me (not surprised by it).

Bottom feet made of plastic (metal/aluminum would be better) - one was damaged/cracked (not in shipping, shipping box was ok), but most likely in the factory, bottom "floor" of the chassis where the foot attaches was dented as well (looks like the heavy chassis was dropped onto the foot, which pushed-in and cracked). Fixed it myself, not really visible, acceptable "losses" (no points taken off for this).

Overall Review: The cable management is *really* nice. All cables (power, fan, sata, etc) can run straight behind motherboard mounting partition. Removable back wall of the chassis allows for perfect access to arrange these cables, also any power cable splitters or other misc items can be mounted there (there is about 1" clearance between mobo partition and back wall).

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?
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