Revamping my desktop | Fractal Design - Define R4
Friday, January 31, 2014

OLD | Thermaltake Commander MS-I 

Last week, I decided to change(upgrade) my desktop case after roughly a year. When I bought it at first, I was simply looking for the best bang for buck case and settled with it. It had the features I needed, it was cheap and it looked decent to say the least. (mini tour of old desktop)

I've always had my eye on the Fractal Design Define R4 and I simply had to get my hands on one of it. Hence I made the trip down to Sim Lim Square last Saturday. One mistake I made was not taking the cab. This case is heavy as fuck I swear, at least it shows that it's well constructed.

It looks quite messy as you can tell
 So I started removing all the internals to prepare transferring to the new case, starting with my precious graphic card.

MSI Nvidia GTX 760 Hawk Edition

4 X 4GB of cheap value RAM

Dust is the bane of all computers

After un-wiring everything from my old case, removing all the components, I was ready to unpack my beast of a case. I love how clean it looks. Clean geometrical lines and a full black coating makes it really sexy.

Fractale Design Define R4

First look at the internals

Box with all the bolts and nuts

Seating in my motherboard
 For the next hour or so I was busy wiring up everything neatly and making sure that nothing goes wrong, referring to the manual diligently and hoping that I won't screw up anything. Much effort later...

Everything is installed! Still a little messy though

Cable management holes to keep everything nice and neat

Wiring up everything at the back and tying them up. (before it's actually done)

No dangling wires

no dangling wires


I made a mistake of not taking glamour shots of the case. This actually has a rather large window pane to showcase the internal components, maybe some other time when I'm making a substantial upgrade. (shouldn't be too long from now*) I recently added a Corsair AF140 Quiet Edition fan to the front panel. Increasing it from 1 to 2x140mm front intake fans.
*planned upgrade to the CPU cooler

I was so excited typing this out that I forgot to mention why I did this and what's so good about this.

This is one of one of the few rare cases that I totally gave in to what I want and there isn't much of a need nor solid reasoning. I suppose I could say that this is my hobby, seeing how much time and effort I've put into it. I want it to run as cool and quiet as possible, thus extending the life of the machine itself.

So, what's so good about this case compared to the other one?
Firstly, it's extremely quiet; to the point where I wouldn't know it's on if not for the LED indicator, and I sit about half a meter from it. I put my ear to it and the only thing I can hear is the air being sucked in and pushed out.
Secondly, awesome cable management. As you have seen from the pictures above, there are holes and space for me to route my cables properly and give unrestricted air flow.
Thirdly, expansion-ability. As it's quite a bit larger than my previous case, there are simply more space to put more substantial upgrades. Like I could water-cool my system should I wish to; it would be hard with my old case.
Last but not least, have you seen how sexy it looks?!

Moving on, I've been hard at work researching like mad; preparing to build a new computer. I'm not kidding, I am preparing to build a storage server, something that can scale out and suit my needs for the next couple of years. My main motivator is my depleting storage that is forcing me to shuffle things around, to make matters worse, I don't have any backups.

I'll be writing up a post pretty soon detailing what I've been doing all of today. Sometimes I wonder myself, what am I trying so hard for...

Oh by the way, happy chinese new year.

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