Fractal Design Define S2 Vision RGB
Taste the rainbow with a colorful case.
IT’S A MOUTHFUL, isn’t it? Fractal Design’s Define S2 Vision RGB doesn’t exactly have the snappiest name, but it’s hard not to like it. This is an expensive case for true enthusiasts; the Swedish designer has poured its heart and soul into this one, and it feels like it. The Vision RGB feels almost like a love letter to those who like to array their rigs with LEDs. For an ATX case, it feels big and bulky—no surprise, given that most of the case is solid metal and tempered glass. It’s sturdy as hell.
The large glass panels are affixed to the rear with thumbscrews, and it takes a bit more effort to get them loose even once the screws are removed, thanks to the pop-in clasps concealed beneath the black bezel. The upper glass panel pops loose with a push-pin release, though, and can easily be swapped out for an included plastic dust filter, on to which a radiator bracket can be connected. Inside, the motherboard cavity is spacious, with rubber-cushioned slots to feed cables through, and ample space for case fans. The Vision comes with four 140mm fans pre-installed, one at the rear and three at the front, and there’s room for five more at the top and bottom. Look down and you’ll spy a well-constructed PSU shroud at the base. Cleverly, this can double as mounting space for 2.5-inch SSDs.
Speaking of SSDs, let’s take a trip around to the other side, looking at the rear of the motherboard panel: There are two dedicated SATA brackets, designed to be as unobtrusive as possible when not in use. There are also three sleek metal drive enclosures, stacked atop each other, with space in between to feed cables. Cable management isn’t easy with this case—there’s a few too many awkwardly tight spaces to shove your fingers into for our liking—but it rewards patience and care; if you’re prepared to take the time to do it right, you could end up with an extremely tidy build.
In the center of the backplate sits the Nexus 9P PWM fan hub. The Vision RGB comes with a compact RGB controller in the accessories box, which can swap between multiple patterns and colors. It has to be tucked away in the rear, though, so you’re probably best off downloading compatible RGB controller software.
Were we narrowed down to a single word, we’d describe the use of RGB in this case as “tasteful.” A single LED lightstrip concealed along the upper metal frame, shining on the mobo, plus four of Fractal Design’s Prisma AL-14 PWM fans, makes for a selection of synchronized lighting that impresses, but doesn’t overwhelm. This is in part thanks to the muting effect the darkened glass has on the lights, making for a finished build that is sure to look colorful but not outrageous.
Remember how we mentioned it’s expensive, though? Yes, this metal-andglass obelisk may be solid and striking, but it checks in at $240—enough to make even a seasoned builder wince. There’s a “blackout” variant that comes without the RGB elements for 40 dollars less, but even that isn’t exactly what you could call cheap. The Vision RGB is an easy enough case to build in, with Fractal Design’s trademark degree of organization and tidiness, but that’s not enough to recommend it unilaterally. At the crux of it, this is a case that caters to those with building experience and money to spare. If you fit that bill, this could well be a worthy purchase.
Form Factor: Mid-tower
Motherboard Support: ATX, microATX, ITX
Colors Available: Black
Window Available: Yes
3.5-inch Support: 3 (3 included)
2.5-inch Support: 8 (5 included)
Radiator Support: 360mm front, 360mm roof, 240mm base, 120mm rear
Fan Support: 3x 140mm front, 3x 140mm roof, 2x 140mm base, 1x 140mm rear
Dimensions: 18.3 x 9.2 x 21.4 inches
Graphics Card Clearance: 017.3 inches
CPU Tower Clearance: 7.2 inches
Sensible use of RGB; solid construction; elegant design; plenty of drive space.Minus:
High price point; complex cable management.Price: