Fractal Design Define S2 Vision RGB Case Review: Premium DIY PC Chassis

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Fractal Design Define S2 Vision RGB: Interior and Installation

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If you've built a computer using the Fractal Define S2 then you'll be right at home here and that's a good thing. Nothing has changed on the inside mechanically. The inside of the Define S2 Vision RGB has ample internal volume for high-end hardware and unrestricted airflow (depending on the cable management). In total, the case can easily accommodate motherboards from Mini-ITX to EATX and anything in between. The case can also accommodate graphics cards up to 17.3-inches long, three cooling radiators, internal reservoirs and up to nine system fans. The only thing the Fractal Design Define S2 Vision RGB doesn't seem to have room for is the kitchen sink.

One thing to note is the bottom PSU shroud is secured to the chassis and can't be removed. Since it's stationary, accessing a fully modular power supply isn't an easy task. Just make sure you have all the cables you need preinstalled on the PSU and you'll be fine.
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The back of the case has plenty of options for cable management, along with brackets to hide SSDs and HDDs on the back tray. In total, the back can accommodate up to five SSDs and three HDDs. The HDD/SSD combo trays are the rectangular mounts found at the left side of the case. The other two mounts for SSDs are the trays found just below the back-plate cutout. As far as cable management goes, the motherboard tray is recessed into the chassis by nearly an inch, so you should have room for even larger cables. There are also four grommet covered holes on the motherboard tray to rout the cables strategically throughout the case. Lastly, Fractal has included two velcro straps on the back panel to help tie the cables down.

The back panel also features a Nexus P9 PWM fan hub. The hub can contol up to nine PWM fans simultaneously, with a maximum power output of 36 watts at 3A.

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Since you can't install the power supply internally, Fractal has included a bracket that secures to the back of the power supply and then to the case via two thumb screws. Once you have the power supply attached to the bracket, you simply slide it in to the case.
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Behind the font panel are three of the four included 140mm fans. The fans are Fractal's Prisma AL-14 PWM models, which use six hub-mounted addressable RGB LEDs that work in harmony with a white semi-opaque outer ring and fan blades to produce a beautifully uniform glow across the fan’s entire surface. The fans operate between 31 and 103 CFM, and have a noise output between 19.4dB(A) and 34.1dB(A). To ensure the fans are quiet, Fractal uses a silent LLS bearing design and the fans come with PWM control for complete, fine-grained control over their rotation speed.

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Our preferred method of installing an SSD into the Fractal Vision RGB were the two brackets behind the motherboard tray. The placement is ideal for both cable management and hiding the drive out of sight. Installing our SSD on the bracket was a breeze and it fit securely in place once on the back-plate. 
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The 2.5"/3.5" combo bays were also extremely easy to use. If you're going to be securing an SSD (like we did) you can fasten the drive to the cage via four screws that thread though the bottom. If you're going to install a 3.5" HDD, you'll thread the screws though the drive first, with the included sound dampening grommets secured to the screw. From there you can mount the hard drive using the four holes on each side of the bay. Again, the mounting hardware worked flawlessly and it was able to be secured back to the case without a fuss.

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Since the motherboard tray can't be removed, Fractal decided to at least make part of it modular. With the front panel removed from the bottom shroud you'll have easier access to the power compartment of the case. It also frees up room for larger radiators to be installed at the front of the case.

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When using the tempered glass top panel there's a bracket that sits just below it. The bracket helps hold the tempered glass in place and it also comes equipped with a AR-4020 ARGB LED strip. The lights on the strip use the same included controller to alternate through the colors as the fans, so both the lighting strip and fans will be the same color. You can move the lighting strip between the two brackets, but keep in mind that it uses a combination of magnets and adhesive, so the adhesive will likely wear out or get dirty over time. Since most users are unlikely to move it around very much beyond the initial installation, however, it shouldn't be an issue. 

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With so much internal space to work in, it was a breeze to install our hardware. There was ample room for our NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. When we say ample, we meaning would could have almost fit a graphics card double the length of our 1080 Ti. Our ATX motherboard fit like a glove as well, and cable management was on point, thanks to the routing holes and recessed back-plate. The fans along with the LED strip also give the case a nice internal glow, which puts your hardware on full display.

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The included fans can cycle between rainbow, or solid colors.

Once you have all the hardware in place and fire up this case, it's truly an impressive piece of computer artwork. The RGB lights are visually pleasing, all the hardware is clearly visible (even with dark, smoked tempered glass), and cables are nicely routed out of sight. 

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The Fractal Define S2 Vision RGB has managed to impress us so far, but it still has one more area to prove worthy, namely performance. Follow us to the next page to see how the Define S2 Vision RGB performed at keeping our internal hardware running cool, and then we'll nicely wrap things up with our summary.

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