The R4 from Fractal Design got my eye with it’s eloquent yet simplistic design. Designed for silent computing, this steel mid tower ATX case has gone plenty to whistle at. Take a step inside and see what we think.
I picked up the Black Pearl with Window and the first thing I noticed was how seamless the window was attached. Antec and other cases I’ve used have had rivets where the window was attached. With the R4, it’s clipped on the inside much like the back of a photo frame. I also found the smooth edges inside comforting.
This case has a sweet way of handling Liquid Cooling, with an easy to remove expansion slot for hoses. No rubber grommets that are always open. We have top mounted options for fans or radiators of 240mm or 280mm. These are closed off with a modular panel with sound dampening materials. These same materials line the inside of the side panels, not too mentioned the anti-vibration pads for the power supply and hard drives, for a very quiet ride. While we can add more fans, two are included. One in the upper back and one up front that can be adjusted from the top hard drive cage to the lower hard drive cage. Also included is a fan controller that works very well. Up to seven fans are supported for those that need tons of cooling. Washable filters help with dust build up.
Behind the motherboard tray we have a full one inch of space to run our cables as well as a spot on the back of the tray to mount two 2.5in drives or SSDs. A bit of a pain to remove later since you would have to take the motherboard out first to remove the drives, but still a great way to save yourself from cable clutter. Rubber grommet holes that make running and hiding cables a breeze. We have two hard drive cages that accommodate up to eight hard drives. The top hard drive cage can be rotated for better airflow to the fan or it can be removed to support larger video cards.
After assembling a nice set of components inside this case I can safely say this is the best case I have had the opportunity to work with. Plenty of space inside allowed be to easily attach all the components and run cables. The rounded edges made for a safer build, no sharp edges to cut myself on. The case looks great and runs super quiet with the two included fans, it’s also cool enough to run my AMD A8-3870k CPU with a high workload and stay within normal temps. If you want a great well designed case on the inside and out, then the R4 with it’s eloquent yet simplistic design should be on your list.