Fractal Design Define XL R2 or R6?

ullbeking

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Jul 28, 2017
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Hello!

I'm building a dual E5 tower server, whose primary function will be to function as a powerful virtualization host. I am also considering using it as a file server too, most likely using ZFS. The primary NAS on my network will run FreeNAS in a different box (the U-NAS 800).

The dual E5 will be based on the Supermicro X10DRi mainboard, which is E-ATX. Therefore, I was seriously considering using a Fractal Design Define XL R2 with the intention of keeping the system cool and quiet: Define XL R2 Black Pearl

Yesterday I discovered a new model in the Define range, the R6: Define R6 - Mini Site Apparently it fits "eATX (up to 285mm wide)".

Does anybody have experience with these cases? In particular, can anybody please help me with a comparison between the two? Thanks!!

Kind regards,

ullbeking
 
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alex_stief

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That board is too wide (330mm) to fit into the Define R6 without some modifications, probably even abandoning the 3.5" HDD bays. "E-ATX" for case manufacturers does not always mean the same as E-ATX for motherboard manufacturers.
The Define XL R2 is a really nice case for dual-socket builds. If you need an alternative you might want to have a look at Phanteks Enthoo Pro.
 

ullbeking

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Thank you @alex_stief for the information. Well, I guess that settles that, then :) I had no doubt that the XL R2 would be really nice, and it's actually the case I've really been wanting all along. I just wanted to ensure that there is nothing about the R6 that I should be aware of (it looks really complicated though).

I'll look at the Phanteks too. Thanks for the suggestion!
 

frogtech

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E-ATX does not really work well in the R4, R5, or R6, and in fact not at all in R5/6. I would go Define XL for sure.

edit: or any case that actually natively supports the form factor, like the Enthoo Pro.
 
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alex_stief

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I just got a Phanteks Enthoo Pro yesterday. At a first glance, I like it better than the Define XL R2 that I have in a different build. Decent build quality for the price and space is very well organized. The included fans are total crap, but that was to be expected and Fractal does not do much better in this regard.
It does not come with noise insulation, but for the price difference you can just buy some insulation material and slap it to the side panels.
 

alex_stief

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Aesthetics are a totally different story. I find it tolerable, it does not scream "gaming".
Edit: but in terms of airflow, it is a lot better than the Define XL R2. And the Enthoo Pro has all the standoff-holes, even for Supermicro boards.
 
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Mishka

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I have 3 Fractal Design XL R2's and they are lovely quiet cases, my motherboards are SSI EEB though and was not able to use all the motherboard standoffs.

You might want to take the front door off the case though to stop the airflow being limited.
 

ullbeking

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I have 3 Fractal Design XL R2's and they are lovely quiet cases, my motherboards are SSI EEB though and was not able to use all the motherboard standoffs.
I don't suppose you are using ASUS KGPE-D16 boards?

Ever since I read up on the XL R2, I was pretty convinced that it's the right one for me. I'm sure they are indeed lovely. However, I just had another idea, which I'll post in another thread in an attempt to avoid crossing information and causing confusion.

My plan for the dual E5 is to use Noctuas wherever possible (and the room inside the case means that I should be able to use a full-size HSF, thus reducing fan speed). I'm also going to use Seasonic Titanium 650W or 750W PSU's.

That just leaves vibration from any spinning disks (WD Reds) inside the case, but I'm sure I can figure out something if it becomes a problem.

You might want to take the front door off the case though to stop the airflow being limited.
I have to admit I do like the aesthetic of the plain front panel. I'd go for black pearl, as it seems most classic. Hopefully with two E5's in there is doesn't get too hot.
 

Mishka

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I don't suppose you are using ASUS KGPE-D16 boards?

My plan for the dual E5 is to use Noctuas wherever possible (and the room inside the case means that I should be able to use a full-size HSF, thus reducing fan speed). I'm also going to use Seasonic Titanium 650W or 750W PSU's.
Yea I am running my KGPE-D16's in them https://i.imgur.com/Ww3fqh9.jpg, fits rather snuggly especially with two Noctua 120 heatsinks, a bit of an issue was that the fans block the top PCI-E and need to be slightly offset so they dont block the dimm slots.

I find the noctua's run very quietly but it is kinda expected for it being a huge heatsink