Price: ~£82 inc VAT
Best Price: http://pricebomb.co.uk
Fractal Design is a relatively new case manufacturer compared to household names like Cooler Master and Lian Li, but with the R3 we feel the company has produced a product with sufficient quality to take on and beat the most established names in the business.
The front of the case is quite reminiscent of Antec P-series designs, with a door that is designed to absorb noise from the case’s optical drives and front fans. Air is still free to flow into the front intakes via venting around the sides of the door, and we like the fact that ugly optical drives are hidden from sight. It’s a shame that the door orientation cannot be switched around for users who keep their tower to the right of their chair.
Behind the door are two push-to-open hinged access points. Opening these reveals the case’s front intake fans. As standard the R3 comes with a single 120mm unit, and we were pleased to see a quick release filter that will protect the case interior from dust build up. With just two 5.25” bays (one of which doubles up as a 3.5” bay) the R3 won’t be ideal for those needing multiple optical drives, but as this represents a tiny percentage of the case buying demographic, it frees up a lot of space that would otherwise go unused by many enthusiasts.
In terms of connectivity the Fractal Design R3 offers two USB 2.0 ports an E-SATA and audio jacks. This is par for the course here and it would be nice to see Firewire or a USB 3.0 pass-through.
Moving to the rear of the case we find four sets of water cooling holes for external radiators as well as a 120mm exhaust fan. A total of 7 PCI devices are supported and the PSU is mounted at the bottom of the case – exactly where we like it.
If all-black isn’t your thing, the case also comes in white, titanium and silver.