Fractal Design Define 7 Compact review
In a Compact Light Tempered Glass
We review the Fractal Design Define 7 Compact, a product that oozes build quality combined with a lovely look and decent features, this round in an all compact design. The new Define 7 series has a new updated body seen from the R6 and is to be launched with three SKUs initially. Basically, you’ll spot the Define 7 Compact and then a dark and light tempered glass version, we’ll review the latter one.
If you build your average PC/gaming PC and have no need for anything larger than an atx motherboard, a graphics card and some storage, hey the Define 7 Compact might just be what the doctor has ordered. At a retail price of roughly 100 euros, Fractal Design now offers a compact chassis, with neatly finishes and even some excellent airflow performance as well as sound dampening. The Compact offers a volume of about 39 litres, which does not sound like a lot as that is 58 litres of the Define 7 and half that of the 77 litres that the 7 XL can house. So things are a little more subtle, and you’ll need to pick your components a bit more careful.
Despite that compact design, a regular atx motherboard will fit into the case, along with a total of seven 120mm fans or a combination of four 140mm and two 120mm fans. For water cooling, there is room for a 360mm or 280mm radiator in the front, a 240mm radiator in the top and of course you can store a small radiator of 120mm on the bottom or back.
- Compact yet spacious interior accommodates ATX, mATX and mITX motherboards
- Room for GPUs up to 360 mm with a 240 mm radiator in the top, or up to 360/280 mm front radiators with GPUs under 305 mm
- Support for two 2.5”/3.5” drives plus up to four 2.5” drives (two 2.5” brackets included)
- Top panel effortlessly swaps from solid steel to filtered ventilation
- New removable top panel design opens up to fully expose the case interior for effortless installation and cable routing
- Silence-optimized construction with industrial sound-damped front, top, and side panels
- Brushed aluminum front and top-latching side panels offer a clean sophisticated look
- Install up to 7 x 120 mm or 4 x 140 mm fans (1 x 120 mm and 1 x 140 mm Dynamic X2 fans included)
- Five front USB ports including one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C with fast charging support and speeds up to 10Gbps
- Bridgeless expansion slots ensure obstruction-free connections for easier installation and hookup
Though a dying breed unless you need cheap and heaps of storage, for HDDs you get a one built-in HDD rack that can hold two units. Sitting directly next to it is place FOR a 200mm power supply and yeah even your graphics card can be 341mm long; 360mm even with the front side fan removed. Your processor cooler can be 169mm high, that’s not heaps so we’d recommend LCS. There is less space for your cables routing; we’ll show you that later on. Things are more tricky, but there still is roughly 17 to 28mm space for cables depending where you route them.
From the outside, these chassis might have a somewhat simplified look, from the inside however everything has been overhauled with customization and a few modular options in mind, next to offering a plethora of features of course. It is a product made with airflow and liquid cooling in mind to serve the more performance-oriented PCs builders. You’ll get decent enough storage, style, USB 3.1 options, and convenient latching side panels. The top panel can be entirely removed for easy interior access, and an included interchangeable cover let you quickly swap sound-damped solid steel for filtered ventilation using the included accessory panel. At that top side you have five USB ports at your disposal, 2x USB 2.0 ports, 2x USB 3.0 ports and a USB-C port are available. That and headphones and power buttons. Anyhow, have a peek first, and then let’s start up this review, shall we? Next page, please.