How Quiet Can It Be? The Fractal Design R5 Review

When it comes down to cases, there are many options on the market right now. When shopping for a case there are all kinds of questions that come in to play. Do you want room to grown in? Are you looking for something basic and sleek? Are you looking for something enormous with all kinds of room to water cool? Are you looking for something to keep the system quiet? The Fractal Design R5 case fits a few of those questions, and it fits them like a champ. 

The R5 comes in at a perfect price point. Usually the price is around $100, which is great. This case is not a budget case by any means. In fact I would imagine that this case would beat many cases around this price point. 

The front is all business with a brushed plastic finish. On the top it has two 3.0 ports and 2 regular USB ports. It also includes a headphone and microphone input.  The power button lights up blue when turned on and has a small reset switch. 

The front of this case has something unique. Many users complain about open door cases. This one actually allows you to put the door on either the left or the right. Included in the front is the mesh air flow filter which is very airflow friendly. Included in the front is one 120mm fan which is improved from the R4 series. The front has 5.25 covers that can be removed with out tools. You won't really need a lot of tools to use some of this case's tricks. One thing that really bothers me with many cases, is the air filter pulls out from the back. This one pulls out from the front. The filter goes across the whole bottom of the case which is a major factor for me. 

This case has a sound dampening material that are built into the sides and front of the case. Doing this allows the sound to not escape as much. Think of a room with a ton of mattresses in it. Its going to be quiet because the sound is absorbing into the mattresses. The material in this case provides the same concept. Below is a picture of the side panel. You can see the material all around it. The side panels come off with a breeze. It includes a quick release system which honestly you don't need the thumb screws, but its safe to have them regardless. 

My first case was a mid tower case. It did not have a lot of room. I was skeptical about the cable management and room in this case. Luckily the inside of this case is just as special as the outside. The inside is full of rubber grommets and has plenty of room for some basic water cooling.  

The hard drive bays can be taken out for maximum space. For me I left the bottom one in since I do have one 1tb HDD installed. If you have SSD's they can go on the back (which I will go over shortly). There is one 120mm on the back. Overall two are included in the case. The rubber grommets are very large which is great for feeding cables through. The top grommets are not as large as I would like them to be. I had a few issues guiding some cables through. 

I have seen many reviews on this case and one thing that I never saw covered was something that I do not see in a lot of cases. I have seen a small handful that have this feature. The right grommets are on a slanted wall making it easier to connect things like the 24 pin power connector to the motherboard. The bottom of this case has multiple places for fans or a radiator. Assuming that you aren't using the hard drive bays you can do this. Lets take a look at the other side. 

This is where all the magic happens. Included are three straps with the Fractal Design logo optimized for cable management. There are two SSD holders that are very easy to use. I love the straps. We all still use zip ties, but for the majority of the cables these straps will do perfectly. 

An overview. I would honestly say that I would of loved this case to be my first case ever. It is very friendly for first time builders. I say this because there aren't a lot of tools involved. Sure you need your screwdriver for your components, but a lot of the features do not require tools. I find this a major bonus. What good are features in a case when you have to spend forever to actually use them. 

Is it quiet. Yes...very much so. My issue however is my back fan. It is personally a little loud for me. Granted, I am not using the included fan since that is where my radiator mounts. I am using the SP120 included in the Corsair H55 water cooler. I am sure if I traded out the stock one for the quiet edition I would not here a sound. There are only a few drawbacks to this case. Now keep in mind. It only applies to this specific one. There is no window. So lighting and all the bedazzlement is not an option. There is the windowed and blackout edition that includes a window. 

I hope you enjoyed this review. If I left anything out please let me know in the comments. Below is a picture of my build inside this case.  I did not do the best at cable management since I did this build in about 15 minutes. 

Robert Bassett