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Fractal Design Define 7XL or Lian Li O11-dynamic?

Im finally replacing my aging (and not very well) Corsair Graphite 600T.

I have several hard drives, I use a Noctua NH-D15S. I have multiple SSDs.
Which of these cases is a solid choice that isnt going to break the bank?
I also use a DVDRW but can convert to external if need be.
I enjoy using the largest size case fans that I can. I usually get Noctua fans.

From a practical stand point, the Define 7XL is the clear winner.
It can hold a boat load of hdds, ssds and 2x5.25 devices.

The O11 Dynamic can hold 2 hdds and 4 ssds and no 5.25 devices.

In the Define 7 XL you can put either 4x120 or 3x140 mm fans in the front.

Oh, and your nh-d15 wont fint in the 011 dynamic.

The nh-d15 is 165 mm tall with fans.
Max cpu cooler height in the Define 7 XL is 185 mm, and in the o11 it’s 155 mm max.

The o11 is really designed for AIOs or custom watercooling.

Apples and oranges case here … The O11 dynamic, the 3.5" drive bays really seem like an after-thought like they repurposed the 2nd PSU bay into something that could also hold spinning rust. When I had two 7200rpm drives in there, they ran very hot, there is no air circulation in that section of the case.

Some of the bigger GPU waterblocks like EVGAs Hydro copper blocks also won’t fit in the O11 Dynamic(ask me how I know :face_vomiting:). If you’re willing to spend $200 on a case, then you really should be looking at the O11 Dynamic XL instead.

If noise is a concern, then I’d say that’s another mark in favor of the Define 7XL. The O11 Dynamic series are really nice cases, but they’re made from thin steel with no insulation, and there’s ventilation holes everywhere. Good for cooling. Not so good for noise isolation.

Are there any other “better” cases for the price? Is the 7XL worth the price? Would I be better off with the 7? Im not a fan of NZXT or Corsair cases.

Fractal makes good cases. I have a few of them and are very happy with them. If you like the looks is up to you.
If you only need one 5.25 Bay, a maximum of 10 hdds and nothing larger than e-atx mobo support then the Define 7 is propably enough.

Tempered Glass or No Tempered glass?
Is there a thermal difference? I am running AIR after all.

If the side panel is vented in some way that might make a difference, but probably not by much. Otherwise temperatures will be exactly the same.

Is there a Mesh version of the Define 7? or a Meshify alternative?

Depends on if you want to look at your hardware or not.
No thermal difference. The regular version is a solid steel panel with sound dampening. No venting.

I can’t imagine any thermal difference between the two.

There’s the Meshify S2. Same size, but meshify front.
But it’s more meant for custom water cooling loops.
Max 3 hdds are supported. And no 5.25 bay.

The meshify s2 might run a bit cooler. But with the Define 7 you can always just swing open the front panel for unrestricted airflow.

Take a look on fractals website:

https://www.fractal-design.com/products/cases/meshify/meshify-s2/black/

You can do 1 Slim DVD drive and 2 SSD Hot Swap bays in one 5.25 inch bay. Or you could do 2 Slim DVD drives in one bay.

Image

What case is that?

Fractal Design Core 3500. Fits up to ATX (and SSI-EEB or something). Fits the Noctua NH-U14S (also using the 150mm fan). 4 HDD mounts and 2 SSD mounts (behind the motherboard, without sleds). It’s end of life but has aged fairly well. Mine houses a pair of X5550 Xeons (saved them from work) on a NOS Intel Board.

The Bay insert is a Chenbro-SK412 and the dual SSD Hot swap thing is sometimes a Rosewill RX-C202 although it is sold on ebay under a variety of names. All in all with a slim DVD drive the whole thing costs ~60$.
Seems quite high but I find the usability high enough for it to make sense. It’s currently in my Core 500 mini-ITX system.

I don’t know how the Define R5 Series aged but they must have come down in price, right? The only thing I see is lack of front Higher-than-3.0-USB

i have the core 3500. hate that thing.

I am considering other options like the Phanteks Enthoo Pro series and Coolermaster MasterCase / MasterBox

I have low standards :slight_smile:

suggestions for better cases?

Not to beat a dead horse, but the Define 7 ticks all your boxes you listed in your other hardware thread.

I also have a Be quiet 900 Pro.

Also a nice case. 2x5.25 bays, 9xhdd, e-atx, good water radiator support.
It’s more silence focused. But it can also swing the front panel open for unrestricted airflow if it’s working on something and it’s running hot.

I don’t have cases from other brands, so I can’t speak for them.

How would one compare the Define 7 vs the Enthoo Pro?

Reviews on youtube?

Enthoo Pro review by Hardware Canucks

Define 7 review by Hardware Canucks

Define 7 review by Gamers Nexus:

And there are probably a lot of written reviews of both cases.
Google is your friend.