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Old 10-10-2013, 01:04 AM   #1
Drunken Savior
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 19,627
PC Rebuild Photo Album: Antec 1200 to Fractal Define R4 Black Pearl

I've been wanting to switch out of my previous case (Antec 1200) into something smaller and more silent with less LEDs (even though they make PCs run faster). So I ended up deciding between the Corsair 550D and the Fractal Define R4 Black Pearl. The decision came down to 2 things: The R4 featured space for up to 6 140mm fans (bigger fans can move as much air as smaller fans at slower speeds, allowing them to run quieter) and that the R4 has 4 USB ports on the front (2x 2.0, 2x 3.0) while the 550D has 2x 3.0s.

After 5 hours, I disassembled my PC, cleaned out all the parts and reassembled it. And I got it to post in 1 try!

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Here's the empty R4. The case comes with 2 140mm fans. I have plans on adding a water cooler inside and going back to my overclock of 4.5 Ghz (i7 2600K @ 1.29V).

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So I moved the back fan to the front and added a Noctua AF14 FLX to the back. Noctuas are known for silence and nice CFM, and the notorious ugly color. Oh well, performance over looks in this case.

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Here's the larger Antec 1200 next to the smaller Fractal Define R4 Black Pearl. You can see a huge problem I have with the 1200 here. All that damn cat hair! To clean the case, you have to open up both sides of the case and unscrew the fans out to access the mesh screen. Total pain! The R4 has a simple push-latch that exposes the screen. Also here you can see my Cooler Master 212+ air cooler (big silver thing) that allows my CPU to be OC'd but with max temps of 80C. I'm hoping water cooling might lower that!

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Here's all the components of my PC. From left to right, top to bottom: Asus P8P67 Deluxe <REV 3.0> Mobo with CM 212+ air cooler, 4x 4GB 1333 G. Skill DDR3 RAM, EVGA Superclocked GTX 670 4GB, Hauppage Colossus (I don't recommend getting this), Encore Wifi card, BD-R drive, Corsair HX750 PSU, 2TB WD Caviar Black SATA 3, 1 TB WD Caviar Black SATA 3, 1 TB WD Caviar Black SATA 2, DVD-RW drive.

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5 hours after I started, all done! And it posted on the first try! So far it's running at the same idle temps as the 1200, going to test it on a load (encode a mkv) later. So far, I'm really happy.

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And with the case closed up. The window does add to the noise that can escape...but I do like being able to peek inside without having to unscrew a side off. So it's a good tradeoff.

Games I'm hyped for
The Last of Us Part 2, RE2 Remake, The Last Night

Current Platforms:
PC (Zen9 5950x, 64GB, RTX 3090), PS5

Last edited by Drunken Savior; 10-10-2013 at 03:04 AM.
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