Hardware, Reviews

Define Mini mATX Case From Fractal Design: The Review

As with any Micro ATX case you will not find too much space for larger hard drive arrays. Having said that, the Define Mini manages to squeeze in accommodation for six drives. There are two separate trays each supporting three drives via fairly standard mounting trays that can be used to house either 3.5inch hard drives or 2.5inch SSDs. Each tray is fitted with rubber heels that help reduce vibration. The upper tray can be completely removed from the case for ease of installation and each tray pops in and out easily without recourse to some of the flimsier designs we have encountered on cheaper options.

I should also note that the upper removable hard drive tray is indeed a blessing if you are any kind of 3D gamer. The Define Mini can support VGA cards of up to 400mm which is going to be enough for pretty much any high-end card. This great to see as many Micro ATX chassis seem to off-handedly disregard support for high-end cards, the idea being that high-end system are by default full ATX, full tower rigs. In 2014, this is not the case – we want smaller systems with no restriction on performance.



Key Specs and Features

  • Supports Mini-ITX and Micro ATX motherboards
  • 6 x 3.5 inch Hard Drive trays (compatible with SSDs)
  • 2 x 2.5 inch bays, (plus 1 x 5.25 inch > 3.5 inch converter)
  • 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0 plus Audio I/O on front panel
  • Removable filter below PSU
  • 4 +1 PCIe expansion slots
  • 2 x Fractal Design 120mm Cooling Fans (front and rear)
  • Supports additional 1 x 120mm front fan
  • Supports additional 3 x 120mm / 140mm cooling fans (top/bottom/side panel)
  • Removable HHD tray for longer VGA cards up to 400mm
  • Supports CPU coolers up to 160mm in height
  • Supports PSUs of up to 170mm (with lower fan)
  • Supports PSUs of up to 220mm (without lower fan)
  • Dimensions: 210mm x 395mm x 490mm (inc. front bezel)
  • Weight: 9.5kg

Looking the Part

For a modern DIY PC chassis to do the business it not only has to be technically sound, well designed and use solid materials, it also has to look good. I think this is where Fractal Design really have the edge over most of its competitors. I used to be, and to some extent still am a fan of Lien Li cases. In an age where most options belonged to the dust of banality or teenage gamer fantasy, Lien Li always stood out as a bastion of modern classiness. Fractal Design have taken this concept to the next level, producing chassis’ and PSUs that bring a European take on PC design that looks fantastic.


As we saw with the Tesla R2 White PSU last week, the company has nailed its colors to the mast, and they are black and white. On the Define Mini we find a subtle splattering of white throughout that really does work well. The rear PCIe slot shields, the fan blades (note: not the entire fan, just the blades) and the hard drive trays are all white. When you integrate the Telsa R3 White PSU, the picture is complete. It just looks really good. I am really starting to get the Fractal design concept. Simple two tone aesthetics in an understated, subtle presentation.